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 14. If you have any fantasy football roster questions feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.
Jay Cutler has been ruled out for Week 14 against the Cowboys, meaning McCown will get the starting nod again this week. The Cowboys are very generous to opposing quarterbacks and McCown has thrown for over 350 yards in two straight games. With the emergence of Alshon Jeffrey and Brandon Marshall with his superhuman talents at wideout, there is tremendous potential for a 20 plus point game from McCown.
Keenum put up horrid numbers two weeks ago against the same Jaguars team at home in Houston. Coming off a much more complete effort against the Patriots and with Coach Kubiak rejoining the team on Sunday there promises to be a better performance. Jacksonville is the kindest to opposing offenses in terms of statistically yards gained against them. Keenum should find Andre Johnson and Graham at tight end. Keenum should probably only be safely played in 2 QB leagues though.
Underwood is going to be a considerable pick-up off the waiver for this week. Buffalo plays defense much like the Redskins, if that’s considered defense. Thus if Tampa Bay’s rookie QB can find Underwood once or twice for big plays like he’s done recently then Underwood can certainly pay off for owners. Vincent Jackson is still the #1 but Underwood could be a serviceable WR #3 option depending who is on your team.
Baldwin has shown staying power in Seattle’s offense, void of Percy Harvin lately. While Golden Tate is arguably more of their #1; it’s Baldwin who scored a touchdown on Monday night and who has been more of the possession receiver and reliable option for Russell. While San Fran is a sturdy matchup, someone will have to help Russell move the football and Baldwin could be the benefactor of added attention to the running game and Golden Tate. Deep sleeper potential, but factor in your matchup before going out on limb for him this week.
Brown is the #1 running back in Indy’s offense. While that just means Trent Richardson has been horrendous it’s also a fact that he’ll be getting all the goal line carries moving forward it appears. Cincinnati is a formidable defense that gets after the quarterback, so I expect Luck will need to dump the ball off to Brown in the backfield some to help negate the pressure. Brown has touchdown and 60 plus yards rushing potential as a viable flex play this week.
This Bengals rookie out of Chapel Hill is still splitting carries in the Cincinnati offense. The Colts have been giving up big points to running backs – see Chris Johnson 2 of the past 3 weeks. I would be reluctant to sit Bernard if I had him on my team because of his ability to break the big one. The offense stumbles at times, but he’s a solid flex play at worst this week. Sleeper potential would put him at least 10 plus points in standard scoring leagues.
While Ertz found fantasy glory it came a no surprise to anyone who has seen the Arizona Cardinals defend against tight ends. This week though is another soft defense in Detroit. While the pass rush is great, this leaves Foles with room to get the ball out and over the middle to Ertz for large gains. Ertz has sleeper potential in the red zone too, where him and Riley Cooper have been targeted much more of late. In a high scoring game, Ertz could be a fantasy playoff sleeper that comes up big.
While Antonio Gates is still the true #1 tight end for Philip Rivers in San Diego, Ladarius Green has emerged as a player in the passing game. He’s been targeted more than Gates over the past 2 games and his yardage is becoming more noticeable. While I would not start him on my team, he’s an option at a WR/TE flex spot in deeper leagues and has value going down the stretch. If you can afford a roster spot, it might be worth taking a flier on Green now.
The Raiders aren’t a scary defense. Their fans probably scare opposing offenses more than the actual defense. However, the Meadowlands is home to the New York Jets and their offense has been anemic recently. With rookie quarterback Geno Smith struggling, posting zero touchdowns over his last 5 games, and word of a quarterback change and short trigger Sunday there is reason to believe in the Silver & Black. Raider nation is diehard and the Jets provide the perfect matchup for a nice sleeper performance. If you’re streaming defenses weekly, this is the pick of the week.