Fantasy Football Week 6: Brandon Tate, James Jones and 5 Sleepers To Pick Up Now
With so much coverage of fantasy football, you always have to be one step ahead of the pack when it comes to finding sleepers.
And after seeing players like Jamaal Charles, Miles Austin, and Jerome Harrison come off the waiver wire last year to give owners championships, you'll see how important being the first one to the punch is.
All of these guys are owned in less than 30% of ESPN leagues, but not for long.
They all are worthy of a speculative spot start in deep leagues this week if you are in a bind at the flex spot, and could become players you can count on by the end of the season.
So go get them now, before it's too late.
Brandon Tate, WR, New England Patriots (19.4% Owned in ESPN Leagues)
Much has been written about Tate since the departure of Randy Moss, but I still don’t think people realize how talented he is.
Tate was a stud at UNC, and while he may not be the greatest start against the Ravens stifling defense, the Patriots will come out throwing the ball and Baltimore may not be as worried about the speedy WR as they should be.
He will probably be a better play in a couple of weeks once his role has been cemented, but I think he’s worth a speculative start this week if you are in a bind.
And if you don’t believe my praise of him is justified, check out his his highlights at UNC.
Look for him to become a Percy Harvin-esque versatile threat this year.
James Jones, WR, Green Bay Packers (1.8% Owned in ESPN Leagues)
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Jones is having a decent season so far, with at least 50 yards receiving or a touchdown in three out of five games, and I expect him to improve in the coming weeks.
He is one of the most talented third receivers in the NFL, only irrelevant in fantasy football due to a lack of opportunity.
And with Jermichael Finley out for the year, expect Jones’ targets to increase.
This week’s opponent, the Dolphins, lack depth behind Vontae Davis at cornerback, and they’ll have a hard time matching up with Green Bay’s secondary receivers.
And lest you forget, his quarterback is Aaron Rodgers.
Danny Amendola, WR, St. Louis Rams (28.9% Owned in ESPN Leagues)
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The bite-sized slot receiver’s value has shot up with the season-ending injury to Mark Clayton, as someone has to take his huge number of targets.
He had a staggering 12 catches last week and was targeted 19 times.
The Rams are playing the Chargers talented pass-defense, but in a game that the Rams will have to throw to keep up with Philip Rivers gashing their secondary, Amendola will get his catches.
He should be the Rams most valuable receiver for the rest of the year, so make sure you pick him up.
But his ownership increased by 21.2% this week, so go get him now, before it’s too late.
Nate Burleson, WR, Detroit Lions (29.5% Owned in ESPN Leagues)
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Calvin Johnson is a game-time decision this week, and if he doesn’t suit up, Burleson becomes a great play.
He’s the team’s No. 2 WR who would become the No. 1 if Megatron is held out.
With Shaun Hill throwing for 1130 yards in his last four games, the Lions top receiver is very relevant.
Burleson has loads of talent, and even against the league’s top pass-defense, there should be enough yards to go around for Nate.
Make sure Johnson is sitting before you pull the trigger, though.
And as for the rest of the season, Johnson will have to miss significant time for Burleson to thrive, but with this Lions throwing the ball so well, their No. 2 receiver is certainly worth owning.
Mike Hart, RB, Indianapolis Colts (2.1% Owned in ESPN Leagues)
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Hart, who can be picked up in almost any league right now, is currently the Colts backup to Joseph Addai.
Addai is nursing a minor neck injury and is expected to play, but when Peyton tears the Redskins’ shaky secondary apart, they won’t want to risk worsening his injury when the game is out of hand.
Hart has been overlooked as a pro for his diminutive stature and subpar measurables, but he was a great college player at Michigan, and can produce if given the chance.
If the Colts can build an early lead, look for Hart to get some serious garbage-time carries and put up decent numbers this week.
It’s a long shot to count on garbage time carries, but in deep leagues, he is certainly worth a flex play.
And because of Addai’s injury history, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Hart start some games later on this season.
This one is a bit of a longshot, but it could reap huge dividends if he becomes a starter.
Matt Rudnitsky is a student at the University of Michigan and a writing intern at Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Mattrud