2011 Fantasy Football Sleepers | Rest of Season
Heading in the second half of the year, there are more players surfacing into fantasy relevance. This week we divulge into the Top 10 sleepers that should be on your radar. These players are worthy of a look in deeper leagues, such as 16 team leagues or a league with more then the average roster size.
Here are our top fantasy football sleepers for the rest of the season:
Christian Ponder, QB, Minnesota Vikings
Ponder has now made three career starts for the Vikings and is averaging just over 13 fantasy points per game. That isn’t terrible considering he’s still a rookie. As time goes on he will only get more comfortable running the offense. The Vikings are not a good team and since they figure to be behind in those games, Ponder will be able to put up good numbers.
If your looking for a quarterback who can potentially help your team out down the stretch look no further than Ponder. In the weeks coming, Ponder faces the Falcons, Broncos, and Saints, who all ranked in the bottom fourteen in passing yards allowed.
Matt Leinart, QB, Houston Texans
Since Matt Shaub is being reported that he’s out for the year with a foot injury, Leinart will step in as the starting QB for Houston. Leinart has been a boarderline Top 20 quarterback in his career, so let’s not get to excited about this.
Andre Johnson looks like he will be good to go Week 12 after the Texans bye week. Having that big target, as well as Arian Foster coming out of the backfield to catch passes, will help the former USC first round pick. I wouldn’t be shocked if Leinart wound up in the Top 15 in the final seven weeks. He’s a good add if your a Shaub or Matt Cassel owner.
Vincent Brown, WR, San Diego Chargers
With Malcom Floyd hurt off and on this year and his whole career, Brown seems poised to be the possession receiver Philip Rivers has been without this year. In Brown’s last two games he has tallied 9 catches for 176 yards with one touchdown on 15 targets.
The Chargers love to pass the ball under Norv Turner, and has been shown this year with the sixth most passing attempts. The remaining schedule, looks promising for Brown with Chicago, Denver, Buffalo and Oakland all in the top half in receiving yards allowed. Pick him up as he’s only owned in .2% of ESPN leagues.
Jerricho Cotchery, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers have shown in recent weeks that their not afraid to air it out, and Cotchery has benefited from that. With Emmanuel Sanders out with an injury and Hines Ward only on the field for running plays, Cotchery has proven he can be a decent option at WR.
He caught 2 passes last week for 29 yards and a touchdown, and should of had another one but it was called back because of a penalty. There is definitely some value going forward, keep an eye on him in week 12 as the Steelers have a bye this week.
Terrence Austin, WR, Washington Redskins
Leonard Hankerson’s injury could be a blessing in disguise for Austin. The second year receiver from UCLA has been getting consistent looks in the last five games, gaining 94 yards on 8 catches. He now will move up the depth chart and should see his value increase.
This is the deepest sleeper on my list for no other reason then lack of depth for the Redskins receivers. I believe Austin will line-up in the slot and look to utilize his quickness off the line to go along with his great speed. He has a decent match-up this week against the Cowboys, but don’t add him just yet.
Mark Clayton, WR, St. Loius Rams
Clayton was activated off the PUP list last week after missing the first half of the year. In limited action this past week he was only targeted once and had zero catches. I expected Clayton to be the number two receiver for the Rams the rest of the season. He is still not back to 100% so expect a slow first couple of weeks.
With Josh McDaniels calling the plays, the Rams will always be a pass happy team and I look for Clayton to take advantage of that. He is worth a stash in deeper leagues, as he can put up decent numbers in the final couple of weeks.
Tashard Choice, RB, Washington Redskins
Head coach Mike Shanahan is a fantasy nightmare if you own a Redskin running back. With that being said, why not take a chance on Choice? Is he the best running back on the team? No, but you have to figure Shanahan will find a way to use him in the coming weeks.
Choice’s status is up in the air this week after suffering a hamstring injury with the Dallas Cowboys. Coach Shanahan said in his Tuesday press conference that there’s big upside for Choice. Really? We are talking about Tashard Choice right? As crazy as this sounds, I expect for Choice to be a factor in the back field this season. You just never know how things can go in Washington.
Spencer Larsen, RB, Denver Broncos
Along with Terrence Austin, this is the deepest of deep sleepers. Larsen had 5 carries for 17 yards in Week 10. With Knowshon Moreno out for the year and Willis McGahee’s status up in the air for Thursday nights game, I see Larsen getting more touches especially around the goal-line.
He has the ability to come out of the back field and catch passes as well, with 8 catches for 69 yards on the season. I like Larsen as a super deep sleeper mainly because of depth at the running back position for the Broncos. Keep your eye on him this Thursday.
St. Louis Rams, D/ST
If you’re looking for help at defense, look no further then the St. Louis Rams. They have a very favourable remaining schedule; Seahawks twice, 49ers twice and the Cardinals. Those three offense won’t scare anybody.
The Rams have been averaging 12 fantasy points per game in their last 3 games. I expect that trend to continue heading down the stretch, with weak offense lying ahead. Consider them a spot start sleeper the rest of the year.
Steven Hauschka, K, Seattle Seahawks
Need help at kicker? Steven Hauschka may be your guy. After making five field goals last week and 13-15 this year, Hauschka looks like a good option at kicker.
He will have chance to keep up the pace from last week, with a great match-up this week against the St. Loius Rams in a dome. Seattle has a difficult time getting the ball in the end-zone, which leads to field goal chances for Hauscka. He is worth a add in deeper leagues.
Trevor Gunn has been involved in fantasy sports for over 10 years, and brings extensive football knowledge to NFLSoup. In addition to his fantasy football expertise, Gunn also covers the NBA at NBASoup.com. Follow him on Twitter @NFLSoupTrevor.