Week 3: Super Sleepers
These guys aren't going to carry your team to the playoffs, but they could come in handy at some point in the season. Whether they're filling in because your starters are injured or on a bye week, these guys could be valuable pick ups. If you're looking for someone then check these guys out. A good number of these players are still available in a majority of leagues.
Lets face it, unless something happens to Jones-Drew we'll see very little of Jennings. However, if something should happen to Maurice, it will be Jennings who gets the lions share of the carries. Last week we saw just how successful Rashad could be if given an opportunity. Jennings ran the ball 9 times for 38 yards and added 4 receptions for 50 yards. If you're a Jones-Drew owner it may be a good idea to add Jennings to your roster, or at the very least keep him on your watch list. There's nothing worse than losing your stud and not having a descent backup.
When the week began very few people had Jason Snelling on their radar, let alone on their fantasy teams. Snelling was the Falcons' third string running back when Atlanta's game against Arizona began on Sunday. A few minutes into the game Snelling moved up the depth chart to backup running back when Jerious Norwood left the game in the first quarter after returning the opening kick off. A few minutes into the second quarter Snelling found himself moving up the depth chart once again when Michael Turner left the game with a groin injury. Jason made the most of his chance to play, rattling off 186 all purpose yards and 3 touchdowns. With the game well in hand there was no need for Turner to return and risk further injury. Next week the Falcons will play the Saints, and having a healthy Turner is key to Atlanta having a shot at winning. So what does this mean for Snelling and the Falcons' backfield? Well, right now it appears as though nothing will change since Turner could have returned had Atlanta needed him on Sunday. However, for the future Snelling's stock is on the rise. He proved that he can run the ball effectively and would be a viable replacement should something happen long term to Turner. If you are a Turner owner then it may be a good idea to snag Snelling. For everyone else, he will hold little value unless another opportunity like last week's pops up.
Last week the Chargers lost starting running back Ryan Mathews to an ankle injury. As of today it seems that injury will not keep Mathews out of this weekend's game against the Seahawks. Even so, it should be noted that it was Tolbert (and not Sproles) who received a majority of the carries once Mathews left the game. Michael finished the game with 16 carries for 82 yards and a pair of touchdowns. It appears as though Sproles' role within the offense will remain the same no matter if it's Mathews or Tolbert starting, so I wouldn't grab Michael in hopes that he takes away some playing time from Sproles. It's more likely we'll see a few more short yardage carries for Tolbert now, which could spell trouble for Mathews.
When you think of Sleepers, Butler is they type of player who should come to mind. Deon is owned in almost 95% of fantasy leagues and there's a reason. Last season as a rookie Butler pulled down just 15 receptions for 175 yards, failing to find the end zone. He played in every game, so it's not like he missed a majority of the season. Last week in just one game Deon had 5 receptions for 50 yards and was targeted 8 times. The yardage wasn't great, but the fact that Hasselbeck looked his way 8 times is good news. Either Deon was open often or Hasselbeck is gaining confidence in him. No matter the reason, the important thing is he was getting looks and that's all you can hope for when looking for a sleeper. It's likely we'll see Seattle playing from behind a lot this season, so keep an eye on Butler. He could post better numbers than many expected.
The Texans began 2010 with a home win over division rival Indianapolis by running the ball. Then in week two the Texans fell behind Washington and found themselves playing from behind most of the game. Playing from behind typically means loads of passes and that's exactly what we saw. Matt Schaub threw the ball 52 times, completing 38 for 497 yards and 3 touchdowns. Jones was the target of nearly 1 in 5 of Schaub's pass attempts. Jacoby finished the day with 6 receptions for 53 yards and he scored the Texans' only points of the first half. Should anything happen to Johnson -- remember he left the game for a bit with an ankle injury -- or Walter then Jones would become the Texans' second receiver. If you can get your hands on Jones it may not be a bad idea. He could make a nice bye week filler who has potential to put up descent points if given a shot to start.
I'll admit Carlson is not a sleeper by any means, but the fact he is still available in nearly 35% of fantasy leagues amazes me. John is a quality backup tight end who consistently scores 8-10 points a week. Last week Carlson was the target of 1 in 3 pass attempts made by Hasselbeck. John pulled down 5 of 10 targets for 49 yards in Seattle's loss to the Broncos. As bye weeks approach, it's a good time to start looking for quality backups. If Carlson is still available in your league this may be a good week to pick him up (especially if you'll need someone in the next couple of weeks).