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.
: All statistics are from Week 13 to Week 16, unless otherwise noted.
Fantasy football sleepers: Running backs
Correll Buckhalter, Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Fantasy value: No. 2 or flex
Maurice Morris, Detroit Lions vs. Chicago Bears
- Knowshon Moreno has been hinting at hitting
the rookie wall with his recent play; he gained just 18 yards on nine totes
in Week 16. His yards-per-carry averages have dipped in each of the last five
games. Buckhalter has proven effective as a change of pace this year, averaging
5.5 yards per tote.
- The Chiefs could allow both backs to be heavily
involved this week. They've averaged 241.3 offensive yards, 4.00 receptions
and 1.25 total scores per game to opposing tailbacks.
- If the Broncos use Buck often, he'll have a chance
to repeat his Week 13 line - against KC - of 12 carries for 113 yards and
three catches for 15 yards.
Fantasy value: No. 2 or flex
Mike Tolbert, San Diego Chargers vs. Washington Redskins
How much will we see of LT?
- Mo-Mo has been used 23 and 26 times, respectively, in the last two weeks. He's the undeniable featured back in Detroit without Kevin Smith (knee). His Week 16 outing (37 yards, 18 carries), however, was less successful than his Week 15 romp, when most of his ground yards came on a 64-yard run. He still caught four passes last week, though, giving him nine in two games since taking the starter role.
- The Bears have allowed 160.5 offensive yards and 1.00 total touchdowns per game to opposing backs. Their D-line has another hole in it with defensive end Adewale Ogunleye (leg) out for the season. The Bears have also allowed 6.00 receptions per game to carriers.
Fantasy value: Flex or bench
- The Bolts will probably be resting LaDainian Tomlinson for at least part of their Week 17 game; they can't move up or lose ground in playoff seeding. Jacob Hester should see some time, too, but Tolbert has been used more frequently in between-the-tackle carries and receiving plays even when their normal RB rotation is in place.
- The Skins offer a doormat that makes Tolbert a sneaky play. Washington has allowed 155.8 total yards, 1.00 total scores and 7.50 receptions per game to this position.
- Tolbert is worth a rental if you're hurting for a running back or your starter will probably be rested a bunch this week. He's available almost everywhere.
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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