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 12 to Week 15, unless otherwise stated.
Fantasy football sleepers: Defensive teams
Washington Redskins vs. Minnesota Vikings
Fantasy value: Midrange No. 1
The 'Skins have sacked opposing QBs just 1.25 times per game over the last four weeks but recorded three sacks and three interceptions during their Week 15 victory over the New York Giants. Washington boasts a solid pass rush - led by Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan - but hasn't capitalized as much as it should, thanks in part to a depleted secondary that's missing safety LaRon Landry (Achilles') for the rest of 2011.
Another word for sack: Orakpo
- Minnesota's Christian Ponder has been sacked 14 times and thrown six picks in the last four weeks. Adrian Peterson (ankle) probably still won't be at full strength for Week 16. Regardless of the points scored in this game, Washington has a good chance to attack Ponder without much resistance and offer points in the sack and takeaway columns, which could be enough in many fantasy leagues to have a high-scoring day.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Arizona Cardinals
Fantasy value: Low-end No. 1
- Though they've slipped over the last month, the Bengals' D has brought down the quarterback 3.25 times per game, putting them in the league's top 10 in that time. They've complemented that with 0.50 interceptions and 0.75 fumble recoveries per game.
- In his last four starts, John Skelton has thrown four touchdowns and eight interceptions while also taking nine sacks. The Bengals' secondary is depleted with cornerback Leon Hall (Achilles') on Injured Reserve and they might give up a decent amount of points, but Skelton has helped his opponents accrue fantasy points in other ways.
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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