Our weekly rankings have just been updated. And as always, they will provide you with a dependable resource to help with those difficult lineup decisions. Here is a look at some additional players that I believe could provide you with high quality production this week, if you are inclined to utilize sleepers in your starting lineups.
Sam Bradford at Cowboys
Only five QBs have thrown for more yardage than the 651 that have been accumulated by Bradford, as the fourth-year signal caller easily has the most talented arsenal of targets that he has experienced as a Ram. He amassed 352 yards in Week 2 alone, and could produce similar numbers this week in Dallas. The Cowboys rank 24th in pass defense, and are allowing 314 YPG to opposing aerial attacks. They have also surrendered six TDs, and could have difficulty containing the Ram’s various receiving options. Bradford is a strong play in 2-QB leagues, and worthy of consideration for owners who don’t like the matchups of their usual starter.
Ryan Tannehill vs. Falcons
I would preach caution to anyone who considers employing Tannehill with any regularity. But this week’s excellent matchup with Atlanta cannot be ignored. The Falcons rank a lowly 29th against the pass, and are allowing 347 YPG. Plus, they have already surrendered five TDs through the air, and have registered only two sacks. This will also be Miami’s home opener, and it is easy to envision Tannehill and Mike Wallace connecting for at least one score to accentuate a successful outing.
Alex Smith at Eagles
One of the few teams that has struggled in pass coverage more frequently than Atlanta is Philadelphia. The Eagles rank just 31st in that category, are yielding 361 YPG, and have permitted five TDs. Which creates an enticing matchup for Smith. Experience has taught us not to expect a prolonged downfield aerial attack from the former 49er. Nor should we anticipate monster overall numbers. But Andy Reed will certainly ask him to throw frequently, and he should find success versus Philly’s overly hospitable unit.
Bernard Pierce vs. Texans
Ray Rice’s hip flexor could result in an expansive workload for Pierce, whose sizable ability would help him deliver very favorable results. If that scenario appears likely as kickoff becomes more imminent, he becomes an outstanding RB3 or flex option. And depending upon your roster, can be even be considered as an RB2. He should dramatically improve upon his current 2.8 YPC average versus a Houston rush defense that ranks 18th, and permits 99.5 YPG.
Jason Snelling vs. Dolphins
Steven Jackson's absence has simulated some debate whether Snelling or Jacquizz Rodgers is the preferable fantasy option. I recommend Snelling, and it isn't that close. The seven-year veteran amassed more yardage on two carries than Rodgers could manufacture with 11 in Week 2. Which is consistent with Rodgers’ lack of proficiency throughout his career (3.6 YPC). While Snelling will still be forced to split his touches, he should accomplish more with them. Plus, he could easily collect a TD for his owners, since he will capture the coveted goal line touches.
Knowshon Moreno vs. Raiders
Moreno has gained over twice as many rushing yards as Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman combined, has a vastly superior YPC (5.5), and has generated both of Denver’s TDs via the ground. Oakland’s defense actually ranks fifth overall, although their Week 2 encounter with the Jaguars provided a boost to their stats. But they have been more hospitable versus the run, permitting 80.5 YPG. Moreno is definitely the back who will benefit when the Broncos choose to run, and should produce at least one score.
Robert Turbin vs. Jaguars
This suggestion is for owners who are desperate for an option due to multiple injuries. The disparity in quality between Seattle and Jacksonville is monumental, and that will quickly be reflected in the score. After the Seahawks are comfortably in command, it will behoove Pete Carroll to remove Marshawn Lynch from the contest, since he already endures a massive amount of punishment each week. That will present Turbin with an opportunity to gather yardage against the Jaguars’ 31st ranked run defense, which is allowing 173 YPG.
DeAndre Hopkins at Ravens
I thought that Hopkins had progressed beyond sleeper status. Until I read various rankings at other sites that still have him buried below numerous other options. He delivered an outstanding performance in Week 2, as he generated 117 yards. Plus, he caught the game winning reception, and collected passes on three consecutive plays during Houston’s game tying drive. The presence of Andre Johnson will not prohibit Hopkins from delivering respectable numbers. Because Hopkins will remain highly targeted, and has demonstrated too many examples of playmaking ability to believe otherwise.
Nate Burleson at Redskins
Burleson’s sleeper selection might not be for the faint of heart, as he has historically delivered disappointing results just at the time that he appeared to be a viable fantasy option. Still, his current situation should not be ignored. He has performed an integral role within Detroit’s seventh ranked passing attack. Not only is he tied for second among all Lions with 14 targets, but he has capitalized on his opportunities by catching all but one of those throws. He has also amassed two TDs, and could accumulate a third this week. Washington ranks just 23rd versus the pass, and has yielded six TDs. The Redskins also permit an NFL worst 10.2 yards per attempt, and will be vulnerable once again.
Marlon Brown vs. Texans
The 6’5” rookie has scored in each of his first two NFL contests, while firmly securing a spot within the fantasy landscape. He has been targeted 12 times by Joe Flacco, which has enabled him to collect eight receptions for 110 yards. Brown has an impressive combination of quickness and route running ability, along with the size to be a frequent red zone target. All of which should result in Flacco looking in his direction with even more consistency. Brown should produce favorable numbers this week against a Houston pass defense that has already allowed six TDs.
Coby Fleener at 49ers
Fleener was already included in this column prior to the announcement of Dwayne Allen’s season ending surgery. In part because his target total increased from a meager one during the season opener to a whopping eight in Week 2 after Allen was sidelined. Now, he becomes a strong candidate to obtain an active role in the offense in Week 3, and throughout the regular season. While the Colts must contend with a 49er defense that should be highly energized after their Week 2 drubbing in Seattle, Fleener should supply Andrew Luck with a dependable option. That is something that Luck might need repeatedly, to counteract a pass rush that has already registered six sacks.
Jordan Reed vs. Lions
Yes… you saw it here first. The rookie has already collected nine targets, and even managed to score his first career TD against Green Bay. That surpasses the current output of Fred Davis, who was benched during Week 2. RG3 certainly needs another consistent pair of hands to complement Pierre Garcon, and Reed should have the opportunity to be involved in Washington’s strategic approach versus Detroit.