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 4 to Week 7, unless otherwise stated.
Fantasy football sleepers: Defensive teams
Cincinnati Bengals at Seattle Seahawks
Fantasy value: High-end No. 1
- Cincy is one of the league's top-ranked defenses, even if their recent fantasy numbers don't necessarily say so: 1.67 sacks, 0.33 interceptions and 1.33 fumbles recovered per contest. They've suppressed passing games and logged a pair of defensive scores on the season. Mike Zimmer is no slouch, either, mixing things up schematically.
- Seattle isn't sure who's making the start in Week 8. It could be Charlie Whitehurst, who has been sacked five times over the last two weeks while playing conservatively. Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral) might return (18 sacks, five picks against him this year). They might also need to spell tailback Marshawn Lynch (back). A disciplined Cincinnati squad should excel; Seattle's homefield advantage can only go so far.
- The Bengals are coming off a bye and could be available in many leagues; they're worth a grab.
Injuries hurt but matchup is great
Houston Texans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Fantasy value: Midrange No. 1
- The Texans lost safety Danieal Manning (leg) for about a month. They've gone without Mario Williams (pectoral), who's out for the season, but they've averaged 3.0 sacks, 1.25 interceptions and 0.25 fumble recoveries over their last four games. Wade Phillips has done an admirable job repairing the pass rush.
- Why not throw them against rookie Blaine Gabbert, who ... well, has trouble throwing? The Jags 'slinger has been sacked 15 times in the last month and has shown little downfield upside.
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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