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: Wide receivers
Kenny Britt, Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars
Wallace welcomes back Big Ben
Fantasy value: High-end No. 2
- With Justin Gage (hamstring) out for Week 5, Britt took advantage, grabbing four passes for 86 yards and caught a touchdown for the third straight week. He's slowly regaining the trust of the Titans' staff and quarterback Vince Young.
- Britt lines up against a Jacksonville D that has allowed 14.5 receptions, 219.3 receiving yards and 2.00 receiving touchdowns per game to wideouts. The Titans' passing game isn't on the level of the San Diego Chargers (Titans' Week 2 opponent), Philadelphia Eagles (Week 3) or Indianapolis Colts (Week 4), but the Titans have capable weapons.
- The wideout had just one catch for seven yards versus Jacksonville last year but blew up for seven catches and 105 yards against them four weeks before that.
- Britt probably won't last on many waiver wires and has enough talent to warrant consideration for a No. 3 fantasy spot in deep leagues.
Mike Wallace, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns
Fantasy value: No. 2 or No. 3
- Wallace saw a combined 13 targets in the three games before Pittsburgh's Week 5 bye. He caught just seven of those looks but displayed some of his deep prowess in Week 3, catching three passes for 100 yards, including a long of 46 yards.
- The Browns are allowing 174.3 yards and 1.25 touchdowns on 11.25 receptions per game to this position. The 15.5 yards-per-reception average is the second highest in the league - alluring to a deep threat like Wallace.
- Wallace was quiet in his Week 14 matchup with the Browns last year (two catches, 11 yards) but was slightly more effective against them in Week 6 (two catches, 50 yards).
- Ben Roethlisberger returns under center for Pittsburgh, which should open up the door for a more frequent vertical attack.
Mario Manningham, New York Giants vs. Detroit Lions
Fantasy value: Low-end No. 3
- Manningham had just three targets and didn't record a catch in the last two weeks after seeing 16 targets and 10 catches in the previous two. It might have something to do with the concussion he suffered in Week 3 play, but it's just a reminder he's still No. 3 behind Hakeem Nicks and Steve E. Smith.
- This week presents a decent chance for him to rejoin the receiving fray. The Lions have coughed up 12.25 receptions, 162.0 yards and 1.25 receiving scores per game to this position.
NEW - Earl Bennett, Chicago Bears vs. Seattle Seahawks
Fantasy value: Flex or bench
- Bennett was receiving steady work up with five or six targets in three straight weeks before last week's debacle. With Todd Collins behind center, Bennett was only looked at once. Jay Cutler will return this week from the concussion that kept him from playing last week. The regular starter should target Bennett more frequently.
- Only two other teams are allowing more receptions (14.33) to this position per game than the 'Hawks. No team has allowed more receiving yards (216.3) per game to wideouts, and Seattle is giving up 14.0 yards per reception to the position. Opposing receivers are averaging 1.33 receiving touchdowns per game.
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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