Time to win a title: Fantasy football sleepers for Week 16

by Nicholas Minnix and Tim Heaney on December 19, 2013 @ 07:20:44 PDT

 

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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 12 through Week 15, unless otherwise stated.

Quarterbacks

Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Minnesota Vikings

The last three QBs to face Minny compiled at least 245 yards and two scores. Dalton has netted at least two touchdown tosses in four of his last five outings and has only thrown one pick over his last three. Not even Harrison Smith's return improves the Norsemen's secondary enough to pass up Dalton's opportunity, and Minnesota's relative strength against the ground game should force the Bengals to launch frequently. Owners who've been playing a QB carousel have a fine opportunity to lock up a title.

Vikings vs. QB position (per-game averages)

Rank
G
Avg Pts
Com
Att
Com%
PaYds
PaTD
Int
RuAtt
RuYds
RuTD
FumL
Sck
32
4
28.0
27
47
58.3
336.0
2.25
1.00
3.0
28.0
0.25
0.00
3.0

Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins vs. Dallas Cowboys

Yes, we're going to keep recommending Cowboys opponents in this section. How can we not? Cousins probably won't attempt 45 passes again (the 'Skins were playing from behind in his first start of 2013), but his pocket presence brings consistency to this aerial game. There's enough room to fit both a likely big effort from Alfred Morris and a Cousins bombing of Monte Kiffin's Tampa 2.

Cowboys vs. QB position (per-game averages)

Rank
G
Avg Pts
Com
Att
Com%
PaYds
PaTD
Int
RuAtt
RuYds
RuTD
FumL
Sck
30
4
24.0
22
34
64.4
269.0
2.50
0.50
2.0
3.0
0.25
0.0
1.3

Running back

NEW - Jordan Todman, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Tennessee Titans

Gus Bradley said Jacksonville will wait and see on the availability of Maurice Jones-Drew (hamstring). Even in part-time duty, Todman would excel against a Tennessee defense that has let tailbacks rattle off 100-plus offensive yards against them in each of the last four weeks. Todman showed excellent elusiveness last week in his first career start; this matchup is even better than that Buffalo Bills tilt.

Titans vs. RB position (per-game averages)

Rank
G
Avg Pts
RuAtt
RuYds
YPC
RuTD
Rec
ReYds
YPR
ReTD
FumL
30
4
25.5
25.8
115.3
4.5
1.25
7.25
74.0
10.2
0.25
0.00

Montee Ball, Denver Broncos at Houston Texans

For most of this campaign, Houston's defense hasn't resembled the unit that dominated offenses a season ago. Opponents have trampled on them at times. Even if the Texans had presented as formidable against the run, their foes have often attempted to pound them into submission. It has slowly become worse. The Texans have lost 12 straight.

At the other end of the spectrum, postseason-bound Denver has been humbled by, in recent weeks, a second-half collapse and a loss to a well-prepared divisional foe. But Ball has developed in the second half of the season; as a result, he's received an average of double-digits touches in his last five games. Week 16 smells like a "get well" week for the potent Broncos, and Ball owners who flex him stand to benefit.

Texans vs. RB position (per-game averages)

Rank
G
Avg Pts
RuAtt
RuYds
YPC
RuTD
Rec
ReYds
YPR
ReTD
FumL
27
4
23.3
25.5
110.0
4.3
0.75
5.50
55.0
10.0
0.75
0.00

NEW - Dennis Johnson, Houston Texans vs. Denver Broncos

Ben Tate (ribs) was placed on Injured Reserve, leaving the often underwhelming Johnson as the lead steer in this cattle call. At least he'll get Denver in the fantasy championship; Houston will try doing all it can to make things easy for Matt Schaub; keep Peyton Manning off the field; and adjust to the likely heavy attention paid to Andre Johnson.

Broncos vs. RB position (per-game averages)

Rank
G
Avg Pts
RuAtt
RuYds
YPC
RuTD
Rec
ReYds
YPR
ReTD
FumL
24
4
22.8
27.8
122.3
4.4
1.50
4.75
38.8
8.2
0.00
0.8

Daniel Thomas, Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills

Miami has relied on Lamar Miller more frequently than Thomas for most of the season, but Thomas remains a candidate for double-digit touches, and his tend to come in the red zone. Thomas has six total TDs to Miller's two this season. Three of the former's scores have come in the past four games. He's been a more authoritative ball carrier this season.

For most of the season, Buffalo had been bending but infrequently breaking against running backs. They've given up more than 100 rushing yards per game and 4.3 yards per carry to backs but only 0.50 TDs per game. As the season winds down, the Bills are worn down, however, and it's showing. Thomas isn't a bad gamble as a flex player against the Bills.

Bills vs. RB position (per-game averages)

Rank
G
Avg Pts
RuAtt
RuYds
YPC
RuTD
Rec
ReYds
YPR
ReTD
FumL
23
3
22.0
29.0
137.7
4.7
1.33
4.00
21.7
5.4
0.00
0.00

WRs and TEs

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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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