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: Tight ends
Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams
Fantasy value: Midrange No. 1
Davis a decent option this week
- Davis was a big part of the game plan last week after Frank Gore (ankle, foot) left the game. The tight end grabbed seven passes for 96 yards and two scores.
- Gore will miss at least the next two games, meaning the Niners may keep Davis involved. The latter lines up against a Rams squad that ranks in the per-game bottom 10 in terms of receiving yards (62.0), receptions (5.33) and touchdown snares (0.67) allowed to the position.
- Warning: The erratically involved Davis was not a big factor against the Rams last year outside of a two-yard touchdown catch in Week 11 against them. He totaled just two catches for 19 yards in his '08 dances with them.
- Despite his poor performance against the Rams, he should be acquired in all formats on the potential that the Niners make him a frequent target.
Anthony Fasano, Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills
Fantasy value: Low-end No. 1 or bench
- Fasano is averaging only 2.0 targets per game in a sluggish Miami offense. Possible turning point: Quarterback Chad Henne will replace Chad Pennington (shoulder), who's out for the year. Henne's first extensive offensive time could rely heavily on the tight end position, ie. the "Safety Valve" theory.
- This would be a prime week to involve Fasano more often. Against tight ends, the Bills have allowed the most touchdowns per week (1.33), the second most receiving yards per game (82.0) and the most receptions per contest (7.67, tied).
- The Notre Dame alum has scored a touchdown in each of his last two matchups with the Bills, catching 2.5 passes and netting 21.5 receiving yards per game against them.
- You should look to acquire Fasano if you're searching for a No. 2 option; with Henne at quarterback, his opportunities should increase.
NEW - Jermichael Finley and Donald Lee, Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings
Fantasy value: Low-end No. 1 or bench
- Neither tight end has done much this year. Lee has just nine receptions for 46 yards while Finley caught four passes for 56 yards in Week 2 but was held off the board in Week 3.
- That could change this week. The Vikings are giving up the third most receiving yards (74.0) and are tied for the third most receptions (6.67) allowed to this position over the first three weeks. They have also given up three touchdowns to them this year.
- Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is going to be under siege against the Vikings' oppressive pass rush. He might check down to his tight ends more often in Week 4 in order to counter this rush.
- Lee accomplished little against the Vikings last year; he caught just four passes for 16 yards. In 2007, Lee totaled eight receptions for 93 yards and a score in two games. Finley has no catches against Minny, though he had a minimal role during his 2008 rookie year.
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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