Week 10 in the NFLHopefully you check out our sleepers yesterday before kickoff (click here to check it out now.) While my Pigskin Pick’Em results were middle-of-the-pack I was able to identify some sleeper picks that hopefully helped you out. One of my biggest hits was saying to grab the Cowboys defense if you needed a matchup play. I used them in both my two main leagues and ended up going 2-0 mostly because of their drubbing of the Eagles.
Here’s a list of some of the best stars, the players who stepped up from the middle of the rankings, and the sleepers who were on waivers who you might want to know about for week 11.
Fantasy Football Stars
Adrian Peterson-Minnesota Vikings-RB: Depending on how far he fell, Peterson has become the steal of many fantasy drafts. He went off again yesterday for 171 yards and a touchdown and added three catches for PPR league owners. He’s had over 120 yards and a touchdown in each of the last four weeks. Owners will mis him as the Vikings take their bye next week.
Calvin Johnson-Detroit Lions-WR: Megatron turned in a vintage 2011 performance as the Lions threw the ball 42 times and Johnson was able to catch 12 passes thrown his way for 207 yards and a touchdown. While the Lions still lost, Johnson owners have to be happy with this week’s output. He did take several blows to the head and turn the ball over with a costly fumble so make sure there’s no further repercussions of his head or knee injuries.
Jimmy Graham-New Orleans Saints-TE: Graham had a huge game as the Saints knocked off the previously undefeated Falcons. He finished with 146 yards on seven catches and a pair of touchdowns. He’s definitely over his ankle injury and is ready to play like a fantasy stud the rest of the way.
Chris Johnson-Tennessee Titans-RB: After a horrible start to the season, Johnson has been over ninety yards in five straight contests after his 126 yards yesterday in Miami. He had a touchdown and an eight-yard reception and looks to be back to being the workhorse back owners expected when taking him in the first round. The Titans offense still looks shaky with Jake Locker at QB, but Johnson should get plenty of carries, yard, and touchdowns the rest of the way.
Tony Gonzalez-Atlanta Falcons-TE: Gonzalez had a big game despite Atlanta’s loss finishing with a pair of touchdowns and 122 yards on 11 catches. He was the key to the Falcons pass attack being targeted an astounding 15 times.
Matt Ryan-Atlanta Falcons-QB: Ryan threw for 411 yards and three scores although he did throw a pick. Ryan is on the edge of that “elite” tier and has a good matchup next week as the Cardinals come to Atlanta and the Falcons try and bounce back.
Demaryius Thomas-Denver Broncos-WR: Thomas has gone over 100 yards in four of the Broncos last six games and was targeted 11 times yesterday. He finished with nine catches for 135 yards and returned after an apparent knee injury. Monitor his progress but he should be a nice WR1 against the Chargers next week at Mile High.
Marshawn Lynch-Seattle Seahawks-RB: Lynch was solid as usual with 124 yards and a touchdown. He’s been about as reliable as any back this year, but owners will need to look elsewhere at least for next week while Seattle has their bye.
Fantasy Football Surprises
Hakeem Nicks-New York Giants-WR: While it still wasn’t the breakout performance his long-suffering owners have been waiting for Nicks was targeted a team-high 14 times and had nine catches for 75 yards. He looks to be recovering finally and may be back to WR1 status in the next few weeks in time for the fantasy playoffs.
Joe Flacco-Baltimore Ravens-QB: Flacco was the leading point-scorer in standard scoring with 341 yards passing and three touchdowns while adding a one-yard rushing touchdown as well. He and the Ravens hung 55 on Oakland which could mean a crazy week next week for Drew Brees as the Saints head to Oakland.
Greg Olsen-Carolina Panthers-TE: Olsen continued the recent run of success for tight ends against the Broncos as he scored a pair of touchdowns to go with nine catches for 102 yards. He led the team in targets with 10 and will be a TE1 next week against Tampa Bay.
Andy Dalton-Cincinnati Bengals-QB: Dalton stepped up and threw for four touchdowns and no picks while completing 21 of his 30 pass attempts for 199 yards. Dalton has been hot-and-cold this year but he looked good against a suspect Giants secondary. He has a nice schedule the rest of the way starting next week in Kansas City.
Danny Amendola-St. Louis Rams-WR: Amendola was targeted 12 times in his first game back from injury and he was able to catch 11 passes for 102 yards. He’s a PPR gem and will be the primary target in St. Louis for as long as he’s healthy. He had an 80-yard catch on the first play of overtime which would have made his stats even better.
Jeremy Maclin-Philadelphia Eagles-WR: Maclin looks to be Nick Foles primary target. He finished with eight catches and 93 yards with a touchdown. If Foles is the QB next week and Maclin checks out ok after his own mid-game injury, Maclin will be a solid start next week against Washington.
Kyle Rudolph-Minnesota Vikings-TE: Rudolph was targeted a team-high nine times in Percy Harvin’s absence. He finished with seven catches, 64 yards, and a touchdown and is becoming a reliable low TE1 when Christian Ponder has a solid game like he did Sunday.
Andre Brown-New York Giants-RB: Brown got the start and led the Giants with 65 yards rushing even though Ahmad Bradshaw ultimately got more carries. Brown added five catches for 29 yards and should continue to play a larger role with Bradshaw struggling through his foot injury.
Fantasy Football Sleepers
Denario Alexander-San Diego Chargers-WR: Alexander caught at 80-yard touchdown bomb from Philip Rivers early in the game yesterday and went on to finish with 134 yards on five catches. He’s a deep threat the Chargers have been sorely missing since Vincent Jackson left and could continue to be useful if the Chargers throw the ball around like they did yesterday.
Colin Kaepernick-San Francisco 49ers-QB: Although he’s still raw, Kaepernick would be a solid QB2 option for as long as he gets the starting nod in San Francisco. Alex Smith left yesterday’s game with a concussion so see how he tests out this week. Kaepernick finished 11-17 with 117 yards passing while adding 66 yards and a touchdown on the ground. He took over with his team down seven and led them to an unfulfilling tie with the Rams. He’s worth a flier though in 2 QB leagues on this week’s waiver wires for sure.
Donald Jones-Buffalo Bills-WR: Jones has been targeted 19 times in the last two weeks and has back-to-back six-catch games after yesterdays 74 yard effort. He added his third touchdown of the season as well. He’s owned in under two percent of ESPN leagues and makes a nice addition if your thin at wide-out or need a bye-week filler.
Chris Ivory-New Orleans Saints-RB: Ivory had his second quality game in a row as he ran for 72 yards on 7 carries with a touchdown and added 13 yards on his one reception. Even after back-to-back good games he’s only owned in 2.5% of ESPN leagues and that may be in part due to the fact that Mark Ingram goot more carries and Daren Sproles may return soon as well to further split the workload in the New Orleans backfield.
Marcel Reece-Oakland Raiders-RB: Reece filled-in in the injury-plagued Raiders backfield finishing with 48 yards rushing and 13 of the 24 carries. He was actually more targeted than any other Raiders receiver finishing with seven catches for 56 yards. Against the Saints next week, he makes a great flex especially in PPR’s if Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson remain sidelined.
Mohamed Sanu-Cincinnati Bengals-WR: Sanu was second on the team in targets with six and had four catches for 47 yards and a touchdown and a rushing attempt which went for three yards. He’s becoming more and more involved in the Cincinnati passing attack and could have sneaky value the rest of the season. He’s currently available in over 99 percent of ESPN leagues.
Danny Woodhead-New England Patriots-RB: Woodhead is available in almost 75% of leagues and could see his role increase with the suspension of Brandon Bolden. This week was his best of the year with four catches for 46 yards and a touchdown and one rush for 15 yards and a second score. His involvement fluctuates based on gameplan but he helped his owners yesterday with a very nice game.