Now that we’ve finished processing the various performances of week five, it is time to examine potential sleepers for week six such as Alex Green, Kevin Kolb, and Sidney Rice. They might not have previously appeared in your starting lineups, but could now provide a scoring boost if you use them this week.
As always, this week’s sleepers are players that were either drafted toward the latter half of your fantasy drafts, or spent time residing on your leagues’ waiver wires until this week. Either way, a combination of their ability, and their specific matchups, has propelled them into a position to enhance your scoring total should you decide to start them.
With that, here are the sleepers for week six:
Kevin Kolb vs. Bills
After appearing to solidify his legacy as a bust during the first two weeks of the season, Kolb deserves credit for recovering very nicely. He has averaged 307 YPG in his last two contests, and has a sizable opportunity to match that amount when he lines up against a leaky Buffalo pass defense. The Bills are allowing opponents to generate a whopping 35.2 PPG, which places them 31st in that category. Plus, their 24th ranked pass defense is permitting 277 YPG, and only the Redskins have surrendered more TDs through the air (12). Kolb should supply fantasy owners with several more scores, and should approach 300 yards.
Alex Green vs. Texans
If you saw his 41-yard burst against the Colts, the thought of securing Green and starting him might be appealing to you. He is almost assuredly on your waiver wire this week, and is certainly worth pursuing for your roster. But if you are successful in landing him, be realistic regarding how much production that he will provide in this difficult matchup with Houston. Not only will he share touches with James Starks, but John Kuhn is more likely to garner any red zone carries. Most importantly, Green Bay is going to continue their emphasis on the pass. He is definitely a sleeper, and can be used if you are hurting for options at the position. But be cautious with your expectations against a Texan run defense that allows just 86 YPG.
Vick Ballard vs. Jets
The moment it was announced that Donald Brown would miss the next 2-3 weeks following knee surgery, Ballard instantly vaulted toward the front of the line among potential sleepers at RB. His opportunities have been limited to this point (21 carries) and his production minimal (42 yards). But the 5' 10", 210 pound rookie now becomes the beneficiary of a sizable workload until Brown returns. That process begins with an appealing matchup against a 31st ranked Jets rush defense that is yielding 172 YPG. They have also permitted eight TDs on the ground, which further solidifies Ballard as an option at RB2.
La’Rod Stephens-Howling vs. Bills
The Cardinals’ RB situation is murky at best, and this is not a suggestion that you should expect Stephens-Howling to suddenly become a viable weekly starter. There is a reason that he entered his fourth season with the Cardinals possessing a grand total of 72 carries. And he will not suddenly command a massive workload now. The best case scenario for anyone who owns him is that he will remain Arizona’s starter until Beanie Wells returns. But this week, he will line up against a Buffalo run defense that is ranked 30th, and has yielded 172 YPG. Plus, the Bills have surrendered a league worst nine TDs on the ground. If you are to ever use him, this is the time.
LeGarrette Blount vs. Chiefs
Blount has built his reputation in part on his ability to hurdle defenders. Now, he just might have cleared yet another barrier, and thrust himself back into the Bucs’ offensive game plan. After being allowed only three rushing attempts in Tampa Bay’s initial two contests, he was given 10 in the following two games, and scored his first TD of the year. Meanwhile, Doug Martin has been allotted 71 carries, yet has manufactured just 247 yards (3.5 YPC) and one score. His performance does not necessarily qualify as a disappointment, but his modest results have provided the rationale for Greg Schiano to increase Blount’s workload. He is definitely a candidate for goal line carries, and has a great opportunity for a score against the Chiefs, who rank just 22nd against the run.
Andrew Hawkins vs. Browns
He launched the season on a promising note in week one by collecting eight receptions for 86 yards. Then he scored in two consecutive contests, including week two against this same Cleveland team. But since that time, he has averaged just 43 YPG with no TDs. However, he has the opportunity to deliver sizable numbers against the Browns, who rank just 26th versus the pass. Cleveland is allowing 281 YPG, and has yielded a whopping 12 TDs. The Browns' secondary will instantly improve with the return of Joe Haden. But he is most likely to focus on A. J. Green, which will supply Hawkins with a chance to build his numbers against the team's less talented DBs.
Reuben Randle vs. 49ers
The rookie became the latest in a succession of Giant WRs to deliver a breakout performance while Hakeem Nicks is sidelined due to knee and foot issues. Randle collected six passes from Eli Manning for 82 yards, while fulfilling the role of WR3. Both his snap count and sleeper status are each very dependent upon the health of not only Nicks, but also Ramses Barden, who missed last week’s encounter with Cleveland due to a concussion. If Nicks and Barden are unavailable again this week, Randle could be highly targeted by Manning. If so, he will deliver moderate production. But he is unlikely to replicate his week five numbers against a second ranked 49er pass defense that only allows 181 YPG.
Sidney Rice vs. Packers
Seattle’s offensive approach has consistently relied upon Marshawn Lynch, whose 113 rushing attempts are the NFL’s second highest total. Meanwhile, 30 QBs have thrown more passes than Russell Wilson, who has attempted just 125 (25 APG). But this week’s matchup with New England, will likely force the Seahawks away from their normal comfort zone. The Patriots have been formidable against the run, ranking eighth, while allowing just 82 YPG. However, they also possess the NFL's 30st ranked pass defense, and are surrendering 292 YPG. The Seahawks will need to throw more than they would prefer in order to move the ball, which should propel Rice into an active role. There is still a chance that he is available on your waiver wire, and this is an excellent week for him to be in all starting lineups.
Heath Miller vs. Titans
There are multiple reasons that fantasy owners should love this matchup for Miller. First, Tennessee is dead last in points allowed, while permitting opposing offenses to generate 36.2 PPG. The Titans are also ranked just 25th against the pass, yielding 280 YPG. If that isn’t enough, they have struggled consistently to contain TEs, having allowed at least one TD to opponents at the position in four of their five contests. Miller should add to their woes, as he has already found the end zone four times, which ties him for first among all TEs.
Dolphins vs. Rams
If you are searching your waiver wires for a defense to rent for one week, this is the unit to grab. Particularly if you are a spoiled owner of the insanely productive Bears. Miami's prowess at stopping the run is unmatched. They lead the NFL, permitting a miserly 61.4 YPG. But their pass defense has also stiffened recently. Including week five, when they limited Andy Dalton to one score while picking him off twice. That momentum should continue against a St. Louis unit that is 28th in total offense, and 23rd in scoring. Add them. And start them.