Fantasy Football Sleepers: Rookie Three-Pack for Week 5

Curt PopejoyContributor IOctober 3, 2013

ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 29: E.J. Manuel #3 of the Buffalo Bills runs with the ball during NFL game action against the Baltimore Orioles at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 29, 2013 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Has the Week 5 bye snuck up on you, and you are sitting on a bunch of players on your fantasy football roster that are taking the week off? If so, it's not the end of the world.

Injuries this year has really hampered the depth of so many fantasy football reserves, that sometimes you have to make a move on a risky player or two when the situation forces your hand.

Rookies are often the forgotten fantasy football players, because NFL fans don't follow the rosters of other teams closely enough to notice when guys are sneaking up depth charts, getting extra snaps and working their way toward fantasy football relevance. 

With that, here is a three-pack of rookies you should be able to pull off your waiver wire, and could get you over the hump until your regular starters come back next week.

Disclaimer: These players are called sleepers for a reason. Top rookies like Andre Ellington, Eddie Lacy(who I told you to get a week ago) and Gio Bernard are likely not available, which is why they are excluded.

Statistics provided by ESPN Fantasy Football.

ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 29: E.J. Manuel #3 of the Buffalo Bills celebrates their victory at the conclusion of their NFL game against the Baltimore Orioles at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 29, 2013 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbo
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images


E.J. Manuel, Buffalo Bills: There's no better time to go find a sleeper than when they are coming off a bad game. Last Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens, Manuel had his worst output of the season.

The Ravens were ready for him, and the Bills coaching staff had no answer as to how to correct for it. But, they got the win so there was no reason to force Manuel into the offense.

This week, the Bills travel to Cleveland to take on the Browns. I expect Manuel to have a much more active role in the offense. Prior to last week, Manuel had been averaging 40.5 pass attempts per game in his previous two, and I expect a return to that this week as the Bills expand his role.

Manuel is only owned in 20.1 percent of leagues on, so if you are in a deep league and have a quarterback on a bye, Manuel might be just who you are looking for.


Aug 29, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams running back Zac Stacy (30) carries the ball against the Baltimore Ravens at Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Running Back

Zac Stacy, St. Louis Rams: There are probably plenty of NFL fans who have no clue who Stacy is.

Stacy is the 2013 fifth-round pick for the Rams and former Vanderbilt running back. Stacy came into the league incredibly underrated, but this week, against the woeful Jacksonville Jaguars he could get his chance to shine.

Stacy has the best mix of size and speed of any back the Rams have, and with Daryl Richardson out, Stacy makes a very sneaky play. He is currently only owned in only .2 percent of ESPN leagues, so if you are short on backs, go get him now.


GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 24:  Wide receiver Keenan Allen #13 of the San Diego Chargers returns a punt against the Arizona Cardinals during the preseason NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on August 24, 2013 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christi
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Wide Receiver

Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers: There's nothing better for a rookie wide out than a great quarterback, and Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is having a huge start to his season. Last week against the Dallas Cowboys, Allen was the recipient of six targets of which he snared in five for 80 yards.

This week against the lowly Oakland Raiders, it is safe to expect a similar sort of result, and I won't be at all shocked if he finds the end zone. Allen is only owned in 1.1 percent of ESPN leagues, so this one should be another easy get for some nice fantasy points on the bye.

So, if you are short on players, get out to the waiver wire and snatch up some of these talented rookies. You'll be glad you did.