In this article KFFL breaks down the fantasy football sleepers of the week. We will avoid marquee names because players of that caliber are rarely benched, regardless of their matchup. Instead, we will focus on the players that make your fantasy lineup decisions stressful each week. Read on to learn which midrange to low-end players you wouldn't necessarily consider that you need to get into your lineup.
Note: All statistics are from Week 9 through Week 12 unless otherwise stated.
Fantasy football sleepers: Place kickers
Rian Lindell, Buffalo Bills vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Hartley has the matchup
Fantasy value: High-end No. 1
- Lindell has attempted 2.75 field goals and 1.50 extra points per game. For most of the year, it's been kind of the reverse, so he's had few chances to contribute to fantasy teams. The Bills can hit on big plays, but they also make mistakes or sputter.
- The Jags have given up 3.50 field goal attempts and 3.00 extra point attempts per game. That's not unusual, compared to the chances per game they've yielded all season. Jacksonville doesn't stop anyone too often.
- The only thing that could make Lindell a poor play this week is the kind of weather that becomes commonplace in northern New York at this time of year. Cold footballs are hard, and precipitation and wind don't help. Check the forecast first.
NEW - Rob Bironas, Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans
Fantasy value: High-end No. 1
- Tennessee's offense has afforded Bironas 3.00 field goal attempts (2.67 made) and a pair of point-afters (all good) per game. He has converted 88.9 percent of this trey attempts. He is available in more than 70 percent of leagues polled and deserves a roster spot given his productivity of late.
- Their offensive coordinator change should make the offense more explosive, but it will take some time. The Titans could remain rather conservative this week.
- The Texans have given up almost matching numbers to what Bironas has averaged: 3.00 FGAs (2.25 made) and 2.00 extra point attempts (all good) per outing. At worst, Bironas should be close to his average of 10 fantasy points per game.
Mike Nugent, Cincinnati Bengals at San Diego Chargers
Fantasy value: Midrange No. 1
- Nugent is looking for some positive after having missed three of his last nine field goal attempts. Cincy has provided him 2.25 of them per game, along with 3.50 extra point attempts per game, recently.
- The Bengals' offense is slowly becoming more diverse, especially through the air. Mohamed Sanu has emerged as a possession-receiving complement to big-play threat and do-everything wideout A.J. Green.
- Luckily, for the Bengals, the Bolts are more easily beat via the pass than they are the run. Kickers have attempted 3.00 field goals and 2.25 extra points against San Diego recently. For much of the season, they weren't so generous with the chances, but they've faced some dangerous offenses lately. Cincinnati could be another to capitalize.
Garrett Hartley, New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons
Fantasy value: Low-end No. 1
- Fantasy owners have long hoped that Hartley would become a useful kicker for their purposes, so at least they've given up on that proposition. Hopefully. But maybe New Orleans' booter is still plenty useful in the right matchup? For instance, he's attempted only three field goals in his last four games ... but one of them came against Atlanta in Week 10.
- Let's take a look at the schedule. Well, what do you know? The Falcons will play hosts this time, but the game will still take place in a dome. Hartley registered a modest seven points in the teams' first meeting.
- Atlanta has allowed kickers to attempt 3.00 field goals and 2.00 extra points per game lately. One might think that, because of those marks, their defense has played a little bend-but-don't-break against some quality opponents. For the year, this team hasn't permitted quite so many field goal shots per game.
- OK, let's be realistic: The Saints don't settle for three points very often. If you're in a deep league and looking for reasons to consider Hartley, however, then you might as well take a gamble on him in what could be more of a hardnosed battle than a shootout.
About Nicholas Minnix
Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.
The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.
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