Fantasy Football
December 19, 2012 posted by Chuck Anderson

2012 Fantasy Football: Week 16 Offensive Sleepers

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Sam Bradford, QB, St. Louis Rams

Sam Bradford, QB, St. Louis Rams

Each week FP911 brings you a list of sleepers at every offensive position.  Hit by injuries?  Low in the waiver priority order?  Don’t like your starter’s matchup in championship week?  Try one of these guys out.  In Weeks Five through Seventeen candidates will be sorted by 2012 fantasy points.  Players must be outside the top 15 QB, top 25 RB, top 40 WR, and top 15 TE.




Sam Bradford:  He averaged over 44 passes in the last three games.  In a recent four game stretch against top five pass defenses (SF, NYJ, ARZ, SF) he emerged with six touchdowns against two interceptions.  The road is getting easier, Tampa Bay is the only team allowing over 300 passing yards per game.


Ryan Tannehill:  Sunday made it three straight games without an interception for the rookie.  He is running more as well, averaging a shade over 32 yards per game over the last four.  Week Fifteen was his best fantasy game of the year.  By allowing 50 points the Bills fell into a tie for highest scoring average against.


Kirk Cousins:  He gave Washington no need to rush Robert Griffin III back, throwing for 329 yards at 8.89 yards per attempt against the #14 pass defense.  He steadily improved as the game progressed as well.  The schedule gets easier with Philadelphia next, they are 30th in defensive passer rating.


Running Backs


Vick Ballard:  With Donald Brown on injured reserve Ballard is pushing twenty touches per game.  He is averaging over 4.5 yards per carry in his last three.  Mewelde Moore was given a goal line carry last week and promptly fumbled.  Ballard is more likely to stay on the field in short yardage situations now.  Kansas City is 27th in rushing yards allowed per game.


Mark Ingram:  In the last two weeks he has 27 carries for 158 yards.  His ypc was 3.3 in the first half of the season, but is 4.7 in the second.  He also has two touchdowns in the last three games.  Dallas is 23rd in yards per rushing attempt.


Curtis Brinkley:  Ryan Mathews is out and Ronnie Brown is ailing.  On Sunday Brinkley (7.0 ypc) was decidedly more productive than Jackie Battle (0.7 ypc).  The Jets are 29th in rushing yards allowed per game and feature such a turnover-prone offense that San Diego is apt to see some short fields.


Deion Branch, WR, New England Patriots

Deion Branch, WR, New England Patriots

Wide Receivers


Deion Branch:  He saw the field for 54 snaps and five targets Sunday Night.  With far less game time than most of his teammates he should be on the field for extended stretches to bring him back up to speed.  Just last year he gained over 700 yards with five touchdowns.  Jacksonville is 22nd in defensive passer rating.


Antonio Brown:  As Sunday’s game became a shootout of sorts Brown turned in one of his most active games, catching eight passes on twelve targets.  He scored for the second time in as many weeks.  His season high in yards came the first time the Steelers played Cincinnati.


Greg Jennings:  He was second on the team in targets last week and submitted his first 50-yard game of the season.  Sunday will be his fourth game back so any injury concerns should be minimal.  Tennessee is 25th in defensive passer rating.


Championship Week Bonus:  Jacoby Jones.  Torrey Smith might not receive clearance after his concussion leaving Jones as Baltimore’s best deep threat.  Joe Flacco is one of four quarterbacks to go beyond 15 yards on over a quarter of his attempts.  The Giants are dead last in passing yards allowed per attempt.


Tight Ends


Ben Watson:  Those bold enough to play Dennis Pitta saw how tight ends tend to carve up Denver’s secondary.  They average 10.4 fantasy points each game.  Watson has already gained more yards in December than in any other month.  His catch rate is 75% over the last four games.


Lance Kendricks:  He is becoming more productive in December as well, already setting a monthly yardage high in three games.  His ypc is 13.5 in the second half, up from 8.3 in the first.  Tampa’s deficiencies were mentioned above, against tight ends they give up the seventh most fantasy points.


Tony Scheffler:  With injuries taking apart Detroit’s receivers Scheffler is stepping up and becoming the second option in the passing attack.  He has seventeen targets in the last two games.  He is also eighth among tight ends in yards per catch.  Brandon Pettigrew is shaking off a high ankle sprain, and considering Detroit’s 4-10 record, will not be rushed back.








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