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.
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.
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.
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.