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 7 to Week 10, unless otherwise stated.
Fantasy football sleepers: Running backs
Jahvid Best, Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys
Fantasy value: No. 1 or No. 2
- Best owners have been frustrated for a while, especially in standard scoring leagues. He has averaged just 2.6 yards per carry in his last four games and hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 2. Luckily, he has hauled in at least four passes in all but one of his nine games this year.
- Don't give up on Best, though. His toe issues seem to be getting healthier, and the Cowboys' run D is collapsing. They've allowed 131.5 yards and 0.50 rushing touchdowns on 30.5 totes per game by this position. They also have yielded 4.75 receptions for 34.5 yards and 0.25 touchdowns to backs. That's a nice combo of positive matchups for Best.
Bernard Scott, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Buffalo Bills
Maybe his Best shot at value
Fantasy value: Flex or bench
- Scott has only 12 utilizations in his last four games, but how much longer can last-place Cincy continue relying on Cedric Benson, who's lagging and in the final year of his contract? The Bengals need more explosiveness out of the backfield.
- This might be the week to try him. The Bills have allowed 128.3 yards on 29.3 carries, 52.8 yards on 5.50 catches, and 0.50 offensive touchdowns per game to opposing backs.
- Scott fits the bill for those looking to take a waiver wire stab at a back that could see ample late-season work.
NEW - Mike Tolbert, San Diego Chargers vs. Denver Broncos
Fantasy value: No. 2 or No. 3
- Ryan Mathews (ankle) is up in the air for Week 11. Tolbert typically sees ample work - including goal line touches - anyway. Mathews was the more utilized back but didn't show much thump in his running. San Diego has shown they're comfortable giving Tolbert the majority work on the fly.
- Tolbert should at least see his typical work this week, and even if Mathews plays, that might be enough for the goal line carrier against a hole-filled Broncos' run D.
- They didn't allow many rushing yards last week; the Kansas City Chiefs were throwing to come back from a huge deficit. They let the Oakland Raiders run wild on them, and the San Francisco 49ers' Frank Gore did expected damage.
NEW - Quinton Ganther, Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals
Fantasy value: Flex or bench
- With C.J. Spiller (hamstring) out indefinitely, Ganther, who showed flashes at the end of last season as a Washington Redskin, will likely be the changeup back to Fred Jackson. Ganther had just two yards on four carries last week after Spiller went down, and Ganther isn't a guarantee to receive much work, especially since Jackson is a well-versed carrier. On the other hand, if you need to throw a dart, Ganther isn't a bad target.
- Cincy has allowed 111.0 rushing yards, 3.75 receptions, 22.0 receiving yards and 1.25 offensive scores per game to opposing backs. They even let the weak Miami Dolphins rushing attack gain 100-plus yards on them.
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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