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.
Kevin Kolb (vs. DAL): Michael Vick (quad) is expected to miss this game, which means Kolb will return as the starter for the Eagles. He should be at his best since he could be auditioning for a job next season. If he plays well, another team in need of a quarterback could entice the Eagles in a trade since it’s clear Vick is the starter in Philadelphia in 2011. He has a favorable matchup against the Cowboys, who are tied with the Texans for the most touchdowns allowed to opposing quarterbacks with 34.
Trent Edwards (at HOU): The Texans just allowed rookie quarterback Tim Tebow, in his second NFL start, to pass for more than 300 yards with multiple touchdowns. Part of it is Tebow played well. But part of it is the Texans are that bad in pass defense. Edwards now takes his turn with David Garrard (finger) out, and he has the chance to produce at a high level. We’re not saying to start Edwards in most formats, but if you’re in need of a passer in deeper leagues then give Edwards a chance.
Jerome Harrison (vs. DAL): The Eagles will likely decide to rest most of their starters, which means Harrison can get the majority of touches with LeSean McCoy on the bench. Harrison came into the season with a lot of promise before the Browns traded him to Philadelphia. The Cowboys have allowed five touchdowns to opposing running backs in the past five games, and Harrison can be a useful flex option in deeper formats this week based on his potential to see increased carries.
Michael Bush (at KC): If Darren McFadden (toe) is out for this game then Bush could see the majority of carries against the Chiefs. And there’s a chance the Chiefs could be resting their starters early in the game. Bush has six games this season with double digits in Fantasy points, and he’s done well with increased touches. He’s had five games this year with double digits in carries, and he finished with at least one touchdown in four of those outings.
Jason Snelling (vs. CAR): If the Falcons build a lead this game, which isn’t a stretch given how bad Carolina has played this season, Snelling could see increased carries late in the game once Michael Turner is resting on the bench. The Panthers have allowed 20 touchdowns to opposing running backs this year, including 10 in the past five games. Snelling should be considered a flex option in deeper formats.
Brian Westbrook (vs. ARI): If Anthony Dixon (ankle) was 100 percent healthy then the 49ers would have reason to give him at least 15 carries to find out what he’s capable of heading into 2011. Dixon, not Westbrook, is the future No. 2 running back in San Francisco behind Frank Gore. But with Dixon limited in practice this week, Westbrook will likely remain the featured option for this matchup against the Cardinals, which is favorable. Arizona has allowed 19 touchdowns to opposing running backs, and Westbrook has three touchdowns in his past five games.
Davone Bess (at NE): Bess has a good history against the Patriots. He has 18 catches for 213 yards and two touchdowns in his past two meetings with New England with at least eight Fantasy points in his past three outings. The Patriots have allowed 15 touchdowns to opposing wide receivers this season, and they could be resting defensive starters in the second half with the playoffs approaching. The Dolphins also will likely be passing a lot while they are chasing points, and Bess has at least seven Fantasy points in his past five games.
Jerome Simpson (at BAL): Simpson went from an afterthought to the No. 1 receiver for the Bengals last week against San Diego with Terrell Owens (knee) on injured reserve and Chad Ochocinco (ankle) out. He finished with six catches for 124 yards and two touchdowns, and he’s looking for a repeat performance this week against the Ravens. Ochocinco is likely out again, but this is a tougher matchup. Still, based on his play last week and the way coach Marvin Lewis is talking him up, we would give Simpson a chance as a No. 3 Fantasy wide receiver this week in deeper formats.
James Jones (vs. CHI): It’s becoming more evident each week that Jones is the No. 2 wide receiver for the Packers behind Greg Jennings. In his past two games he has nine catches for 131 yards and two touchdowns. But the best part is he has 15 targets over that span, which shows Aaron Rodgers continues to look in his direction. The Packers, as usual, will be throwing a lot in this matchup with the Bears, and we consider Jones as a potential No. 2 Fantasy wide receiver in deeper leagues.
Danario Alexander (at SEA): Alexander is the big-play threat for the Rams, and Seattle has proven an inability to defend wide receivers down the field. The Seahawks have allowed 21 touchdowns to opposing wide receivers this season, including nine in the past five games and six in the past three. Alexander had six catches for 99 yards last week against San Francisco, and he has at least nine Fantasy points in three games this season while dealing with a knee injury. We love his upside, and this is a good week to consider him a sleeper based on the matchup.