Ah, we’ve finally made it: the fantasy football playoffs are upon us! Gone are the weeks of playing the scab team, the injury-ridden hot mess teams, and the teams that never really had a chance. If you’ve made it this far chances are your team is pretty solid, and you probably don’t have much need to roll with a 14% owned waiver wire WR. However, chances are that your opponent has a pretty good squad too, so you’ve got to ensure you give yourself an edge at all positions. In that spirit, this weeks sleepers are composed of kickers, defenses and guys that you could plug into a flex spot if need be:
1. Cincinnati DEF (50% Y!) – Opponent: Dallas – The Bengals defense has really come on of late, registering 4 sacks in each of the last 4 games. While Paul Brown Stadium isn’t exactly the most rocking of stadiums, the Bengals should have a strong showing as they battle for a playoff spot and take on a “marquee” opponent. The Cowboys offensive line is a joke; Doug Free can’t get out of his own way and holds on literally every play (leads the league in offensive penalties). This glaring deficiency as only highlighted Tony Romo’s careless with the football and suspect decision-making. Bottom line, Romo is always a safe bet for a turnover or two. The Bengals have zero defensive TD’s and only 1 special teams TD return this year, so they could be due.
2. Buffalo DEF – (27%Y!) Opponent: St. Louis Rams – The Bills defense should matchup well to the St. Louis offense in this contest. Like the Bengals above, the Bills defense has come on lately, led by Mario Williams who has 5 sacks in his last 3 games and now has more sacks on the season (9.5) than Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers and JPP. If the Bills can contain the Rams running game then the secondary could make some big plays. The Bills also have weapons at KR/PR.
3. Greg Zuerlein, K (31%Y!) – Since when to kickers get nicknames? Well I guess when you are popping the net at 50+ yards out you deserve to be called “Greg-the-Leg” or, better yet, Leg-a-tron! While he has been wildly inconsistent in terms of fantasy scoring, there is no denying Zuerlein’s abilities to drop 50 yard bombs in the course of a game. This is more a play-to-win (isn’t that the point) play, because while he could come up small, he has the ability to lead all kickers in weekly scoring.
4. Donny Avery, WR (29%Y!) – Sure, he is playing third fiddle to Reggie Wayne and TY Hilton, but Avery had 14 targets. With that kind of action he won’t kill you at the flex; and offers some big play potential. Andrew Luck is slinging the rock as well as anyone right now, and we don’t foresee the Titans being the ones to slow him down.
5. Martellus Bennett, TE (56%Y!) – Has seem to rekindled some of his early season mojo with Brother Eli, netting 8 catches for 126 yards and a TD in his last two games. The Saints have struggled all season against TE’s. But in fairness the Saints have struggled all season against QB’s, RB’s and WR’s too. This game could/should go the way of a shootout, so Marty could register a decent number of looks. A stat line similar to last weeks 5/80/1 doesn’t seem out of reach at all.