Fantasy football sleepers provide a key competitive advantage each week.
Since we're nearly halfway through the fantasy regular season, each subsequent week becomes more important than the last.
In addition, a quarterback such as Christian Ponder of the Minnesota Vikings provides more promise than at first glance. Facing the Washington Redskins this week, Ponder sees one of the NFL's worst pass defenses and he's also backed by Adrian Peterson.
As for Week 6, he's also not the only sleeper worth considering.
To that end, let's check out Ponder and other players who can help get your team a win and back in the fantasy playoff mix.
Coby Fleener has received the third-most targets from Andrew Luck in 2012.
Receivers Reggie Wayne and Donnie Avery have more, but Fleener is set up for an impressive Week 6.
Last week, the New York Jets gave up 79 yards and one touchdown to Owen Daniels of the Houston Texans. Although Daniels is among the best around, the Texans aren't necessarily a pass-first offense.
Indianapolis is a much stronger passing team than the Texans. Playing in New York this week, Luck's best target is going to be Fleener. After all, the Jets are still well-versed against the pass and have the depth to lock down any receivers on the outside.
Doing so should open up the middle, just as it did for Daniels, as Fleener gets man coverage or zone underneath. Indy will need a semi-balanced approach to win this tough road game, but targeting Fleener only spreads the field to widen the defense.
In the Cleveland Browns' past three games, receiver Josh Gordon has caught six passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns.
Despite both scores coming last week, Gordon's big-play impact has even more potential this week.
He's gradually developing into one of Cleveland's more exciting receivers, and his contributions will be vital in Week 6 when Cleveland hosts the Cincinnati Bengals. Marvin Lewis' team has just one interception through five games this season.
During their first meeting, Weeden through for 322 yards and two touchdowns, while Trent Richardson racked up 145 total yards and two scores.
Include Gordon's potential impact on the Browns offense and Cincinnati is in trouble.
He's not yet established enough to warrant double coverage, and because of Richardson, Cincy will occasionally stack the box. This makes the Bengals more vulnerable downfield and Gordon produces quite well in getting yards after the catch.
Christian Ponder has developed into more than just a game-managing quarterback.
By no means are his numbers indicative of being a gunslinger, but his decision-making and mobility is what pays the most dividends.
Even better, Ponder and the Vikings play the Washington Redskins this week. Washington ranks No. 31 against the pass and has given up an average of nearly 30 points per contest.
Ponder can be expected to receive the green light on more than a few play calls to keep the Redskins off balance.
We know Adrian Peterson is going to slam on the ground and draw that extra defender into the box. Fortunately for Minnesota, Ponder has dependable targets in Percy Harvin and tight end Kyle Rudolph.
It's no secret why the Vikings are 4-1. Their balanced approach is orchestrated to a T.
The Redskins also lack a consistent pass rush, which will only help Ponder dice even better in Week 6.
If the Dallas Cowboys offense doesn't turn the ball over this week, Big D has great odds for an upset.
Facing the balanced attack of the Baltimore Ravens, the Cowboys defense has the talent to limit overall production.
Dallas ranks No. 1 against the pass and presents a great pass rush courtesy of DeMarcus Ware. Sean Lee is among the best middle linebackers around and the Cowboys secondary is capable of totally blanking Baltimore's passing game.
Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne can shut down in man coverage, which only frees up the front seven to blitz more. Provided that the Cowboys keep Ray Rice in check, Dallas will force Baltimore to punt plenty of times.
The Ravens' pass protection isn't the most consistently reliable and this offense gears around Rice. Rob Ryan has the secondary playmakers to cause turnovers, so it's a matter of slowing down the ground game and getting solid quarterback pressure when needed.
Doug Martin has quietly gone under the radar this season.
With much rookie attention going towards the quarterbacks and Trent Richardson, Martin has produced decently well for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
With 300 total yards through the first four games, the Bucs are coming off a bye week and hosting the Kansas City Chiefs. This is an appealing matchup for anyone with Martin, because K.C. allows an average of 121 rush yards per game and gives up 4.4 per carry.
As a complete back with dual-threat ability, Martin's number of opportunities is crucial to Tampa winning. The Chiefs have a strong ground game courtesy of Jamaal Charles, so the more Martin is fed, the more Tampa can control the game tempo.
This in turn also sets up the play-action pass for the Josh Freeman and Vincent Jackson connection. Kansas City may rank No. 8 against the pass, but the team is allowing over 12 yards per catch this season.
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