Fantasy football sleepers: WR - Week 3

by Tim Heaney on September 23, 2010 @ 01:18:13 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 you wouldn't necessarily consider that you need to get into your lineup.

Fantasy football sleepers: Wide receivers

Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys at Houston Texans

Fantasy value: Low-end No. 1 or high-end No. 2

    Cincinnati Bengals WR Terrell Owens
    Tune in Sunday for the TO Show
  • Bryant received 12 targets in Week 1 because the Cowboys wanted to test his knowledge of their hot routes; he obliged with eight catches for 56 yards on mostly short plays. In Week 2, he used his big-play ability more in catching two passes (his only two targets) for 56 yards and returning a punt for a touchdown.
  • Houston has given up 19.0 receptions, 282.0 receiving yards and 1.00 touchdowns per game to opposing wideouts this year, having faced the pass-happy Indianapolis Colts and the newly pass-capable Washington Redskins. Dallas should air it out frequently; Houston's run D is solid.
  • Miles Austin should be occupying most of the Houston D's attention, and Bryant shouldn't be hobbled by a minor leg injury as he was in Week 2. His snaps could bounce back closer to the 43 had in Week 1 than the 28 last week. Jason Witten (concussion) might not be his usual self coming off a concussion, though he is expected to play.

Terrell Owens, Cincinnati Bengals at Carolina Panthers

Fantasy value: Low-end No. 1 or high-end No. 2

  • TO was targeted 13 times in Week 1 and 11 times (including four red zone looks) in Week 2. He loves this offense, and it reciprocates.
  • The Panthers have given up 128.5 receiving yards and 2.00 touchdowns per game to opposing wideouts so far. Most of the damage, however, came in Week 1, when the New York Giants' Hakeem Nicks scored three touchdowns on Carolina in Week 1. Last week Carolina faced the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, whose passing offense isn't that dynamic, and they were still struck by Tampa's best wideout, Mike Williams.
  • Carolina cornerback Chris Gamble will probably match up with Cincy's No. 1, Chad Ochocinco, leaving the more vulnerable Richard Marshall to take on TO. Though Marshall's physical style could pose a problem for Owens, Marshall was part of the blame for Nicks burning Carolina, and Owens can pose the same type of matchup problem.

NEW - Danny Amendola, St. Louis Rams vs. Washington Redskins

Fantasy value: Midrange No. 3

  • Laurent Robinson (foot) has a nagging foot injury; he has 14 targets through the first two weeks. The injury-prone wideout probably will be hobbled, though, and quarterback Sam Bradford doesn't mind spreading the ball around. Amendola, who has 16 targets already this year, might scrape together some more depending on Robinson's health.
  • The 'Skins haven't shown much ability in covering opposing wideouts. The Dallas Cowboys' Miles Austin (10 receptions, 146 yards, one touchdown) and the Houston Texans' Andre Johnson (12 receptions, 158 yards, one touchdown) ate them up, as might be expected.
  • However, No. 2 and No. 3 wideouts have done a lot of damage against Washington, too. In Week 1, Cowboys wideout Dez Bryant caught eight passes for 56 yards. The next week, the Texans' Kevin Walter caught 11 for 144 with a score, and Jacoby Jones went 6-53-1. There's plenty of room to air it out against Washington.
  • Washington defensive coordinator Jim Haslett is an aggressive play caller. St. Louis could target quick passes (right in Amendola's wheelhouse) to get the ball out quickly against this 3-4 defense. It'll be Bradford's second test against a 3-4; he threw for 253 yards and one touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1
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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 the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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