Week 10: Super Sleepers
This week I have a QB fill-in on the rise, two running backs promised more work, two wide outs who could see increased volume due to teammate coverage, two surprise tight end options and a defensive pick.
Case Keenum is looking like a real fantasy QB value for Aaron Rodgers owners. If you are like me and counting on Aaron Rodgers maintaining an injury-free season only to find yourself in a bind, you need to consider guys like Foles, Keenum, McCown and Glennon. Over the past two weeks, Keenum has thrown for 621 yards on 35 completions for four TDs without an INT. Now, I am not saying that Keenum is going to win Houston any games, but fantasy-wise he looks decent. This week against a fairly stout Arizona defense is the worst of his upcoming match-ups, but he should perform well enough to fill in for Rodgers (or a guy like Terrelle Pryor if he doesn't play). Arizona kept Matt Ryan under wraps, but Ryan has been a lackluster performer this season. In the two weeks prior to the Atlanta match-up, the Arizona pass defense allowed five scores. With Arian Foster hampered by injuries and Ben Tate struggling as well, Houston will have to focus on their passing game and Keenum will lead the charge. Last week he -- and a rejuvenated Andre Johnson -- torched Indy, despite their loss on the day. Look for Keenum to keep pace this week and put up solid enough numbers to make him start-worthy. In coming weeks, he is an even better play if he keeps up the firepower.
With Trent Richardson torturing his fantasy owners and team, Donald Brown has rebounded on the fantasy radar. Brown is a low end RB4 at the moment, but with snaps coming his way on rushing downs and a lock on passing downs due to Richardson's poor performance, Brown has the potential to surprise. If Andrew Luck can get his high-powered passing attack zeroed in, the running lanes can open and Brown could find his pace. Last week Brown quietly stole carries and rushed six times for 49 yards. This week he faces a porous St. Louis run defense that allows the third most fantasy points to running backs. Look for a good week and RB3 numbers.
Jacksonville gives up the most fantasy points to running backs in the league. This means that the Chris Johnson we saw tear it up against St. Louis in Week 9 should be able to fully partner with his back-up -- Shonn Greene -- this week to torch their opponent. Last week Greene saw nine touches for 38 yards and a rushing score, plus one 28-yard pass. The Tennessee coaching staff has been promising to get Greene the ball more this season and Week 10 should be this opportunity. I like Greene for at least 15 carries this week. That should translate into around 60 yards with a high probability of a score. Greene might even see additional work in garbage time, running out the clock if Tennessee gets and maintains a significant lead.
Tiquan Underwood and his Kid'n'Play / Fresh Prine of Bel Air hairdo had to make the super sleepers list at some point this season. Underwood is a WR2 on the Tampa Bay depth chart and considered a WR3 in most fantasy formats. In this week's match-up vs. a stout Miami pass defense, look for the Miami coverage to stick to Vincent Jackson and Tim Wright, leaving room for Underwood to make some plays. The match-up is not great, but the opportunities for Mike Glennon to find Underwood should increase. If you are in a deep league -- 14-teams plus --, he might be just the ticket to punch this week.
Cole Beasley has seen his targets continue to increase with the return of Miles Austin not yet determined. Last week Beasley grabbed six of nine targets for 68 yards. With Tony Romo continuing to throw the ball early and often, Beasley figures to play into the mix with Austin sidelined. Beasley is a WR4 pick in most formats and has not seen a TD since Week 5 vs. Denver, but is due. Look for Beasley to find some open field with the New Orleans pass defense looking to cover Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams and Jason Witten. Beasley will get his chances this week and could have his best game yet.