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 that you wouldn't necessarily consider that you need to get into your lineup.
Note: All statistics are from Week 6 to Week 9, unless otherwise noted.
Fantasy football sleepers: Running backs
Mike Bell, New Orleans Saints at St. Louis Rams
Fantasy value: Midrange No. 2
- Bell saw just five utilizations in Week 9, but he posted 44 combined in the previous three weeks. He's still cutting into starter Pierre Thomas' workload.
- The Rams offer a top-10 matchup for running backs, having allowed 138.3 rushing yards, 1.67 ground touchdowns, 5.00 receptions and 41.0 receiving yards to this position.
- Expect the Saints to keep the ball on the ground in the second half if they pull ahead early. Bell has assumed a closer-type role, so he would probably split time with Thomas.
Jamaal Charles and Kolby Smith, Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders
JC helps replace LJ
Fantasy value: No. 2 or flex
- With Larry Johnson expunged from the Midwest,
Charles and Smith will head up a running back committee that will also include
Dantrell Savage. Logic says Charles will keep
a heavy workload, but Smith will reportedly be given a bigger workload as
weeks pass. The Chiefs still aren't confident in
giving Charles full-time reps working the interior.
- Both should chip in for desperate owners against the Silver and Black, who
have allowed 145.3 rushing yards, 1.67 rushing touchdowns, 4.33 catches and
35.0 receiving yards to enemy carriers per game.
- In his first game against the Oakland Raiders,
back in '07 (Week 12), a pre-knee surgery Smith tallied 150 yards on 31 carries
while rumbling into the end zone twice.
- Charles is not available in many formats, but Smith, who can be had in nearly
every polled setup, may wind up being a better investment if they give him
a large between-the-tackles load.
NEW - LenDale White, Tennessee
Titans vs. Buffalo Bills
Fantasy value: No. 2 or flex
- White (illness) was held out of practice Wednesday but should be able to
suit up Sunday. White saw a season-high 13 touches in Week 8. He only received
four in Week 9, but three of them came in the red zone and one came inside
the 5-yard line.
- He may not need many touches to do damage against a weak Bills
run defense, which has been gashed for 192.3 rushing yards and 1.67 ground
scores in their last three games.
- With Vince Young under center, the Titans
have focused on playing mistake-free football, emphasizing the short passing
game and the run. While there's no doubt Chris
Johnson is the top rushing dog, White should continue to be involved despite
his low workload last week.
- If you need to use White, this is an opportune week. You can still find
him unowned in 61 percent of polled leagues.
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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