Week 15: 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.
If there is one guy with something to prove in this weekend's game between Jacksonville and Miami, it is Chad Henne. Last season Henne was the starting quarterback in Miami and he would like nothing more than to head back to South Florida and show the fans why the Dolphins should never have let him go. Henne should find some success in Miami against his old team, which is currently ranked 25th against the pass allowing more than 250 yards per game. Against a similar defense, Tennessee, three weeks ago Henne threw for 261 yards with a pair of touchdowns and an interception. Once again if you've lost your quarterback to injury for this weekend and Henne is still available, he could be a nice start this weekend.
If you're looking for a 300-yard 4 touchdown performance then Weeden is not the guy you want. On the other hand, if you've lost your quarterback and need someone for the playoffs then Weeden is a nice option for this weekend. On Sunday the Browns put their 3 game win streak on the line in a home game against the Washington Redskins. Amazingly enough, both teams still have a shot (an outside shot, but still a shot) at reaching the post season, so this game has meaning for both teams. One reason we like Brandon this week is because he is facing the Redskins and their 31st ranked pass defense. Washington's secondary has allowed an average of 289 passing yards per game and a league high 27 passing touchdowns. It sounds like fellow Rookie Robert Griffin III will not be on the field this week, so if you're looking for a replacement then maybe rookie Brandon Weeden can get you through to your fantasy football finals.
The Lions' backfield got a more confusing last week as we saw Bell and fellow back Mikel Leshoure splitting carries at nearly a 50-50 ratio. Leshoure finished the game with 14 carries for 49 yards, while Bell carried the ball 12 times for 49 yards. Obviously Bell's yards per carry were slightly better, so one could say he was the more productive runner in the game. Next if we look at receptions, we see Bell had 5, while Leshoure failed to be targeted by Stafford. Bell's 5 receptions netted an additional 47 yards, making him by far the better Detroit back. This weekend the Lions head to Arizona to face the league's 30th ranked run defense. If you are in search of a back, there's a good chance Bell is still available and with his compiled stats he's more likely to be the better fantasy option these last few weeks.
We said it last week and we'll say it again this week: Powell is worth at least a waiver wire pick up (if not a start) in many fantasy leagues. The Jets returned to their ground and pound offense last week, running the ball 42 times for 166 yards while passing just 19 times for 104 yards. Obviously their inept passing game has forced their hand a bit, but with 3 wins in their last 4 games it will be difficult for them to change their ways. This week New York heads to Tennessee, where they'll see the league's 23rd ranked run defense. With very few options in the passing game, we expect to see Jets running backs (yes backs with an 'S') getting 18-20 carries each. There is little reason to believe Tennessee's run defense will slow them down, so both Greene and Powell are nice flex starts. With a touchdown this week, Powell will have 5 trips to the house in the Jets' last five game.
When people look at Blackmon they see the 5th overall pick in the 2012 draft and immediately expect great things from him. This may be possible for some receivers coming into the NFL, but for Justin this was going to be a stretch. When the season began, Jacksonville was starting second year man Blaine Gabbert at quarterback and he was still trying to find his way in the league. Rookie receivers will only be as good as their quarterback and unfortunately for Blackmon, he wasn't playing with Peyton Manning or Tom Brady. From time to time Blackmon has been fantasy worthy, but his play has been too inconsistent for fantasy owners, so having him in your lineup was risky. With fellow receiver Cecil Shorts out with a concussion, Justin was the target of 12 passes from Chad Henne last week against the Jets. It appears Shorts will return this week but this could help the rookie more than harm. With Shorts on the field Miami will use their best cover man on him leaving Blackmon on the weaker defender. Henne being the more experienced quarterback will see the mismatch and look to exploit it all day long. This could mean another double digit target game for Blackmon. With 8 or more receptions, Justin could easily hit 100 yards for the second time this year. If you're looking for a flex starter, Justin may be your guy.