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.
Fantasy football sleepers: Defensive teams
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers
Fantasy value: High-end No. 1
- The Bucs' revamped D was glad to play the Cleveland Browns last week
(two interceptions, 14 points allowed, one of three fumbles lost). Week 2:
another chance for the Bucs to take advantage of a shaky offense. Panthers
quarterback Matt Moore threw three interceptions and was sacked four times
last week, and Carolina's O-line remains a work in progress, especially with
Jeff Otah (knee) possibly shelved again this week.
- Moore (concussion) is expected to practice and start in Week 2, despite
suffering a concussion Sunday. He doesn't exactly provide offensive stability
yet. If he can't go, that would give rookie Jimmy Clausen the opportunity
to meet the "Tampa 2.1."
- Even if the Bucs have trouble limiting wideout Steve Smith and running
backs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, there's still enough here to
see upside for Tampa Bay's defense in recording sacks and turnovers. Their
return to Tampa 2 elements also makes them a watch list candidate for your
Atlanta Falcons vs. Arizona Cardinals
Fantasy value: High-end No. 1
- The revamped Falcons defense welcomed their meeting with the Pittsburgh
Steelers and interim quarterback Dennis Dixon, logging three sacks and one
pick against the run-first slinger. Other than a 50-yard touchdown run in
overtime, they did a decent job against Steelers back Rashard Mendenhall,
- In Week 1 the St. Louis Rams sacked Cardinals QB Derek Anderson twice
and recovered one of his two fumbles. Anderson has had accuracy issues behind
center. Running back Tim Hightower has fumbilitis. Beanie Wells (knee) is
expected to practice but isn't yet cleared for the game. Cornerback Dunta Robinson gives them a capable cover for Cards wideout Larry Fitzgerald (knee),
who still isn't fully healthy. Arizona hasn't developed its run game enough
to account for a passing game that might be erratic for some time.
- The Falcons make for a one-week play if you're cycling defenses.
Your commitment to them shouldn't be long term at this point considering they
have many new faces.
NEW - Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Fantasy value: Midrange No. 1
- Carolina intercepted New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning three
times in their season opener, but slippery hands from New York receivers played
a part in it. The Panthers also recovered a fumble and logged a sack.
- Tampa Bay's offense allowed three sacks, an interception and a fumble lost
versus the Cleveland Browns in Week 1. Quarterback
Josh Freeman (thumb) is prone to committing
turnovers, and Carolina's Cover 2 defense is aggressive enough to bait him
- If you're into playing the matchups, check out the Panthers for a
high-upside one-week play.
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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