Fantasy football sleepers: RB - Week 5

by Tim Heaney and Bryce McRae on October 8, 2009 @ 14:00:00 PDT


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.

Fantasy football sleepers: Running backs

Clinton Portis, Washington Redskins at Carolina Panthers

Clinton Portis, RB, WAS
Don't give up on Portis just yet

Fantasy value: Midrange No. 3

  • Against the lowly Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday, Portis compiled 98 yards on 25 carries (3.9 yards per tote). He showed fantasy owners he still has something to offer ... if the matchup is right.
  • Similar benefits are lined up for him against the seemingly de-clawed Panthers in Week 5. Without sidelined D-tackle Ma'ake Kemoeatu (Achilles'), this run-stopping unit hasn't lived up to its job title this season, yielding the third highest average running yards per game (148.3) to this position. They also rank in the bottom 10 for offensive yards and total touchdowns allowed per game to carriers.

Glen Coffee, San Francisco 49ers vs. Atlanta Falcons

Fantasy value: Midrange No. 3

  • Starter Frank Gore (ankle) remains on the outs, leaving Coffee to drink up San Fran's ground cup. Despite a decent showing of 160 total yards and four catches (all came Sunday) in the Niners' two Gore-less games, Coffee hasn't shown much burst (2.6 yards per carry).
  • The Niners should continue to employ him frequently. Lucky him: The Falcons have given up the eighth most rushing yards (131.3), the seventh most catches (6.00, tied) and the 10th most offensive scores (1.00, tied) to tailbacks per game.

NEW - Jerome Harrison, Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills

Fantasy value: Midrange No. 2

  • In his second start this season, Harrison carried the ball 29 times for 121 yards (4.2 yards per carry) while catching five passes for 31 yards last week.
  • Through the first four weeks, Buffalo has allowed 180.3 offensive yards (third most) and 2.00 offensive touchdowns per game (tied for most) to opposing backs.
  • Starter Jamal Lewis (hamstring) wasn't back at practice Wednesday; even if he returns for the game, Cleveland could limit his workload to prevent further injury.
  • Make it a priority to add Harrison, who is available in 27 percent of leagues polled.

NEW - Chris Wells, Arizona Cardinals vs. Houston Texans

Fantasy value: Flex or bench

  • His Week 3 effort wasn't pretty (two rushes for a loss of two yards), but overall, Wells has rumbled for 71 yards on 16 carries (4.4 yards per carry).
  • Houston has surrendered an average of 135.5 rushing yards and 1.75 rushing touchdowns per game over the last four weeks. There should be plenty of work for both backs this week.
  • Running back Tim Hightower has overshadowed Wells so far this year; if you are looking for someone to replace on their bye week, though, this is the week to use Wells.
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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 the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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