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 9 to Week 12, unless otherwise stated.
Fantasy football sleepers: Defensive teams
Denver Broncos at Minnesota Vikings
Fantasy value: Midrange No. 1
The Broncs are one of the hottest defenses in the league over the last month, averaging 3.0 sacks and 1.25 takeaways per game while allowing just 13.5 points per. Von Miller has infused the necessary pass rush this D was missing. Denver is worth a waiver wire addition.
Gamble, Cats may bop Bucs
- The Vikes are led by rookie QB Christian Ponder, who has fallen to pass rushers 16 times and tossed four interceptions over Minny's last three games. Also, Minnesota could once again be without running back Adrian Peterson (ankle).
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Fantasy value: No. 1 or bench
- Realistically, either of the defenses involved in this matchup has basis for a desperation fantasy play. Both QBs commit turnovers frequently, but you should side with the team that boasts a more capable pass rush. Tampa Bay could run often with LeGarrette Blount, but Chris Gamble's coverage of top wideouts could shut down the right passing game. For the Bucs, Mike Williams is the most consistent threat in the receiving game. After that, it's Kellen Winslow and ... good luck. Gamble's presence might be enough to limit what Tampa Bay can do in this contest.
- Carolina has averaged just 1.67 sacks per game but has snared 2.0 takeaways per game, including 1.67 interceptions. Josh Freeman has thrown six picks and absorbed eight sacks over his last three games; he completed fewer than 55 percent of his throws in two of those three contests. There could be turnovers and sacks aplenty, even if the Panthers give up ample points; their success could be relative to what scores points in your league's scoring system.
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 LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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