Week 12: 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.
Henne came into Sunday's game against the Texans early in the first quarter and nearly pulled off a miraculous victory for the Jags. For the game Chad completed 16 of 33 for 354 yards with 4 touchdowns and no interceptions. To state the obvious, Chad was probably the best quarterback in every league's free agent market last weekend. Too bad none of us could look into the future and see that coming. This week things are a bit different and based on what we saw on Sunday, fantasy owners need to pay attention to Henne in the coming weeks. For starters, this Sunday's tilt against the Titans is a favorable match up for Chad. Tennessee's secondary is ranked 26th in the league allowing 266 yards per game and the second most receiving touchdowns in the NFL. After Sunday's AFC south matchup, the Jags make a run through the AFC east weeks 13-16 where he'll see the same teams he faced last year when he was the quarterback for Miami. Henne's experience against the AFC east and Buffalo, Miami and New England's pass defenses being ranked 18th, 27th and 31st should make for a successful run for Chad. Fantasy owners looking for a solid backup heading into the playoffs should take a serious look at Henne.
You can call me a homer if you'd like but I firmly believe Sanchez has a good chance to post fantasy relevant numbers Thursday night when the Jets host New England. In their previous meeting back in week 7, Sanchez completed 28 of 41 for 328 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Unfortunately for Mark, his fumble in overtime is what most fantasy owners are going to remember. Sanchez' week 7 performance against New England was his best game of the season thus far. I know this isn't saying a whole lot, but some guys get amped up for certain teams and perform at a much higher level when they face one and other. For Sanchez this team seems to be New England. If you're looking to replace an injured Ben Roethlisberger or Jay Cutler then Sanchez against New England's 30th ranked pass defense may be a good option.
In last Sunday's game, Denver's number one back Willis McGahee left the game due to a knee injury. Due to McGahee's history of knee problems, many of us had a feeling this was not good news. Indeed our thoughts were correct and Willis suffered a torn MCL, which will keep him off the field for at least 6-8 weeks. This means Denver's run game will fall on to the shoulders of rookie Ronnie Hillman and fourth year man Lance Ball. Hilliman will likely receive a majority of the carries with Ball being used as a change of pace back. With McGahee out of the game last Sunday, Ball had 6 carries for 35 yards and 3 receptions for 21 yards. So long as Hillman remains healthy we expect Ball to continue to see 8-10 touches a game, similar to what we saw against San Diego. If Hillman struggles at any point in the season the timeshare could become more of a 50-50 split, making each back a viable flex start. Until that time comes it may be best to stash Ball away.
The Colts have a nice matchup this weekend when they host the Bills on Sunday afternoon. Buffalo's run defense is ranked 31st in the league, allowing over 153 yards per game. In addition to allowing opposing backs to run all over them, Buffalo has allowed a league high 16 rushing touchdowns. While Indianapolis' run game has struggled from time to time, this should not be the case on Sunday. For the first time this year Ballard could top 100 yards rushing and take some of the load off rookie quarterback Andrew Luck. One thing fantasy owners need to be aware of is the status of fellow back Donald Brown. If Brown is able to play this weekend without being hampered by his knee then we could see a split back approach. If this becomes the case we still like Ballard as he is more likely to get the goal line carries. If both backs are healthy they could each end the game with 70-90 yards and a touchdown. For now (until we hear more on Brown's status), Ballard is a nice fantasy start this Sunday.
From a fantasy perspective Britt has done little to warrant owner's attention this season. In 8 games Kenny has just 27 receptions for 312 yards with one touchdown. Typically when fantasy owners see numbers like these, it is a good idea to stay away. This could be the case for Britt on Sunday, but we believe a respectible 70-90 yards and a touchdown are within reach for Kenny this weekend. The Titans return from their bye week well rested and prepared for a face off against AFC division rival Jacksonville. The Jags pass defense has been anything but steller this year. Through 11 weeks Jacksonville's secondary is ranked 28th in the league having allowed 14 passing touchdowns and 277 yards per game. In addition, Jake Locker's return to action against Miami with an added bye week means we should see a healthy quarterback under center for Tennessee. If Britt is going to do anything this year it has to happen this weekend.