Each week I will present facts and opinions on 2 Must Start Sleepers and honorable mention(s). The facts will be based on team and individual statistics from the current year and even trends from the past.
When examining facts one needs to consider the offensive and defensive of their team as well as the opponent’s team. Keep in mind a wide receiver for instance will be used more if their own team has a weak defensive or if the opposing team has a good offensive. In both these situations typically more passing will be present giving you a better chance of bigger numbers. In regards to opinions fantasy football is inevitably a crap shoot. We don’t play the game or sit in on team meetings during game plan discussions so the more expert opinions you can get the better chance you have of making the right move.
Sleepers of the week:
The biggest sleeper this week goes to Lamar Gordon for the Miami Dolphins. Miami traded for Lamar Gordon to be there main back. Last week he got his feet wet while sharing time with Travis Minor and Sammy Morris. However both these backs are injured and most likely out this week. Therefore if Gordon isn’t carrying the ball then no one is. Miami knows they have no chance of winning without establishing a resemblance of a running game. Secondly, the Dolphins are playing the Bungles, yes the Bungles. Any team that gives 196 yards to a worn down running back like Curtis Martin must be horrible. He also scored 2 touchdowns which is double his total in 16 games last year. Not only that but the Bungles ranked 24 in run defense last year giving up an average of 138 yards per game. 138 yards all of which will be given to Gordon. Anything less than 100 yards for Gordon would be asinine and completely mystifying. Another note while Miami’s offense is horrible AJ Feely hooked up with Randy McMichael 7 times in the second half vs Tennessee last week. That combo will be hooking up all year allowing some softness in the defense. Cincinnati might win but with their defensive troubles especially versus the run Miami will be able to move the ball. That brings us to the other side of the ball. For those thinking Carson Palmer might somehow put Miami behind the 8 ball from the get go and therefore forcing them to pass to catch up is mistaken. Miami’s defense held McNair to 73 yards passing. Miami still has a good defense which will keep them in the game allowing Gordon to get plenty of touches. If you have Lamar Gordon he is a must start this week as 100 yards and the end zone is conservative. If you don’t have Gordon and he is available on the waiver wire snag him before it’s too late.
My number two sleeper lock of the week goes to Muhsin Muhammad and the Carolina Panthers at Arrowhead. If you haven’t heard for some unknown reason Steve Smith broke his leg Monday night ala Ed McCaffrey (not quite as grotesque). Therefore Jake Delhomme has Muhammad and Ricky Proehl as a one two punch. In no way I am saying that Muhammad will replace Steve Smith but this week is all but a forgone conclusion. Carolina got blown out on Monday Night and a Super Bowl team doesn’t take that lightly. You can bet their A game will be present on Sunday. I was reviewing a betting site today and I was very surprised when 100% of the plays on that game were on the Chiefs laying 6. How many bets were made who knows but the point is Carolina has lots of heart, don’t forget that. Anyways here is what you can expect to see based on past events. Kansas City will score their points versus the Panther defense. Last year Kansas City scored over 30 points in 5 of their 8 home games and their lowest total was 24 points versus Denver. Therefore in order for Carolina to stay in this game they will need to score points and quite frankly might play from behind as the Chiefs got off to huge starts last year and even last week. Knowing that do you really think the Panthers will get blown out? They are too good and have too good of a coach for that to happen in consecutive weeks. A high scoring game with lots of yards is brewing a fantasy owners dream. While Stephen Davis and DeShaun Foster will be a big part of the game plan Jake Delhomme will be flinging the ball down field. With no Steve Smith, Muhammad will see more and more looks versus the Chiefs horrid run and pass defense. I wouldn’t get too excited with Muhammad for the rest of the year quite yet but against Kansas City a red zone visit and a bundle of yards is in the cards.
Onterrio Smith will have a huge day versus the awful Philadelphia Eagles run defense. Michael Bennett was ruled out and Moe Williams is hurting. The only reason Smith wasn’t ranked as the sleeper of the week is because he isn’t a sleeper anymore. If you own him he is a must start for the prolific Minnesota offense week in and week out. (At least until Bennett gets back)