Week 15: Super Sleepers

 
 
 
 
Football > Week 15 > Super Sleepers

Week 15: Super Sleepers

While we're not projecting starting type stats for these players, they have good potential and could surprise. This week's picks include Ryan Fitzpatrick, Christian Ponder, Bernard Scott, Beanie Wells, and Jabar Gaffney.

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 a majority of leagues.

I know Fitzpatrick is not a super sleeper, but his play lately has been poor and I like the match-up this week so I'm keeping him on the list. The first and second half of the season have been like night and day for the Bills. Over the first 8 games, Buffalo was 5-3 and in the playoff hunt. Since then the Bills have gone 0-5 and have lost 6 straight. This week the Bills will attempt to avenge their week 11 road loss to the Dolphins. Miami's pass defense is ranked 25th in the league, allowing 244 yards per game and their touchdown to interception ratio is nearly two to one. If the Bills are going get their first win since October 30th, they'll need to air it out. The run game has not produced lately and Miami's 3rd ranked run defense is not going to suddenly fold. If you're in a league which doesn't penalize for interceptions then Fitzpatrick could be a nice play this weekend. Fitzpatrick's yards and touchdowns should yield good fantasy numbers.

The last time Minnesota played at home Ponder completed 29 of 47 for 381 yards with three touchdowns and a pair of interceptions. We could do without the picks, but the nearly 400 yards and 3 scores make up for them. This performance was followed up with a road trip to Detroit, where Ponder completed just 11 of 21 for 115 yards with a pair of touchdowns and three interceptions. Seeing as Minnesota was playing from behind pretty much the whole game, I would have liked to have seen better numbers. This week the Vikings are home again, this time hosting the New Orleans Saints. Once again I expect the Vikings to fall behind early, causing them to air it out often in an effort to keep pace with the Saints offense. Ponder has played well at home recently and the Saints' pass defense is not all that good. New Orleans' pass defense is ranked 30th in the league, allowing 268 yards a game and as a team they have just 7 interceptions. If you're looking for a second quarterback or someone to slide into your qbbc team then Ponder may be a good choice for this Sunday.

I'm going out on a limb with this pick, but I think there's a real chance for Scott to have some fantasy value this week. The Bengals head to St. Louis on Sunday to face the league's worst run defense. Starting back Cedric Benson should have a field day against the Rams' porous defense. Scott's primary roll has been as a change of pace back and that will be his job for most of the game this weekend. That is until late in the game when Cincinnati has a good lead and Scott picks up some garbage time yards. When the dust settles, I can see Scott with 10-12 touches for 50-60 yards. Toss in a touchdown and Scott is not a bad flex start this weekend. I wouldn't go betting my fantasy playoffs with this play, but if you can't find someone with more promise then take a look at Scott.

Wells may not be much of a sleeper, but this time of year I feel it is important for fantasy owners to start players who have good match-up and that is exactly what we have here. Last week Wells carried the ball 15 times for just 27 yards against the 49ers' top ranked run defense. Some fantasy owners may have been scared off by this performance and want to bench Wells. In case that thought was crossing your mind, I'm here to tell you to put Wells into your starting line up. The Browns' run defense is the second worst in the league and Wells should find plenty of day light. Four weeks ago Arizona faced the 49ers and Wells ran for just 33 yards on 8 carries. The following game against the Rams (the league's worst run defense) Wells ran for 228 yards with a touchdown. I'm not ready to say Wells will run for 200 yards this Sunday, but if what we say a month ago comes around this weekend you best have Beanie on your starting roster.

The Redskins played without their leading receiver -- Fred Davis -- who was serving the first game of a four game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Without Davis on the field, Grossman was forced to look elsewhere to complete passes on Sunday. One of those lucky recipients was Jabar Gaffney, who led the team with 6 receptions for 92 yards with a touchdown. Over the past 4 games Gaffney has become a more intricate part of the Redskins' offense. Against Dallas four weeks ago, Gaffney had 7 receptions for 115 yards with a touchdown. Jabar followed that performance with 5 receptions for 72 yards against the Seahawks. These three games were by far Gaffney's best performances this season. This week the Redskins head to New York to play the Giants in a rematch of their week one game. In that Game, Gaffney pulled in 3 receptions for 54 yards with a touchdown. The Giants have been allowing a lot of big plays lately and I don't believe this is going to change. This should be a back and forth game very much like what we saw in the Patriots/Redskins and Giants/Cowboys games last weekend. If this is the case, there should be plenty of opportunities for Gaffney to score big for fantasy owners this Sunday.