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 6 to Week 9, unless otherwise noted.
Fantasy football sleepers: Defensive teams
Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers
Fantasy value: Midrange No. 1
San Francisco 49ers vs. Chicago Bears
- The Bengals head into this showdown for first place in the AFC North having averaged 2.33 sacks, 2.00 interceptions and 1.00 fumble recoveries per contest.
- Pittsburgh's O-line is the main reason Cincy has a favorable matchup. The not-so-Steel line has let enemies take down Ben Roethlisberger 3.33 times per game, while opponents have averaged 0.67 interceptions against them. In fact, Roethlisberger has been wrapped up at least three times in six of his eight games so far, while also fumbling the ball once in each of his last five.
- With matchups against the Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions coming up after this week, the Bengals should be high on your radar for defense pickups. They can still be had in about 50 percent of polled leagues.
Fantasy value: No. 1 or bench
- The Niners have posted 2.00 sacks but only 0.33 takeaways per game. They've
had trouble defending the big play this season, but they recently underwent
an alteration - Tarell Brown replaced Nate Clements
(shoulder) at left cornerback - to their secondary that has displayed a slight
- Chicago has coughed up 2.75 sacks and 1.75 interceptions per game to opposing defenses. In fact, Bears signal caller Jay Cutler is the main reason behind this listing. The gunslinging Cutler has thrown at least one interception in five of his last six outings, including a string of four straight. He has been sacked in every game this season, including eight over his last two.
- Even if the Bears attack the 49ers' new secondary often, the erratic Cutler
should give San Fran enough peripheral stats to help fantasy owners, even
if their league penalizes points allowed.
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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