Every week I'll dive into some sleepers beyond what we write in Start 'Em and Sit 'Em to help some of you in deeper leagues. Some weeks will have more guys than others, but this should be helpful for those owners in 14- and 16-team leagues.
Chad Henne (at BAL): Henne isn’t a must-start Fantasy option in most leagues, but the Ravens have been vulnerable in their secondary recently. In their past three games, Kyle Orton, Tom Brady and Ryan Fitzpatrick have each passed for at least 290 yards with seven touchdowns and four interceptions over that span. The Dolphins will struggle to run the ball in this game, and Brandon Marshall and Davone Bess should be able to make plays. In deep leagues where you start two quarterbacks and need someone for this week, consider Henne a starting option.
Colt McCoy (vs. NE): This is a huge reach given that McCoy has only started two games in his rookie season and doesn’t have many quality options at wide receiver. But like Henne, if you’re desperate for a quarterback this week in two-quarterback leagues, look at McCoy based on his matchup. The Patriots are vulnerable in the secondary, having allowed 13 passing touchdowns and multiple touchdown passes to five quarterbacks. McCoy could find his way into about 15 Fantasy points, which could be helpful depending on the size of your league and what you need for this week.
Fred Jackson (vs. CHI): The Bears have struggled in their run defense recently, and it comes at a time when Jackson is getting an increase in carries. In Chicago's past four games against the Giants, Carolina, Seattle and Washington, Ahmad Bradshaw, Brandon Jacobs, Justin Forsett, Marshawn Lynch and Ryan Torain have reached double digits in Fantasy points. Jackson has 55 carries in his past three games, and he has seven Fantasy points in each outing. He's not scoring touchdowns with only one on the season, but he has the chance to find the end zone this week. We like Jackson as a sleeper in deeper formats, and he's worth starting depending on the size of your league and what you need in Week 10.
Darren Sproles (at HOU): As we’ve told you for the past two weeks, the Chargers need help in the passing game, and Sproles has helped to fill the void. He has 147 total yards with 13 catches and a touchdown in his past two games with a great matchup at Houston in Week 9. As we said in the column, start Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert based on their overall production, but we like Sproles as a sleeper this week again, especially in PPR formats.
Chris Ivory (at CAR): It feels like we always mention Ivory in this space (maybe because we do), but he gets another week as the starter for the Saints with Pierre Thomas (ankle) and Reggie Bush (leg) out. Unlike last week when he faced the Steelers, this is a much better matchup for him. He struggled against Pittsburgh with seven carries for 7 yards, and he left the game with a concussion. But he is fine, and he should do well against Carolina. The Panthers have allowed double digits in Fantasy points in two of their past three games against Frank Gore and Matt Forte, and we could see Ivory getting about 6-8 Fantasy points in this matchup.
Donald Brown (at PHI): As of Thursday afternoon it appears like Brown will be the starting running back for the Colts with Joseph Addai (shoulder) and Mike Hart (ankle) not able to practice. If Brown is the starter he would be worth using as at least a flex option based on the amount of touches he will get. The Eagles have only allowed four touchdowns to opposing running backs, with three reaching double digits in Fantasy points. But if Brown doesn’t have competition for carries then he should be able to find decent enough production this week if you’re stuck due to injuries or a bye.
LaRod Stephens-Howling (at MIN): Beanie Wells (knee) is banged up and Tim Hightower is in the doghouse, which could allow Stephens-Howling to get additional carries this week. The Vikings, as we pointed out, are tough to run on at home, but they have allowed four rushing touchdowns in their past two games against Green Bay and New England. Stephens-Howling had four carries for 41 yards and a touchdown last week against Tampa Bay and could be someone to fill a roster spot if you’re in a tough situation this week.
James Jones (vs. DAL): We’ll add Jordy Nelson to this list as well since both should see an increase in production with Donald Driver (thigh) out. Jones has more upside since he will get the start opposite Greg Jennings, but Aaron Rodgers will spread the ball around, which will help guys like Nelson and tight end Donald Lee. The Cowboys have allowed six touchdowns to opposing wide receivers in their past two games against the Giants and Jacksonville, and Rodgers should have a field day picking apart this mediocre secondary.
Brandon Tate (at CLE): The Browns have been good for opposing wide receivers this season as they have allowed 10 touchdowns, including eight in their past five games. We’d like to see Tate matched up with Eric Wright, which would allow Tom Brady to take some shots down the field. Tate had his best game of the season last week against Minnesota with three catches for 101 yards and a touchdown, and hopefully he can build on that performance in this matchup. He could be a No. 3 Fantasy wide receiver in deeper leagues.
Lance Moore (at CAR): Moore continues to play well with the absence of Bush, and he should continue to dominate the Panthers as he has done for most of his career. When Moore plays the Panthers, he always seems to turn it up a notch. Moore has a career-high four touchdowns in six games against the Panthers. He hauled in a touchdown in Week 4 against Carolina and has three touchdowns in his last two games against the Panthers. Last week, Moore had seven catches for 54 yards and a touchdown against the Steelers, and he’s capable of a similar stat line this week.
Seyi Ajirotutu (at HOU): The Chargers are hurting at wide receiver with Malcom Floyd (hamstring), Legedu Naanee (hamstring), Buster Davis (ribs) and Vincent Jackson (suspended) out. That should allow Antonio Gates, Patrick Crayton, Sproles and Ajirotutu to make plays in the passing game, and Ajirotutu should receive a boost just by moving into the starting lineup. He has five catches for 74 yards in his past two games, and he has a great matchup this week at the Texans, who are the third-worst team against opposing wide receivers. They have allowed 10 touchdowns to opposing wide receivers, and we like Ajirotutu to make a few plays this week just based on his matchup and opportunity.