Week 10: Super Sleepers
There's a reason we call these guys super sleepers. Often times they are filling in for a starter or we believe they'll get enough touches in garbage time to make them fantasy worthy. These guys aren't going to carry your team to the playoffs, but they could come in handy during a bye week or to fill a gap due to injury. If you're looking for someone then check these guys out. A good number of these guys are still available in many leagues.
One thing you can almost certainly count on this season is the Jags are likely to be playing from behind. When teams fall behind they tend to pass more and often this leads to good fantasy numbers for their quarterback. Back in week 3 when Jacksonville won 22-17 in Indianapolis, the Jags trailed for most of the game winning on a last minute 80-yard pass to Cecil Shorts III. Gabbert finished that game with just 155 yards on 10 of 21 attempts with the one touchdown to Shorts III. With numbers like that you're probably wondering how Gabbert made the sleeper list this week. To answer that question we'll take a look at Blaine's performance the past couple of games. Two weeks ago against the Packers Gabbert completed 27 of 49 for 303 yards with a touchdown and last week against Detroit Blaine completed 27 of 38 for 220 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Overall Gabbert has played well the past couple of weeks and this trend should continue on Thursday night. Indianapolis' pass defense may be ranked 11th in terms of yards allowed but they have given up 14 passing touchdowns and opposing quarterbacks have a 101.5 passer rating, 4th worst in the league. We don't believe Gabbert is going to be lights out this weekend, but the matchup is a good one for Gabbert. As a bye week fill in or in two quarterback leagues, Blaine could be a nice start Thursday night.
Tannehill may not be posting great fantasy numbers, but you have to like where he is headed. Last week against the Colts Ryan completed 22 of 38 for 290 yards, with one touchdown and no interceptions. This was the fourth consecutive week Tannehill has not turned the ball over. If you're in a league that penalizes you for turn overs, this is a big plus. In the coming weeks the rookie out of Texas A&M has some very favorable match ups. The second half of the season has Miami facing 4 of the league's worst pass defenses in 6 of the 8 games. The Dolphins get things started this weekend against Tennessee's 27th ranked secondary, which just allowed Jay Cutler of the Bears to throw for 229 yards and 3 touchdowns in a 51-20 romp. After Tennessee the Dolphins face Buffalo (24th) week 11, New England (28th) week 13, Jacksonville (25th) week 15, Buffalo (24th) week 16 and New England (28th) week 17. With the exception of Miami's games against Seattle and San Francisco, you have to like Tannehill's chances to succeed the second half of the season. If you're looking for a bye week filler or a backup with nice post season match ups then Ryan is your man.
The second year man out of Oregon State has been hit or miss this season. Last week against the Cowboys Rodgers carried the ball 3 times for 0 yards, but added 4 receptions for 53 yards. Not great fantasy numbers, but two weeks ago against the Eagles Jacquizz carried the ball 8 times for 60 yards and added 5 receptions for 20 yards. Again not great fantasy numbers, but something owners may be all right with if you're trying to fill a bye week opening. This Sunday Altanta travels to New Orleans to face a Saints defense ranked dead last against the run, allowing more than 175 yards per game. Workhorse Michael Turner will see the majority of carries in this game, but Rodgers should see enough action to make him a nice bye week filler. On Monday night we watched a similar tandum in LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown of the Eagles run for 168 yards against the Saints. There's little reason to believe we'll see much difference in terms of yards from Turner and Rodgers. The one area we should see better numbers over McCoy and Brown is in the number of touchdowns scored. We don't believe the Falcons will struggle to punch it in from inside the 5 yard line like Philadelphia did on Monday night.
We'll admit Shane Vereen is probably a bit of a stretch play this week, however, when you see a running back up against a run defense as bad as Buffalo's you need to give him some consideration. To date the Bills have allowed the most rushing touchdowns in the NFL. In addition, Buffalo is ranked 31st in yards allowed, giving up nearly 170 rushing yards per game. One has to believe there will be enough opportunities for both Stevan Ridley and Vereen to be fantasy worthy this weekend. Since stepping into the backup role two weeks ago, Shane has carried the ball 15 times for 71 yards, scored once and had a pair of receptions for 27 yards. Against a weak Bills run defense Vereen should see enough opportunities to make him a nice bye week filler in larger leagues.
When you're looking for a replacement receiver, one key thing to consider is how long the team he plays for will be playing from behind that weekend. In the case of Donald Jones and the Bills, it is likely we'll see Buffalo trailing for a majority of the game this Sunday when the Bills head to New England. If this becomes the case Buffalo will be forced to air it out in an attempt to catch up and Bills receivers should post good fantasy numbers. One player to keep an eye on this weekend is Bills receiver Donald Jones. Back in week 4 when Buffalo hosted New England, Jones had 2 receptions on 3 targets for 90 yards with a touchdown. For a majority of that game Buffalo was leading and it wasn't until the 4th quarter when New England took the lead that Buffalo was forced to the air. If you're looking for a bye week filler, a receiver up against the 28th ranked pass defense which is allowing more than 2 receiving touchdowns a game is a pretty good choice.