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.
All statistics are from Week 10 to Week 13, unless otherwise noted.
Fantasy football sleepers: Running backs
Mike Bell, New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons
Fantasy value: No. 2 or flex
Marshawn Lynch, Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs
- One prong of this trio, often used as New Orleans' closer, has seen at least 13 carries in each of his last three outings. Other than his two-touchdown Week 11, though, he hasn't done much, averaging only 2.9 yards per run in his last two games.
- The Falcons are having issues in all defensive facets. Against running backs, they've coughed up 139.3 offensive yards (98.3 rushing), 1.50 total touchdowns and 3.25 receptions per game.
- Facing a team that might not have quarterback Matt Ryan (toe) and running back Michael Turner (ankle) this coming week, the Saints may build a quick lead by damaging Atlanta's Pop Warner-league secondary. We could see Bell ringing often in the second half.
Fantasy value: No. 2 or flex
Lynch could surprise this week
- Despite losing his starting job to Fred Jackson
in Week 12, Lynch did some damage last week on just seven utilizations, totaling
60 yards and an end zone trip on six carries.
- Against the Chiefs, we may see a similarly successful line in Lynch's tandem
work. KC continues to be fried by runners: 150.0 ground yards, 1.50 offensive
scores and 5.25 receptions allowed to them per game.
- In starting work last year, Lynch tore apart the Chiefs
with 79 rushing yards, five catches, 25 receiving yards and a touchdown rumble.
NEW - Sammy Morris, New England Patriots vs. Carolina Panthers
Fantasy value: Flex or bench
- Since returning from a knee injury in Week 12, Morris has tallied 17 utilizations, including 11 in Week 13. He also looked more effective last week with 40 yards on nine carries and two catches for 25 yards. Laurence Maroney has been on a touchdown tear but is coming off a three-game streak with at least one fumble lost; we may start seeing more Morris.
- The Panthers should allow New England to do more on the ground this week; Carolina has coughed up 140.3 rushing yards, 4.00 receptions, 26.3 receiving yards and 1.25 offensive scores per game to tailbacks.
- The Pats will probably keep Morris involved regardless of Maroney's workload; when you have a chance this late in the year to grab a versatile back who's returning to the fold, you can't pass it up. Morris is available in about 71 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, 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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