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.
Fantasy football sleepers: Wide receivers
Donnie Avery, St. Louis Rams at Jacksonville Jaguars
Avery ready to shine?
Fantasy value: Low-end No. 2 or high-end No. 3
- Avery reminded the Rams of his existence Sunday, totaling five grabs for 87 yards and a touchdown in yet another play-from-behind weekend for the Rams.
- If quarterback Marc Bulger (shoulder) is able to play, as expected, this coming Sunday that would help the Rams offense, including Avery, whom Bulger completed three passes to in his fourth-quarter stint at the helm.
- An awakened Avery gets a chance to pick up the scraps left by a Seattle Seahawks aerial demolition in Week 5. The Jags rank in the bottom two in per-game defense against wideouts in receptions (15.75), receiving yards (205.5) and touchdowns (2.00) over the last four weeks.
- If Avery is still unowned, you should try to grab him. He's on the wire in 66 percent of polled leagues.
Muhsin Muhammad, Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Fantasy value: Flex or bench
- The Moose is still rumbling with 19 combined targets in his last two games. The unsexy but consistent vet has caught at least four passes in every game this season.
- Though the deep play hasn't been Moose's forte, especially this year with his 9.4 yards-per-reception average, the Bucs have been equal-opportunity doormats to wideouts this year despite being one of the best per-game defenses against receivers in terms of receptions and receiving yards. They have allowed 1.75 red zone trips per game to wideouts in the last four games, which ranks in the bottom five.
- Muhammad averaged 56.0 yards on 4.0 receptions per game in two meetings with Tampa Bay last year. That's about what most would probably settle for from a potential bye week or injury replacement.
- It's exactly that depth role that makes Muhammad attractive. The Panthers need someone to capitalize on Steve Smith's coverage. Muhammad is available in 67 percent of leagues polled.
NEW - Bryant Johnson, Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers
Fantasy value: Flex or bench
- Johnson has been the No. 2 receiving target in a passing game centered on wideout Calvin Johnson (thigh), whose status for Week 6 remains cloudy. If the latter Johnson can't go, the former could benefit from a frequent aerial onslaught.
- The Pack hasn't been too friendly in terms of receptions (10.00) and yards (126.7) yielded per contest in the last four weeks (three games), but receivers have torched them for 1.67 scores per contest in that time. It's not easy to run against Green Bay, either.
- With Megatron possibly hobbled for this week and beyond, it's best to be pre-emptive with this Johnson, who also boasts big-play potential. He's available for a one-week addition in nearly every league polled; he has potential long-term value, as well.
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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