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 4 to Week 7, unless otherwise specified.
Fantasy football sleepers: Wide receivers
Mike Sims-Walker, Jacksonville Jaguars at Dallas Cowboys
Fantasy value: Midrange No. 2
- Even with Todd Bouman taking snaps in Week 7, MSW found the end zone, despite having just three catches for 38 yards. On the bright side, Sims-Walker has 16 targets over the last two weeks. Now, with David Garrard (concussion) likely coming back for Week 8, he'll have a quarterback to get him the ball with more consistency.
- The Cowboys have struggled against wideouts, allowing 13.33 receptions, 168.7 yards and 2.33 touchdowns per game to the position. The Jags don't boast the passing effectiveness of the Minnesota Vikings or New York Giants, but Dallas' other opponent in the last three weeks, the Tennessee Titans, still had aerial success against them. Dallas' vulnerable secondary should give Jacksonville some room to throw.
Blair White, Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans
Fantasy value: Midrange No. 3
- Though Anthony Gonzalez is saying he'll return in Week 8, White has a chance to earn consistent looks moving forward with Austin Collie (thumb) sidelined and Dallas Clark (wrist) on Injured Reserve. White hauled in a touchdown pass in Week 3 but hasn't done much since.
- As vulnerable as Indy's run D has been - and how infamously porous it was against them in Week 1 - the Texans' pass D is one of the best fantasy matchups for skill players. Houston has yielded 9.67 catches, 126.7 yards and 1.67 touchdowns per game to this position.
- During a six-team bye week, players like White could fill in nicely. He should be acquired in most leagues anyway because of his newfound opportunity in this potent offense. He's available in nearly every polled league.
James Jones, Green Bay Packers at New York Jets
Jonesin' for a flex play?
Fantasy value: Flex or bench
- Jones logged four receptions for 107 yards in Week 7 against the Minnesota Vikings, whose secondary couldn't stop a stop sign. Jones has seen eight looks in two of the last three weeks, thanks to the season-ending injury to tight end Jermichael Finley (knee).
- Even with Darrelle Revis back in the lineup, the generally tight Jets' defense has struggled against the pass. They've allowed 11.0 receptions, 179.7 yards and 1.67 touchdown catches per outing to this position.
- Packers wideout Donald Driver (quadriceps) is hobbled, and if he can't play, expect Jones to slide into more work.
- Cornerbacks Kyle Wilson and Drew Coleman are vulnerable parts of the unit that take some stability away from Revis and Antonio Cromartie. A healthy dose of Jones, the Packers' No. 3 wideout, could produce notable mismatches.
NEW - Jordan Shipley, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Miami Dolphins
Fantasy value: Flex or bench
- Shipley enjoyed the finest game of his short career last week, catching six passes for 131 yards, including a 64-yard touchdown grab. He was targeted seven times, tying a season high.
- Miami is allowing 12.00 receptions for 184.0 receiving yards and 1.00 receiving touchdowns per game to this position. Opposing wideouts are averaging 15.3 yards per grab in the last four weeks against the Dolphins, which tied for fourth overall.
- Last week, the Pittsburgh Steelers' Hines Ward, who works a lot of the underneath routes like Shipley does, caught seven passes for 131 yards against Miami. The New England Patriots' Wes Welker caught eight passes for 70 yards against them in Week 4. Shipley isn't at the level of those two wideouts, but he could have a similar level of success working in the same areas against Miami as those two.
- The Dolphins are going through a bit of a crisis in their secondary right now. They've allowed 300-yard passers in each of the last two weeks and demoted cornerback Jason Allen during last week's 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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