Fantasy Sleepers Week 12
It is officially crunch time, people. For many of us, the next two weeks will either grant our playoff wishes or crush our hopes entirely. So if you play in a deep league or if your fantasy team is ravaged by injuries, here are some cheap fantasy sleepers who might give you a boost in Week 12. These guys are not recommended starts, but they do each possess some form of upside for the most desperate among you heading into Week 12. Good luck in your matchups.
Fantasy Sleepers: Quarterback
Brian Hoyer vs. ATL: Hoyer reacquires the services of Josh Gordon this week. He also attempted 50 passes last week, but that was born out of desperation as the Browns were in a losing battle with Houston. Cleveland would prefer to chew the clock with their running game, especially against a suspect Falcons unit that has allowed the second-most fantasy points to running backs this season. The Atlanta pass defense has been average at best, but Hoyer should still finish in the 30-35 attempt range in what will likely be a competitive game. He has a chance for a Top 15 sort of showing this week. Getting last year’s best receiver back should help instantly.
Kyle Orton vs NYJ: The Bills and Jets will meet on Monday in Detroit, and the New York secondary will still be the best in the league at giving fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Orton sliced the Jets up in a previous meeting on October 26th of this year, throwing for a ridiculous 4 touchdowns while only completing 10 passes in a blowout win. With the Bills still fighting for a playoff spot, expect history to repeat itself as the Bills to attack the vulnerable Jets secondary. If the initial poor weather scared others in your league away from Orton, pluck him up from waivers and enjoy the fireworks.
Fantasy Sleepers: Running Back
Jonathan Grimes vs CIN: Houston wants to pound the rock and protect their quarterbacks from having to throw much. They showed this very clearly last week when they handed Alfred Blue a whopping 36 carries. Grimes (the backup to the backup) still managed to receive a healthy 13 carries, which he turned into 54 yards. It was a strong showing, one he’ll have a chance to replicate against Cincinnati. Arian Foster did not practice Friday and is currently not expected to play. He will be a game-time decision on Sunday, but the outlook is grim. Therefore, expect the Texans to give ample opportunity to both backups, as Cincinnati is vulnerable to opposing running backs.
Dan Herron vs Jax: The Colts did put in a waiver claim for Ben Tate but were denied that request, as Minnesota beat them to the punch. The Colts clearly don’t feel warm and fuzzy about moving forward with Trent Richardson, and “Boom” Herron is now the clear #2 in Indianapolis. Against the Jaguars, game-flow should dictate plenty of opportunity for Herron to run behind the ineffective T-Pain. “Boom” is a worthwhile play against the soft Jaguars if you are desperate. Perhaps he will play enough to justify his nickname.
Fantasy Sleepers: Wide Receiver
Kenny Britt @ San Diego: I realize the matchup isn’t great and his quarterback situation has been unstable, but someone has to catch the ball in St. Louis and Britt has proven to be the de facto number one receiver. It is probably always safe to assume that the Rams will be trailing, despite their impressive victory last week. Therefore, the Hill to Britt hookup is one you should exploit if you are desperate. You should not feel great about starting him, but there are few #1 wide receivers that are so lightly-owned this late in the season. Britt is one of the better hopes for production based off of volume alone.
Chris Hogan vs NYJ: He’s emerging for Kyle Orton, and the matchup against the Jets is super, as discussed above. With Sammy Watkins commanding plenty of attention, Hogan should be free to rack up some cheap yardage and he might even be good for a score. He’s a worthy play if you’re in need, as Orton has looked his way 16 times over the last two weeks. On those 16 targets, Hogan has 12 catches for 131 yards and 1 touchdown. He should add to that total on Monday.
Fantasy Sleepers: Tight End
Niles Paul @ SF: You obviously can’t be excited about any player that is linked to RG3 after last week’s debacle. There is something amiss in Washington and it likely won’t be fixed while the team is still run by Dan Snyder. At any rate, the oft-injured Jordan Reed is missing time with a hamstring issue, so that makes Paul the next man up. He was starter-material earlier in the season when given a chance, and there’s no reason to think he can’t be that for just one game against the Niners this week. Without Patrick Willis roaming around the middle of the field looking for souls to devour, Paul is a nice play.
Marcedes Lewis @ Indianapolis: He is a big boost to this passing game and has a cheese matchup waiting for him off his return from an ankle injury. With the Colts allowing the third most points to opposing tight ends all season, Lewis is an immediate plug-and-play if you happen to be missing Greg Olsen or Heath Miller. And here’s a stat courtesy of the Jaguars’ own Twitter feed: Lewis has scored a TD in 5 of his last 7 games. So you know how they expect him to contribute. Plug away.
Again, best of luck if you are in the unenviable position of having to use many of these players. We’ll see what happens in Week 12. The regular season is almost over, so let’s make this week count, people!