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 4 to Week 7, unless otherwise noted.
Fantasy football sleepers: Wide receivers
Mohamed Massaquoi, Cleveland Browns at Chicago Bears
Fantasy value: Midrange No. 2
Massaquoi favorite target in passing game
- The Browns' No. 1 wideout has only one reception in two of his last three games but remains the unquestioned top target in the Browns' passing game (9.5 looks per game since Week 3).
- Chicago was battered for five passing touchdowns against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 7. That capped off a four-week stretch during which they allowed 11.67 receptions and 146.3 yards to wideouts per game. They've also now coughed up 1.67 scoring grabs to this position per contest in that time.
- It's tough to compare the Browns' aerial prowess to that of the Bengals, but Massaquoi's role is the most stable of the Cleveland wideouts so that he'd benefit the most from this matchup.
Terrell Owens, Buffalo Bills vs. Houston Texans
Fantasy value: Low-end No. 2 or high-end No. 3
- Owens has logged three-plus receptions in five of his seven games this year, including his last four. That hasn't translated to overwhelming output, though; he has just 84 combined receiving yards in his last three outings.
- The Texans have improved their defense overall but are still feeling like toast against wideouts: 13.25 catches, 175.0 receiving yards and 0.75 scoring catches per game since Week 3. The first two averages are bottom-five figures versus the position.
- This TO can't burn many defensive backs, and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick doesn't have much downfield oomph to him. Fitzpatrick prefers the short passing game, which should continue to put TO in position to see something close to his average of 8.25 targets per game in the last four weeks.
Danny Amendola, St. Louis Rams at Detroit Lions
Fantasy value: Low-end No. 3 or flex
- Since assuming his current role in Week 5, Amendola has turned 13 of 14 targets into catches. He isn't explosive by any means but displays a Wes Welker-esque slot game that could help point-per-reception owners. Heck, the Rams need someone to catch passes.
- Amendola's Week 7 opponent has allowed 12.67 receptions, 164.7 yards and 1.00 touchdowns per game to the position since Week 3. The first two figures place Detroit in the bottom 10 in those categories, and we don't have to tell you how easy they have been to score on.
- The Rams have Donnie Avery, who will be fine for Week 8 after sustaining a rib injury Sunday, for big-play pop, but if he earns a reliable role, Amendola has long-term potential as PPR roster depth; KFFL found him unclaimed in nearly every surveyed league.
Jabar Gaffney, Denver Broncos at Baltimore Ravens
Fantasy value: Flex or bench
- Gaffney has averaged 5.75 looks per game in his last four contests, retaining solid involvement even as Denver's No. 3 wideout. His output, though, has been nothing to rely on. He combined for 10 catches in Weeks 3 and 5 but caught just one pass in Weeks 4 and 6.
- Desperation play, Gaffney is thy name. Per game against wideouts, the Ravens haven't been catch-friendly (just 11.33 in their last three), but in that window they have given up 1.00 scoring catches and rank in the bottom five with 186.3 receiving yards allowed.
- You can rent Gaffney for Week 8 in nearly every polled league.
NEW - Roy Williams, Dallas Cowboys vs. Seattle Seahawks
Fantasy value: High-end No. 3
- Coming off a bye after recovering from a rib injury, Williams mustered one 16-yard grab in Week 7 and has been anything but the Cowboys' No. 1 wideout this season. His 19.2 yards-per-grab average aside, he has just 12 receptions on the season. It also looks like Miles Austin has assumed the role of top receiving target in the Dallas wideout group.
- The Cowboys should feed "Roy Dubs" a bit more this week. The Seahawks' 203.7 receiving yards and 17.67 receptions allowed per game to wideouts in their last three games each rank as the second highest figures in the last month. Their 1.33 touchdown grabs allowed per contest in that time also ranks them as a top-10 fantasy matchup there.
- Though Seahawks cornerback Marcus Trufant (back) is expected to return in Week 8, he probably won't play long enough to provide a significant improvement to a shaky secondary.
- Williams gathered 51 receiving yards on just two catches against Seattle in Week 13 last season.
NEW - James Jones, Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings
Fantasy value: Low-end No. 3
- The Pack's No. 3 wideout has found the end zone in each of his last two games but has registered just three catches for 60 yards on only four targets.
- Jones may not need that many targets to pitch in against a battered Vikings' secondary, which already ranks in the bottom 10 in receiving yards (173.0) and paydirt catches (1.25) allowed per game to the position in the last month.
- Minny may be without cornerback Antoine Winfield (foot) despite the cornerback saying he'll try to play through a fractured right foot. His absence would further hurt their suspect pass D.
- With tight end Jermichael Finley (knee) possibly missing this week and wideout Jordy Nelson (knee) already sidelined, Jones may also become a more frequent offensive contributor past Week 8. If you need wideout depth, you can sign him in nearly all polled leagues.
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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