Week 16: 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.
If you're a Robert Griffin III owner, you have to like what you saw from Cousins last weekend as he led the Redskins to victory over the Cleveland Browns. In that game, Cousins completed 26 of 37 for 329 yards with a pair of touchdowns and an interception. He also added 3 carries for 22 yards. If RG3's knee prevents him from playing this weekend against Philadelphia then you may want to snag and start Cousins. The Eagles pass defense may be ranked 13th in the league but that's only because they're not allowing a lot of yards. Philadelphia's secondary has allowed 26 passing touchdowns (3rd most in the league), while intercepting opposing quarterbacks just 7 times (the fewest of any team in the league). We don't see head coach Mike Shanahan playing their franchise quarterback if he's not 100%, so keep an eye on this story as the week progresses.
Fitzpatrick and the Bills head to South Florida to face the Miami Dolphins and their 26th ranked pass defense. Looking over the past few weeks, we see Ryan has struggled to post decent fantasy numbers. In fact, we have to go back to the last time these two teams met to find a game in which Ryan did not throw an interception. On the flip side, this was also the last time Ryan failed to throw for at least one touchdown. This time around the game will be played in a much warmer climate, and for Miami a win this weekend (coupled with poor performances by Cincinnati and Pittsburgh) means they're still in the playoff hunt. The Bills won't want Miami keeping their playoff hopes alive on their watch, so this could be an exciting game. Look for Fitzpatrick to bounce back this weekend, posting what could be his best numbers of the season. A poor performance this weekend could mean the end of Fitzpatrick's days in Buffalo.
In week one we watched Miller carry the ball 10 times for 65 yard and score the first touchdown of his NFL career. The following week we watched Lamar carry the ball 9 times for 48 yards in an overtime loss to the Jets. Then comes week three and Lamar's numbers drop to 4 carries for 13 yards, and that is pretty much what we've seen the remainder of the season. That is up until this week when Miami hosts the Bills. It appears fellow back Daniel Thomas may miss the Dolphins' remaining two games. If this should be the case, Lamar would become Reggie Bush's backup. This should mean 8-10 carries for the rookie and based on what we saw the first couple of weeks, this could mean fantasy worthy numbers (especially against the Bills and their 30th ranked run defense).
It was Danny Woodhead( not Stevan Ridley) that led the Patriots ground attack against a tough 49ers defense last week. In that game Woodhead carried the ball 12 times for 61 yards with a pair of touchdowns and he added 5 receptions for 23 yards. This week the Patriots head to Jacksonville, where they'll look to keep the pressure on Denver for the AFC's playoff second seed. The Jags run defense is currently ranked last, allowing nearly 150 yards per game while allowing the second most (18) rushing touchdowns. There is little reason to believe this game will be close, so look for New England to run the ball often in the second half as they look to run out the clock. Not only should we see an added ground attack, but if this game gets out of hand early we could see Ridley watching so as not to get the rookie injured. Woodhead is more than capable of posting big fantasy numbers in the right matchup and this could be another one of those weeks.
The Eagles offense looked awful against the Bengals last weekend, totaling just 224 yards on offense. Of those 224 yards, Avant was responsible for 44 on 3 receptions. While not a great performance, he was the second leading receiver on the team, while being just the fourth most targeted. Stepping back two weeks, we see Avant had his best game of the season catching 7 balls on 12 targets for 133 yards. This performance came against the Bucs and their 32nd ranked (worst) pass defense. If Avant's performance is based on which team the Eagles play then we could see another 100 yard game from Jason this weekend.