Week 4: Super Sleepers

 
 
 
 
Football > Week 04 > Super Sleepers

Week 4: 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 Josh Freeman, Carson Palmer, Cedric Benson, Lamar Miller, and Leonard Hankerson.

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 many leagues.

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In 2010 Freeman had a pretty good year completing over 61% of his pass attempts for more than 3,400 yards with 26 touchdowns to just 6 interceptions. When draft day 2011 came, Josh was one of the top 10 quarterbacks drafted in most leagues because everyone thought he would improve upon his previous season's numbers. At years end, Freeman's completion percentage and total yardage were better in 2011, but he threw only 2/3 the number of touchdowns while throwing over 3.5 times the number of number of interceptions. In taking a look at Josh's numbers through the first three weeks, one has to believe he is on track for another 2011 season (which is not what fantasy owners wanted when they selected him on draft day). If Freeman is going to turn his season around it has to start this weekend against the Redskins. Through three games, the Redskins' defense has allowed over 1,000 passing yards, second most in the league and a league leading 10 passing touchdowns. On the opposite side of the coin, Washington's run defense is allowing less than 100 yards per game. This game has all the makings for a shootout and Freeman owners could be the beneficiaries.

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Palmer had his best performance of the season last week against the Steelers completing 24 of 34 for 209 yards with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception. This was the first game which Palmer didn't throw for 300 yards this season, but it was also the first time he threw more than one touchdown. This Sunday Palmer and the Raiders face off against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Usually I would try to avoid playing a quarterback against Champ Bailey and the Broncos secondary, but not this time. Through three games the Broncos have allowed 8 passing touchdowns, tieing them for the second most in the league while the run defense is allowing just 98 yards per game. Another reason we like Palmer in this matchup is that he has not fallen in love with any one receiver. In fact, last week Carson completed passes to 9 different receivers. This is a home game for the Raiders and it could very well be a high scoring affair.

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I'll admit Cedric Benson on a super sleeper list is quite a stretch. Think of this inclusion to the list as more of a wake up call to those fantasy owners who own Benson. This week the Packers host the New Orleans Saints who boast the league's worst run defense. Through three games the Saints have allowed 645 yards and 6 touchdowns on the ground. The Bengals (who have the league's second worst run defense have allowed just 465 yards which pales in comparision to what the Saints have or should I say haven't done this season. We all know the Packers love to air it out and after Monday night's questionable ending, they'll want to prove just how good they are but there's no way they can pass up the run game on Sunday. Look for Benson to carry the ball 20-25 times which should net him 100+ yards and with some luck a trip or two to the house.

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After not playing a down in the Dolphins' season opener, Miller has come in and posted some very impressive numbers in Miami's last two games. Two weeks ago against the Raiders Lamar carried the ball 10 times for 65 yards with a trip to the house. He followed up that performance last week against the Jets carrying the ball 9 times for 48 yards. In all Miller has carried the ball 19 times for 113 yards and a touchdown. This is an average of nearly 6 yards per carry and I don't know about you but if I could get my hands on a back like this I'd snatch him up in a heartbeat. Of course being the Dolphins third option is cause for concern. Fortunately, Miller has done most of his work while Reggie Bush was healthy. Now that Bush may miss a week, two or even three there's no telling just how much action Lamar could see. If Bush is going to miss any time then you need to grab Miller. He is playing too well to pass him up.

FANTASY PROFILE / STATS & MORE

With Pierre Garcon out of last week's matchup against the Bengals, Leonard Hankerson became the Redskins' number one receiver. Hankerson was targeted 7 times pulling in 4 for 56 yards more than doubling the number of targets to any other Redskins receiver. This week the Redskins head to Tampa Bay to face the league's worst pass defense. If Garcon can't go this week, look for Leonard to take his place in the starting lineup. We don't believe Hankerson will put up huge numbers, but if you're looking for a starter going up against a poor pass defense then Leonard is your man.