Week 5 Fantasy Football Sleepers Who Will Cure the Bye-Week Blues
Week 5 of the 2013 NFL season brings with it a dark time for fantasy football enthusiasts.
The bye weeks are now in full swing.
Four teams will be taking this week off, leaving fantasy owners scrambling to plug holes in their lineups.
Whether you're hurting in the backfield, need a spot start from a signal-caller or are looking for a rental receiver, here's a handful of players who will cure your bye-week blues in Week 5.
David Wilson, RB, New York Giants (vs. PHI)
It may seem a bit strange to call New York Giants running back David Wilson a "sleeper," given that the second-year pro was drafted as a RB2 by many fantasy owners.
However, it's really not that odd. After all, Wilson's certainly been asleep for the season's first month.
A trendy breakout pick entering 2013, Wilson fumbled twice in the season opener and hasn't regained the trust of head coach Tom Coughlin.
With the release of Da'Rel Scott earlier this week, Wilson appears set for a larger workload in Week 5. The 0-4 Giants desperately need to get the ground game going.
This week, Wilson and the Giants face a Philadelphia Eagles squad that ranks dead last in the NFL in total defense.
If ever there was a week for Wilson to break out of his early-season funk, this is it.
Terrelle Pryor, QB, Oakland Raiders (vs. SD)
Not a whole lot has gone right for the Oakland Raiders in 2013.
However, the play of quarterback Terrelle Pryor hasn't been one of the problems.
Granted, the Oakland Raiders were blown out by the Denver Broncos back in Week 3, a game in which Pryor sustained a concussion.
Before he got his bell rung, Pryor had the best game throwing the ball of his young career, passing for 281 yards and posting a quarterback rating of well over 100.
Running back Darren McFadden may miss Sunday night's tilt with the San Diego Chargers due to a hamstring pull, leaving Pryor as the focal point of the Oakland offense.
Fantasy owners in a bind under center should take note of that fact. According to ESPN, no team in the NFL has allowed more fantasy points to the quarterback position this year than the Chargers.
Davone Bess, WR, Cleveland Browns (vs. BUF)
This sleeper comes with a qualifier.
Well, a couple, actually.
Davone Bess' 19 receptions for 177 yards on the season are hardly eye-popping, and in standard-scoring formats, this recommendation loses quite a bit of its shine.
However, in fantasy leagues that award a point for catches, it's a different story.
The Buffalo Bills, whom the Cleveland Browns face this week, have allowed more fantasy points to wide receivers than any team in the AFC in 2013, according to ESPN.
The Buffalo secondary has been decimated by injuries, and the focus this week will no doubt be on wideout Josh Gordon and tight end Jordan Cameron.
That should leave Bess open all day underneath, making the sixth-year veteran a sneaky fantasy start in Week 5.
Isaiah Pead/Zac Stacy, RB, St. Louis Rams (vs. JAX)
This is admittedly not a fantasy play for the faint of heart.
After all, St. Louis Rams running backs Isaiah Pead and Zac Stacy weren't even active in last week's loss to San Francisco.
Healthy scratches generally aren't big fantasy producers.
However, as Nick Wagoner of ESPN reports, Daryl Richardson tweeted Wednesday that he isn't starting for the Rams against the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday.
Head coach Jeff Fisher hasn't said who will draw the start, but it's a safe bet that it will either be Pead or Stacy, as Benny Cunningham has been underwhelming and then some.
For Wagoner's money, he feels it's time for Stacy to get a shot.
Yes, that shot comes for a Rams team that ranks last in the NFL in rushing. This is the definition of a desperation play—the fantasy football equivalent of a Hail Mary.
With that said, though, both backs are available on many waiver wires, and the Jaguars are a favorable matchup for running backs, so as desperation plays go, you could do worse.
Ryan Broyles, WR, Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions wide receiver Ryan Broyles didn't exactly inspire a boatload of confidence in his Week 5 fantasy viability with his performance in last week's win over the Chicago Bears.
Zero-catch efforts will do that.
However, sometimes fantasy owners have to have short memories.
This is one of those weeks.
This Sunday, Broyles and the Lions square off against a Green Bay Packers team surrendering the third-most fantasy points to wide receivers, according to ESPN.
The slumping Packers are sure to focus their defensive attention on Calvin Johnson, which should mean lots of single coverage for Broyles.
Throw in the very real possibility of a shootout, and Broyles is a solid plug-and-play for fantasy owners in a bind at wide receiver this week.