Week 4 Fantasy Sleepers: Players Who Will Break Out This Week

Kyle NewportFeatured ColumnistSeptember 24, 2013

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 22:  Felix Jones #23 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs with the ball during a game against the Chicago Bears at Heinz Field on September 22, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Fantasy football owners are looking for surprises to help their lineups, and Felix Jones of the Pittsburgh Steelers will be a player who will turn heads this week.

The players on this list have had some quality games, but they haven't been able to put up consistent performances.

Bernard Pierce of the Baltimore Ravens is one name to keep an eye on this week. His fantasy value depends on the health of Ray Rice. If Rice is out again this week, Pierce will be due for a big game against the Buffalo Bills.

These are very risky players. There's no denying that fact, but they can pay off big time for fantasy owners who take a chance on them.

Let's take a look at a few of the sleepers for Week 4.


Terrelle Pryor, QB, Oakland Raiders

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - SEPTEMBER 08:  Terrelle Pryor #2 of the Oakland Raiders runs with the ball during the NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 8, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Oakland wasn't expected to be competitive this season, but Terrelle Pryor kept the Raiders close in their opener and led the team to a win in Week 2.

The dual-threat quarterback has the talent to take over a game. Luckily for him, he will be going up against a defense that has gotten off to the worst start ever. No team has allowed more yards than the Washington Redskins have through three games, according to Kevin Patra of NFL.com. 

Pryor has led the Raiders to the No. 2 rushing attack in the league, and Washington is tied for the second-worst run defense. 

The second-year quarterback entered Week 3 close to Darren McFadden for the most rushing yards on the team. The 6'4" quarterback has the size to take a hit and run over defenders. Washington's defense has been run all over through three weeks, and Oakland has the ability to run the ball at will.

Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports weighed in on Pryor's latest performance:

When the Raiders take the field in Oakland this weekend, look for Pryor to have a big game against a struggling defense.


*Update: Pryor suffered a head injury late in the game (possible concussion), according to the team's official Twitter account.



Felix Jones, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 16:  Running back Felix Jones #23 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs the ball against strong safety George Iloka #43 of the Cincinnati Bengals in the first quarter at Paul Brown Stadium on September 16, 2013 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The biggest sleeper on this list is definitely Felix Jones. This a guy who was traded to the team in late August and now will be expected to step up. 

Pittsburgh will travel to London to take on the Minnesota Vikings in a matchup of winless teams. Nobody expected either of these teams to be 0-3, but they will be expected to move on and prepare for this game.

The Steelers' biggest issue has been its inexperienced offensive line. It hasn't been able to give Ben Roethlisberger time to throw or allow running backs to have big holes to run through. The team ranks 31st in running the football at only 51.7 yards per game.

Jonathan Dwyer had the most carries (12) in Pittsburgh's Sunday night loss, but Jones was easily the most effective. He carried the ball seven times for 34 yards. He has only 17 carries in two games, but he has averaged 4.2 yards per carry. That's not a great average, but it's solid given the state of the offensive line.

Minnesota lost to a Cleveland team that was changing its lineup. That's impossible to figure out how they lost, and it looks like the Vikings are in serious trouble. 

Roethlisberger can only throw the ball so much. The Steelers need to establish the run in order to beat the Vikings, and Jones gives them the best chance to get something going on the ground.


Kenbrell Thompkins, WR, New England Patriots 

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 22:  Kenbrell Thompkins #85 of the New England Patriots runs the ball into the end zone for a touchdown during the first quarter in a game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Gillette Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachu
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Tom Brady finally got some help from his rookie receivers last week. Aaron Dobson had seven catches, and Kenbrell Thompkins had two touchdowns. Thompkins make this list because he is ready to have a great all-around game.

Despite grabbing his first two touchdowns, the rookie had only 41 yards, which was his lowest total of the season. He stayed in the 40-yard range every week, and this will be the week that he will put it all together.

New England heads to Atlanta to take on the Falcons. It's going to be a tough task for the Patriots because Matt Ryan is 34-5 in his career at home. He has 62 touchdown passes in the Georgia Dome, so the Patriots need to be prepared to throw the ball to keep up.

The Patriots may get Rob Gronkowski and/or Danny Amendola back this week. If they do, it will only help Thompkins. Those threats will draw the defense close to the line and allow Thompkins to use his speed to get open down the field.

Fantasy owners will overreact to Thompkins' two touchdowns over the weekend. The wideout may not have as many touchdowns this week, but he is going to have his best game in terms of yardage.   


*All stats are courtesy of NFL.com