Week 10: Fantasy Football Sleepers
The odds were high that you never thought you'd read another fantasy article recommending Sanchez as a decent fantasy play. Mark freakin' Sanchez. But here we are. Sanchez finds himself at the helm of Chip Kelly's offensive ship with Nick Foles out for several weeks due to a broken collarbone. And the ship is quite formidable as the Eagles averaged 6.3 yards per play in 2013, which was tied with the Denver Broncos for best in the league. They're tied for 10th in that statistic this year.
After Foles went down last week, Sanchez threw 22 passes, completing 15 of them for 202 yards and two scores. He also threw a couple of interceptions but still managed 12 fantasy points in essentially three quarters of work. Sanchez did have a fairly easy matchup to deal with in his first action of the season against Houston, who was allowing the 11th-most fantasy points to quarterbacks entering Week 9. And he'll have a similarly appealing matchup this week against Carolina, who has allowed the eighth-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks.
With six teams on bye in Week 10 and four of those six teams having fantasy-relevant quarterbacks, it's entirely possible that Sanchez may be an option for you as a waiver-wire fill-in. With the exception of maybe Derek Carr, no quarterback is widely available on the waiver wire with a better matchup than Sanchez. And if you play in daily leagues, Sanchez should be minimally priced and a potential value play. As crazy as it sounds, Mr. Butt Fumble is a fantasy option this week.
Staying away from the Rams' backfield is something no one can fault you for because it's been so volatile. Their three backs split the workload fairly evenly in Week 6, and then Mason dominated the work in Week 7 with Zac Stacy not touching the ball. Most assumed the job was Mason's after that with Benny Cunningham backing him up. Then the trio went back to fairly even work the following week. Mason and Stacy actually finished tied for the most touches with eight against the Chiefs. Then this past Sunday versus the 49ers, it was back to Mason carrying the load, Cunningham changing the pace and Stacy riding pine.
Despite Mason getting the bulk of the work last week, he's still pretty cheap on some daily sites. For a guy who has a decent chance of getting 15-plus touches, his price should be higher. The matchup with Arizona is admittedly bad - maybe as bad as a matchup can be for a running back. But then again, this is a sleepers post, not a sure-thing post. Mason is far from universally owned, so if you just need a guy who will touch the rock to fill in during a heavy bye week, give him a shot.
Assuming Doug Martin doesn't play again this week, Rainey is a great play in both season-long and daily formats. Why? The Falcons, that's why. If you've read this article in previous weeks, you know that picking on the Falcons is a great idea when selecting running backs. Prior to their Week 9 bye, the Falcons were allowing the most fantasy points per game to running backs, and it wasn't all that close. Going into Week 10, that gap didn't narrow much at all.
You may think Rainey isn't a sleeper because he had more than 100 total yards last week in relief of Martin, but a quick look at his ownership percentages and his price on daily sites for this week shows that Rainey isn't viewed as the RB1 he could potentially be.
The Falcons have played eight games and they have let opposing running backs finish top-15 at the position in fantasy points eight times. Now, they haven't allowed a top-15 back every week; some opponents just had two such backs in the same week. But on average, they're allowing an opposing back to finish top-15 at the position every week. Rainey is priced outside of the top 15 on some daily sites and represents a great value play at that price.
We discussed how friendly the Panthers are to opposing quarterbacks when talking about Sanchez, and they're just as friendly to receivers, as you might expect. Neither Cooper nor Jordan Matthews have run away with the second receiver role in Philly, and it's hard to tell how Sanchez taking over will affect that. But Cooper is much more of a downfield threat than Matthews, so he could produce greater numbers even if Matthews sees a few more targets. Cooper makes for a nice bye-week replacement and/or a nice cheap home run option in daily leagues.
The demotion of Jake Locker may hurt Wright's value as those two showed a pretty nice connection dating back to last season. However, it's not like Wright has been a must-start this year with or without Locker. He didn't do much with Zach Mettenberger in the rookie's NFL debut in Week 8 (five targets, three catches, 53 yards), but there's a chance for Wright to turn in a solid stat line against the Ravens this Sunday. Baltimore is allowing the third-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers and just gave up 65 points in PPR formats to Pittsburgh's top three wideouts. Wright has a serviceable floor and could certainly hit it big in this matchup.