Week 7: Sleepers
It's safe to say that the Giants aren't having a very good year. They are one of only three winless teams and our guy Eli has thrown 15 picks through six games. The big reason you might want to consider the former Ole Miss signal-caller is the opponent on deck: Minnesota. The Vikings are allowing the second-most fantasy points to QBs per game. Manning barely qualifies as a QB2 at this point; however, you're playing the matchup here only if your regular starter faces a stiff defense. What should also work in his favor is the Vikings' lack of a consistent pass rush. They rank fourth-worst in sacks (10.0). The Giants' offensive line is the real problem and if they can hold their own this week, Manning should be able to find guys like Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle and maybe even Hakeem Nicks downfield.
Assuming the Eagles call on him in Week 7, Foles makes for a great play against Dallas. The woeful Dallas' defense is giving up the most fantasy points to QBs in the league and it's not just Peyton Manning who lit them up. Even Peyton's younger brother Eli and Phillip Rivers tossed at least three TDs and 400-plus yards against the 'Boys. Foles has played impressively in limited action. Over his last two games, he's completed about 68-percent of his passes for 493 yards and has five TDs with no INTs. Foles even ran one in last week. With Michael Vick sidelined, Foles should be rostered in every league.
Arguing in favor of Mathews is definitely a thankless task. The guy has been a perpetual disappointment most of his career and still can hardly get it done with a vastly improved passing game to compliment his talents. So why this recommendation? Matchup, plain and simple. The Chargers travel to Jacksonville in Week 7. The Jags have allowed 916 total yards to RBs to go along with six TDs. Last week, Knowshon Moreno piled up 104 total yards and three scores against Jacksonville. If Moreno can do it, Mathews could do it too. Mathews is currently a flex play and adds a little bit of upside to PPR owners. He's not an overwhelmingly good start, but he should be a little more healthy as he continues to recover from his concussion injury sustained a few weeks ago. His 102-yard performance last week was his first 100-yard rushing game since December 2011.
For the second time this season, Ellington played in more offensive snaps than teammate Rashard Mendenhall. The rookie made the most of that chance by rushing for a very promising 56 yards and a touchdown on only seven carries against a typically tough 49ers' run defense. The Cards' offense does have room for much improvement; however, Ellington is one of the brightest young players on the roster. He's averaging a very healthy 7.0 yards per carry (only 25 carries, so it's still early) and he's caught at least three passes in each of his last four games. His stock is continuously rising and should quickly start replacing Mendenhall on benches and starting lineups. Ellington did receive some small criticism from his coaching staff when they stated he couldn't carry a full-load. That said, his combination of rushing and receiving totals should yield decent stats every week.
Hilton should be able to run free against the Denver secondary. The Broncos are conceding the third-most fantasy points to WRs for a grand total of 80 receptions for 1,325 yards and seven TDs. Justin Blackmon torched them last week for 14 receptions and 190 yards. Before that it was Dez Bryant (6-141-2), Terrance Williams (4-151-1), Denarius Moore (6-124-1), Victor Cruz (8-118) and even Marlon Brown (4-65-1). Hilton has been largely hit or miss throughout his career, so only consider him if you have a couple more steady/reliable players to pair with him in your starting lineup. Despite what some might consider a so-so season, Hilton is on pace to match most of his rookie totals. Hilton is a home-run hitter and some weeks that big play never seems to come. Considering the Broncos' serious struggles against the pass and their league-leading 35 pass plays allowed of 20-plus yards, the second-year receiver is worth taking a chance on.