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Winning the Wire and the Playoffs: Week 14 Fantasy Sleepers

E.J. Manuel (fielrush.com)

The playoffs have arrived in almost all fantasy leagues.  Most teams are not going to be adding players to start this week, but there are three or four games remaining and roster depth is always important.  Here’s a few players to look at for deep leaguers and roster depth in all leagues.

LAST WEEK

Carson Palmer and Josh McCown each delivered multiple touchdowns to fantasy owners who rolled the dice (or had no choice).  Matt Flynn was terrible, but not a whole lot worse than Robert Griffin III.  Brandon Bolden was left off the Bill Belichick running back roulette wheel leaving Shane Vereen as the only viable Pats RB to start this week.  Zac Stacy played and the so did the Jets, and thus, Cunningham and Powell were relegated to fantasy irrelevance.  Montee Ball rushed for over 100 yards for Denver and is a nice dynasty player.

Even though Justin Hunter caught one pass last week, I don’t mind him again this week if Delanie Walker is out for Tennessee.  Hunter was targeted five times in a game played close to the vest by both teams.  Dexter McCluster was viable in PPR leagues and Donnie Avery was not; Michigan’s Junior Hemingway scored and is a deep sleeper in standard leagues due to his ball skills and size.  Brent Celek also came through with a touchdown for Philly and helped extend Arizona’s historically terrible season defending tight ends.  Buffalo’s defense was disappointing at SkyDome against Atlanta.

QUARTERBACKS

EJ Manuel (BUF @ TB)  The Buccaneers run defense is especially good and they have been vulnerable to the pass recently.  The Bucs surely will have taken notice of what Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller did to Atlanta, and Manuel could put together a decent line with his dual-threat ability not too far from where he played college ball (Florida State).

Ryan Fitzpatrick (TEN @ DEN)  Broncos games are usually very high scoring and I like Fitzpatrick to rebound off his poor outing against the Colts to be a nice volume play Sunday in two quarterback leagues.

RUNNING BACKS

The running back crop is very thin this week, and playoff teams are probably better of adding a backup to their starters than anyone else.

Knile Davis (KC @ WAS)  Davis amassed 38 yards on only three touches and returned a kickoff for a touchdown last week.  Davis could be decent in some special teams formats and a sleeper if Kansas City gets ahead of reeling Washington and Jamaal Charles gets a rest.

Willis McGahee (CLE) and Michael Bush (CHI)

Starting either of these guys means your best case scenario is defensive pass interference placing the ball at the one yard line.  However, each has a beatable run defense matchup against the Patriots and Bears.

I also like LeGarrette Blount better than McGahee and Bush if he’s available for a week 14 dice roll.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Andre Holmes (OAK @ NYJ)  Holmes burst on to the scene on Thanksgiving Day racking up 136 yards and Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline got open with ease against the Jets secondary.

Junior Hemingway is a guy to take a flier on in deep standard leagues while I like Seattle’s Doug Baldwin and Ace Sanders (JAX) as PPR deep sleepers.

TIGHT ENDS

Brent Celek and Zach Ertz (DET @ PHI)  Nick Foles showed no hesitation to use both Eagles tight ends last week and this week’s matchup with Detroit could turn in to a shootout.

Dennis Pitta (MIN @ BAL)  Pitta is eligible to be activated this week should you be inclined to look his way.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

The Oakland defense is the sleeper DST of the week because they face the rudderless New York Jets on the road.

About Kevin O'Keefe - @KevinOKeefe14

I am an attorney practicing in New Hampshire.  Previously I practiced in Florida, and have a Massachusetts license I have never used.  I am contributing with fantasy football pieces now and hope to expand my contributions in the future.   I attended college at the University of New Hampshire and was captain of the tennis team.  I graduated law school in 2007.    I love to surf, hike, and travel all over especially to Central America. I started playing fantasy sports in 8th grade when my friend and I would mail in our newspaper fantasy baseball salary cap league.  I play fantasy football, hockey, baseball and NASCAR.  I am happy to expand my current audience of fantasy advice recipients beyond my friends and family.  If you have lineup or draft questions, find me on Twitter @KevinOKeefe14.

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