Fantasy information, fantasy Fantasy news, Fantasy articles, Fantasy rankings           Fantasy Football Info For Serious Players

Fantasy Football Information | Fantasy Football Articles | Fantasy Football News
Fantasy Football Links | Fantasy Football Updates | Fantasy Football Rankings
 Fantasy Football Forums | Fantasy Football Projections


Forums
News
Login / Signup  
  Home  
•   Articles  
Forecast
•   Humor  
•   Links  
•   Players  
•   Stats  
•   Tools  
•   Updates  
 

Week 16 Sleepers


This article is a weekly look at players generally ranked outside the realm of every week starters. The players covered here usually fall into two categories: those with a good matchup or those who have an opportunity to start because of an injury to a teammate. On the other hand, sometimes a player may be considered if he is normally a starter, but has a bad matchup. Each position is covered in descending order beginning with the players who are better gambles and finishing with those who are certifiable reaches. Your mileage may vary, but the idea is to discuss these players and provide you with some analysis that might help you make those difficult lineup decisions a bit easier. Good luck and always keep in mind that your feedback and comments are welcome.


Quarterback

Prime Cut (Great matchup, strong sleeper)

QB Kerry Collins - OAK (at DEN)

Collins didnít look too good in his return to the field as the Raiders starting QB last week, but he did manage to throw for 310 yards with 2 TDs and 3 interceptions the last time these two teams played in Oakland. Anything is possible and the Broncos pass defense has been much easier to beat than their run defense. The Broncos are allowing 248 passing yds/gm with 20 TDs, 18 interceptions and 21 sacks. They are the 29th against the pass (yds/gm).

QB David Garrard - JAX (at HOU)

Garrard has thrown for over 200 yards in the last two games completing 47 out of 75 passes with 1 TD, no interceptions with 46 yards rushing and 2 TDs as an added bonus. The Texans are among the best matchups for QBs and WRs alike. Theyíve allowed 250 passing yds/gm with 8 TDs since week 10 and on the season they are the 4th best matchup allowing 234 passing yds/gm with 22 TDs and only 6 interceptions. Opponents are completing 66% of their passes against them, too.

QB Josh McCown - ARI (vs PHI)

McCown regains the starting job in Arizona thanks to Kurt Warnerís untimely knee sprain (MCL) that has sidelined him for the last two games of the season. McCown was extremely productive in spots as the Cardinals starting QB, but he was also dreadful at times. It all depended on the matchup. The Eagles, as matchups go, are middle of the road. Theyíre ranked 14th in fantasy points allowed to opposing QBs Ė 219 passing yds/gm with 21 TDs and 15 interceptions. The Eagles made Ryan Fitzpatrick look bad last week, but Eli Manning torched them for 312 yards and a TD the previous week.

QB Sage Rosenfels - MIA (vs TEN)

Since week 10 the Titans are allowing 208 yds/gm to opposing QBs with 11 TDs. On the season Tennessee has allowed 29 passing TDs (most in the NFL) and picked off only 8 passes. Opponents are completing 64.3% of their passes against them. At this point, itís too early to tell if Frerotte will start. Heís been playing with a messed up finger on his throwing hand and Sage Rosenfels has been called upon a few times to finish games in the last couple of months. Whoever gets the call against the Titans could be a source for solid fantasy production. Just keep in mind that the Dolphins can be erratic throwing the football. Explosive and productive at times, but at other times, they are just the opposite.

Worth a Gamble (Good matchup, solid sleeper)

QB Todd Bouman - NO (vs DET)

Some very average quarterbacks have been reasonably productive against the Lions in the second half of the season, so perhaps Todd Bouman can be the next guy to do the same. Brad Johnson threw for 256 yards and 2 TDs in week 13 against them. He threw for 136 yards and 2 TDs against them in week 9. Kyle Orton had 230 yards and a TD in week 8 vs. the Lions. Kurt Warner hung 359 yards and a TD in week 10 and Anthony Wright had 230 yards and 2 TDs in week 5 against them. Bouman wasnít very sharp last week, but with a little bit of luck he could definitely turn it around against a Lions team that appears to have thrown up the white flag on the 2005 season.

QB Gus Frerotte - MIA (vs TEN)

Since week 10 the Titans are allowing 208 yds/gm to opposing QBs with 11 TDs. On the season Tennessee has allowed 29 passing TDs (most in the NFL) and picked off only 8 passes. Opponents are completing 64.3% of their passes against them. At this point, itís too early to tell if Frerotte will start. Heís been playing with a messed up finger on his throwing hand and Sage Rosenfels has been called upon a few times to finish games in the last couple of months. Whoever gets the call against the Titans could be a source for solid fantasy production. Just keep in mind that the Dolphins can be erratic throwing the football. Explosive and productive at times, but at other times, they are just the opposite.

QB Jamie Martin - STL (vs SF)

Joe Vitt has yet to name the teamís starting QB this week, so whether itís Jamie Martin or Ryan Fitzpatrick, keep them in mind if push comes to shove and you need a QB. Fitzpatrick has been terrible the past few games, but this matchup could be just what the doctor ordered. The 49ers are the 32nd ranked pass defense allowing 291 passing yds/gm with 26 TDs and only 12 interceptions and 27 sacks. Opponents are completing almost 65% of their passes (2nd best) and averaging 12.6 yds per completion (also 2nd best) against them. Since week 10, San Francisco is the 3rd best fantasy matchup for QBs allowing 281 yds/gm with 9 TDs. Depending on who gets the start, you might consider either Martin or Fitzpatrick a solid sleeper that could be worthwhile as a starter. The primary downside of Martin is that he didnít finish the last game he started. Fitzpatrick was yanked last week. Either one could get the start, but there is a distinct possibility that whoever starts might not finish the game.

Solid Reach (backup / situational player with upside)

QB Brooks Bollinger - NYJ (vs NE)

Bollinger put together a nice game last week against the Dolphins in a losing effort, but he was not very productive the last time he faced the Patriots (in week 13). In New England, Bollinger was 15 for 37 with 135 yards, an interception and 12 yards rushing. The Patriots, on paper, are an outstanding matchup allowing 251.7 passing yds/gm (29th) with 22 TDs and 9 interceptions. Opponents are averaging 13.6 yds per attempt, which is highest in the league. However, since week 10 the Patriots have turned the corner and they look like a different team altogether allowing 227 yards/gm with only 4 TDs in that span. Bollinger is without question a huge reach, but if push comes to shove he might be useful in a non-playoff type of game (playing for a draft pick, etc).


Running Back

Prime Cut (Great matchup, strong sleeper)

RB Frank Gore - SF (at STL)

The Rams defense has allowed 19 rushing TDs and an average of 4.7 yds/attempt through 14 games. Only the three teams have allowed more rushing yards (136 yds/gm) than the Rams. The question becomes whether or not Gore will start again this week. That depends on the availability of Kevan Barlow, who was inactive this past week. If Barlow plays, then he becomes a solid sleeper, but if he is inactive again, then Gore becomes an even better sleeper since heís not as likely to share as many carries as Barlow would (with Gore) if he plays.

RB Ryan Moats - PHI (at ARI)

The Cardinals defense has allowed 20 rushing TDs, tied for most in the league. Moats has three rushing TDs in the last two games after being thrown into the featured role following Brian Westbrookís foot/ankle injury. After two strong starts and a lost fumble by Lamar Gordon on Sunday, Moats will almost certainly carry the load again this week for the Eagles.

RB Chester Taylor - BAL (vs MIN)

So much for Chester Taylor getting a lot of work down the stretch, huh? Lewis re-emerged on MNF last week as the Ravens primary back with a 100 yard rushing effort against the Packers. This weekís matchup vs. the Vikings isnít particularly good on paper since Minnesota has allowed only 82 rushing yds/gm with 1 TD to opposing RBs since week 10. For the season, theyíve allowed 96 rushing yds/gm with 11 TDs to opposing backs ranking them 18th in fantasy points allowed to RBs. Thereís obviously some risk with Lewis. Heís been extremely inconsistent and largely unproductive this year, but he did look reasonably good last week, so if you can use him this week and your other options appear less desirable, then give him a chance.

RB Fred Taylor - JAX (at HOU)

Taylor is back on the field, but heís sharing the RB duties now with Greg Jones thereby limiting his fantasy value and upside. Facing the Texans should help him get back on track. Houstonís defense has allowed 139.2 rushing yds/gm (31st), 17 TDs (29th) and 4.6 yds/attempt (30th). Even if Taylor only carries the ball 12 to 15 times there is a good chance he could rip off some long runs and produce a TD and solid yardage (as could Greg Jones).

Worth a Gamble (Good matchup, solid sleeper)

RB Cedric Houston - NYJ (vs NE)

Houston didnít start against the Patriots when they played in week 13. It was Curtis Martinís last start and he combined for 55 yards and no TDs. Houston saw some action running for 11 yards in spot duty. Houston will start this time around, but itís hard to expect much better results from the Jets knowing that the Patriots are finally gelling defensively and playing their best football of the year coming into this game. Actually, they rank as the toughest matchup for RBs over the last 5 games, so lower your expectations and pencil in Houston for around 50 to 70 yards. If that will suffice than keep him in mind.

RB Greg Jones - JAX (at HOU)

Taylor is back on the field, but heís sharing the RB duties now with Greg Jones thereby limiting his fantasy value and upside. Facing the Texans should help him get back on track. Houstonís defense has allowed 139.2 rushing yds/gm (31st), 17 TDs (29th) and 4.6 yds/attempt (30th). Even if Taylor only carries the ball 12 to 15 times there is a good chance he could rip off some long runs and produce a TD and solid yardage (as could Greg Jones).

RB Antowain Smith - NO (vs DET)

The Saints RB combination of Smith and Stecker has been reasonably productive this year filling in for the injured Deuce McAllister. In this game, they could be a nice gamble knowing that the Lions have allowed more fantasy points to RBs over the last five games than any team in the league. Theyíve allowed 145 rushing yds/gm with 7 TDs in that span. Antowain Smith might be the better bet for yardage and TDs, while Stecker is more likely to break a long run or catch a short pass and turn it into a big play. Michael Bennett produced 111 yards and a TD in one game against the Lions and then 89 yards and 2 TDs the second time around against them. Samkon Gado ran for 171 yards and a TD two weeks ago vs. the Lions. Warrick Dunn ran for 116 yards and T.J. Duckett had 72 yards and a TD against them on Thanksgiving.

RB Aaron Stecker - NO (vs DET)

The Saints RB combination of Smith and Stecker has been reasonably productive this year filling in for the injured Deuce McAllister. In this game, they could be a nice gamble knowing that the Lions have allowed more fantasy points to RBs over the last five games than any team in the league. Theyíve allowed 145 rushing yds/gm with 7 TDs in that span. Antowain Smith might be the better bet for yardage and TDs, while Stecker is more likely to break a long run or catch a short pass and turn it into a big play. Michael Bennett produced 111 yards and a TD in one game against the Lions and then 89 yards and 2 TDs the second time around against them. Samkon Gado ran for 171 yards and a TD two weeks ago vs. the Lions. Warrick Dunn ran for 116 yards and T.J. Duckett had 72 yards and a TD against them on Thanksgiving.

Solid Reach (backup / situational player with upside)

RB Artose Pinner - DET (at NO)

The Saints defense has allowed 137.5 rushing yds/gm with 16 TDs and a 4.2 yds/attempt rushing average. Theyíve allowed more 20+ yards runs than any team in the league (18) and the third most rushing attempts in the league (453). Now, the question becomes whether you can trust the Lions running game at all to use any of these backs? Most people in their right mind would unequivocally say, ďNoĒ. That said, depending on whether Jones is active or not, he or the tandem of Artose Pinner and Shawn Bryson could provide some value in deeper leagues. Bryson is a decent sleeper in larger leagues that use PPR scoring formats and Pinner might be a decent reach in yardage/TD leagues.

RB Dominic Rhodes - IND (at SEA)

This is most certainly not a matchup play since the Seahawks are among the leagueís better run defenses on paper. That said, the Seahawks havenít played a lot of great running teams this year so their team stats might be a bit skewed by their schedule. Rhodes is expected to see a lot of touches this week with Edgerrin James probably not playing more than 1 or 2 quarters, if that much. Thereís definitely some risk involved with playing Rhodes. Seattle could stifle the Colts running game and he might only get a half of the game to produce any stats. Either way, heís worth a look if youíre pressed for options this late in the year.

RB Jonathan Wells - HOU (vs JAX)

Once again, it looks like Domanick Davis will be a GTD (game time decision). If he doesnít go then bump Wells way up the list of sleeper candidates. He ran for 87 yards and 2 TDs against the Cardinals last week and even Vernand Morency got into the act rushing for 32 yards and a TD. The key here is whether Davis is active or not. Keep your eyes on his status. If heís inactive, then Wells is a solid RB2/RB3 to plug into your lineup against a Jaguars defense that allowed 136 combined yards to Frank Gore last week and 154 combined yards to Edge two weeks ago.

If you're desperate (worth a look in deeper leagues)

RB Shawn Bryson - DET (at NO)

The Saints defense has allowed 137.5 rushing yds/gm with 16 TDs and a 4.2 yds/attempt rushing average. Theyíve allowed more 20+ yards runs than any team in the league (18) and the third most rushing attempts in the league (453). Now, the question becomes whether you can trust the Lions running game at all to use any of these backs? Most people in their right mind would unequivocally say, ďNoĒ. That said, depending on whether Jones is active or not, he or the tandem of Artose Pinner and Shawn Bryson could provide some value in deeper leagues. Bryson is a decent sleeper in larger leagues that use PPR scoring formats and Pinner might be a decent reach in yardage/TD leagues.

RB Noah Herron - GB (vs CHI)

The Bears are one of the toughest run defenses in the league, but Samkon Gado was reasonably productive against them three weeks ago combining for 87 yards and a TD in Chicago. Gado is sidelined for the last two games with a sprained MCL giving Noah Herron a golden opportunity to be the Packers featured back (their 6th back to do so this year). The last four teams to play Chicago have had mild success running the ball, so Herron might not be as bad of a reach as we think. Warrick Dunn ran for 81 yards last week, while Jerome Bettis ran for 101 yards and 2 TDs two weeks ago and Carnell Williams ran for 84 yards four weeks ago.

RB Marcel Shipp - ARI (vs PHI)

J.J. Arrington is banged up so Marcel Shipp should handle at least half of the teamís carries if not much more against the Eagles this week. Philadelphia has been vulnerable all year on the ground, so Shipp could be a decent, if not risky, reach. Marshall Faulk ran for 87 yards and Steven Jackson ran for 82 yards last week against them. Tiki Barber rang them up for 195 combined yards and a TD. Samkon Gado cashed in for 122 combined yards and a TD in week 12 against them. Shipp and the Cardinals arenít known for their stellar production running the football this year, so donít expect his results to be anywhere near those players, but he could surprise us and finish with 60 to 80 yards and, if youíre extremely lucky, a TD.


Wide Receiver

Prime Cut (Great matchup, strong sleeper)

WR Reggie Brown - PHI (at ARI)

The Cardinals are the type of team that are a good matchup, but they can also turn into a bad matchup. Talking strictly from a talent perspective, teams usually matchup fairly well with the Cardinals corners, so we would say itís a good matchup for the WRs. However, what ends up usually taking place is the team playing the Cardinals gets a lead and then doesnít need to throw the ball much to win the game. Thatís where it tends to become a bad matchup. The Eagles have enough problems of their own trying to score that, in this case, this probably is a solid matchup on both counts. Brown is the best option in the Eagles WR corps, so he gets the nod as a sleeper this week. Heís inconsistent and still learning the NFL game, but heís explosive enough to be worth a play this week as a WR3/WR4/flex starter.

WR Reche Caldwell - SD (at KC)

Eric Parker caught 4 balls for 63 yards and a TD the last time these two teams played in week 8. This week, Parker is injured and Reche Caldwell should start in his place and benefit from the opportunity. Caldwell, like Parker, is a good threat to make big plays down the field. The Chiefs are allowing 147 yds/gm with 2 TDs to opposing WRs over the last five games. Fr the season, they are the 8th best matchup allowing 158 yds/gm with 13 TDs to opposing WRs.

WR Samie Parker - KC (vs SD)

Chris Horn caught seven balls for 58 yards when the Chiefs last played the Chargers in week 8. Parker didnít play in that game, but heís playing now and playing very well. The Chargers soft spot defensively has been their secondary. Theyíve allowed 185 yards/gm with 3 TDs to opposing WRs in the last five games. Parker has a good matchup and if Eddie Kennison is less than 100%, then he could be busier than ever.

Worth a Gamble (Good matchup, solid sleeper)

WR David Givens - NE (at NYJ)

Givens exploded last week for 6 catches, 137 yards and a TD against the Bucs. This week, he and the Patriots face a Jets defense that has allowed 131 yds/gm with 5 TDs to opposing WRs in the last five games. Givens only produced 5 catches for 27 yards when these two teams played a few weeks ago. Tom Brady spread the ball around a lot, so itís tough to say that Givens will have another big game just because he had one last week.

WR Brandon Stokley - IND (at SEA)

The Seahawks secondary has been maligned by injury this year. With Marcus Trufant the only remaining corner available from their top three, Jordan Babineaux is now starting on the other side and he makes for an inviting target for opposing QBs. Stokley promises to get much more playing time this week because a) the Colts will rest their starters a lot the next two weeks and b) Marvin Harrison also has a broken bone in his hand. Look for Stokley to have solid game, especially if heís covered by Babineaux. Drew Bennett caught two TDs and finished with just under 100 yards against Seattle last week.

WR Ernest Wilford - JAX (at HOU)

Since week 10 the Texans have allowed 161 yds/gm with 8 TDs (most in the league) to opposing WRs. The Cardinals terrific tandem of Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin torched the Texans last week (in a losing effort mind you) for 219 yards and 2 TDs. However, the week before the Titans WRs managed a meager 35 yards and no TDs. What gives? The Jaguars arenít quite the same in terms of throwing the football with David Garrard as they were with Byron Leftwich, but Garrard has been productive in his own right. This is a good situation for the Jags passing game, so if you have these guys, it might be worthwhile to roll with them if you want to go for the gusto.

Solid Reach (backup / situational player with upside)

WR Kevin Curtis - STL (vs SF)

The 49ers secondary has allowed 209 receiving yards/gm with 6 TDs to opposing WRs in the last 5 games. Curtis has been quiet since Isaac Bruce returned to the lineup pushing Curtis back to the slot. Heís definitely a reach given his lack of production recently, but this an outstanding matchup. He caught 7 balls for 63 yards against SF in week one with Isaac Bruce in the lineup.

WR Doug Gabriel - OAK (at DEN)

Gabriel caught five balls for 58 yards and a TD when these two teams played in Oakland. The Broncos secondary is without CB Darrent Williams leaving Gabriel to matchup with Karl Paymah most likely. The Broncos have allowed 160 yards/gm with 3 TDs to opposing WRs in the last 5 games.

WR Matt Jones - JAX (at HOU)

See Ernest Wilford above. Since week 10 the Texans have allowed 161 yds/gm with 8 TDs (most in the league) to opposing WRs. Jones is definitely a reach in most leagues with 12 teams or less, but heís always a scoring threat and heís just the kind of guy thatís worth gambling on because he can score a TD on any given play that he touches the football. Otherwise, play a more consistently productive WR if you have one.

WR Courtney Roby - TEN (at MIA)

Roby produced 3 receptions for 54 yards last week against the Seahawks. This week he promises to get some more targets given that Erron Kinney might not play and both Roydell Williams and Brandon Jones are out for the year. The Dolphins pass defense is ok, but certainly far from being a bad matchup. Roby has the speed to make big plays in the open field, but otherwise, he remains a big-time reach. Consider this much, the Jets highly productive receiving trio (sarcasm alert) produced 53 yards with a TD (Coles), 57 yards (McCareins) and 44 yards (Cotchery) against Miami last week. McNair is much more dangerous than Brooks Bollinger, so perhaps Roby could be in for a solid game.

If you're desperate (worth a look in deeper leagues)

WR Corey Bradford - HOU (vs JAX)

Bradford is definitely a dicey option. Heís good for about 2 or maybe 3 solid games a year. Usually those are due to a big play or long TD. Bradford caught 5 balls for 71 yards and a TD against the Jaguars in week 9. Andre Johnson and Jabar Gaffney were healthy in that game, too.

WR Kelley Washington - CIN (vs BUF)

The Bills have allowed 195 receiving yards per game to opposing WRs over the last five games with 5 TDs. They were hurt most by Chris Chambersí 15 catches for 238 yards and a TD. Rod Smith broke out for 11 catches with 137 yards and a TD last week. Washington might get more playing time this week if the Bengals wipe up on the Bills as they did the Lions a week ago. We might see a fair amount of Washington, Kevin Walter and Chris Henry.


Tight End

Prime Cut (Great matchup, strong sleeper)

TE Jerramy Stevens - SEA (vs IND)

The Colts held Antonio Gates in check last week, so letís not get too carried away with Jerramy Stevens. That said, the week before Kyle Brady touched them for 43 yards and the Titans TE tandem of Ben Troupe and Bo Scaife hung 67 yards and 53 yards on the Colts respectively. Stevens has a TD in each of the last two games, so you can look at that both ways. He canít keep scoring TDs each week given all the talent surrounding him, or Stevens is on a roll so keep him in the lineup while heís hot.

TE Ben Troupe - TEN (at MIA)

Troupe is hardly a sleeper at this stage, so please consider this a reminder if you will. Troupe was on fire last week and the Dolphins also gave up huge numbers to Doug Jolley last week (102 yards, 1 TD). Starting Troupe should be a slam dunk unless youíre rolling with one of the top 4-5 mainstays at the position, especially with Erron Kinney sidelined with a bum knee.

Worth a Gamble (Good matchup, solid sleeper)

TE Doug Jolley - NYJ (vs NE)

Jolley exploded last week for over 100 yards and a TD, but that was really the first game where heís been of any real use this year. The last time these two played (week 13), Jolley came up with only 26 yards. The Patriots have been beaten by several TEs this year for big numbers, but almost all of those were guys like Gates, Gonzo, McMichael, Crumpler, etc. Jolley doesnít fit in that group, so donít expect similar results as last week. He could still be useful, but only as a stop-gap measure. Heís still a big reach.

TE Jeb Putzier - DEN (vs OAK)

Putzier caught three balls for 33 yards in the last game between Denver and Oakland in week 10. In three of the last four games, Putzier has 50+ yards and caught 3 or 4 balls. Unfortunately, Putzier has yet to catch a TD this year. As such, heís been a gamble all year and nothing changes this week, except the matchup. Oakland is the 12th best matchup for TEs allowing 49 yds/gm with 3 TDs on the season.

If you're desperate (worth a look in deeper leagues)

TE George Wrighster - JAX (at HOU)

Since week 10 the Texans have allowed an average of 46 yds/gm to opposing TEs, but they have not allowed a TD. Wrighster might be ok to reach for in deeper leagues, but itís hard to count on the kid to produce consistently from week to week. On the positive side, heís played better and been targeted more since David Garrard took over for the injured Byron Leftwich.




Forums |  News | Login / Signup | Contact Us