With the impending arrival of fantasy playoffs sooner than some may like, sleeper plays become more important than ever.
That is especially the case with bye weeks taking up such a large chunk of the available talent pool.
With heavyweights such as Tom Brady, Josh Gordon, Jamaal Charles and a host of others kicking back on a bye, here are a few names to obtain in one form or another and insert into any and all fantasy lineups to weather the storm.
Jake Locker, QB, Tennessee Titans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Jake Locker is a streaky player to say the least, as referenced by his last two weeks of play:
|Week/Opponent||Pass Defense Rank||Yards||TD||INT||Fantasy Points|
|Week 7 vs. SF||8th||326||2||1||21|
|Week 9 at STL||9th||185||0 (1 rush)||2||10|
Locker faced similar defenses in both matchups yet threw for over 300 yards in Week 7, and he then managed just over 180 after a bye in Week 9 against St. Louis.
The good news is that Locker continues to complete over 60 percent of his passes, takes care of the football with eight touchdowns to just three interceptions and is surrounded by quality weapons such as Nate Washington and Kendall Wright.
Sure, Locker stumbled last week with only a rushing touchdown to his name, but he's easily a No. 1 quarterback in Week 10 against a lowly Jacksonville defense. While hardly a guarantee in most weeks, Locker is a sure thing against the Jaguars.
Mike James, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Miami Dolphins
Rookie back Mike James continues to impress, and his stock remains on the rise in Week 10 against a Miami defense that allows 116.5 rushing yards per game.
Bucs have a find in RB Mike James. He ran hard spelling Martin early this year & now as a starter. Loved this, too: http://t.co/8JwcUF6fju— Marc Sessler (@MarcSesslerNFL) November 6, 2013
James exploded last week for 158 rushing yards on 28 carries, but his production was helped by the fact the Buccaneers somehow jumped out to an early 21-0 lead over the Seahawks.
While James may not receive the same amount of attention on the ground against Miami, he's shown in the past three weeks with his nine receptions that he is reliable as a contributor in all phases, which provides a major boost to his value.
The best news for James' value? Miami surrenders the fourth-most fantasy points to the position this year. While others continue to sleep on him, slick owners will have him as a quality flex.
Riley Cooper, WR, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Green Bay Packers
For one reason or another, Riley Cooper goes as Nick Foles goes.
Last week Foles went out, messed around and threw seven touchdowns against Oakland, three of which went to Cooper.
Cooper now has four touchdowns on the year with Foles under center and four or more receptions in three of Foles' starts, with two seeing him go for over 120 yards or more as well.
Foles surely remains the starter after his historic outburst, regardless of Michael Vick's health.
Week 10 appears to be another under-the-radar day for Cooper with the Green Bay Packers on the schedule. Green Bay allows over 250 passing yards per game and surrenders an average of 22.8 points to the wide receiver position per game.
With the bulk of that work going to Cooper as long as Foles plays, he's a borderline No. 2 receiver and great stop-gap solution with potential for consistency the rest of the way.