Week 8: Super Sleepers
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.
You could say we're picking up the Patriots this week, but we have to call them like we see them. This weekend Bradford and the Rams head to New England to face Tom Brady and the Patriots. Through the first seven weeks, New England's defense has proven they are no better this season than last year. The Patriots secondary is allowing 290 yards per game with a league high 16 passing touchdowns. The one area St. Louis has struggled this season is putting the ball in the end zone, but this shouldn't be a problem Sunday. Bradford had a very good game week 2 against a poor Redskins secondary, when he threw for 310 yards with 3 touchdowns and a pick. The only difference between Washington's defense and New Englands' is a few 38 yards per game. Sam could easily have one of his best games of the season against the Patriots' weak pass defense this Sunday.
Will he play or won't he play is the big question surrounding Jonathan Dwyer. If fellow backs Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles) and Isaac Redman (Ankle) miss this weekend's game against the Redskins then Dwyer could be a nice pickup for fantasy owners. Head coach Mike Tomlin has stated both Mendenhall and Redman might be available come Sunday, which means picking up Dwyer has some risks. If Dwyer does get the nod this weekend, we could see another 100 yard game. If you're in the market for a bye week fill in then Jonathan could be your man. Just keep your ears open come Sunday and make sure he's a starter before putting him into your lineup.
Thomas hasn't played a down of football since week 5 when the Dolphins faced the Bengals. In that game Thomas suffered a concussion, which has caused him to miss the last few weeks. This time off has given Daniel some time to rest and watch fellow back Reggie Bush tear things up. This has to have Thomas itching to get back on the field and prove he can help this Dolphins team make a run for the post season. This weekend Miami heads to New York for a rematch of their week three game when the Jets won 23-20 in OT. In that game Thomas had a season high 19 carries for 69 yards with a touchdown. The Jets run defense hasn't gotten better since week 3, with some argueing the defense has declined. Even with Bush running as well as he has, Thomas will play a key role in Sunday's game. Look for a nice return from Daniel against a suspect Jets run defense.
After Reggie Wayne, the Colts' second leading receiver is Donnie Avery. Through six games Avery has 25 receptions on 54 targets for 304 yards with a single touchdown. When the season began it appeared as though Avery would be a viable fantasy receiver. In week one Donnie scored his only touchdown of the season, while in week two he pulled in 9 receptions for 111 yards. If the fifth year man out of Houston had maintained these numbers, he would be a no doubt bye week fill in, but unfortunately that didn't happen. Over the last four games Avery's yards have fallen to 60 or less in each game and he has yet to find the end zone a second time. This could all change this weekend when the Colts head to Tennessee. The Titans secondary has allowed a league high 16 touchdowns this season, while allowing opposing offenses to throw for more than 280 yards per game. Not only have receivers had success against Tennessee, but quarterbacks have done well too, averaging a league high 108.2 passer rating. If you're looking for a bye week fill in with the potential to post good numbers then Donnie Avery could be your guy.
As we move through the bye weeks, fantasy owners often find themselves scouring the waiver wire for someone to fill-in while their studs are off for a week. One nice fantasy find for this weekend is Chris Givens. Over the last three weeks Givens has scored 7, 8 and 11 points in traditional fantasy leagues. Chris' job for the Rams is to stretch the field and this is exactly what he's been doing. In each of the last four weeks the rookie out of Wake Forest has at least one reception of 50 yards or more. This weekend St. Louis heads to England where they'll face the New England Patriots, whose pass defense ranks 29th in yards allowed and last in passing touchdowns allowed. With their suspect pass defense, the Patriots will find it difficult to cover St. Louis' receivers. It wouldn't surprise us to see Givens hit the 100 yard mark for the first time in his NFL career this weekend.