Week 12: Super Sleepers
The bye weeks are almost over, but injuries continue to plague many a fantasy season. For owners looking to bolster their rosters for the playoff push, it is likely time to take some risks. Here are some super sleepers who could help your efforts if you are in a bind.
Sanchez did not perform well outside of garbage time last week. His bumbling missteps last week against Green Bay showed his propensity to fumble, miscalculate throws and lose snaps. However, Sanchez has shown his ability to gain his owners some needed fantasy points even in lopsided matchups and amid poor performance. This can be illustrated by his 346-2-2 line from last week. Sanchez and his new favorite target, Jordan Matthews, have racked up the points in a few outings. This week, Sanchez faces off against a shaky Tennessee defense that is allowing an average of only 16.3 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs but really has its issues in coverage. Working from home where he did a number on the Panthers in Week 10, expect to see Sanchez rebound with a solid performance minus the turnovers. He makes for a decent plug-n-play QB in Week 12.
Murray was a guy on the sleeper radar going into the season, but got relegated to third-string duties behind Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew. And, as we have played witness, both McFadden and MJD have done little this season. Murray finally saw an increased workload last week versus San Diego and displayed his dual-threat ability by gaining 59 yards on seven touches, including three receptions. With Oakland still winless on the season, the team should be auditioning its younger talent to plan for the future. As such, there is a chance that Murray becomes the go-to back for the Raiders down the stretch. This week, he has a tough matchup against a Kansas City defense that has yet to allow a rushing touchdown, but Murray is still worth stashing away to see what becomes of him over the next few weeks. He may pay major dividends if Oakland rightfully gives him consistent carries.
Rainey makes up one cog in the RBBC in Tampa Bay that can also includes Charles Sims, Mike James, and when healthy, Doug Martin. None of these running backs can be clearly trusted as we have seen over and over this season. Rainey is still starting, but now the rookie Sims is getting more snaps. And no one seems to know what Martin's job will be this weekend when he returns following a three-week absence due to a nagging ankle injury. If the Bucs' coaching staff plays the hot hand as they should, this backfield could be up for grabs. Rainey has proven his value as a fill-in back before and, if he gets attempts, can impress. Sims has averaged less than 3 yards per carry in each of the past two games, which leaves room for Rainey to jump back onto the fantasy radar if given the opportunity. Week 12 might present just that as Rainey will face the Bears' middle-of-the-road run defense. With Josh McCown back at the helm and taking advantage of Chicago's leaky secondary with his big wide receivers, the Bucs' rushing attack should be able to find plenty of running room. Look for Rainey to get some key chances and capitalize
Britt is another player who intrigued many coming into the season, but he has not lived up to expectations. However, last week, he threw down his best game of the season versus Denver with a 4-128-1 line that included a 63-yard touchdown catch. Britt's production from here on out depends upon Shaun Hill, who displayed good chemistry with Britt in Week 11, and that should translate into additional targets and for the talented-but-error-prone wideout. The Rams will meet the Chargers this Sunday, and Britt has the potential to have another big game against a defense that has given up 17 passing scores on the year.
This third-year player from Grand Valley State did not see more than five targets or two receptions in a single game until Week 11. Then he posted a very respectable 6-87-0 line against the Bears. As Cordarrelle Patterson continues to underwhelm, and Greg Jennings and Jarius Wright nurse injuries, Johnson is suddenly fantasy-relevant. Johnson should be on most dynasty radars and might be a worth a flier in deep season-long leagues this week against the Packers. That's a game that profiles to have plenty of garbage time for the Vikings' passing attack, so Johnson might be worth a start if you're desperate.