Week 7: Fantasy Football Sleepers
Hoyer was listed in this space last week, and he did not deliver. He finished in the bottom third among starting quarterbacks in terms of fantasy points. Strangely, it was game flow that limited Hoyer against Pittsburgh. The Browns led 21-3 at halftime and as a result, Cleveland running backs combined for more than twice as many carries (36) as Hoyer had pass attempts (17). The Browns simply had no need to throw the ball against the Steelers.
The game flow problem could potentially be an issue again this week when Cleveland faces Jacksonville, but there's too much other stuff to like about Hoyer. First, the matchup is a good one even if it means Cleveland might be able to ground it out again. The Jags have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks so far. Second, Hoyer grades out very well in some non-fantasy metrics. He ranks fifth in the league in yards per attempt and seventh in quarterback rating. If Cleveland has to throw a bit more this Sunday, Hoyer could have a good-looking box score.
This is what you call hedging your bets. If Hoyer doesn't get enough work, Crowell should. Last week when Hoyer only threw 17 passes, Crowell got 11 carries and turned them into 77 yards with a touchdown. In 44 carries this year, he's averaging 5.4 yards per. He ranks second among running backs in fantasy points per snap. And with Terrance West being a healthy scratch in Week 6, it would appear Crowell is in line for more snaps in relief of Ben Tate. You obviously shouldn't start both Hoyer and Crowell on the same team, but if you need a semi-desperation play at either QB or RB, Browns skill-position players could fill in adequately,
As of this writing, there are 47 running backs owned in more leagues than McKinnon, so surely he still qualifies as a potential sleeper. His good work in a limited role gives him the chance to realize his potential. In his 41 carries this year, he is averaging 2.68 yards after contact per attempt. To give you some context, that ranks ninth among the 48 running backs who have been on the field for at least 25 percent of their team's snaps. But it looks like McKinnon's role is becoming less limited as he received 17 touches toMatt Asiata's three last week. He managed 82 yards on those touches but never had the chance to add a score as the Vikings ran only one play inside the red zone. But that was against the Lions, who allow the fewest yards per play in the league. This week's opponent, Buffalo, is merely average in that statistic. If McKinnon gets as much work as he did last week, he should produce more.
This should go without saying, but if Calvin Johnson is back, you can throw this sleeper pick out the window. But if Megatron misses another game, Fuller has a shot to break one big play that makes him worth playing. Fuller saw 74 percent of Detroit's offensive snaps when Johnson was injured in Week 5, so he seems most likely to be the second receiver opposite Golden Tate. That means he'll have a few chances to hit that big play since the Lions use him as a deep threat. Fuller boasts a target average of 19.4 yards past the line of scrimmage, which is the third-highest mark in the league. It's a total boom-or-bust play, but if you're really desperate, Fuller is a name to consider.
Robinson was targeted 20 times in the past two weeks. Only nine wideouts were targeted more during that time. He has only 11.9 fantasy points in that span because he hasn't been able to find the end zone, but at 6-foot-3, he has the size to be a red-zone threat if the Jaguars can get into the red zone with a little more regularity. They should have a decent chance of moving the ball this week against the Browns, who allow 6 yards per play, which is tied for the fifth-worst mark in the league.