Now that the bye weeks have officially arrived, it is time to identify some sleepers to target either from the waiver wire or your own bench. There are some interesting and unlikely options available that prevent your team from suffering the bye week blues.
[adinserter block=”1″]Once again I try to go for the not-so obvious players here. I like to find the sleepers that have great matchups, a proven history, and are real bargains you can either find off of the waiver wire, your bench, or in the bargain bin of weekly fantasy games. So with that said here are a few guys that you won’t see at the top of anyone’s Start/Sit list and that is a good thing if you are looking for some sneaky plays.
For consistency purposes I will once again use the ESPN consensus FF rankings as my baseline.
Let’s take a look at how my projected sleepers panned out last week.
I think I did much better last week with my sleeper picks. Now I’ll be the first to admit my tight end recommendations sucked! But, if you listened to my sleepers you wound up using two guys that wound up fifth overall in points at their position. To put Ryan Fitzpatrick’s week into perspective, he finished ahead of Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, and even Matt Ryan who had a monster game. Bradhsaw is a beast and is no longer a sleeper on anyone’s radar nor should he ever have been. Donald Brown certainly had the opportunity yet I think the Bills are a much better run defense than people give them credit for.
|Ryan Fitzpatrick||24 (Fifth overall)|
|DeSean Jackson||17 (Fifth overall)|
|Ahmad Bradshaw||13 (12th Overall)|
Now that I have some accountability taken, let’s take a look at this week’s sleepers.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills – As long as ESPN continues to bury Fitzpatrick I’ll continue to exploit him as a sleeper. Fitzpatrick is ranked 15th behind Alex Smith and Cam Newton this week. Blasphemy! What is the intangible to this game? Revenge! Fitzpatrick is playing his old team and I love revenge game sleepers (see DeSean Jackson last week). The Bills rank 21st against fantasy QBs (tied for 18th in TDs given up) and were lit up last week at home. They have given up 21, 14, and 18 points a game. I think the situation makes for a beautiful game by Fitzpatrick.
Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys – Romo is currently ranked #12 in the consensus rankings. Are you kidding me? I can’t think of a better matchup for Romo than the New Orleans Saints at home. The Saints defense is overrated, the Cowboys know Rob Ryan’s tendencies, and the Cowboys will have to score to keep up with New Orleans. Romo averages over 20 points a game against the Saints although to be fair his last game was a clunker in 2013 (the game before that he put up 36.8 points). The Saints are currently ranked 18th against fantasy QBs but have only given up 4 TDs in three games, shutting out the Vikings last week.
Chris Ivory, New York Jets – This is a gut call here. The Detroit Lions have a real good defense this year. I think the loss of Stephen Tulloch could change that. His totals have decreased weekly which bothered me but I do think there that had something to do with defenses and game situations. Calvin Johnson is hurt which means that the Lions could struggle in the air, thus could be a game where the Jets shove the run down their throats. I like Ivory a little bit on Sunday but much better than his 20 ranking.
Steven Jackson, Atlanta Falcons – I never thought the day would come where S Jax is a sleeper but it’s here. Jackson is ranked #23 which I think is way too low for the former standout RB. I am going on a few things here. One, player history. Jackson averages over 18 points per game against the Vikings. It was light years ago but Jackson even put up 40.6 points in one game. Two, I think the Falcons are going to roll over the Vikings. I think the Falcons are going to keep it on the ground and give Jax some work. Three, I think the Falcons will get some turnovers and start drives in great positions. Four, the Vikes have given up a TD to RBs in each of their last two games.
Terrance Williams, Dallas Cowboys – I am going for a real deep sleeper here. Williams had bust-out potential coming into this year’s draft and has been fairly consistent with the exception of a putrid week 2. I’d like to think that Romo has gotten some of his mojo back and the Cowboys will be airing it out a bit on Sunday. One thing you have to love is that the Saints do not play well on the road. On the road, the Saints have given up a TD in each game and come in ranked 25th overall against WRs. I look for Williams to have a game much better than his 29 ranking.
Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers – This is it Keenan Allen. This is the week you must deliver because the excuse of great defenses doesn’t hold water in week 4. The Chargers play a Jacksonville Jaguars team that is ranked 21st against WRs and ranked as the worst overall against fantasy QBs. Those numbers are a little deceiving as they had one good game and two real bad ones in my opinion. The Jags will be traveling across the country to San Diego to play a Chargers team that is red hot. Allen has been held down by some real good defenses but this week he gets a Jags team that was just torched in Indy for almost 400 yards and four TDs by Andrew Luck. Allen comes in at 17 this week and I think he puts up top ten numbers.
[adinserter block=”2″]Stevie Johnson, San Francisco 49ers – I had high expectations coming into the season for Johnson. I actually took him with my last pick in the draft. It took a week but he is finally coming around. He has a juicy matchup this week against the overall 30th ranked team against fantasy WRs in the Philadelphia Eagles at home. Johnson put up double digits for the first time last week against an Arizona Cardinals team which isn’t that bad. The Eagles have done a terrific of job of sleeping on QBs early in games this season, thus giving up big numbers to WRs on a consistent basis. I see no reason why that changes this week and Johnson is exactly the kind of receiver that can burn Philly. I think Johnson also burns his 46th overall ranking this week right down to the ground.
[adinserter block=”2″]Tight Ends
Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers – Miller is the 13th ranked TE on this week’s ESPN board and I think that is way too low for this matchup. Miller has had a slow start and the Steelers offense has been inconsistent. But, the Steelers get a Tampa Bay team that is ranked 18th against TEs and 18th against QBs. Lance Moore is supposed to return to the lineup which take some coverage away from Miller and could open up some red zone opportunities. Call it a hunch but I see Miller having a nice day in Pittsburgh on Sunday.