In most standard fantasy leagues the playoffs start within the next 2 weeks, and when you're facing the best teams in your league every point counts. To help you out I have selected a few sleepers that I think could play out well late in the season, and in the coming weeks there are match ups that can be taken advantage of, as well as some that could hurt some key players.
The Buccaneers are facing the Falcons at home and with the way Jamies Winston has been playing, I like this matchup for him. Winston, also one of my sleepers, is only owned in 36% of leagues. The Falcons have the best rushing defense in the NFL, which leads me to think Doug Martin is not going to be your man. Coleman, the Falcons backup running back, is a good start as long as Freeman remains out, and he is owned in 64% of leagues.
The Cardinals have the 6th ranked rushing defense in the NFL, setting up an unfavorable matchup for Todd Gurley. I am not telling you to sit Gurley, however if you have Thomas Rawls or Shady McCoy you might consider a more favorable matchup. Speaking of, McCoy seems to finally be healthy and since week 8’s bye he has scored 19, 20, and 24 points.
Week 15 brings the worries of players sitting out to rest for the playoffs, so this is a good week to pick up a few extra players, mainly if you have players on teams that are going to clench a playoff spot, i.e. the Patriots and the Panthers. If someone in your playoff picture has Tom Brady or Cam Newton, than it may be a good idea to pick up a QB like Winston, or similar, to block them.
For the second week in a row Tampa Bay has been my favorite match up, so much so that as of now I plan on starting Winston this week over Rodgers. Winston is facing the Saints who just recently fired their defensive coordinator, as they are currently the 31st ranked passing defense in the NFL. The Saints defense allowed 6 TD's in week 8 to Eli Manning, 4 TD's in week 9 to Marcus Mariota, and 4 TD's to Kirk Cousins in week 10, leading me to believe that Jamies Winston is going to have much success exploiting this vulnerable Saints secondary. I would also expect Doug Martin to establish the run game early, and share in the spoils of this lopsided matchup.
Looking at the Patriots I know I have to choose them for a win over the Texans, however expect them to have some success in slowing down the Pats offense. The Patriots are running out of offensive weapons as Edelman is still out, Deon Lewis is out, and Amendola is now injured. I would look for options outside the Patriots offense, and again I really like Winston and he remains a good option for people who own Brady or Newton.
For week 15 I have 2 favorable match ups
If Carson Palmer is playing in this game, I like him and Larry Fitzgerald to put up some serious points. It’s a road game for the Cardinal but against an Eagles defense that gave up 45 points to the Buccaneers and Lions. Weeks 11 and 12 brought back to back games where Jamies Winston and Matthew Stafford both passed for 5 TD's respectively. If the Cardinals still haven't clinched a playoff spot, Palmer and Fitzgerald could have big games against a struggling Eagles defense.
The Packers play in Oakland and I like both QB's in a very college-esque matchup between two passing offenses and two terrible passing defenses, 25th and 30th respectively, and both teams possibly fighting for a playoff spot making either quarterback a solid choice. Though the matchups aren’t bad, I would avoid receivers from this game as the Packers wide outs are too inconsistent and it is impossible to predict whether Crabtree or Cooper will get the work load, considering injuries.
1. Jamies Winston, 37% owned. Winston has good match ups in the last half of the season.
2. Colby Fleener, 32.8% owned. I will like Fleener more when Luck returns from injury because he is a good red zone threat.
3. Reuben Randle, 39.6% owned. Randal is more of a risky pick up, but with how much the Giants pass Randle is poised to have a big game at any time.
4. Doug Baldwin, 33.8% owned. Since Seattle has been passing a lot more lately, I like Baldwin as a good sleeper flex play.
5. Kamar Aiken, 52.7% owned. The Ravens, having been cursed with offensive injuries this season, are without Steve Smith, Joe Flacco and two running backs. With newly signed QB Matt Schaub, Aiken should see a lot more passes thrown his way as the ground game for Baltimore struggles.
By: JB La Cross
*Some stats supplied by ESPN