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 12 through 15, unless otherwise stated.
Fantasy football sleepers: Wide receivers
Jason Avant, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Redskins
Roberts still has a pulse
Fantasy value: No. 2 or No. 3
- A seven-catch, 133-yard Week 14 is the anomaly in an otherwise boring season. He's caught more than four passes just one other time on the year. Still, Nick Foles, who's getting a smidge more comfortable behind center, doesn't mind using Avant. In two of his last three games, the wideout has caught at least 75 percent of balls thrown his way; those secure hands mean a lot to a young slinger.
- It's an optimal chance to rent Avant for the week. Against his position, the Redskins have allowed 185.5 receiving yards on 11.75 grabs while also yielding 1.25 touchdowns per game. Their pass rush has been bland all year, and Foles should fly frequently, especially since this could become a furious comeback attempt for Philly.
Andre Roberts, Arizona Cardinals vs. Chicago Bears
Fantasy value: No. 2 or No. 3
- Larry Fitzgerald commands the most defensive attention in this passing game, regardless of who's taking snaps. Roberts, meanwhile, saw fewer than five targets in only one game this year, all the way back in Week 2. Though most of his time hauling in Ryan Lindley passes has been futile, Roberts often takes advantage of Fitz's name value.
- The Bears should easily overwhelm Lindley, leading to quick drop-offs to Roberts to beat Cover 2 schemes. Average allowances of 11.75 catches, 152.8 yards and 1.25 touchdowns to this lot mostly stem from Week 15 - James Jones' three-touchdown day and the Green Bay Packers' offense in general - but without Brian Urlacher (hamstring), DL Henry Melton (chest) and CB Tim Jennings (shoulder), this D has noticeable holes.
Brandon Gibson, St. Louis Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Fantasy value: No. 3 or flex
- Sam Bradford's arm nearly fell off last week. His plentiful rock chucking is at its best when Gibson, Danny Amendola and Chris Givens are in the lineup at the same time. Gibson has benefited lately from either or both being his complement; he's registered 17 targets and 12 receptions (six each) over the last two games.
- The Bucs are a gift matchup to any member of a passing game. Their 28.3 standard fantasy points per game allowed to wideouts is tied for the highest figure.
Braylon Edwards, New York Jets vs. San Diego Chargers
Fantasy value: Flex or bench
- Edwards made a five-look return to Gang Green on Monday with three catches for 47 yards, tops among wide receivers as the only one with multiple grabs. Rex Ryan has tabbed Greg McElroy as his Week 16 starter, so maybe the aerial force will carry more efficiency, if not explosiveness. Edwards and consistency rarely mix, but they've gotta be happy to have him back, and they'll show it.
- San Diego's typically steady secondary hasn't been so of late, allowing 13.5 catches, 170.8 yards and one score per contest to enemy wide receivers.
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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