Fantasy football sleepers to consider for Week 12

by Cory J. Bonini on November 21, 2013 @ 13:10:53 PDT

 

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In this article KFFL breaks down the fantasy football sleepers of the week. We will avoid marquee names because players of that caliber are rarely benched, regardless of their matchup. Instead, we will focus on the players that make your fantasy lineup decisions stressful each week. Read on to learn which midrange to low-end players you wouldn't necessarily consider that you need to get into your lineup.

Note: All statistics are from Week 8 through Week 11, unless otherwise stated.

Quarterback

Case Keenum, Houston Texans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Keenum returns to this space and the starting lineup in Week 12 after an inexplicable benching by head coach Gary Kubiak last Sunday. Matt Schaub replaced Keenum and didn't fare any better (worse, really). Hopefully that was all the coach needed to see to realize Keenum gives him the best chance to win. Now if only Houston's porous defense could stop anyone, Keenum wouldn't have to throw very much ... wait, we wouldn't want that!

Jaguars vs. QB position (per-game averages)

Rank
G
Avg Pts
Com
Att
Com%
PaYds
PaTD
Int
RuAtt
RuYds
RuTD
FumL
Sck
31
3
28.3
22
34
66.3
294.7
1.67
0.33
5.3
27.3
1.00
0.67
1.33

Mike Glennon, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions

Glennon's weapons are limited, but the explosive emergence of running back Bobby Rainey gives him another target in the passing game. Detroit's run defense is their strength on this side of the ball. Their secondary is inept and will be tested all game long by the rookie passer.

Lions vs. QB position (per-game averages)

Rank
G
Avg Pts
Com
Att
Com%
PaYds
PaTD
Int
RuAtt
RuYds
RuTD
FumL
Sck
30
3
26.0
23
41
56.5
295.0
3.00
0.33
3.0
6.0
0.00
0.00
1.00

NEW - Eli Manning, New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys

Manning has 12 touchdown passes on the year, and one-third of them came in Week 1 versus the Cowboys. He also tossed for 450 yards. Victor Cruz logged three of his four touchdown grabs this year. That was Dallas' first game under defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin's Cover 2 base, but things haven't really improved all that much since the season opener. Manning should be good for 250 and a pair of scores.

Cowboys vs. QB position (per-game averages)

Rank
G
Avg Pts
Com
Att
Com%
PaYds
PaTD
Int
RuAtt
RuYds
RuTD
FumL
Sck
32
3
29.0
31
42
73.0
372.0
2.00
1.00
3.0
13.0
0.67
0.33
1.33

Running back

Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers at Miami Dolphins

Stewart had been utilized a respectable amount in the two games before Carolina's Monday night victory over the Patriots, in which he had just four touches. Look for more involvement against the Dolphins, enough to make J-Stew a low-end flex play, anyway. Maybe you'll get lucky with a cheap touchdown from the veteran who is still finding his football legs.

Dolphins vs. RB position (per-game averages)

Rank
G
Avg Pts
RuAtt
RuYds
YPC
RuTD
Rec
ReYds
YPR
ReTD
FumL
29
4
22.5
30.0
147.3
4.9
1.25
3.25
22.8
7.0
0.00
0.00

Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons

Look, Ingram is about as risky as they come. He has had one good game all year and is the third back in line for touches. However, this week could be favorable to his cause, especially if the Saints go up big early. Atlanta may be a division rival and know the Saints as well as anyone, but they simply don't have the firepower to keep up, nor do they have the individual defensive talent to slow the Saints.

Falcons vs. RB position (per-game averages)

Rank
G
Avg Pts
RuAtt
RuYds
YPC
RuTD
Rec
ReYds
YPR
ReTD
FumL
31
4
26.5
33.3
168.5
5.1
1.25
5.25
23.5
4.5
0.25
0.00

 

Wide receiver

Jerricho Cotchery, Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns

Five touchdowns scored in his last three games probably means Cotchery isn't exactly a sleeper, but he is being started in fewer than 50 percent of leagues polled. WR Emmanuel Sanders (foot) is banged up, although expected to play, and Browns cornerback Joe Haden should blanket wideout Antonio Brown all day, which leaves Cotchery as the likeliest beneficiary.

Browns vs. WR position (per-game averages)

Rank
G
Avg Pts
Rec
ReYds
YPR
ReTD
RuAtt
RuYds
RuTD
FumL
12
3
18.3
12.00
116.7
9.7
1.33
1.00
2.7
0.00
0.33

Kendall Wright, Tennessee Titans at Oakland Raiders

Wright has stepped up his play with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center the past two weeks, posting 16 receptions for 158 yards in that time. Fitz has opened up the aerial attack, in general, which is good for Wright. Tennessee has found it most effective to use him on drags, crosses and comebacks of late.

Raiders vs. WR position (per-game averages)

Rank
G
Avg Pts
Rec
ReYds
YPR
ReTD
RuAtt
RuYds
RuTD
FumL
27
4
28.3
13.50
203.3
15.1
1.50
0.25
5.0
0.00
0.25

Tiquan Underwood, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions

Really want to dig deep? Underwood is a sneaky play for owners in deep leagues. If you're desperate or willing to take a big chance at a possibly huge payoff, Underwood should be on your short list of one-week plays against Detroit's sad excuse for a pass defense. The Lions will sell out to stop Vincent Jackson, paving the way for Underwood to have a quality game.

Lions vs. WR position (per-game averages)

Rank
G
Avg Pts
Rec
ReYds
YPR
ReTD
RuAtt
RuYds
RuTD
FumL
32
3
35.7
12.67
214.0
16.9
2.67
1.67
1.0
0.00
0.00

Tight end

Garrett Graham, Houston Texans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Graham has a great opportunity to pick up from where he left off in Week 11 against a Jags' D that struggles to stop the position. Fresh off a monster game (7-136-1), in conjunction with Jacksonville likely to do everything to slow Andre Johnson, and DeAndre Hopkins' benching last week, Graham has a good chance for another big outing.

Jaguars vs. TE position (per-game averages)

Rank
G
Avg Pts
Rec
ReYds
YPR
ReTD
FumL
32
3
13.0
6.00
82.0
13.7
1.00
0.00

Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans

Lewis has 13 targets in his last two games and is starting to be worked into the offense enough to matter for fantasy purposes. He's a true desperation play, but the matchup couldn't be much better. Consider him in leagues that allow for two starting tight ends.

Texans vs. TE position (per-game averages)

Rank
G
Avg Pts
Rec
ReYds
YPR
ReTD
FumL
28
3
10.3
4.67
66.3
14.2
0.67
0.00

Place kicker

Jay Feely, Arizona Cardinals vs. Indianapolis Colts

Arizona and Indy match up well enough to give Feely some credence as a waiver wire play. The Cards have picked up their game in recent weeks, especially in the passing game, an area in which the Colts have struggled mightily to defend.

Colts vs. PK position (per-game averages)

Rank
G
Avg Pts
FG
FGA
XP Made
XP Att
Max Kick Pts
19
3
7.7
1.33
2.33
3.67
3.67
9.0

Shaun Suisham, Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns

Suisham has been afforded six field goal attempts in the last two weeks and is averaging 3.33 point-after tries over his past three outings. The Steelers are moving the ball very well through the air, yet their running game has struggled. That bodes well for stalled drives and three-point tries. Plus, Cleveland knows how what to look for to slow this division rival.

Browns vs. PK position (per-game averages)

Rank
G
Avg Pts
FG
FGA
XP Made
XP Att
Max Kick Pts
27
3
8.7
2.00
2.33
2.67
2.67
11.0

Defensive team

New York Jets at Baltimore Ravens

New York's defense was almost as bad as their offense last week, and they have struggled to reach the quarterback. That should change in Week 12 against the penultimate pass-protecting offense in the last month. You could do worse than the Jets as a one-week matchup play.

Ravens' offense (per-game averages)

G
Int Thrown
Sacks Allwd
Fum Lost
TO/Gm
3
1.67
4.33
0.67
2.33

Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

No team has given up more sacks in the last month than the Steelers. Surrendering pressure can lead to mistakes, and Cleveland could be a decent outing as a one-week play if you are missing Cincinnati or Seattle's defense because of their bye weeks.

Steelers' offense (per-game averages)

G
Int Thrown
Sacks Allwd
Fum Lost
TO/Gm
3
1.67
5.00
0.33
2.00

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About Cory J. Bonini

Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.

Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.

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