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.
Note: All statistics are from Week 2 to Week 5, unless otherwise stated.
Fantasy football sleepers: Tight ends
Benjamin Watson, Cleveland Browns at Oakland Raiders
Fantasy value: No. 1 or flex
- Evan Moore will see increased snaps, per Pat Shurmur, but it reportedly won't come at Watson's expense. In fact, Cleveland has been promising Moore more work since he came into the league, and it hasn't paid off on a consistent basis. Watson is an every-down TE in Shurmur's eyes. He has logged at least seven targets in three of his four games this season, including 19 in his two before the Browns' Week 5 bye.
- The Raiders have been burned by the tight ends from the Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, New England Patriots and Houston Texans. They've yielded 5.0 receptions, 79.8 yards and 0.50 touchdowns per game to the position.
Adequate remedy for a bye
Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Fantasy value: Flex or bench
- With just 21 targets on the season, Miller has mostly been used as a blocker, but Ben Roethlisberger's foot injury could be changing the style of the Steelers' passing game for the next few weeks. In order to protect his foot, Big Ben used more three-step drops in Week 5, settling for midrange outlets more frequently.
- Miller falls into that category and could be more involved against a Jags team that has allowed the most fantasy points to the position in both standard PPR and non-PPR leagues on the back of 8.50 receptions, 87.7 yards and one touchdown per contest.
- Miller isn't as dynamic as the options from the New York Jets, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints and Cincinnati Bengals, but he has been known to sneak a few red zone looks here and there. That's enough to consider him a desperation addition if you're hurting thanks to byes or injuries.
NEW - Delanie Walker, San Francisco 49ers at Detroit Lions
Fantasy value: Flex or bench
- Joshua Morgan's season-ending knee injury opens up time for someone in Alex Smith's surprisingly competent passing game. Ted Ginn Jr.? Kyle Williams? Don't get too excited. Walker, on the other hand, has taken advantage of ample opportunities when lead TE Vernon Davis has to block often or is battling multiple pass defenders. Walker has chipped in a TD in two games this season.
- For all of the Lions' defensive improvements this year, they've still been had by tight ends so far: 5.75 catches, 53.3 yards and 0.75 touchdowns allowed per game to them.
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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