Week 6: Fantasy Football Sleepers
Yards per attempt has a fairly high correlation with fantasy success for quarterbacks. Hoyer ranks 12th in the league in yards per attempt (7.6). There's also a stat called adjusted yards per attempt, which includes a bonus for touchdowns and a penalty for interceptions. Hoyer is sixth in the league in adjusted yards per attempt (8.2). His rankings in those statistics are at odds with his ownership percentage as 33 quarterbacks are owned in more MFL leagues than Hoyer.
This week, Hoyer goes up against Pittsburgh, which seems like a really bad matchup given that Pittsburgh held Hoyer to 13 fantasy points in Week 1 and that Pittsburgh has allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. But the Steelers have not battled an intimidating group of opposing quarterbacks. In addition to Hoyer, they've faced Joe Flacco, Cam Newton, Mike Glennon and Blake Bortles. Some of the metrics that adjust for strength of schedule have the Pittsburgh's pass defense ranked slightly below average.
Blount has shown he can do damage in a favorable matchup even with limited work as he torched an apparently bad Carolina run defense for 118 yards and a score on just 10 carries in Week 3. He has another good matchup this week against the Browns, who are one of the five worst teams in fantasy points allowed per game to running backs both on an unadjusted and schedule-adjusted basis. If you're really thin at running back or trying to survive Jamaal Charles' bye week, Blount is a decent desperation play. Blount could also be a worthwhile option in daily contests, assuming he's at or near minimum price.
The Texans will host the Colts on Thursday night. Given Arian Foster's injury history and the fact that he got 25 touches Sunday, you could imagine that Houston would like to get Blue a little more work in the short week. Game flow could very well prevent Blue from getting too many touches; it would shock no one if Indianapolis got out to an early lead and forced Houston to throw a little more than they would like to. But if Houston can keep it close and hand some carries to Blue, it's a nice matchup for him. The Colts are mid-pack in fantasy points allowed per game to running backs, but like Pittsburgh's pass defense, the Colts haven't faced a tough group of opposing running backs, past the LeSean McCoy-Darren Sproles combo.
Of course, none of that addresses the fact that Hillis isn't all that great himself. But with Williams looking rather pedestrian and Tom Coughlin's history of benching backs who fumble (something Williams has yet to do), it's not impossible to imagine a situation where Hillis supplants Williams mid-game. If it happens this week, it's a decent matchup for Hillis against Philadelphia, which is below average in fantasy points per game allowed to running backs.
To be fair, Hawkins is a possession receiver who is rarely targeted far downfield. According to the Scout Heatmap tool, only four of Hawkins' 41 targets have traveled at least 20 yards. It's not like he should be on pace for double-digit touchdowns. But he should be on pace for more than zero, and this could be the week he finally finds the end zone. Hawkins and Hoyer make for an interesting stack in daily tournaments this week.