Week 13: Super Sleepers
There's a reason we call these guys super sleepers. Often times they are filling in for a starter or we believe they'll get enough touches in garbage time to make them fantasy worthy. These guys aren't going to carry your team to the playoffs, but they could come in handy during a bye week or to fill a gap due to injury. If you're looking for someone then check these guys out. A good number of these guys are still available in many leagues.
The Titans returned to action last Sunday after their week 11 bye dropping one 19-24 in Jacksonville. In that game Jake Locker looked like the quarterback we saw at the beginning of the season as he completed 23 of 40 for 261 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. This week Locker and the Titans host Houston in a rematch of the week 4 game in which Jake was knocked out of in the first quarter with a non throwing shoulder injury that kept him out until week 10. The Texans' run defense is currently ranked 5th in the league, so expect Tennessee to air it out while running the ball just enough to keep the defense honest. This should result in plenty of opportunities for Locker to post good fantasy numbers. By no means do we expect 350 yards and 4 touchdowns, but a modest 250-275 with a pair of touchdowns is not out of the question.
This is going to sound a little crazy, but when you look at who and where Miami plays the next four weeks then giving Ryan Tannehill a look doesn't seem so bad. Three of Miami's next four games are at home where Tannehill's performance this season has been better. In 5 home games Tannehill has thrown 4 touchdowns with 5 interceptions, while throwing for 7 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in Miami's 6 road games. When you look at who is coming to town -- New England (29th), Jacksonville (28th) and Buffalo (18th) -- none of their pass defenses are highly ranked. Of course being a rookie means fantasy owners will have to deal with some bad games along the way, so be careful only to use Ryan in two quarterback leagues or as a backup. While we like the up coming matchups, Ryan's inconsistent play this season makes him a risky start in single quarterback leagues.
Before we get too far, fantasy owners need to keep in mind Weeden suffered a concussion late in the game last week and could miss this weekend's matchup against the Raiders. With that out of the way, we can take a look at Brandon's less than stellar performance last week against Pittsburgh and you can all say we're crazy for listing him as a sleeper this weekend. In the game against Pittsburgh the Browns defense forced 8 turn overs, yet Weeden and the offense only scored 20 points. With 8 turn overs one has to believe the offense should have scored 35 or more. Even with their low scoring offense, Cleveland managed to pull off just the second win in 18 attempts (which I guess in the end that's all that matters, unless you're looking at this from a fantasy perspective). Leaving last week's performance in the past (and assuming Weeden is the starter), we believe this weekend's matchup against the Raiders is a good one for the rookie. Through the first 11 games of his career Brandon has thrown 12 touchdown passes with 8 of them coming on the road and 10 of them have come in five games with four of those being on the road. Couple Weeden's affinity for playing well on the road with Oakland's pourous secondary -- which has allowed a league high 23 passing touchdowns -- and one has to start believing Brandon may be a good play Sunday.
If you're in search of a back with good matchups the next couple of weeks then you want who ever is starting for Jacksonville. The Jags' next two games are against two of the worst run defenses in the league. This weekend Jacksonville heads to Buffalo to face the league's 31st run defense and the following weekend they'll host the Jets and their 30th ranked run defense. Not only will Jacksonville's running backs face weak run defenses, but Jacksonville is now starting Chad Henne at quarterback. In just three weeks Henne has thrown 7 touchdowns just 2 less than Blaine Gabbert had thrown in the Jags first 8 games. Opposing defenses now have to defend the pass, which in turn means Jags backs should have success in the coming weeks. The problem here of course is figuring out who will be the starter each week. As of right now Maurice Jones-Drew will not be in the lineup against Buffalo and the status of Jalen Parmele is unknown after he left Sunday's game due to a groin injury. This leaves Jacksonville with Rashard Jennings, who has been anything but stellar this year yet when you look at the matchup you have to like what you see. Keep an eye on the injury status of Parmele and if he's playing give him the start on Sunday. If he's out then Jennings would be your man.Injury Status: Injured Reserve
Giants running back Andre Brown suffered a broken fibula in Sunday night's game against the Packers. In the game Brown scored a touchdown for the fifth consecutive week and carried the ball 13 times for 64 yards. With Brown now out of the lineup for at least 6 weeks, the Giants will turn to their first round draft pick David Wilson to share carries with start Ahmad Bradshaw. Early in the season Wilson was given the opportunity to backup Bradshaw, but due to some fumblitis problems he was quickly benched. Rumor has it David has been working on holding on to the ball and now we'll see if that hard work has paid off. Wilson is not as big as Brown, so goal line carries are not likely a part of his future. Bradshaw on the other hand cannot carry the ball 30 times a game, so Wilson will likely get 8-10 touches a game. Not only will New York need to use Wilson to spell Bradshaw, but they'll also want him on the field to lessen the chance Bradshaw becomes injured. Ahmad has a propensity for getting injured and at this stage in the season New York can't afford to lose their starting back for any length of time as they make their push for the post season.