Our weekly rankings are in the process of being updated, and will once again provide you with a dependable resource to make those difficult lineup decisions. Here is a look at some additional players that I believe could help you this week, if you are inclined to utilize sleepers in your starting lineups. For a recommendation on this week's best waiver wire defenses, click it here.
Carson Palmer vs. Colts
While the 11-year veteran has been considered a disappointment throughout much of the regular season, he did generate 419 yards on 30 passes in Week 11. Palmer also threw two TDs, and managed to avoid tossing any INTs for the first time this season. It was the third consecutive game in which he has produced two TDs, which improved his season total to 14. Arizona’s 25th ranked rushing attack has perpetually struggled, and is averaging just 86 YPG. Which all but assures that Palmer and the Cardinals’ passing game will be the focal point of the offensive strategy this week against the Colts. While it is still not advisable to use him as a QB1 in this matchup, he is a viable option in two QB leagues.
Mike Glennon at Lions
He was included in last week’s sleeper column, and proceeded to reward anyone who chose to deploy him in their lineups. Glennon completed 87% of his passes (20-23), while generating 231 yards and two TDs. Not only was it the fourth time that he has thrown a pair of scoring passes, but he has now managed to produce at least one TD in each of the seven contests that he has started. He has 11 for the season, with just four INTs, and will now receive a tremendous opportunity to amass favorable numbers again this week. Detroit’s 30th ranked pass defense is yielding 284 YPG, and has surrendered 19 TDs. Glennon should continue his consistent production against the Lions, in great part by connecting frequently with Vincent Jackson. He will also benefit from the reemergence of rushing attack that Detroit must now be be obliged to respect.
Bobby Rainey at Lions
When Rainey emerged onto the fantasy landscape with 45 yards on eight carries in Week 10, any hesitation on the part of owners was understandable. First, Tampa Bay had picked him up from the waiver wire in late October, after his release by RB needy Cleveland. Plus, his output was achieved primarily due to a 31-yard burst. Most importantly, the second year back would be sharing touches with journeyman Brian Leonard. But Rainey exploded for 167 total yards and three touchdowns, with 163 of those yards being generated on the ground. While that production was attained versus an Atlanta unit that is not performing well on any front, it would be an injustice to dismiss Rainey’s output for a second consecutive week. Even though Detroit has performed reasonably well against the run, you can confidently start him as your RB3 or flex this week.
Rashad Jennings vs. Titans
Jennings has resurfaced as a feasible option at RB, after he generated outstanding production in Week 11. He burst for 150 yards on 22 carries, which included a memorable 80-yard TD. The fifth-year back has been a reliable yardage producer when given the opportunity this season, which has occurred due to the inevitable series of missed contests by Darren McFadden. Jennings manufactured 116 total yards in Week 4, 176 total yards in Week 9, and 107 total yards in Week 10. Then he produced the aforementioned output against Houston, even though the Texans were well aware that Oakland would emphasize the run with first-time starter Matt McGloin under center. While Tennessee’s defense is formidable overall, they have been susceptible to opposing rushers on multiple occasions this season. The Titans rank just 20th against the rush. And considering that starting CBs Alterraun Verner and Jason McCourty have provided a forbidding presence this season, Oakland would be well suited to employ Jennings repeatedly. Making him worthy of inclusion in all lineups.
Chris Ogbonnaya vs. Steelers
Making your fantasy roster decisions based upon the comments of coaches can be very hazardous to your overall scoring totals. Therefore, when Rob Chudzinski indicated that the Browns wanted to supplement Ogbonnaya’s snaps on passing downs with more opportunities as an early down back, owners did not exactly sprint to seize him from their waiver wires. But his ownership percentage will rise dramatically this week as a result of his expanded workload in Week 11. Not only did the fourth-year back attain season highs in rushing attempts (six), and touches (14), but he took advantage of the additional chances to amass 99 total yards, including 69 on the ground. During a week in which RBs from four teams will be unavailable due to their byes, and other backs are providing only disappointment, he provides hope in the form of a bona fide sleeper for owners in need.
Michael Floyd vs. Colts
After receiving 32 targets between weeks 4-7, Floyd only collected six in the next two contests combined. Them a sprained shoulder jettisoned him to the sidelines during Week 10, and threatened to keep him there for the Cardinals’ Week 11 matchup with Jacksonville. But Floyd overcame the injury to line up for Arizona, and ultimately delivered the most prolific performance of his two-year career. He was targeted with a team high 11 passes by Carson Palmer, which enabled Floyd to assemble a season high six receptions, a career best 193 yards, and an electric 91 yard- touchdown. While his opportunities and production may be difficult to replicate this week against Indianapolis, he is certainly a viable WR3 option. Particularly for owners who are contemplating potential bye week replacements.
Tavon Austin vs. Bears
This is predicated on the belief that Jeff Fisher and Brian Schottenheimer utilized the additional week of preparation toward plotting ways in which to deploy their first round draft pick far more extensively. Since Zac Stacy did not become heavily involved in the St. Louis attack until Week 5, there is precedent for such an occurrence. Austin’s snap count has been extremely low since Week 4, and the fact that he was only on the field for 15 snaps during his three-TD performance in Week 10 has been discussed at length. Yet, he did receive a team high 12 targets in Week 2, lending more credence to the possibility that Austin could garner an enhanced role this week. The injury riddled Chicago defense is currently yielding 239 YPG through the air, and Austin is capable of delivering at least one big play if he is given the opportunity. If you are without your normal options at WR as a result of the four team bye week, Austin provides you with a high risk option.
Nate Burleson vs. Buccaneers
The 11-year veteran was mentioned in this column last week, because it initially appeared that he would make his first appearance for the Lions since Week 4. While he remained on the sidelines yet again in Week 11, he should rejoin the lineup for this week’s matchup with Tampa Bay. When that occurs, he should immediately assume the role of WR2 within the Lions’ pass oriented attack. Burleson was utilized sufficiently when he previously served in that capacity, as he amassed 23 targets in the Lions’ initial three contests. That enabled him to collect 19 receptions for 239 yards, which equates to an average of six catches, and just below 80 YPG. He is currently available in 97% of all ESPN leagues, and provides potential for owners who are searching for a WR3 option this week.
Garrett Graham vs. Jaguars
The third-year TE originally appeared in this column five weeks ago, when his role was about to increase dramatically in the aftermath of Owen Daniels’ fractured fibula. Unfortunately for all owners who placed their trust in him, he only exceeded 38 yards once during the ensuing contests, and was understandably discarded in 80% of ESPN’s fantasy leagues. However, his output in Week 11 was outstanding, after he was targeted a team high 13 times by Houston QBs Case Keenum and Matt Schaub. That enabled Graham to generate a season high seven receptions, a career best 136 yards, and his fourth TD of the season. While this lone performance does not vault Graham into unquestioned TE1 status, he can provide an alternative this week for owners who have considered this position to be an ongoing headache. The Jaguars rank just 24th versus the pass, and have already surrendered 20 TDs through the air.