Posted on: November 24, 2010 8:26 pm
 

Week 12 extended sleepers

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.

QUARTERBACK

Brett Favre (at WAS): I’m counting on the Vikings to be highly motivated in this game with Leslie Frazier taking over for the fired Brad Childress. We’ll find out if Favre and the rest of his teammates can finish the season strong, and he has a favorable matchup this week against the Redskins. Washington is No. 29 in pass defense with 18 touchdowns allowed, and Favre should benefit with all of his targets now healthy with Sidney Rice back to join Percy Harvin.

Eli Manning (vs. JAC): Even with Hakeem Nicks (leg) and Steve Smith (pectoral) out, you can still expect Manning to post quality stats. The Jaguars have struggled in pass defense and come into this game ranked No. 28 with 20 touchdowns allowed. Manning should rebound from his poor performance against the Eagles last week, and he will be able to get the ball to Mario Manningham, Derek Hagan and Kevin Boss. If you need to start Manning this week then don’t be afraid even though his receiving corps is depleted.

RUNNING BACK

Maurice Morris (vs. NE): Jahvid Best (toe) could be out or limited against New England, which would allow Morris to start with Kevin Smith (thumb) on injured reserve. He had 71 total yards in Week 11 against Dallas, and he could get another seven or eight Fantasy points this week against the Patriots. We like Morris more in PPR leagues since he had four catches against the Cowboys, and Detroit likely will struggle this week against New England. Look for a lot of passes to Morris out of the backfield.

Darren Sproles (at IND): Sproles has double digits in Fantasy points in two of his past three games and should continue to have a prominent role on offense with Ryan Mathews (ankle) injured. We love Sproles in PPR leagues, and the return of Vincent Jackson should open up the offense. The Colts have struggled in run defense all season, and Mike Tolbert and Sproles should take advantage of this matchup.

Reggie Bush (at DAL): We keep waiting for Bush to return, and he should be able to play on Thanksgiving Day. Look for the Saints to rely on Bush against a Cowboys defense that has allowed seven touchdowns to opposing running backs and nine to reach double digits in Fantasy points. Chris Ivory should also be considered a sleeper based on his recent play and with Pierre Thomas (leg) still out, and Ivory should continue to see work near the goal line.

Justin Forsett (vs. KC): Forsett could see an increased role this week with Marshawn Lynch losing two fumbles last week against the Saints. Forsett has 19 Fantasy points in his past two games, and he’s been more explosive than Lynch, who is averaging just 3.1 yards per carry since coming to Seattle. The Chiefs have also allowed two receiving touchdowns to running backs in the past two games, and that’s where Forsett should make an impact for owners in PPR leagues.

WIDE RECEIVER

Brandon Gibson (at DEN):  Gibson continues to emerge as the newest weapon for Sam Bradford after he had five catches for 42 yards and a touchdown against Atlanta on 10 targets in Week 11. Danny Amendola remains the most consistent receiver for the Rams, but Gibson now has 19 catches for 181 yards and a touchdown in his past three games.  The Broncos have allowed 13 touchdowns to opposing wide receivers, including five in the past two games.

Ben Obomanu (vs. KC): Mike Williams (foot) is expected to be out against the Chiefs, which should allow Obomanu to continue his recent quality production. Last week he had five catches for 87 yards and a touchdown at New Orleans on six targets. He has two touchdowns in his past three games with 30 Fantasy points over that span. And he should see an increase in targets against the Chiefs with Williams out.

Steve Breaston (vs. SF): Breaston has been great since coming back from a knee injury in Week 8. In four games against Tampa Bay, Minnesota, Seattle and Kansas City he has three with at least 90 receiving yards. He also has 20 catches over that span, which has been great for owners in PPR leagues. Arizona has struggled to run the ball this year, which has helped Breaston and Larry Fitzgerald. And we consider Breaston a solid No. 3 Fantasy wide receiver this week.

Derek Hagan (vs. JAC): Hagan played well in his first game with the Giants in Week 11 at Philadelphia and finished with three catches for 10 yards and a touchdown. He should see even more targets this week against Jacksonville with Nicks and Smith out. The Jaguars have allowed 14 touchdowns to opposing wide receivers, and this is a good matchup to consider Hagan as a No. 3 Fantasy wide receiver in deeper leagues.

Category: NFL
Posted on: November 18, 2010 3:08 pm
 

Week 11 extended sleepers

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.

QUARTERBACK

Matt Cassel (vs. ARI): The last three quarterbacks the Cardinals have faced each reached at least 19 Fantasy points with Josh Freeman, Brett Favre and Matt Hasselbeck. Cassel is coming off a career game against Denver with 40 Fantasy points on 33 of 53 passing for 469 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. He’s not going to throw that much against the Cardinals, but he should still be successful. Look for him to have a similar performance to Week 7 against Jacksonville when he was 13 of 18 passing for 193 yards and two touchdowns. Also keep in mind that Todd Haley is the former coordinator for the Cardinals and should know this defense quite well.

Troy Smith (vs. TB): Smith will hopefully remain the starter for the 49ers once Alex Smith (shoulder) returns because he has been solid in his past two games. He has 40 Fantasy points against the Broncos and Rams without a turnover, and he’s helped San Francisco go 2-0 over that span. Troy Smith has a favorable matchup in his next two games against Tampa Bay in Week 11 and Arizona in Week 12, and we would consider starting him in leagues that need two quarterbacks. And if you’re looking for a sleeper in standard leagues then consider Smith against the Bucs, who have allowed multiple touchdowns to four quarterbacks this year.

RUNNING BACK

Keiland Williams (at TEN): It appears likely that Ryan Torain (hamstring) and Clinton Portis (groin) could be out for at least another week, which would make Williams an excellent option against the Titans. We had him listed here last week against the Eagles, and he responded with 31 Fantasy points. He won’t reach that total this week, but Tennessee has allowed eight touchdowns to opposing running backs with six reaching double digits in Fantasy points. But based on the amount of touches Williams will get he’s worth the risk in the majority of formats.

Danny Woodhead (vs. IND): During Tom Brady’s career against Indianapolis he’s been able to rely on Kevin Faulk to slow down the Colts’ pass rush. Faulk is out with a knee injury, but he had at least seven Fantasy points in four of the past five meetings with Indianapolis. Woodhead has taken over for Faulk, and he has the opportunity for similar production. If you’re looking for a No. 3 Fantasy running back or flex option this week then consider Woodhead a nice sleeper in this matchup.

Reggie Bush (vs. SEA): If Bush is able to play this week as expected then he’s worth starting as a No. 3 Fantasy running back. Seattle has struggled in run defense this season with 10 touchdowns allowed and nine running backs reaching double digits in Fantasy points. Bush has the chance to do a variety of things, which makes him an attractive Fantasy option in leagues where receptions count. We also see him cutting into Lance Moore’s role, so look for Bush to find a way to get at least seven or eight Fantasy points in this game.

WIDE RECEIVER

Danny Amendola (vs. ATL): We had Amendola in this spot last week, and we’ll give him another shot since he’s been successful. All Amendola does is score touchdowns. He now has three games in a row with a touchdown, and he’s become Sam Bradford’s most consistent wide receiver. Amendola also has a favorable matchup this week against Atlanta, and he’s worth using in most formats as a No. 3 Fantasy wide receiver. In leagues where receptions count, Amendola should be considered a No. 2 option with 13 catches the past two games. In deeper formats also look at St. Louis wide receiver Brandon Gibson since he has 14 catches for 139 yards the past two games.

Mike Thomas (vs. CLE): Thomas was also in this space last week. And as expected, Thomas took advantage of a tremendous matchup against Houston and scored on a miracle play at the end of regulation to win the game. But take away the 50-yard Hail Mary, and Thomas still had a standout performance. He now has 31 Fantasy points in his past two games, and only once in his past six games has he gotten fewer than seven Fantasy points. The Jaguars have another favorable matchup in Week 10 against Cleveland, and Thomas is worth starting as a No. 3 Fantasy option in standard leagues and a No. 2 wide receiver in deeper formats.

Devery Henderson (vs. SEA): I could be reaching here since Henderson has just one touchdown on the season and has five Fantasy points in his past four games. He’s also the No. 4 option at best in the passing game behind Marques Colston, Robert Meachem and Moore/ Bush. But the Seahawks have allowed a lot of big plays to wide receivers this season with nine reaching double digits in Fantasy points with eight touchdowns. This should be a game where Drew Brees can get Henderson involved, so if you’re looking for a deep sleeper that’s my call for this week.

Category: NFL
Posted on: November 11, 2010 3:43 pm
 

Week 10 extended sleepers

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.

QUARTERBACK

Ryan Fitzpatrick (vs. DET): Fitzpatrick should be able to rebound from last week’s poor performance against Chicago, which has a much better secondary than most people realize. He was held to 13 Fantasy points against the Bears, but the Lions struggled last week against Mark Sanchez, who had 323 passing yards and two total touchdowns. Detroit also has played poorly on the road, allowing five passing touchdowns with two interceptions in the past two road games at Green Bay and at the Giants. In Fitzpatrick’s past two home games against the Jets and Jaguars he has averaged 25 Fantasy points.

Mark Sanchez (at CLE): The Browns have allowed multiple passing touchdowns in all but two games this season, with Josh Freeman, Joe Flacco, Carson Palmer, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees and Tom Brady all performing at a high level against Cleveland. Only Matt Cassel and Matt Ryan struggled against the Browns, and Sanchez has the chance to play well in this matchup. He broke out of his mini-slump against the Lions after going three games with one touchdown and four interceptions, and he should take advantage of this matchup by getting the ball to Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards and Dustin Keller.

Derek Anderson (vs. SEA): Anderson has not played well this year, but he does have a favorable matchup against the Seahawks, who are No. 30 in pass defense. If you’re looking for help in a two-quarterback league then Anderson might be a good replacement for this week. Seattle has allowed three quarterbacks to pass for at least 300 yards and five to throw multiple touchdown passes. We’re fond of Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Breaston this week, so there’s a good chance for Anderson to have two touchdowns based on Seattle’s defense.

RUNNING BACK

Donald Brown (vs. CIN): Brown played well last week at the Eagles with 97 total yards, and he has the chance for a similar performance this week against the Bengals with Joseph Addai (shoulder) and Mike Hart (ankle) expected to be out again. The Bengals have allowed a running back to score in each of their past six games, which also bodes well for Javarris James, who is the goal-line option for the Colts. Consider both sleepers in a game where the Colts should be able to do a lot on offense.

Cadillac Williams (vs. CAR): You know we’re fond of the Bucs this week, and that means even Williams could be involved on offense. We’re talking deep leagues here because LeGarrette Blount is clearly going to carry the load for Tampa Bay. Williams has just four Fantasy points in his past two games, but he might get some additional carries if the Bucs go up big in this matchup. Carolina has allowed just five rushing touchdowns this year, but the Panthers are No. 26 in run defense at 125 yards per game.

Keiland Williams (vs. PHI): Ryan Torain (hamstring) and Clinton Portis (groin) remain on the injury report this week, and if they’re out then Williams would end up as the starter. That’s a stretch since we expect Torain to play, but continue to monitor what develops heading into Sunday. Even if Torain and Portis return we could see Williams being used in passing situations. And if the Eagles are up in this game then Williams might have the chance for increased playing time. He should only be considered for deep formats unless he was to end up starting with Torain and Portis out.

WIDE RECEIVER

Danny Amendola (at SF): Amendola has two touchdowns in his past two games prior to the bye week, and he will look to pick up where he left off against the 49ers. San Francisco has allowed eight touchdowns to opposing wide receivers, including five to possession-type receivers in Deion Branch, Dexter McCluster, Harry Douglas and David Gettis. Amendola isn’t known for his touchdown prowess with only three career scores, but he is definitely worth using in leagues where receptions count.

Jacoby Jones (at JAC): Jones has struggled this season with only one touchdown, and he has just 11 catches for 103 yards in his past four games. But this is a matchup where Matt Schaub can target Jones down the field since the Jaguars have struggled in pass defense all season. They are second only to Houston with 17 passing touchdowns allowed, with 12 going to wide receivers. It’s hard to trust Jones in the majority of leagues, but he could be worth a one-week flier based on the matchup.

Mike Thomas (vs. HOU): Thomas is a great sleeper this week against the Texans, who have allowed 12 touchdowns to opposing wide receivers and seven to reach double digits in Fantasy points. He has at least seven Fantasy points in four of his past five games, and he scored his first touchdown this season in Week 8 at Dallas. As we said in Start ‘Em and Sit ‘Em, we like all the Jaguars this week, and Thomas is no exception. Consider him a good starting option if you need help at wide receiver in all leagues.

Nate Burleson (at BUF): Burleson has done well as the No. 2 wide receiver for the Lions playing opposite Calvin Johnson, and he’s coming off a tremendous game in Week 9 against the Jets with seven catches for 113 yards and a touchdown. He has three touchdowns in his past four games and continues to play at a high level with 14 catches in his past two outings. You’d rather have Matthew Stafford (shoulder) throwing to Burleson, but Shaun Hill is a quality replacement. Count on Burleson playing well against the Bills.

Category: NFL
Posted on: November 4, 2010 4:46 pm
Edited on: November 4, 2010 9:54 pm
 

Week 9 extended sleepers

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.

QUARTERBACK

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.

RUNNING BACK

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.

WIDE RECEIVER

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.

Category: NFL
Posted on: October 28, 2010 4:44 pm
 

Week 8 extended sleepers

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.

QUARTERBACK

Matthew Stafford (vs. WAS): Stafford hasn’t played since Week 1 with his injured shoulder, but Shaun Hill lit up the scoreboard in his absence with three games with at least 24 Fantasy points in his first four starts. The hope is Stafford can post similar stats, and he has a great matchup at home against the Redskins coming off a bye week.  Five quarterbacks have passed for at least 280 yards against Washington this year, with Matt Schaub and Peyton Manning throwing for multiple touchdown passes. My one concern with Stafford is there could be plenty of rust based on all the missed time.

Josh Freeman (at ARI): Freeman continues to be an underrated Fantasy quarterback this year, but he’s playing well. In six games, he has just two with less than 17 Fantasy points. He’s making plays throwing and running the ball heading into his matchup at Arizona, and the Cardinals have allowed three quarterbacks to pass for multiple touchdown passes in six games.

RUNNING BACK

Jonathan Stewart (at STL): DeAngelo Williams (foot) could miss the game, which would make Stewart the starting option. We all remember how that went last year when Stewart had four games with double digits in Fantasy points in his final five outings. The Rams are dealing with injuries at defensive tackle and linebacker, which could allow Stewart to finally have a breakout performance after struggling most of the season. The key, however, is Williams being out.

Darren Sproles (vs. TEN): Sproles got back to doing what he does best last week against New England with nine catches for 70 yards. That’s something that should continue in Week 8 against Tennessee, and it also helps that Ryan Mathews continues to struggle. In leagues where receptions count, Sproles is a must-start running back. The Titans have been great at stopping the run, but Darren McFadden and LeSean McCoy have each had 50 yards receiving against Tennessee this year. And four running backs have caught at least five passes against the Titans.

Marion Barber (vs. JAC): The Jaguars are second in the NFL in rushing touchdowns allowed with 10 behind Denver (12), which should allow Barber the chance to score his second touchdown of the season. Felix Jones has more upside than Barber based on their recent play, but Barber could be on the field to close out the game if Dallas builds an early lead as expected.

WIDE RECEIVER

Nate Burleson (vs. WAS): The Redskins lead the NFL in catches (120) and yards (1,454) allowed to opposing wide receivers, and they have also given up seven touchdowns. Burleson is playing well with 10 catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns in his past two games, and he should benefit with Stafford back under center. Calvin Johnson should have a tremendous game against the Redskins, but Burleson also has plenty of upside in this matchup.

Anthony Gonzalez (vs. HOU): With Austin Collie (thumb) and Dallas Clark (wrist) out, Gonzalez should see a huge boost in value.  Be careful with his status heading into Monday night against the Texans because of his ankle injury, but it’s a favorable matchup for him if he’s able to play as expected. The Texans have allowed nine touchdowns to opposing wide receivers, and Collie had a big day in Week 1 with 11 catches for 163 yards and a touchdown. In leagues where receptions count, Gonzalez is worth starting as a No. 3 Fantasy option.

James Jones (at NYJ):  With Donald Driver (quad) at less than 100 percent, Jones has the chance to be a significant contributor for the Packers. He had four catches for 107 yards last week against Minnesota, and he should see a hefty amount of targets again this week with Driver limited. It’s a tougher matchup for him against the Jets, but Aaron Rodgers could need Jones based on Driver trying to play hurt. He’s worth using as a No. 3 Fantasy wide receiver in deeper leagues.

Category: NFL
Posted on: October 21, 2010 5:05 pm
 

Week 7 extended sleepers

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.

QUARTERBACK

Matt Hasselbeck (vs. ARI): Hasselbeck has at least 15 Fantasy points in three of five games this season, and he has a good matchup this week against the Cardinals, who have allowed nine passing touchdowns in five games. Hasselbeck is coming off a solid performance in Week 6 at Chicago with 242 passing yards and a touchdown, and he should be able to make plays in this game. If you need a bye-week replacement in deeper formats then consider Hasselbeck a potential option.

Josh Freeman (vs. STL): The Rams are dealing with several injuries on defense, especially in the secondary, which should allow Freeman to play well this week. He has three games with at least 17 Fantasy points in five outings, and he should be able to get the ball to Mike Williams and Kellen Winslow in this matchup. The Bucs have struggled to run the ball so look for Tampa Bay to rely on Freeman in this game. That bodes well for him as a quality bye-week replacement.

RUNNING BACK

Brandon Jacobs (at DAL): It’s hard to ignore the production since Jacobs has four touchdowns in his past three games against Chicago, Houston and Detroit, but this is a tougher matchup for him. Still, if the Giants get near the goal line, it will be Jacobs punching it in and not Ahmad Bradshaw. The Cowboys have only allowed three rushing touchdowns on the season, so use caution with putting Jacobs in your lineup. That said, he has scored in two of the past three meetings with Dallas.

Ladell Betts (vs. CLE): While Chris Ivory had the big game for the Saints last week at Tampa Bay, it was Betts who scored the touchdown. That could happen again in this matchup with the Browns. We still consider Ivory the better Fantasy option, but Betts has averaged six Fantasy points in his past three games against Carolina, Arizona and the Bucs. In deeper leagues, Betts could be a viable flex option.

Willis McGahee (vs. BUF): Ray Rice will get the majority of carries this week, but McGahee could also get some playing time as opposed to last week when he didn’t see the field against New England. McGahee does have three touchdowns on the season, and the Bills have given up plenty of big plays on the ground. McGahee also spent the first four years of his career in Buffalo and would love to score a touchdown against them.

WIDE RECEIVER

Derrick Mason (vs. BUF): Mason is coming off his best game of the season in Week 6 at New England with eight catches for 100 yards, and he could see a few extra targets if Todd Heap (concussion) is out. Mason only has one touchdown on the season, but in two of his past three games he has reached at least 80 receiving yards. Again, the Bills defense isn’t very good, and Mason could help Joe Flacco have a big game in this matchup.

Jabar Gaffney (vs. OAK): Gaffney has at least 80 receiving yards in three of his past four games and could see a boost in production if Eddie Royal (groin) is out. The Raiders have allowed 12 passing touchdowns on the season, and the chance is there for Gaffney to be considered a solid Fantasy option. If Royal is ruled out then consider Gaffney a starter in all formats.

Jason Avant (at TEN): DeSean Jackson (concussion) is out for this game, so Avant will get the chance to start opposite Jeremy Maclin. That makes him an attractive Fantasy option in deeper formats since Kevin Kolb will be looking in his direction quite a bit. It’s not a great matchup for Kolb, but the need is there for Avant, which gives him increased value this week. Last year, Avant played well when Maclin was out, and he could do the same this season with Jackson unavailable.

Category: NFL
Posted on: October 14, 2010 4:19 pm
 

Week 6 extended sleepers

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.

QUARTERBACK

Mark Sanchez (at DEN):
Sanchez has a good matchup this week with the Broncos missing three players in their secondary due to injury. He has yet to throw an interception, and he should connect well with Santonio Holmes this week. The Broncos have already allowed David Garrard and Peyton Manning to pass for multiple touchdowns against them, and Sanchez could be next on that list.

Chad Henne (at GB): Henne has lost his past two games against the Jets and New England, but he has at least 305 passing yards in each game with four touchdowns and four interceptions over that span. This week, he faces a Green Bay defense that’s decimated by injuries. If you’re looking for a quarterback with a good matchup in Week 6 consider Henne since Donovan McNabb just passed for 357 yards against the Packers.

Matt Cassel (at HOU): Cassel has just one good game this season in Week 3 against the 49ers, but he has a great matchup in Week 6 at Houston if you’re willing to trust him. The Texans have allowed two 425-yard passing games and four games with multiple touchdown passes, and that includes matchups with No. 2 quarterbacks like McNabb, Bruce Gradkowski and Eli Manning.

David Garrard (vs. TEN): Garrard was on the verge of losing his job, but he has played well the past two games against the Colts and Bills with at least 21 Fantasy points in each outing. He has a favorable matchup this week against the Titans, who have struggled the past three weeks in pass defense, allowing three consecutive 340 yard passing games. Last year against the Titans at home, Garrard passed for 323 yards and three touchdowns with 38 rushing yards and a fumble.

RUNNING BACK

Chris Ivory: (at TB):
It looks like Pierre Thomas (ankle) will be out again, which means Ivory, Ladell Betts and Julius Jones will be sharing carries. None of these running backs are great options, but Ivory is still the best of the bunch. And Tampa Bay has allowed three running backs to reach double digits in Fantasy points in four games, which makes Ivory intriguing in deeper formats.

Mike Hart: (at WAS): Joseph Addai (shoulder) looks like he might be able to play this week, but Donald Brown (hamstring) is probably out against Washington, which would allow Hart to see additional playing time. And if Addai is out, Hart could become a No. 2 Fantasy running back. The Redskins have allowed five running backs to reach double digits in Fantasy points this year.

Jason Snelling (at PHI): The Eagles will likely be without defensive lineman Brodrick Bunkley (elbow), which could allow Michael Turner and Snelling to play well since Philadelphia’s run defense already has been struggling. Three running backs have reached double digits in Fantasy points against the Eagles, and Snelling can be a good flex option in deeper leagues.

WIDE RECEIVER

Michael Crabtree (vs. OAK):
Crabtree is coming off the best game of his career with nine catches for 105 yards and a touchdown against the Eagles, and he could play well again this week if the Raiders do what they did in Week 5 with Nnamdi Asomugha seeing time on Vernon Davis like he did with Antonio Gates. Crabtree won’t have a Malcom Floyd-like performance, but he is worth starting since he could play well.

Mike Thomas (vs. TEN): Thomas has yet to score a touchdown this season, but he does have at least four catches in four of five games and has been more active in the passing game than Mike Sims-Walker. He has a favorable matchup this week against the Titans, who have allowed some big games to No. 2 wide receivers in Steve Smith of the Giants, Eddie Royal and Roy E. Williams in the past three games.

Dwayne Bowe (at HOU): The Texans have allowed five opposing wide receivers to reach double digits in Fantasy points this year, and seven have reached at least eight Fantasy points. Bowe has not played well this year, and there could be some trust issues with Cassel. But based on the matchup, he’s worth using as a No. 3 Fantasy option. And don’t be surprised if Chris Chambers or Dexter McCluster also play well this week.
Category: NFL
Posted on: October 7, 2010 7:02 pm
 

Week 5 extended sleepers


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.

QUARTERBACK

Sam Bradford (at DET):  Bradford has been a pleasant surprise and is the frontrunner for rookie of the year with the Rams at 2-2. And in his past three games he has played well with five touchdowns and three interceptions over that span. He's coming off his best game against Seattle with 289 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception, and he has a favorable matchup at Detroit. The Lions are among the worst teams against opposing quarterbacks, and Bradford should continue his recent success.

David Garrard (at BUF): Garrard has struggled on the road going back to last year, but he has a favorable matchup this week with the Bills, who have allowed eight passing touchdowns with no interceptions. Garrard is also coming off a strong performance against the Colts in Week 4, and his two best games have come with Mike Sims-Walker doing nothing. Imagine how good Garrard could be if he gets Sims-Walker involved. You’re not going to start Garrard in the majority of leagues, but with Tom Brady on a bye and Michael Vick (ribs) and Jay Cutler (concussion) out, he could be a decent replacement option.

RUNNING BACK

Chris Ivory: (ARI): We’ll include Ladell Betts in this category as well since there’s a strong chance Pierre Thomas (ankle) is out against the Cardinals. Arizona was run over by San Diego last week with Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert each scoring rushing touchdowns. The Cardinals have allowed 155 yards per game on the ground with five rushing touchdowns, and Ivory and Betts could work well in tandem if Thomas is out again. If Thomas starts he would be considered a must-start option, but Ivory and Betts are quality replacements.

Michael Bush (vs. SD): It appears like Darren McFadden (hamstring) is going to miss this game, so Bush is expected to start and get the majority of carries. It’s not a great matchup for Bush, but based on the amount of touches he will get he should be considered a solid flex option in standard leagues and a starter in deep formats. The Chargers have allowed only one rushing touchdown on the season, so keep your expectations for Bush in check if you decide to start him this week.

Tim Hightower (vs. NO): We expect Beanie Wells to carry the running game for the Cardinals this week based on his comments about wanting more touches, but Hightower will still remain part of the action. The Saints have struggled in run defense this year, allowing 138 rushing yards per game with four touchdowns. Even if Wells does well, Hightower can still be productive. Remember, DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart both scored against the Saints last week.

Felix Jones (vs. TEN): If you’re in dire need of a running back this week then give Jones a chance with the hope the Cowboys stick to their word and give him more touches. Marion Barber has struggled as the starter, and Jones could provide a spark. He hasn’t run well this year, but no one has for the Cowboys. It’s not a great matchup against the Titans, but Jones could always break a long run based on his speed. Again, in a desperate situation, Jones could help you get the job done as a No. 3 option.

WIDE RECEIVER

Dexter McCluster (at IND): The Colts secondary is banged up, and the Chiefs are rested coming off a bye. McCluster also scored in his previous game in Week 3 against the 49ers, and hopefully his production will start to increase. Dwayne Bowe could also play well in this game since the Colts have allowed six passing touchdowns with only three interceptions on the season. And don’t be surprised if tight end Tony Moeaki finds the end zone again.

Mario Manningham (at HOU): With Eli Manning as the Start of the Week, all of his targets become viable options in this matchup, including Manningham. He started off the year strong before cooling off last week against the Bears, but he could get double digits in Fantasy points this week based on the matchup. The Texans are last in the NFL in pass defense and have allowed eight passing touchdowns on the season. Manningham could do well along with Hakeem Nicks and Steve Smith.

Mike Thomas (at BUF): Thomas is playing well for the Jaguars, but their passing game is too inconsistent to consider him a quality Fantasy option. And we're still not sure what's happened to Sims-Walker outside of last year just being a one-year wonder. Someone has to catch the ball in Jacksonville, and Thomas appears to have the most upside of the receivers. He has a favorable matchup this week with the Bills and their banged up secondary.

Steve Johnson (vs. JAC): Johnson is playing well with two touchdowns in his past two games, and this is a great matchup for him in Week 5 against the Jaguars. Lee Evans has struggled this year, so Johnson has picked up the slack, and it's clear Fitzpatrick has faith in him. For a one-week replacement in deeper leagues, Johnson could provide dividends based on the matchup.

Category: NFL
 
 
 
 
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