Week 12: Super Sleepers
This week I have a fill-in QB, three running backs who could have increased roles, two wide outs who could put up big numbers this week and a plug-in-play tight end.
Matt McGloin has filled in well for the injured Terelle Pryor. Oakland has been cautious in bringing Pryor back to the starting line-up after his poor performance playing injured a few weeks ago. McGloin is not likely on top of the fantasy radar, but you have to consider his near 60% passing percentage for nearly 200 yards with three TDs and zero INTs in Week 11 as a success. This week he faces a Tennessee defense that has given up the fourth fewest fantasy points to QBs this season, but is at home. I am going to go out on a limb and say that McGloin puts up solid enough numbers this week to be a low end QB1. Most experts are calling him a mid-range QB2 this week, though he is going to be a player to watch in his second pro start.
So far this season the Atlanta defense has given up the ninth most fantasy points to running backs. This may sound like a good match-up for Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles, but I think that Mark Ingram is going to be the back this week that puts up solid numbers. In Week 11 Ingram looked good on his six touches gaining 25 yards, but dissapointed fantasy owners looking for his Week 10 numbers. This week I think Ingram will see 10 carries and put up 50-60 yards, plus grab his second score of the season. Ingram is not considered a weekly option, but should see enough work this week to make him a possible play in deep leagues.
Chris Ogbonnaya has gradually made his way back onto the fantasy radar. His near 100 yard performance on 14 carries led his team last week and put him ahead of Willis McGahee and Fozzy Whittaker in terms of snaps and touches. This week he faces a Pittsburgh defense that has given up the 10th most fantasy points to running backs on the season, but more importantly, comes out of the backfield as Cleveland's most prolific rusher and adds value in PPR leagues. I really like Ogbonnaya's chances over the next few weeks with his match-ups and think that his increased workload will generate fantasy points that could heklp owners down the stretch.
Antone Smith is definitely a deep league only play, but with Mike Smith stating that "he believes it's "imperative" to get RB Antone Smith more involved on offense", I think he might be worth a flier. The New Orleans defense is ranked 15th on the season against the run from a fantasy standpoint and with Steven Jackson and Jacquizz Rodgers not producing of late and Jason Snelling still nursing an injury, Smith could be a big surprise. Smith's 92 total yards from scrimmage last week on two carries and a reception came in garabage time, but are nonetheless impressive from the amount of work contributed. Smith will be a boom or complete bust this week, but if you are in a deep league bind, he might be worth an outside shot.
In Week 11 vs. New England, Brandon LaFell grabbed seven passes for 59 yards and a score -- his fourth of the season and first since Week 6. LaFell caught seven of his eight targets and led the team. This is encouraging as he enters Week 12 against a Miami defense that has given up the third fewest fantasy points to wide outs this season. The match-up is difficult on paper, but if LaFell is seeing the most targets, he is still likely to be productive. This week he is a WR4 in most leagues, but might be moved up to WR3 status in deep leagues.