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: Quarterbacks
Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions
Fantasy value: No. 1
Cutler starts his trip in Mike Martz's system against an opponent
that he has put up points against in the past. He garnered six passing touchdowns
without a thrown interception and averaged 208.5 passing yards against Detroit
in two meetings last year.
Cutler should start 2010 with a bang
- The Lions allowed a league-high 2.19 passing touchdowns per game
last season and remain a defensive work in progress, even with rookie DT Ndamukong
Suh and defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch joining the fray. Free safety Louis
Delmas (groin) is expected to play through injury, so their already weak secondary
could be even more vulnerable.
Jason Campbell, Oakland Raiders vs. Tennessee Titans
Fantasy value: No. 1 or bench
- The strong-armed vet should be ready for Week 1 despite his right
wrist injury and stinger suffered during the preseason. Campbell gives the
Raiders a quarterback that can ... you know, pass; Hue Jackson and his new
offense aim to encourage more vertical attempts.
- Per game, Tennessee allowed the second most passing yards (270.5)
and the third most passing scores (1.88) to opposing throwers in '09. The
Titans displayed a middling pass rush last year and now are without defensive
lineman Kyle Vanden Bosch; Campbell should have a decent amount of time to
throw, even with Oakland's work-in-progress O-line.
- Raiders running back Michael Bush (finger) is uncertain for Sunday's
game, so if he misses the game or is limited, the Raiders might take to the
air frequently. Tailback Darren McFadden is more useful as a receiver.
Dennis Dixon, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Atlanta Falcons
Fantasy value: No. 1 or bench
- Dixon, more of a run-first QB than a true slinger, was named the
starter for Week 1 and will presumably fill in until Ben Roethlisberger returns.
In a spot start last year, Dixon went just 12-for-26 with 145 yards and a
pick, but he added a throwing score and 27 yards with a touchdown on the ground.
- The Falcons allowed 252.7 aerial yards (bottom five in the league)
and 1.56 touchdown passes per game last year; their secondary isn't imposing
in real life. Atlanta was a bottom-level unit in the sacks department last
year and hasn't done much to improve that standing.
- The Steelers likely won't let Dixon push the ball downfield much,
instead emphasizing the run more. Despite the promising paper matchup, Dixon
should be saved for two-quarterback starting lineups. Maybe his feet could
satisfactorily fill that secondary spot.
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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