Week 8: Super Sleepers
Injury ramifications have set in with fantasy owners and now is the time to consider your super sleeper options. This week I have one QB who is looking to continue to surprise fantasy owners, two running backs that could see increased workload this week, three wide outs to ponder and one TE that is off most fantasy radar.
I did not expect to see NC State product Mike Glennon with a QB1 next to his name this season. Glennon has started three games this season and managed to attempt about 43 passes per game. He has thrown over 250 yards in two of his three starts and had a zero INT game in Week 7. Yes, he also fumbled for a return TD, but the rookie is not doing that bad. His under 6 yards per pass is of concern as is Glennon's tunnel vision locked on Vincent Jackson. V-Jax was targeted for 50% of Glennon's total 44 attempts last week. In Week 8 Glennon faces a tougher Carolina defense. He will need to make up for some of his shortcomings to be a continual fantasy option, but his fantasy output from the last two games meets the needs of most fantasy owners. If Glennon can spread the ball around he should have a solid outing. I'll take the 256 yards, 2 TDs and 1 Fumble loss from last week or the 273 yards, two scores and one INT from Week 6 with quite a few of my starting roster now injured.
Daniel Thomas has been a big bust this season. His counterpart, Lamar Miller is not doing much better. Last week Thomas carried the ball twelve times for 60 yards and was the focus of the Miami rushing attack. It is hard to tell if Miller or Thomas is the primary back in this offense because the timeshare for snaps is nearly even. Either back could have a big day coming. It appears that Thomas will be used in primary rushing schemes as Miller is a better pass blocker. This means that Thomas could see an increase in his rushing workload because Miami is working to better leverage the passing game. If the pass schemes work and Miller is playing those snaps, Thomas will likely see the rushing downs and the ball. Thomas needs to prove himself and is a flier option in deep leagues over 14 teams, but not more than RB4 in smaller leagues.
Kendall Hunter is of course the fantasy handcuff for Frank Gore owners, but this week he could also be your secret weapon. Hunter has not rushed for more than 49 yards all season, but he does have three TDs on the year. The rationale for Hunter this week is simple - San Francisco should pull ahead of Jacksonville early. If San Francisco is well ahead at the half, Frank Gore is highly likely to see some downtime in the third and fourth quarters. The offense is also highly likely to run the clock down using their rushing attack. Enter Kendall Hunter. If the SF offense can own the first two to three quarters like they did against St. Louis, Hunter will see an expanded role and be worth the risk.
Marvin Jones is part of a run-first offense, but has the potential to continue capitalizing on his opportunity to make plays opposite A.J. Green. With a double threat on the outside, the Cincinnati passing attack becomes more potent. Last week Jones grabbed four of his six targets for nearly 60 yards and a score. There was some concern over a shoulder injury that sent him to the locker room early at the half, though Jones returned to play. This week Andy Dalton and his receiving corps faces a New York defense that has given up the tenth fewest points to QBs and the fifteenth fewest points to WRs. Dalton will have to work in this game and that means untilizing his top receivers. Jones has become a second option and will continue to produce. He is now on a two-game scoring streak that might very well continue in Week 8.
Brandon Gibson finally scored last week and he did it twice. He has been added in many fantasy leagues and is starting in quite a few this week given some of the injury woes fantasy owners have suffered at the WR position this season. Wide outs are a deep position, but there has been quite a bit of inconsistency with the mid to lower range receivers in deep leagues. Gibson's five catches for 40 yards and two TDs in Week 7 makes him an appealing, yet risky start. Gibson has the ability to put up numbers, but the Miami passing game is not firing on all cylinders making it hard to support all wide outs. This week against New England Gibson will have his chances and look to continue his momentum from last week.