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 Weeks 7 through 10, unless otherwise stated.
Fantasy football sleepers: Quarterbacks
Cam can in Week 11
Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders vs. New Orleans Saints
Fantasy value: High-end No. 1
- Only Josh Freeman has posted better fantasy stats in the last month among quarterbacks, so calling Palmer a sleeper may sound a wee bit silly. This is more of an endorsement that he should keep up his torrid pace. For the record, he has averaged 322.3 passing yards, 2.75 offensive touchdowns and has thrown 1.50 interceptions per outing.
- The Saints have sported the second worst fantasy defense per game, allowing 27.5 points, on average, to the position. That comes from giving up a league-worst 352.0 yards and a healthy 2.50 aerial touchdowns per game while intercepting only two balls in the last month.
Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Fantasy value: Midrange No. 1
- Cam has picked it up lately by averaging 247.3 passing yards, 36.3 rushing yards, 1.25 offensive scores and as many interceptions per game. He has lost one fumble in his last four outings.
- A home-field tilt with the division-rival Bucs should give Newton's stats a little padding this week. Tampa has been miserable against the position, including allowing three touchdown strikes and 337 yards from Philip Rivers last week. In all, they have permitted QB averages of 344.8 yards and 3.00 TDs per matchup. Signal-callers have completed 67.1 percent of their throws.
- Newton threw for 303 yards and a score in their Week 1 meeting. In 2011, he accounted for eight offensive scores in two games against them.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins
Fantasy value: Low-end No. 1
- Coming off a strong showing against the New England Patriots, Fitzpatrick attempts to assault another divisional foe. He has racked up per-game averages of 267.0 yards and 1.67 scores, while turning over the ball as many times. Fitz has completed an impressive 69.9 percent of his throws.
- Miami's defense has been hit or miss this year against the position, but it has been a lot more miss recently. Passers have averaged 1.67 scores and 279.3 yards per game. The Dolphins have forced a mere two turnovers over the last three games.
- In his last effort against the Dolphins (Week 15, 2011), Fitzpatrick threw for 316 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
NEW - John Skelton, Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons
Fantasy value: No. 1 or bench
- Skelton appears to be the starter for Week 11, so make sure to keep tabs on Ken Whisenhunt's decision. Can you believe that Skelton has more fantasy points in his last three games than Eli Manning does over his past four outings? Crazy, I know. The gangly quarterback has averaged a healthy 286.0 passing yards but has tossed only two touchdowns in his last three games. He has three interceptions and one lost fumble in that time.
- The Falcons' pass defense has been susceptible lately, although facing Drew Brees is bound to inflate the numbers a bit. Skelton my find it hard to put more than one into the end zone, but he should be good for nearly 300 yards. Atlanta has permitted 270.0 passing yards and 1.67 scores per game to the position, while recording a mere one takeaway in their last three contests.
- Skelton is a true flier for those in deep leagues, and the list of quarterbacks on bye this week means he is probably better suited for owners in leagues that allow for multiple QBs in your starting lineup.
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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