Last week’s sleeper list was another mixed bag, but those who started James Jones were likely very happy with the results. Speaking of Jones, with Greg Jennings already being ruled out for this game, expect another solid outing this week in Indianapolis.
Let’s take a look at some other players who, through injuries or favorable match-ups, have a good chance at putting up usable fantasy numbers for Week Five
Christian Ponder (QB)- Christian Ponder isn’t lighting up the scoreboard, but he’s doing an excellent job of being a game-manager and running the Vikings’ balanced offense.Through four games, he’s the only starting quarterback without an interception and is ranked eighth in the league with a 97.7 QB rating. This week’s matchup at home with Tennessee seems like the type of game where Ponder can step-up to 250+ passing yards and a couple of touchdowns. The Titans are giving up 285 yards through the air per contest and have surrendered 10 passing scores-second most in the league.
Andy Dalton (QB)- Dalton is red-hot, passing for an average of 296 yards with three touchdowns combined in each of Cincinnati’s last three games. Granted, those performances were all against inferior secondaries, but that’s exactly what the Bengals will face again in Week Five. The Dolphins give up 22.1 fantasy-points-per-game to their opponents, 21st in the league. That’s a good match-up for a quarterback who is only being started in 25.6% of ESPN fantasy leagues.
Jackie Battle (RB)- It looks like the dreaded running back-by-committee has returned to San Diego. Jackie Battle looks like a nice compliment to Ryan Mathews, who has been plagued by injuries and fumbles throughout his short career. Battle looks more durable and has shown a decent set of hands. He looks like he’s taken on the Mike Tolbert short yardage/third down role from the past two season. With the Chargers traveling to New Orleans to face the league’s worst rush defense (both real and fantasy), Battle, who is owned in less than half of ESPN fantasy leagues, has an excellent shot at seeing enough work to make him a worthwhile flex play this week.
Brandon Jacobs (RB)- Brandon Jacobs has always been a good short-yardage runner and that’s an area of the field that the 49ers have routinely struggled in. All indications are that Jacobs looks like a go for this week, as he practiced fully on Thursday. If Jacobs plays, there’s an excellent opportunity for him to make an impact against a Buffalo Bills defense that has surrendered a league-high six touchdowns to running backs so far in 2012. Should Jacobs fail to make his debut, Kendall Hunter will continue to spell Frank Gore and could be worth a look as well.
Domenik Hixon (WR)- Injuries to wide-outs haven’t bothered the Giants so far this year. Both Ramses Barden and Hixon have stepped up for 100+ yard games so far when Hakeem Nicks has missed time. Since both Nicks and Barden have already been ruled out, Hixon will get the start, play full-time again and has an excellent shot at having another big day this week against a bottom-five Cleveland pass defense.
Devery Henderson (WR)- Lance Moore has already been ruled out this week, so somebody on the short-handed New Orleans wide receiving corps is going to have to step up. Devery Henderson is more of a deep threat, but he is the most likely candidate to see an increased role this week. We all know how the Saints offense plays, especially at home. The Charges are likely to focus most of their defensive attention on Jimmy Graham and Marques Colston, so that could put Henderson in a nice position to make an impact against lesser coverage.
Jacob Tamme (TE)- Joel Dreessen has scored in two straight games, but Jacob Tamme remains the Broncos main tight end. Tamme has more than twice the number of targets as Dreessen and will remain a bigger part of the offense. Most of us are expecting a shoot-out this week as Peyton Manning takes on Tom Brady. If that happens, Tamme has a good chance of catching a half-dozen balls or scoring. The Patriots are currently 31st in the NFL, allowing 11.8 fantasy PPG to tight ends
Jody Smith is currently tied for 1st place amongst all fantasy football analysts at FantasyPros.com and was selected as a “Featured Pro” for Week 5 sleepers. Read the report here