Fantasy Football Sleepers: WR - Week 11 (with video)

by Tim Heaney on November 14, 2012 @ 13:15:34 PDT


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: Wide receivers

New York Jets WR Jeremy Kerley
Kerley a favorite of Sanchez

NEW - Darrius Heyward-Bey, Oakland Raiders vs. New Orleans Saints

Fantasy value: High-end No. 2

  • Believe it or not, DHB is a top-10 fantasy wideout in standard scoring over the last month. Expect that to continue with his excellent matchup this week. Heyward-Bey has averaged six targets, 3.75 receptions, 68.3 yards and 0.50 scores per game. Carson Palmer has been on fire, and Denarius Moore has been drawing extra coverage, leaving Heyward-Bey to reap the benefits.
  • Oakland will have to chuck the ball to keep up with the Saints, and it doesn't hurt that this defense has surrendered 13 grabs, 227 yards and 1.50 scores per matchup to the position. This unit has allowed 17.5 yards per reception, which is tied for the second most in the league.

Brandon LaFell, Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Fantasy value: High-end No. 3

  • While hardly outstanding, LaFell has caught either three or four passes in each of his last four games while posting a respectable 15.3 yards per haul in that time. Cam Newton's sophomore slump has hurt LaFell's breakout potential, which still exists beneath his statistical surface.
  • Much of that momentum came after his dance with these Bucs in Week 1, when he tallied three catches for 65 yards and a touchdown. Since then, Tampa Bay traded away erratic but talented problem child Aqib Talib. Plus, their run game is quite strong, so the aerial game has helped opponents avoid it in some cases.
  • And since then, this secondary remains a punching bag for opposing passing games. Over the last two weeks, their 30.0 standard points per game allowed to wideouts stands in a tie for the fourth-highest average. The last month: That figure is the highest in the league at 31.8.

Jeremy Kerley, New York Jets at St. Louis Rams

Fantasy value: High-end No. 3

  • Kerley and Dustin Keller face off in the discussion for Mark Sanchez's "favorite target" award. It's not quite a grand prize, but it's a decent designation for scrounging fantasy players. In his last three games, Kerley has logged 17 catches with no fewer than five in a contest; it's been a true growth season for him thanks to his increased opportunities.
  • Though Cortland Finnegan may be covering him for much of the contest, St. Louis hasn't exactly silenced this position. They've allowed 14.0 catches, 161.0 receiving yards and 2.0 touchdowns per contest, good for the fourth-highest figure in standard scoring points versus wideouts (26.7).
  • Sure, much of this came from the Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots, but the San Francisco 49ers might've had better aerial numbers had Alex Smith (concussion) not had to hand the baton to Colin Kaepernick. The backup still had an efficient, if not outstanding, effort anyway, so Sanchez could yield something similar.

Donald Jones, Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins

Fantasy value: High-end No. 3

  • In his last two games, Jones has 19 looks, 12 conversions, 139 yards and a touchdown. Chan Gailey touted the third-year wideout, saying he's emerging as another weapon. Coach speak? Perhaps, but it's not exactly unfounded based on Jones' use.
  • This'll be Jones' first crack at the 'Phins with his expanded role. Boy, he must be excited: Miami has allowed 25.0 standard-scoring points to wideouts per game, tied for the fifth-highest average. That's comprised of 14.67 catches, 192.3 yards and 1.33 touchdown receptions per outing.

NEW - Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns at Dallas Cowboys

Fantasy value: No. 3 or flex

  • Gordon has really tapered off in the last two games, largely because his value at its height was predicated on his ability to find the end zone. He scored once against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 7 and dropped a sure 41-yard scoring strike later in the game. He has since hauled in five passes for 84 yards in two games.
  • A bye week may have helped Cleveland's offense, as they have had extra time to game plan for the Cowboys. Dallas' pass defense was strong on paper earlier in the year but has since become more vulnerable. They have yielded 13.5 receptions for 201 yards and 0.75 trips to paydirt to the position.
  • Gordon's all-or-nothing style makes him a risky proposition for your fantasy squad. He should be considered a better play for those in non-PPR scoring formats.
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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, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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