Each week during the NFL season FST brings you our Fantasy Football Sleepers of the Week column, which takes a look at lesser-known players that could deserve a start due to a favorable matchup, injury, or other circumstances. Let’s take a look at some sneaky plays for Week 7. If you have any fantasy football roster questions feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.
Hardly a sure thing, Hardesty lies in the wings should Trent Richardson not be able to get his health in order to go here. I have an errie feeling even if Richardson is able to play, he’ll be in a limited role this Sunday. No reason to push their 3rd overall pick out there in a rebuilding year with a possibility of re-injury. That leads to this bold prediction, start Hardesty this week if need of bye-week help or have some tougher matchups. We saw Shonn Greene run like a transformer all over the Colts last weekend and I expect that even the lesser talented RB in Cleveland can muster some yardage and TDs this week. As Weeden gains more experience the running game in Cleveland will be a force to be reckoned with again.
In Green’s debut as the starting tailback for the Packers he certainly did the job in holding on to the football and getting yardage where he could against a very staunch Texans D prior to that game. I expect that he’ll see even more carries against the Rams, who have a better secondary and gaps in the run defense. I am finally expecting the Green Bay offense to take flight with Jennings coming back from the groin injury and when the Packers get close to punching it in, I expect that Rodgers will turn around and hand it off more this week. Just like a green traffic light – this week Green means Go!
My favorite bald eagle, I mean Titan. Matthew Hasselbeck had a tremendous day against an above average Steeler’s defense last week and looks to build on that versus one of the worst pass defenses in Buffalo. This is a bold prediction but this experienced and savvy former Seahawk can fling it with the best of them when he’s healthy. I know CJ looked better last week and expect that to continue as well. I’m sure Hasselbeck doesn’t want to give his job graciously back to Jake Locker when he’s back healthy from the shoulder injury, so expect a last hurrah and performance that brings back performances from his heydays in Seattle this weekend.
Shhh….don’t move or I’ll Cutler you. OK, so Jay Cutler doesn’t have a great track record coming off bye-weeks or playing against the Lions but this year he’s got a great defense and a strong chemistry and trust with WR Brandon Marshall. Cutler can wine and dine and make owners ecstatic with long TD bombs and then he can make them cringe on the next series with a pick 6 . He’s a good looking bye-week option, I doubt many fantasy owners are in agreement with me this week, so I’ll mark this one down as a benchmark for my success this week based on my research. Don’t do me dirty Jay.
Gordy doing big things with the Browns the last couple weeks and it’s possible that could trickle into this favorable matchup. He’s got only 5 receptions over the last 2 weeks but he has a remarkable 3 TDs from those and putting up some great yardage numbers as well. Is it a fluke? I mean I’ve been fooled twice so this third time I’ve got him locked in place against a Colts D that’s given up 5 TDs to WRs in the last 2 weeks (plus about a half dozen TDs to RB Shonn Greene last week to boot). Gordon for Governor of Cleveland this week, place your vote.
The much heralded waiver wire pick-up earlier this season was Randall Cobb. Well finally he’s beginning to act like he’s deserving of a starting role after muddling through some games against some formidable defenses. This is a great matchup for him, even with the expected return of Greg Jennings to action. Cobb’s lightening speed and dynamic play-making ability make him a homerun threat all over the field. Those 4 WR sets will have Rams gassed and short of breath, that’s when Cobb will reward those owners for that early waiver wire claim. Cobb on these if you please, so start him…let’s go Cheese(heads)!
Fleener hasn’t been all-world in the Colts offense quite yet, but he’s amassing targets a plenty from his college QB the last couple weeks. As he rolls into this juicy matchup vs. the Browns the expectation is that Luck will be throwing more and after watching Vick Ballard struggle to run against what was a woeful Jets front line I expect it’ll be more Fleener this week. Luck to Fleener that sure sounds like a wiener…I mean winner this week.
Chandler has quietly amassed some impressive numbers this year for the Bills. He’s not going to give anyone the big time receiving yards but those TDs and red zone looks are where the fantasy gold can be found. The Titans don’t play the best or if any defense these days so if Fitzpatrick can keep that ball away from Titans defenders the expectation is Chandler could be in for a HUGE day, as the Bills attempt to circle the wagons in Buffalo in Week 7.
The men in silver and black have not been the most impressive defensive unit this season. In fact, they are statistical in fantasy football terms the worst defense to own of all 32 teams. However, I see light in this dungeoness Raiders defense this week. Coming off an impressive 3 interception performance against Matt Ryan and the undefeated Falcons last week, the Jaguars pose a juicy matchup. If they can stuff MJD and Jaguars ground game then picking off Gabbert 3 times should be like shooting fish in a barrel or a jaguar in a cage for analogous purposes. Raiders are the deepest of sleeping picks this week…arggggg.