Fantasy football sleepers: TE - 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: Tight ends

Visanthe Shiancoe, Minnesota Vikings at St. Louis Rams

Fantasy value: Low-end No. 1 or flex

  • Quarterback Brett Favre realized Shiancoe was a Viking Monday night, finding him in the end zone. Shiancoe compiled just three catches for 18 yards, though, and is averaging only 4.0 looks per game this year.
  • The Favre connection defines Shiancoe's value as a backup or flex play, though, and this week Shiancoe lines up against a top-five fantasy matchup for tight ends in terms of touchdowns allowed (0.75 per game) and a top-10 matchup for receiving average (11.95 per catch). Anyone playing the Rams typically qualifies as a suitable bye-week or injury replacement.

Brandon Pettigrew, Detroit Lions vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Fantasy value: Low-end No. 1 or flex

  • Pettigrew's game-by-game target totals: five in Week 2, four in Week 3 and 10 in Week 4. After quarterback Matthew Stafford (knee) left Sunday with an injury, tosser Daunte Culpepper sought out Pettigrew on four straight plays but only completed one of those passes. Pettigrew's four-catch, 64-yard game should've been better.
  • The Steel Curtain has been more like saran wrap against this position, giving them per game the fourth most receiving yards (66.0), the fifth most catches (6.25) and tied for the fourth most scoring grabs (0.75).
  • Given Culpepper's comfort in throwing to the big man, Stafford's uncertain Week 4 status shouldn't hurt Pettigrew's involvement.
  • Those seeking a backup or flex play should consider adding the rookie, who is on the wire in about 88 percent of polled setups.

NEW - Zach Miller, Oakland Raiders at New York Giants

Fantasy value: Low-end No. 1 or flex

  • The third-year tight end hasn't had the kind of impact some fantasy owners envisioned this year; he has caught just 11 passes for 146 yards and continues to show a resistance to touchdowns.
  • Well, he could finally be a positive for your fantasy team this week: The Giants are surrendering 5.50 receptions, 47.5 receiving yards and 0.75 receiving touchdowns per game to opposing tight ends since Week 1.
  • Miller is a risk, though, as he suffered a concussion last week. He still played, but you'll want to keep tabs on him later in the week to make sure he is a go for Sunday.

NEW - Daniel Fells and Randy McMichael, St. Louis Rams vs. Minnesota Vikings

Fantasy value: Flex or bench

  • Fells has four receptions for 61 yards and two touchdowns this year; McMichael has 10 receptions for 99 yards but no end zone dances. Over the last two weeks, they have an equal amount of looks (eight). Of the two, McMichael is the better blocker, so he'll probably be on the field more often, but Fells has been the better fantasy contributor in limited time.
  • Minnesota's D has been soft over the middle; Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley torched them for 128 yards and a score on six receptions last week. The week before, the San Francisco 49ers' Vernon Davis caught seven passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns against them.
  • As you might expect given the above point, Minny has allowed the most receiving yards (94.5), second most receptions (7.50) and are tied for the second most receiving touchdowns (1.00) allowed per game to this position since the season started.
  • Facing a stout run defense and suffocating pass rush, St. Louis could lean on their tight ends often in Week 5. That being said, these two are desperation plays in all formats.
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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 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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