Fantasy Football Sleepers: Week 3 players to consider

by Cory J. Bonini on September 19, 2013 @ 15:36:20 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 1 through Week 2, unless otherwise stated.


Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Green Bay Packers

Dalton will have to duel with Aaron Rodgers in what could be a fairly high-scoring game. Cincy's defense deserves credit, but the Packers' offense is just too potent. Dalton makes for a low-end QB1 this week against a defense that has allowed the fourth most standard fantasy points per game to the position.

Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins vs. Atlanta Falcons

Miami's offense is finding its groove through two weeks and gets to host a Falcons defense that suffered two major injuries in Week 2. That is bad news for an already sketchy Atlanta pass defense, which has given up 354.3 passing yards and 2.5 TDs per game to the position this short season.

Running back

Joique Bell, Detroit Lions at Washington Redskins

Reggie Bush (knee) could miss Week 3 or, at a minimum, be limited, meaning Bell will have a larger role than normal. It comes at a great time for his fantasy owners, since the 'Skins stink on D, especially against running backs, having yielded 196.0 offensive yards and a touchdown per game in 2013.

NEW - Chris Ogbonnaya, Cleveland Browns at Minnesota Vikings

Feeling lucky? Obgonnaya is a career overachiever, but he should exploit a rather pathetic Vikings run defense. Expect the quasi-fullback to receive the bulk of the action and split third-down work with Bobby Rainey as Willis McGahee works his way through the playbook. Minnesota has allowed the most fantasy points per game (standard scoring) to running backs. Rushers have accounted for 101.5 rushing yards, 119.5 receiving yards -- on 10.0 receptions, no less -- and 1.5 total touchdowns.

Chris Ivory, New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills

Rookie QB Geno Smith should be able to keep NYJ in this game, but they'll need to do a better job than they have through two weeks of committing to the ground game in effort to balance their offensive approach. Ivory looked much sharper in Week 2 than he did in the season opener, and he should see at least low double-digit touches per game.

Wide receiver

Austin Pettis, St. Louis Rams at Dallas Cowboys

Seventeen targets later, Pettis has had as many passes come his way as Calvin Johnson. Technically the No. 2 receiver in St. Louis, Pettis has the trust of quarterback Sam Bradford in this burgeoning passing game. Pettis is a risky play but should see ample looks versus Dallas this week.

Rueben Randle, New York Giants at Carolina Panthers

While Randle caught only one-third of his nine Week 2 target, it is tough to ignore that volume of work, at a glance. The Broncos were up big and led to a lot of passing by Eli Manning. In Week 3, the contest should be much closer. Nevertheless, the matchup favors Randle as a fantasy flex play.

NEW - Santonio Holmes, New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills

Holmes? Really? I know that is what you're thinking. He has a decent chance to produce respectable statistics this week. The veteran is working his way back into game shape and looked closer to his former self in Week 2. He averaged 17.0 yards per reception on three catches. The Bills have given up 16.5 receptions, 176.0 yards and 1.5 touchdowns per outing to the position so far in 2013. Consider Holmes a desperation flex play.

Kenny Britt, Tennessee Titans vs. San Diego Chargers

Just when it seemed like Britt's season couldn't get much worse (five catches in two games), he ran his mouth online and could wind up in the doghouse. However, if you have the guts to play him, this is the week to do it. Monitor his status closer to kickoff, and don't be surprised if he is disciplined in some fashion.

Tight end

Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Green Bay Packers

The Bengals should continue to involve Eifert in an increasing manner, at least when the matchup dictates. Green Bay's defense of the position does just that. They have allowed three touchdowns to tight ends in the last eight quarters.

Place kicker

Rob Bironas, Tennessee Titans vs. San Diego Chargers

Kickers are recyclable off the wire week in and week out. The matchup is strong for this veteran footer. San Diego has given up an average of 9.5 fantasy points per game to the position in two games.

Nick Folk, New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills

The matchup for Folk is extremely promising. Division-rival Buffalo has permitted the second most fantasy points per contest to the position (11) through two outings.

Defensive team

Buffalo Bills at New York Jets

Buffalo's defense gets to feast on a rookie quarterback. New York has turned over the ball 3.0 times per game and given up nine sacks this year. Take your chances with those odds!

Minnesota Vikings vs. Cleveland Browns

Look for Minnesota to clean up against quarterbacks Jason Campbell or Brian Hoyer, depending on what happens with Brandon Weeden (thumb). He is unlikely to play, and even if he does, the matchup is still solid enough to make Minnesota a worthwhile play.

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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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