Week 9: 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.
With Brady Quinn still unable to play due to a concussion, week one starter Matt Cassel gets the nod this Thursday when the Chiefs head to San Diego. The last time these two teams met Cassel completed 24 of 42 for 251 yards with 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. If you're in a league that doesn't penalize for interceptions, this performance isn't too bad. This Thursday we should see a similar performance from Cassel. The Chargers secondary has allowed an average of 247 passing yards and 2 touchdowns per game through their first 7 games. With just an average performance Cassel could be a viable bye week fill in this week.
You're probably wondering why in the world we would have another rookie quarterback as one of our sleepers. To find the answer we'll flash back to week 4 when the Browns faced off against the Ravens in Baltimore. In that game Brandon completed 25 of 52 for 320 yards with an interception. A touchdown or two would have been nice, but you can't complain when your quarterback throws for 320 yards. Another thing to consider is the Ravens' loss of Ray Lewis and Ladarius Webb and the defense Weeden will face this week will be nothing like what he saw a month ago. Add in the last couple of games in which Weeden hasn't turned the ball over and we could be in for a nice outing for Brandon this Sunday. With Weeden still available in over 50% of fantasy leagues, there's a good chance he's still available in yours. If you're looking for a bye week fill in then this rookie out of Oklahoma State could be just what you need.
Hillman posted the best numbers of his career last Sunday when the Broncos hosted the Saints. Ronnie carried the ball 14 times for 86 yards, helping Denver to a big win over the reeling Saints. Sure most of the yards came late in the game once Denver had locked things up, but don't let that scare you off. The important thing here is that Hillman finally showed us what he is capable of doing in the NFL. Should something happen to McGahee, there's no doubt Hillman will be able to step in and Denver's run game won't miss a beat. If you're a McGahee owner, now is the time to grab Ronnie. If you wait until McGahee misses a game or two, you could have a difficult time claiming Hillman after what everyone saw last weekend.
Thomas may not be getting the lions share of the carries, but don't let that scare you off. Last week against the Jets, Daniel carried the ball 15 times (one more than Bush) for 42 yards and a touchdown. At this point in the season it appears Thomas may be the better play week in and week out. If Daniel continues to see 15 carries a game and the goal line carries then fantasy owners may want to think about starting him over Bush. This brings us to our next point: Bush has yet to play a full season since his rookie campaign, so if you're a Reggie Bush owner then picking up Thomas as a handcuff may be a good idea.
The Oakland Raiders come home this weekend to face off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their 31st ranked pass defense. Through 7 games the Bucs have allowed an average of 310 passing yards per game. Carson Palmer should be able to take advantage of theBucs' lack of success in stopping the pass. If Palmer is to have a good day his receivers will need to follow suit. Heyward-Bey hasn't posted great numbers this season, yet his last two weeks have been respectable. In each of the last two games, Darrius has scored at least 8 fantasy points. These may not be great numbers, but they could easily have been better with a few more looks from Palmer. As Denarius Moore draws more attention from opposing secondaries, Heyward-Bey should see more opportunities. If you're looking for a bye week filler, Darrius is available in nearly 40% of fantasy leagues.