Friday, October 14, 2011

Week 6 Running Back and Wide Receiver Sleepers

This has been a prime year for sleeper candidates. It seems that every week a new name emerges and has the waiver wire buzzing.

This is largely in part due to the big names that are going down nearly every week with injuries. So if you are in that boat, fear not.

If you lost a key player like Jamaal Charles early in the year. Or suffered in the beginning with setbacks from Frank Gore, Arian Foster, Miles Austin and a slew of other receivers. Or were dealt a blow recently with the injuries to Andre Johnson, Joseph Addai and LeGarrette Blount.

Now is the time to curse a little bit, settle down and start shopping for the fantasy football hit, that is sure to pop up in Week 6.

Follow along for the list of running backs and wide receivers that I like to perform higher than expected this week. Who knows, one might be available in your league.

1) Earnest Graham, Running Back, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

LeGarrette Blount is down with injury and it is not at all far-fetched to imagine Earnest Graham making a big impact in the Bucs Week 6 matchups with the New Orleans Saints.

The Saints have allowed 107 rushing yards per game to opposing backs, and we have seen in the past, then when healthy and given a good dose of carries, Earnest Graham can deliver. Even more intriguing is Graham's ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.

Graham has 23 receptions this season for 143 yards.

I expect to see the majority of Tampa's ground work to go to Graham, and he should finally be seeing the end zone for the first time this year. I think that a rushing performance of 80 yards is not out of the question, if the Bucs can establish a passing game and keep it close. Add his receptions and receiving yards, and Graham is a good fill in for Blount or any player you have on bye.

He is currently owned in 30 percent of Yahoo fantasy football leagues. Graham is listed in my running back rankings as No. 22, making him a great pickup this week and a good man to plug in if you need him.

2) Danny Woodhead, Running Back, New England Patriots

If you wanted a deep, unowned sleeper then you have come to the right place. Danny Woodhead exploded last season as a fantasy star as the Patriots utilized him to convert first downs and add an elusive receiving threat from the backfield. He posted 34 receptions last year, most of them coming in the second half of the season.

Squaring off against the No. 1 run defense, the Dallas Cowboys, Bill Belichick and company will need to get creative when it comes to the backfield. The one area that the Cowboys have shown weakness in, is their ability to cover the screen.

It is a long-shot, but if they opt to take Green-Ellis and Ridley off the field and lineup Woodhead in the slot or behind Tom Brady, then they will have a great short-range receiving threat.

If you are in a pinch, or have everyone on bye in a damn deep league, or just looking to flaunt your 5-0 record in everyone's face, then he is an incredibly risky, but a high-reward running back option.

Woodhead is owned in 32 percent of Yahoo leagues. This might be the week to start him.

3) Victor Cruz, Wide Receiver, New York Giants

Coming into the season, all the buzz around the Giants' receivers were going to Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham. And with good reason.

2010 set us all up to believe that both players could net over 1,000 yards each and put up a hefty number of touchdowns behind the arm of Eli. But injuries to both opened the door for previously unknown Victor Cruz.

Like many, I wrote off his Week 3 110 yard, two touchdown performance against Philadelphia as a fluke. But he followed that up with six receptions for 98 yards in Week 4 and eight receptions for 161 and a score in Week 5.

Cruz has been picked up in most leagues, only available in 20 percent according to Yahoo. If he is available, get him, and if he has been collecting dust on your bench, now is the time to throw him in the starting lineup.

Cruz will be squaring off against a Buffalo team in Week 6, that has given up 283 yards per game and they are tied for third worst, giving up 10 touchdown receptions. Cruz has proven to be more than a deep threat, with his receptions going up each week.

I have Cruz steadily climbing my rankings, landing this week at No. 24.

4) Torrey Smith, Wide Receiver, Baltimore Ravens

Like Cruz, Torrey Smith had a breakout performance in Week 3. He pulled down five receptions for 152 yards and three touchdowns. However, he was practically silent the following week with a single one-yard catch.

There will definitely be some hesitance to put Smith in your lineup this week, but I expect the Ravens to embrace the pass against a heavily-injured Houston team.

Mario Williams is out for the season, striking a blow to the pass rush. While a lot of receptions are going to go to Boldin, Rice and Dickson, it would not be the least bit shocking to see Smith step up again and have a surprising game.

With Lee Evans having missed the last two games, and admitting that he is not 100 percent, I expect to see Smith ending with more than five receptions, and you have to like those odds after he has scored on half of his catches this season.

Torrey Smith is owned in 38 percent of leagues, so if you are in a pinch with injuries or byes, he might just be the next best thing.

I have him sitting at 39 on my wide receiver rankings.

5) Harry Douglas, Wide Receiver, Atlanta Falcons

If you are looking to turn some heads with a deep sleeper this week, then look no further than Harry Douglas.

It was just reported that Julio Jones will miss the Week 6 matchup against the Carolina Panthers, meaning that Douglas will be stepping in to take over the receptions.

At the WR2 slot, Julio Jones has pulled down 25 receptions, putting him in the top 20 in the league. Stepping into that role, Douglas will be adding to his 11 catches this season and will definitely see an increase in his yardage.

Against the 18th ranked Carolina pass defense, Roddy White will be taking a good amount of heat, leaving Matt Ryan looking for a playmaker. If Douglas can show flashes of his junior and senior seasons in Louisville, then expect him to have a big impact on the game.

Douglas is owned in just one percent of Yahoo fantasy football leagues. He is sitting at number 42 on my wide receiver rankings.


  1. Need some trade advice!!!

    Should I trade away Stafford and Gates for Brady or should I trade Stafford and Fred Jackson for Brady and Chris Johnson?

    Or should I continue to roll with what I currently have?

  2. Steve Johnson or victor Cruz in flew this week?

  3. Would you suggest (if either or at all) giving up Willis McGahee or Bennie Wells with Malcom Floyd for Julio Jones and Rob Gronkowski?

  4. IMPORTANT!!! I really need some help on this trade offer and I love this website i really cant get enough. This is my first year and the trade is Victor and Sproles for my Mcfadden. the thing is my team is:

    QB: Philip Rivers
    RB: Darren McFadden
    RB: Ahmad Bradshaw
    WR: Wes Welker
    WR: Jabar Gaffney
    WR: Greg Little
    TE: Aaron Hernandez
    FLEX: Kellen Winslow (TE)
    DEF: Houston
    K: Dan Bailey
    BN: Joseph Addai
    BN: Titus Young
    BN: Stevan Ridley
    BN: Denarius Moore
    BN: Robert Meachem
    BN: Mark Sanchez

    I'm 3-2 in a 12 team league - Head to head

    what do you guys think? i really need your help. shit i don't even tell the other people in my league about this site cuz it have helped me so much.


  5. stafford and jackson for brady and johnson pull the trigger, brady is brady and I fell cj will finally start playing like his old self shortly

  6. My team consists of :
    Tom Brady
    Calvin Johnson
    Santonio Holmes
    Mark Ingram
    Earnest Graham
    Greg Olson
    Santana Moss
    Beanie Wells
    Willis McGahee
    Deion Branch
    Malcom Floyd
    Bernard Scott
    Vince Young

  7. Mike Williams (TB) or Crabtree?

  8. I'd stay right where you are. Stafford is putting up points. It doesnt really seem like this is a trade of necessity.

  9. I'd go Johnson. Cruz is getting work done, but I would still take Steve Johnson (a WR1) over him.

  10. Depends on the rest of your team. Probably not though.

  11. Alright. Lets to a little math on this one.

    McFadden is getting you 13 points per game.
    Gaffney is averaging 9.
    Little is averaging 5.
    Mc Fadden is averaging 13
    Bradshaw averaging 10.

    So your lineup right now with those four is 37 points per game.

    Making this trade will get rid of McFadden, but add Sproles and replace Little with Cruz making it:

    Gaffney - 9
    Cruz - 13
    Bradshaw - 10
    Sproles - 13

    45 points per game.

    Sounds like a good trade to me. (These points are based on PPR, if your league is something else, then you can just do this yourself and see if it works for you.)

    Based on PPR, take it.

  12. I dont know. I think its pointless. There is definitely some huge upside to it, but I wouldn't gamble giving up a great RB for one that has done absolutely nothing so far.

  13. I wouldnt do it. It would leave you weak at RB, and you already have two good WRs that you are consistently starting in Johnson and Holmes. The TE stepup would be nice, but I expect Gronk to slow down with Hernandez back. I'd say no.

  14. Ouch. I have Williams higher, just because he has shown more promise. But after last week, its a tough call.

    Hard to suggest Williams coming off a zero point week. But you have to have him higher than Crabtree.

  15. Thanks for the advice. keep kicking ass with the website

  16. So Colston or Nicks at WR? They're both projected to put up mediocre points (13 or 14). Also, McFadden or Colsten / Nicks at Flex. McFadden hasnt put up great FP last few weeks, but that means he's due to get back on track.

  17. How stacked is your team that you are going to be benching one of these guys?

    I'd personally go Nicks and McFadden. Nicks could strike gold any week, same with McFadden. Colston just has more competition at the position, so he is less consistent.