Week 4: Super Sleepers
The bye weeks are upon us. Injuries are running rampant and making fantasy owners consider their options. Now is the time to really explore your super sleepers and see who could add value to your roster this week and in the weeks to come. For Week 4 we have two RBs, two WRs, two TEs and one defense worth a look.
With Shane Vereen on the short-term injured reserve with a broken bone in his wrist and Stevan Ridley under-performing, LeGarrette Blount and Brandon Bolden are now on the fantasy radar. Both Blount and Bolden showed their abilities this past week and will look to further their efforts to split time in the New England backfield. Blount appears to have a slight advantage in rushing downs, while Bolden is likely the obvious pick in PPR formats with his propensity to play in passing schemes. On the season, Blount has just under 100 yards rushing and is averaging 3.6 yards per carry. This past week he averaged 4.6 yards per carry and I foresee these numbers continuing if he is given a true shot in this running back-by-committee approach. The trick here will be who sees the action. I think Blount is going to have a solid rushing week vs. Atlanta. If you play in PPR formats, take a look at Bolden.
Ronnie Hillman is caught up in Denver's ever-evolving committee approach to the rushing game, but shows promise. Knowshon Moreno should continue as the primary back in the offense with his experience and blocking ability, but Hillman will likely surpass Montee Ball in terms of carries and snaps given Ball's propensity to fumble. Ball has now lost two in the past two games. Hillman's 7.3 yards per carry average this past week was excellent considering his long was 19 yards and he rushed only nine times. Moreno's 3.3 yards per carry last week and 4.7 on the season are solid, but Hillman has talent and could be used more often - especially in goal-line situations. Hillman is worth a pick-up in deep leagues and maybe deserves a flex roster spot depending on your running back availability.
Ryan Broyles returned to action in Week 3 following his ACL rehab. The Detroit coaching staff and Broyles have been cautious with his return, making sure he was fully ready. It appears that he is ready and will have an impact in the passing game. Just how much of an impact is the question. In Week 3 vs. Chicago he grabbed all three of the passes thrown in his direction for 34 yards. This was not huge production, but with Nate Burleson missing time with a fractured arm suffered off-the-field, Broyles should see a significant increase in targets. Broyles will become the primary slot receiver in a potent passing offense. Look for him to build his presence over the coming weeks and be worth a look in deeper leagues. I think he becomes a WR3 in PPR formats and maybe a WR4 in non-PPR leagues. Broyles should be a great bench stash if nothing else at this stage of the season.
Injury Status: Injured Reserve
Denarius Moore is a guy I grabbed in one of my drafts and was hoping would be a sleeper pick from day one. We all know that the passing game in Oakland is being built from the ground up. This has to be a concern, but Moore is a guy who could be a weekly fantasy option if he gets consistent. I do not think he is there yet, but his breakout performance in Week 3 - catching six or 11 for 124 yards and a score - was nice to see. I would really like to see Moore haul in more of his targets before I trust him on my roster. This week he might be dealing with a QB switch given Terrelle Pryor's concussion status, but whether Pryor or Matt Flynn start, I think Oakland is going to have a solid outing against Washington's soft defense. I think Moore is worth a WR3 look this week and a WR4 look in deep leagues as the season progresses given his current level of play.
Scott Chandler is not owned in the majority of fantasy leagues and could be a steal off the waiver wire if you are in need of a back-up or bye-week TE. Chandler's recovery from ACL surgery seems to have progressed well. He has been targeted six times in each of Buffalo's games this season. Last week, Chandler grabbed five receptions for 79 yards and a score. He appears to be developing chemistry with E.J. Manuel and has become a second option right behind Stevie Johnson. I figure that Robert Woods and Johnson will see the majority of coverage in the coming weeks and this should leave some room for Chandler to work within that coverage. Look for him to have some solid outings. I think he will end up with some positive fantasy value this week vs. Baltimore.