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 Weeks 13 through 16, unless otherwise stated.
Fantasy football sleepers: Wide receivers
Domenik Hixon, New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Fantasy value: No. 3 or flex
Jeffery to get deep on Motown
- Hakeem Nicks' diminished practice time has thrown off his connection with Eli Manning. Hixon hasn't taken advantage drastically on the stat sheet, but the clear No. 3 receiver has found paydirt in two of the last three weeks while averaging 5.0 targets and 48.67 yards via the air. Martellus Bennett has cooled off, so that has helped Hixon, as well.
- No. 87 has an optimal chance to fill some Week 17 gaps - say, if you own Julio Jones or Roddy White, who are in danger of sitting. The 24.5 standard points Philly is allowing per contest to this position is the sixth highest average. It comes on the back of 9.75 receptions, 136.3 yards and 2.0 scores. This helpless defensive backfield has been a favorable opponent all season.
- In Week 4 against the Iggles, Hixon caught six of his 11 targets for 114 yards. Even with Eli's current woes, this foundation boosts Hixon's flex worth.
Kris Durham, Detroit Lions vs. Chicago Bears
Fantasy value: Flex or bench
- The Midway monsters have given up a surprising 24.8 points per game to this position, which as the fourth-highest figure stems from 14.25 catches, 188.5 yards and 1.25 scoring snares. This aerial resistance has suffered from injuries to Brian Urlacher (hamstring) and Tim Jennings (shoulder). Jennings played last week, and Urlacher could return, but their hobbled state still leaves openings in this D.
- Matthew Stafford still has an arm, somehow. More of his frequent chucks have flown toward the 6-foot-5, 216-pound Durham's direction of late because of Detroit's mauled receiver corps. The 6.33 looks Durham has received per contest since Week 13 etch him as flex-worthy.
Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions
Fantasy value: Flex or bench
- Let's stick with this game, which should see a lot of passing, especially if Matt Forte (ankle) must miss time. Jeffery hasn't seen fewer than four targets in a game besides Week 2 in his rookie campaign. His four-catch, 14-target, three-week stretch has produced just 92 yards, but his big-play ability reminds us that he's on his way to a potentially productive 2013.
- Jay Cutler should look to him frequently this week. Detroit has been one of the league's doormats in defending the pass, and of late, they've allowed the seventh most standard points per contest (24.3) to wideouts. Averages of 13.25 catches, 178.3 yards and 1.25 scores have built that vulnerability.
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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