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 10 and 13, unless otherwise stated.
Fantasy football sleepers: Running backs
Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders
Starks down, Green up
Fantasy value: No. 1 or 2
- No one can say Moreno's workload since taking over for Willis McGahee (knee, leg) has been an issue. The fourth-year back has rushed 20 times and caught four balls in each of his two starts, producing similar results each time. His yards-per-carry average dipped from 4.3 in Week 12 to 3.5 last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, whose No. 1 ranked run defense has been nothing short of stingy this year.
- Oakland has given up 25.5 attempts, 124.8 rushing yards, 34.3 aerial yards and 4.25 receptions to the position. That all-around defensive weakness against running backs is conducive to Moreno maximizing his wheelhouse of talents.
NEW - Alex Green, Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions
Fantasy value: No. 2 or flex
- Green should see plenty of work with the likely season-ending knee injury that has befallen James Starks. Green was benched earlier in the season after failing to produce better than a 3.0 yards-per-carry average when rushing at least 20 times in a game. He hasn't found the end zone in 124 touches this year.
- Detroit's run defense has fallen off from their early-season pace to become one of the most susceptible in the league in the last month. They have allowed the second most standard fantasy points (22.0) to the position in this time. RBs have averaged 23.8 carries, 121.8 yards (5.2 per tote), 1.25 rushing scores, a half-dozen catches and 33.0 yards through the air against this group. Even the mediocre Green should be able to find some room to roam.
Jacquizz Rodgers, Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers
Fantasy value: No. 2 or flex
- 'Quizz has 22 touches in the last two weeks, but his involvement in the passing game has tailed off slightly since the Falcons have opted to pound the ball a little more of late. He has averaged 5.3 yards per rush in the last month and found the end zone once in Week 12. He has value as a complementary offensive play, despite his limited touches.
- Carolina's major defensive weakness remains their inability to slow down the running game. Running backs have averaged the forth most standard fantasy points (20.8), 137.3 rushing yards, 32.3 receiving yards and a touchdown per tilt against the position.
NEW - Joique Bell, Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers
Fantasy value: Flex
- Bell has made his way back into the graces of being Detroit's third-down back after a combination of Kevin Smith's futility and Bell making the most out of his limited touches. He logged 10 touches for 102 yards in Week 13 and scored once on his five touches (47 yards) the prior week.
- The Packers have given up the most standard fantasy points (24.3) per game to the position in the last month, largely because of Adrian Peterson's thrashing of them a week ago. Green Bay has allowed 146.3 rushing yards, 33.0 receiving yards, 1.33 touchdowns and 2.33 receptions per contest.
- Bell is a somewhat risky pick because of the Packers' relative strength against the position out of the backfield, but they have given up 6.1 yards per carry, so another week, another long run for Bell isn't out of the question.
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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