Each week I will present facts and opinions on 2 Must Start Sleepers. 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 defense 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 higher stats. In regards to opinions fantasy football is inevitably a crap shoot and when playing sleepers percentages need to be used. We don’t play the game so the more expert opinions you can get the better chance you have of making the right move.
Review of last week:
Not too bad. Here were the statistics from the following players. Coles had 7 receptions for 122 yards. Breakout game as we said after Gardner (never again) went off in week 3. FYI – That’s what happens when a second tier receiver has a good week. They always fall off the next week. Look at Reggie Wayne for example. Next, Stecker somehow only had 23 rushing yards but did have 6 receptions for 71 yards to save his day. Leftwich was a good play as well with over 300 yards and 1 touchdown while Porter disappointed with only 40 yards.
Sleepers of the week:
David Carr is looking better and better as the season progresses. A big part of that is attributed to the running game he has behind Domanick Davis and now Jonathan Wells for the time being. Last week Carr had 228 yards and a touchdown with only 23 attempts. This week he faces the Minnesota Vikings which will be airing the ball out especially since Bennet and Smith are both out. Moe Williams will be the primary back but this game has a shootout potential. Houston’s defense is middle of the pack which will be no challenge for Culpepper and company. That means Houston will inevitably be behind or at least be trying to score points to stay with Minnesota and Carr’s 23 attempts from last week could easily be doubled. My eyes are lighting up thinking of this because Minnesota’s pass defense is ranked 30th allowing 272 yards a game. Even Vinny Testaverde torched Minnesota’s defense in week 1. To be honest you really don’t need anymore numbers to realize this matchup is golden. One more note, Andre Johnson should continue his production and transforming himself into a quality fantasy wide receiver week in and week out.
Just like last week if you had Culpepper or Hasselbeck both on byes Leftwich made a good play; this week go with Carr if you have McNabb or Green on a bye. I am fully confident Carr will continue to produce. As far as quarterback plays this week I would rank them as follows: Culpepper, Manning, Hasselbeck, Vick, Carr and everyone else. That’s how high I am on Carr.
Michael Clayton if not for Roy Williams would be the top rookie receiver to this date. Jon Gruden has benched Brad Johnson in favor of Chris Simms not only because he is their future but because in week 2 verses Seattle he actually had the Tampa Bay offense moving and showing some life. Gruden also said in a press conference this week that he wants Simms and Clayton to begin playing together as they both show lots of excitement and represent Tampa Bay’s offense for years to come. Here is the fact. When Simms played in week 2 after relieving Johnson, Simms and Clayton hooked up 6 times for 61 yards. These two should continue that success this weekend as they play the New Orleans Saints who rank 23rd in pass defense giving up 230 yards a game. They have however only allowed 3 touchdowns in 4 games. Also, last week Clayton continued his solid production this year with 4 catches for 91 yards and a touchdown against Champ Bailey (granted he tripped allowing Clayton’s touchdown). If you are in a deep league or the bye week is benching your receivers go with Clayton who should put up solid numbers as the game plan will be designed for him and Simms to succeed.
Amos Zereoue looked unbelievable last weekend especially on his 55 yard touchdown run. He ended the game with 117 yards and 2 touchdowns. He will be getting the bulk of the carries as Wheatley is out for 2-4 weeks. Keep in mind he is also a solid receiver out of the backfield. Now he plays the Colts this weekend so good numbers should be posted but don’t expect a 25 point fantasy day again. Then again if he does wouldn’t you like to have picked him up and started him?
Best of luck as always.