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 1 and 2, unless otherwise stated.
Fantasy football sleepers: Quarterbacks
Dalton on the prowl
Matt Cassel, Kansas City Chiefs at New Orleans Saints
Fantasy value: High-end No. 1
- The Chiefs' running game hasn't been going well with Jamaal Charles (knee) still working back into shape. Their defensive struggles, however, have allowed the passing game to thrive. Cassel has logged 258-plus aerial yards in both games so far, with three touchdowns and three picks. Along with KC's likelihood of having to come back from a deficit, Cassel has Dwayne Bowe finding his footing after a big Week 2.
- New Orleans hasn't enjoyed opposing pass offenses: The Washington Redskins and Carolina Panthers torched them for an average of 286.5 passing yards and 1.50 touchdown tosses. Cassel isn't as mobile as the two slingers the Saints have faced, but the N'awlins pass rush is almost non-existent with just one sack over the first two contests.
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals at Washington Redskins
Fantasy value: Low-end No. 1
- The Redskins were dealt two huge defensive blows when they announced the losses of pass-rushing OLB Brian Orakpo (torn pectoral) and DE Adam Carriker (quadriceps) for the season. This'll put more pressure on their shaky pass resistance, which has already yielded an average of 324.5 passing yards and 3.00 touchdowns to the Saints and ... the St. Louis Rams.
- Dalton defines a QB matchup play, and this is a fine week to choose him. His 318-yard, three-touchdown performance in Week 2 versus a Joe Haden-less Cleveland Browns D shows what he can do in favorable conditions.
NEW - Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears vs. St. Louis Rams
Fantasy value: No. 1 or bench
- A strong Week 1 performance had everyone high on Cutler, yet an equally poor follow-up effort left his bandwagon rather barren heading into the third weekend of the season. He has averaged 12.5 standard fantasy points, 229.5 passing yards, 1.50 touchdowns, 2.50 interceptions and has taken 4.5 sacks per contest.
- Provided his offensive line, with a few extra days of prep time, can keep him vertical, the veteran passer has shown he can pick apart defenses. St. Louis is tied for allowing the fourth most fantasy points to the position, stemming from 280.5 passing yards per game. Quarterbacks have taken only one sack, on average, per outing.
NEW - Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings
Fantasy value: No. 1 or bench
- Smith has yet to turn over the football and has completed 70.2 percent of his throws. He won't hurt you most weeks, which is a plus, but his trip to the Twin Cities may be profitable for willing fantasy owners. Smith has averaged a pair of touchdown tosses per game.
- The Vikes have been friendly to the position. They have taken down quarterbacks only four times, failing to log an interception through two games, while giving up an average of 242.0 passing yards. Minnesota has a long track record of poor play in their secondary under Leslie Frazier's guidance.
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won several industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, hear him every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. On Thursdays, he visits 106.1 FM WMTI in New Orleans and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
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