Week 14: 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.
On Monday Eagles head coach Andy Reid announced that Nick Foles would remain the starting quarterback for the remainder of the season. With Philadelphia essentially out of the playoffs, Reid and company want to use these final few games to assess Foles' ability to play in the NFL. The Eagles need to know if their third round pick will be able to take over the reins next season and hopefully lead the team into the post season. First Nick needs to worry about how to handle the Eagles' next opponent: Tampa Bay. Tampa's secondary is currently ranked last in the league, allowing more than 300 yards per game. Also, the Bucs are allowing 8.2 yards per pass attempt, which is the second most in the league. Foles will look to improve upon his career best 251 yards and a touchdown that he had against Dallas last week. Another performance in the upper 200s with a touchdown or two is not out of reach for Foles against this porous Bucs secondary.
Palmer completed 34 of 54 attempts for 351 yards with a pair of touchdowns and an interception last Sunday against the Browns. This performance marked the fourth time in Palmer's last five games where he has thrown for more than 310 yards. This also marked the fourth time in five games in which he has thrown multiple touchdowns. Unfortunately this also made for the eighth consecutive game in which he has thrown an interception. If you happen to be in a league which doesn't penalize for interceptions or penalize too harshly then Palmer may not be a bad play. The Raiders are once again claiming Darren McFadden will be back Sunday, but we'll believe it when we see it. Until then that happens, we believe Palmer will be forced to continue to air it out. If you're in search of a quarterback who is not on a lot of team's radar yet and has been posting pretty good fantasy numbers then Carson is your man.
Over the last three weeks Powell has carried the ball 11, 12 and 12 times for 42, 40 and 58 yards. Last week's game against the Arizona Cardinals was the only game in the series Bilal did not find the end zone. As the Jets continue to push for the final playoff stop, they'll need every asset they have while trying to keep their starters healthy. Powell has proven over this three game stretch that he can handle this workload and probably a bit more. At this point it would surprise us to see Bilal with 15-18 carries as much as it would to see him with 3-5. If you're looking for someone with steady production who has the potential to plow through for a goal line score or two then Powell is your man.
The Texans clinched a playoff berth last Sunday and can now focus on winning home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Once Houston has clinched home field, look for their starters to receive fewer and fewer carries/receptions. If there is no need for Arian Foster and Andre Johnson to be on the field then why risk playing them and possibly losing them for the playoffs? In the case of Arian Foster, the Texans will look to Ben Tate and Justin Forsett to shoulder more of the load. These backs could become valuable assets as we head deeper into the fantasy playoff season. Come week 16 there's a chance Foster could see single digit carries while Tate totes the rock 15-20 times. I know Foster owners don't want to hear this, but be careful starting Arian if home field is locked up for Houston by week 16. Of course until the playoff picture has formed Tate will be hit or miss (mostly miss), so only start him in the deepest of leagues.
With Danny Amendola out of the lineup last Sunday, Givens became Sam Bradford's primary target, seeing 14 of Sam's 39 pass attempts. That means more than 1/3 of the Rams' pass plays went to Givens, who responded by pulling in 11 of the team's 26 completions for 92 yards. Owners in a PPR league that didn't start Givens were likely kicking themselves Monday morning. This performance marks the second week in a row where Givens' numbers were of fantasy starter quality. This week Givens will look to continue this trend when the Rams face the Bills in Buffalo. This of course may be a bit more difficult if fellow starting receiver Danny Amendola returns to the line-up, but the chemistry between Bradford and Givens is growing and with it Chris' stats. The weather in Orchard Park can make it difficult to throw the ball, so make sure to check the wind consitions before starting Givens this weekend. If things look good on the weather front then we may see another 90+ yard performance from Chris this Sunday.