Fantasy Football Week 4: Biggest Sleepers to Start

Jeremy FuchsCorrespondent IIISeptember 30, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 23:   Christian Ponder #7 of the Minnesota Vikings against the San Francisco 49ers at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on September 23, 2012 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

One of the biggest keys in fantasy football is identifying sleepers and knowing when to start them. It can be the difference between a championship and missing out on the playoffs.

Here are some of the biggest sleepers you should start in Week 4.


Andrew Hawkins, WR, Bengals

Hawkins has burst onto the scene so far this season, with 12 catches for 208 yards and two touchdowns. He's blazing fast and is becoming a nice complementary option for the Bengals. They go up against the Jaguars this week, who have the third-worst yard-after-catch percentage in the league. Hawkins averages 17.3 yards per catch—he could have more on Sunday.


Christian Ponder, QB, Vikings

Ponder had the breakout game of his career against the 49ers, going 21-of-35 for`198 yards and two passing touchdowns, along with one rushing, against one of the best defenses in the league. He's shown poise so far this season and has taken a huge step in his development. 

Ponder has the second-best completion percentage among quarterbacks at 70.1 percent and has no interceptions. He's also a threat to run. 

The Lions do not have a great secondary, and with the return of Jerome Simpson from suspension, it could be a big day for Ponder. He could prove to be a sneakily effective start. 


Mikel Leshoure, RB, Lions

Leshoure established himself as the new feature back for the Lions when he rushed for 100 yards on 26 carries and a score last week. He's going to get a good number of carries. With Matthew Stafford a question mark to play, Detroit will look to run the ball a good amount of times.

The Vikings have a decent run defense, but it's nothing to write home about.  It could be a big day for Leshoure. He would be a nice RB2 or flex play. 


Kyle Rudolph, TE, Vikings

This is our second Viking on the list, but that's because they have put forth an impressive start to the season. Rudolph has three touchdowns in the past two weeks and is going up against a Lions defense that has given up the second-most fantasy points to tight ends this season.

With Ponder finding his groove and the Lions secondary struggling, it could be a big week for Rudolph. Look for him to get a bunch of targets in the end zone. 


Ramses Barden, WR, Giants

Barden has long been a polarizing figure for Giants fans. The 6'6" wideout has not been able to stay healthy. But with injuries to Hakeem Nicks and Domenik Hixon, it was Barden who stepped up last week against Carolina with nine catches for 138 yards.

Nicks is doubtful this week against the Eagles. The Eagles defense will look to stop Victor Cruz, which means Barden will have the opportunity to have a big game. He's worth a start as a flex play.