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.
Note: All statistics are from Week 11 to Week 14, unless otherwise noted.
Fantasy football sleepers: Wide receivers
Terrell Owens, Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots
Fantasy value: High-end No. 1
- After an inspiring duo of games in Weeks 11 and 12, Owens has stunk it up with just five catches for 46 yards in the last two, despite scoring a touchdown Sunday; Owens only saw five targets as the Bills ran all over the Kansas City Chiefs.
- The Bills won't be able to run with as much ease against the Pats, whose pass defense can be exploited. New England has allowed 12.2 catches, 189.7 yards and 1.7 touchdown catches per game. The New Orleans Saints skewed this numbers a bit, but they've given up big plays (15.6 receiving average).
Antonio Bryant, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Seattle Seahawks
Expectations of exploitation
Fantasy value: No. 2 or No. 3
- Bryant caught just two passes for 22 yards against New York Jets corner Darrelle Revis last week, but in the previous two games he combined for 207 yards and one paydirt trip on eight catches.
- The Seahawks pose a much lower resistance than the Jets. Per game against wide receivers, Seattle has allowed 14.0 receptions, 181.8 yards and 1.8 receiving scores.
- Marcus Trufant, Bryant's likely matchup, has shown a lack of defensive discipline since returning from injury. Also, the Bucs are looking to scale back the offense in order to help rookie quarterback Josh Freeman, but head coach Raheem Morris also wants to try more explosive plays. Bryant gives the Bucs their best chance at a deep gain, so their game with Seattle would be a great time to try out such plays.
Devin Thomas, Washington Redskins vs. New York Giants
Fantasy value: Flex or bench
- Thomas followed up his 7-100-2 performance in Week 13 performance with just
two catches and 38 yards Sunday. It wasn't for a lack of trying to get him
the ball; he had seven targets, marking the fourth straight week in which
he has had at least six. He remains a vital part of this offense.
- New York has been quite small versus wideouts: 11.60 receptions, 157.4 yards
and 1.60 touchdowns allowed per game.
- If Giants cornerback Corey
Webster (knee) can't play this weekend, that'll deplete the already decimated
Giants secondary even more.
NEW- Mike Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Indianapolis Colts
Fantasy value: Flex or bench
- Thomas saw four targets for Jacksonville in Week 14 and has seen at least four in every game since Week 9. This isn't outstanding contributions, but at least he's a consistent part of the game plan. Mike Sims-Walker (calf) will probably play through his injury once again, but he has been ineffective of late.
- The team's slot receiver faces a Colts defense that has let wideouts do some damage. They've yielded a league-high 15.3 catches along with 177.0 yards and 1.00 touchdowns to them per contest.
Indy cornerback Jerraud Powers (hamstring) is out for Week 15, and almost every other member of their secondary is listed with an injury for the week. Though Colts injury reports resemble those of the New England Patriots and most of them should play, Powers' absence will deplete this dinged up unit.
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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