Week 14: Super Sleepers
For most of us, fantasy playoffs are here. Hopefully your team is prepped and ready for your first important match-up of the season. If not and you are in need of some sneaky plays and deep league fantasy super sleeper points, look no further. This week you should be able to plug and play Ryan Fitzpatrick against a Denver defense that is giving up considerable points to QBs, gamble on Brandon Bolden and Mike Gillislee for some RB points, use LaVon Brazill, Andre Holmes or Ace Sanders as a deep league flex or WR3 and count on Washington's defense to give up points to the TE - in this case Anthony Fasano or Sean McGrath.
In one of my fantasy leagues where I lost Jay Cutler and had to play the QB shuffle, Terrelle Pryor and others were not cutting it. However, in Weeks 10-13, Ryan Fitzpatrick has come up big. Fitzpatrick was one of the last guys on the fantasy radar until he was launched back into a starting role and has performed well five of his seven starts. Fitz has the ability to scamble out of the pocket and use his speed and vision to make plays either throwing or running the ball if needed. This week he faces a Denver defense that is giving up the fourth most fantasy points to QBs on the season, so you have to like the match-up. The situation could be worse going into fantasy playoffs, so I suggest Fitz as a guy who could easily lead you to your first week playoff win.
Brandon Bolden has only put up three double digit fantasy weeks this season, but has the ability to do much more if given the chance. The trick here is never quite knowing what New England is planning with its running game. Stevan Ridley and LaGarrette Blount have had their trouble with fumbles and one would think that Bolden would come out on top of the RBBC, but he has yet to be given the full shot. Last week with Ridley benched, Bolden appeared to be the best back to put up points, yet Blount got the opportunities. This week we will have to wait and see which back gets the nod, but Cleveland's defense can be run on; if Bolden gets his chances, he has the power and speed to produce. Bolden is a gamble this week as we enter fantasy playoffs, but if you are in a deep league bind, he could be worth a look.
With Daniel Thomas out and Lamar Miller in the starting role, second fiddle duties have been relegated to Marcus Thigpen and Mike Gillislee. I liked Gillislee early this pre-season and even into the beginning of the season as Miller and Thomas struggled, but he was never given a chance by the Miami coaching staff. Miller is the primary back, but Gillislee saw six touches in Week 13 for 21 yards and could surprise over the next few weeks as a breather back for Miller. The Pittsburgh defense is currently giving up the 17th most fantasy points to running backs on the season, so Week 14 could be a super sleeper week for Gillislee.
Andre Holmes has been getting reps with Denarius Moore sidelined with a shoulder injury. Holmes has the stature and speed to beat most defenses and will get a big chance to show his stuff this week against a New York defense that gives up the ninth most fantasy points to wide outs on the season and has been getting beat badly of late by wide outs like Holmes. There is the outside chance that Moore could return, but Matt McGloin and Holmes have been working well together and even if Moore plays, Holmes should still get his chances. I like him for 5-6 catches this week, not quite his seven grabs for 136 yards from Week 13, but he could be solid enough to start in deep leagues as a WR3/4.
Ace Sanders has now hauled in 60-plus yards in receptions each of his last three games. Sanders is a small in stature wide out who makes big plays. His 26 targets and 20 catches in Weeks 11-13 are appealing in PPR formats and the Jacksonville offensive schemes seem to be working Sanders into more and more snaps each week. Look for Sanders to continue to surprise defenses this week as he faces Houston on Thursday. I would expect nothing less than another 6-8 receptions for 50-60 yards and a sneaky score on a pass play out of the backfield.