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 1 to Week 4, unless otherwise specified.
Fantasy football sleepers: Defensive teams
St. Louis Rams at Detroit Lions
Fantasy value: Midrange No. 1
- The Rams rank in the league's top 10 in sacks (2.25 per contest), have averaged 2.50 takeaways per game and have allowed just 13.0 points per game. It looks like Steve Spagnuolo's influence is growing on this playmaking defense in his second season on the sidelines.
- Detroit offers St. Louis another chance to build on their success. Per game, the Lions have been sacked 2.00 times, thrown 1.75 interceptions and lost 1.00 fumbles. Whether it's Matthew Stafford (shoulder) or Shaun Hill at quarterback, this offense has given opposing units opportunities to collect fantasy points.
- These aren't your older brother's Rams. This defense is worth a look on your waiver wire and could come up huge in deep leagues where it pays to carry two. They face the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Weeks 7 and 8 - that alone should sell them until their Week 9 bye.
Carolina Panthers vs. Chicago Bears
Fantasy value: No. 1 or bench
- Desperate times, they say. The Panthers are hardly a productive fantasy defense: 1.00 sacks, 1.25 interceptions and 0.75 fumble recoveries per game so far.
- Jay Cutler (concussion) is expected to play, but Carolina will face off with a Bears squad that last week allowed nine sacks to the New York Giants. Even before last week's debacle, Chicago was allowing 2.67 sacks and 1.00 fumble recovery per game through the first three weeks. Carolina's pass D is the stronger part of their unit and could still hold the fort down against Mike Martz's offense.
- If you need a Week 5 defense - due to your D's bye or a replacement need - and your options are running out, Carolina is at least a passable fill-in for this week's contest.
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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