Fantasy Football Sleepers: Week 6 matchups to exploit

by Cory J. Bonini on October 10, 2013 @ 11:19:36 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 5, unless otherwise stated.


Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears vs. New York Giants

It is tough to envision any respectable quarterback with a competent receiving corps to not have a strong outing against the Giants' lowly defense. Cutler exceeded expectations last week against a wholly better D and shouldn't see much pressure from New York's anemic pass rush.

The G-Men have given up 25.4 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, which is the fourth most allowed. New York's secondary is banged up and has underperformed.

Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens vs. Green Bay Packers

It has been a rough go of it so far for Flacco in 2013. Two weeks ago, his 347-yard, two-touchdown effort was an encouraging sign, but much of it was mitigated by the five picks he tossed.

Green Bay will be without their best defender in linebacker Clay Matthews (thumb), which is a great sign for Flacco, since he has been dropped 14 times in five games. QBs have completed 66.7 percent of their throws, averaging 307.3 yards and 2.25 touchdowns through the air against this unit.

NEW - Chad Henne, Jacksonville Jaguars at Denver Broncos

Garbage-time fantasy points are still points, right? Denver should blow the doors off the Jags and recycle them into horseshoes before the end of the first half, but that doesn't mean Henne cannot take advantage of the porous Broncos defensive backfield in Week 6. Matt Ryan owners, for example, can consider Henne a worthy waiver wire acquisition if they don't have an adequate backup choice.

Denver, for the record, has allowed a whopping -- and league-high -- 365.4 passing yards per game to quarterbacks. The position has managed 2.00 TD tosses and 24.8 fantasy points, on average, against this D.

Running back

Roy Helu, Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys

Starter Alfred Morris (ribs) is dinged up but should be fine. The Redskins may want to limit his work and spell him more often with third-down back Helu this week. It couldn't come with a much better matchup for fantasy purposes.

Dallas has permitted a league-worst 9.0 receptions to running backs, which has resulted in an average of 74.4 yards and 0.60 touchdowns against through the air. In all, backs have posted 146.2 yards per game when facing the 'Boys.

Mike Tolbert, Carolina Panthers at Minnesota Vikings

Looking for a shot at a cheap touchdown at a low price? Check for Tolbert on your waiver wire and hope for the best. He is Carolina's surest bet for goal line work out of the backfield and is in a better position than Kenjon Barner at this point, due to his knowledge of the system.

Minnesota has given up 155.8 offensive yards and 1.25 total scores per game to the position this year. Only Pittsburgh has yielded more per-contest fantasy points to RBs in 2014.

Ben Tate, Houston Texans vs. St. Louis Rams

Tate is on pace for a hefty workload for a backup and has produced well for the Texans with a 6.2 yards-per-carry average on 41 totes. His 2.2 receptions-per-game is a career best.

St. Louis' run defense has been shaky most of the year, having allowed 122.2 rushing yards, 37.6 receiving gains, 4.4 catches and 1.2 offense scores, on average.

Wide receiver

Emmanuel Sanders, Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Jets

Sanders has at least four grabs and no fewer than eight targets in each game this year. He should draw cornerback Kyle Wilson and may see a lot of work if Antonio Brown is blanketed by Antonio Cromartie.

The Jets have given up a respectable 22.8 standard fantasy points per game to the position on averages of 13.6 catches, 181.0 yards and 1.00 touchdowns.

T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts at San Diego Chargers

Hilton has been dangerously inconsistent this season and is coming off a monster game that will have fantasy owners inclined to start him. They should be, especially against the Chargers' forgiving defensive backfield.

The Bolts have surrendered the fourth-most standard fantasy points (28.4) per outing. Receivers are averaging 15.4 grabs, 214.4 yards and 1.4 TDs per matchup against them.

Mohamed Sanu, Cincinnati Bengals at Buffalo Bills

Sanu has been quiet this year, but that could all change with the Bills doing everything in their power to limit A.J. Green.

Buffalo has been accosted by wideouts for the second-most fantasy points allowed in standard scoring with 30.6 allowed, on average. Enemy receivers have managed to put up per-game figures of 13.6 grabs, 223.6 yards and 1.60 touchdowns.

DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans vs. St. Louis Rams

Sure, Matt Schaub has struggled mightily of late, but Hopkins figures to draw single coverage most of the game due to the presence of Andre Johnson opposite him. The rookie wideout has big-play potential and a great matchup to exploit.

The Rams have been smacked around by the receiver position to the tune of 13.0 receptions, 185.8 yards and 1.60 touchdowns against per game in five outings.

Tight end

Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys

Reed missed Week 4 play with a thigh injury but rested up over the bye and appears on track to play without any limitations. He posted a total line of 8-68-1 in two games before the injury.

Dallas' defensive woes were amplified by a meeting with Peyton Manning last week, but they have allowed healthy numbers to the tight end position. Opposing teams have averaged 13.4 non-PPR points, 8.2 catches, 93.6 yards and 0.80 touchdowns against them.

Brent Celek, Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

A beautiful 25-yard touchdown reception a week ago from quarterback Nick Foles was the highlight of Celek's day, since he finished with two grabs for 22 yards otherwise. It appears as though Foles will get the start for the injured Michael Vick (hamstring) in Week 6 play.

Tampa Bay's defense of tight ends has been all over the map in 2013. On average, they have given up 10.5 standard fantasy points, 5.5 receptions, 82.3 yards and 0.5 touchdowns to the position.

NEW - Brandon LaFell, Carolina Panthers at Minnesota Vikings

Carolina's passing game needs a boost, and a tilt with the Vikings could do just that, at least for the short term. LaFell has been targeted 20 times in his last three outings, including nine times in Week 5. Tight end Greg Olsen (foot) is battling through an injury and could be limited.

Minnesota is a little banged up on defense and, maybe more importantly, has given up a lot of receptions to the wide receiver position, which bodes well for LaFell's style of play. On average, wideouts have averaged 17.25 catches, 203.3 yards and 0.75 touchdowns per game.

Place kicker

Billy Cundiff, Cleveland Browns vs. Detroit Lions

Cundiff rebounded nicely in Week 5 after missing two of his three field goal attempts the previous week. He has attempted six treys in the last two games alone!

They say bad things come in threes ... Detroit has been assaulted by place kickers this year, giving up the second-most fantasy points per game to the position. Footers have knocked through all 15 of their field goal kicks through five appearances.

Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis Colts at San Diego Chargers

Since being shut out of the FGA column in Week 1, the veteran booter has gone 9-for-11 from distance and has made all 14 of his point-afters.

San Diego has permitted kickers to kick -- and make -- all three of their per-game extra point tries and average 2.40 field goal kicks (1.60 made).

Defensive team

Detroit Lions at Cleveland Browns

Brandon Weeden returns to the helm as Cleveland's starter. He has taken 16 sacks in three games and has thrown one pick per outing. Detroit's D should be on your waiver wire for a strong one-week play.

Minnesota Vikings vs. Carolina Panthers

The Vikings had an extra week to prepare for the Panthers, a team coming off an embarrassingly sloppy loss in Week 5. QB Cam Newton has turned over the ball 1.5 times and has taken 3.8 sacks per contest, including 14 in his last three games. Look for Minnesota as a one-week play off the wire, since they likely were dropped over their bye.

Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Jets

All things considered, rookie quarterback Geno Smith has played pretty well for the Jets this year. He has taken a pounding, though, to the tune of 18 sacks in five games, and has turned over the ball 11 times, largely as a result. Pittsburgh had a bye week of time to create schemes to confuse and dial up pressure on the fledgling passer.

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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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