Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 8: Best Sleeper Options for Sunday's Late Games
With only three late games on Sunday, finding those fantasy football sleepers can be extremely difficult.
Fortunately, we have some key sleepers worth a start in Week 8 because of some favorable matchups. Take running back Willis McGahee of the Denver Broncos, for example.
Denver is hosting Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, a team that presents an incredible offensive attack. Well, McGahee is a great fantasy option because:
1. New Orleans fields a horrendous defense, and
2. The Broncos significantly increase their odds of winning by keeping Brees off the field.
So how can Denver reduce the Saints' possessions to minimize the damage from Brees? Run the football, period.
To that end, let's check out Willis and other vital sleepers for Sunday's late fantasy football action.
Carson Palmer: QB, Raiders (at Chiefs)
The Kansas City Chiefs allow 4.7 yards per rush and nearly 350 total yards and 30.5 points per game.
In other words: The Oakland Raiders can easily expect to rack up tons of yards and points despite playing at Arrowhead Stadium. Carson Palmer and the Raiders' passing game ranks No. 9 in the NFL, and Palmer has only been sacked 12 times this season.
Since the Chiefs don't have an overly dominant pass rush, Palmer will have time to survey the field. And with Darren McFadden doing work on the ground, K.C. will become more vulnerable to the play-action as the contest wears on.
Oakland presents some explosive receivers and Palmer isn't afraid to take shots downfield. Include K.C.'s lack of offensive prowess and the Raiders can put this game away early by pushing the pace.
Martellus Bennett: TE, Giants (at Cowboys)
Earlier this week, according to Ed Werder and Todd Archer of ESPN.com:
Sean Lee's season is over.
Lee will have surgery on his right big toe, according to sources, with a full recovery expected for 2013.
As unfortunate as that is for the Dallas Cowboys, it provides an opportunity for the New York Giants, and more specifically, tight end Martellus Bennett.
The Cowboys are now more vulnerable against the intermediate passing game, and Bennett's size, strength and leaping ability will only become more appealing to Eli Manning. Dallas is still a sound coverage defense in the secondary, so it's reasonable to anticipate the Giants' receivers not having a great fantasy impact.
Therefore, Manning will resort to his reliable tight end and use his presence to maintain a balanced approach. If anything, look for Bennett to see targets inside the red zone and/or on third down.
Willis McGahee: RB, Broncos (vs. Saints)
Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints' offense averages 29 points and 411 total yards per game.
On the flip side, the Denver Broncos allow 23 points and 330 total yards per game. So we can definitely anticipate NOLA moving the ball up and down the field quite well against Denver.
The good news for Broncos fans, though, is that the Saints defense gives up 465 total yards and 30 points per game. New Orleans has not been able to consistently stop the pass or run and it lets opponents average 4.9 yards per rush.
In a game that the Broncos must win to gain total control of the AFC West, Denver's best odds are to keep Brees and Co. off the field. That begins and ends with veteran ball-carrier Willis McGahee, who gets 4.3 per carry and has accounted for 565 total yards in 2012.
He will consistently move the chains and allow Denver to control the game tempo, which, in turn, will significantly limit the potential damage from Brees.
Devery Henderson: WR, Saints (at Broncos)
Three key reasons why Devery Henderson is a viable fantasy option against the Broncos on Sunday night.
For one, Denver is expected to be without cornerback Tracy Porter. According to ESPN.com:
Secondly, Saints tight end Jimmy Graham may not be 100 percent. Per Mike Florio of NBC Sports:
But it’s still not a certainty that Graham will play.The decision will be made later in the day, as kickoff approaches.
The third and final reason is that Lance Moore and Marques Colston are the more appealing targets for Brees when dropping back. Because of the established stature of Colston and Moore, the Broncos will need to gear any coverage scheme toward that duo while blitzing Brees.
As for Henderson, he'll face nothing but man coverage all night long, which will simply earn him more targets. And for New Orleans to get a third-straight win, Henderson will need to step up and capitalize on his expected additional opportunities.
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