If you’re like most fantasy players out there, you’re going to be spending lots of time this week looking at all sorts of rankings and projections out there in an effort to make an educated decision on your lineup for week five.
Most novice fantasy players are focusing too much of their time and effort on projecting the numbers they expect from their stars.
As we say each and every week, it’s a huge mistake.
Most sites are going to have some type of a top ten, fifteen, or twenty list and focus too much of the spotlight on the top tier of players.
If you’re reading this, you know focusing too much time on that information is completely useless. The real decisions have nothing to do with your star players. They have everything to do with your flex players, No. 3 or No. 4 options.
We define the “sneaky matchup player” as a second or third tier player on your team who you’re likely debating against someone else or not considering at all. These players won’t be found in the top 10 for weekly projections or rankings, but have some potential for the week based on a variety of factors.
This column will give you some names to consider adding to your superstars in your lineup. After all, these players tend to make or break a few critical weeks every single year.
Some of these players will be successful and others will fail. It’s inevitable. In fact, here’s how we did last week:
1. Blair White = Two catches for 20 yards
2. Charlie Batch = 141 yards, one interception
3. John Kuhn = 39 rushing yards
4. LaDell Betts = 47 rushing yards
5. Stephen Williams = Three catches, 32 yards
6. Legedu Naanee = One catch, four yards
7. BenJarvus Green-Ellis = 76 rushing yards, one touchdown
8. Justin Forsett = 65 rushing yards, twenty receiving yards
9. Laurence Maroney = 5 rushing yards, 10 receiving yards
10. Kenneth Darby = 21 total yards, one touchdown
Here are this week’s sneaky plays:
1. Fred Jackson vs. JAX
Jackson should stand to gain the most in the short term from the Marshawn Lynch trade.
2. Ryan Torain vs. GB
Let’s not get too crazy quite yet. Dynasty league veterans remember what’s happened in the past with Torain.
3. Mike Tolbert @ OAK
There’s little doubt Ryan Mathews will eventually be the featured back one day in San Diego. There’s also little doubt that Sunday won’t be the day.
4. Mike Bell @ SF
If McCoy is out, Bell is worth a look. The trouble with him is the Eagles play late on Sunday. Go with safer options unless you own both McCoy and Bell.
5. Kevin Kolb @ SF
It’s been quite a month for Kolb, but another solid week of practice should have him in better shape to produce this week. I’m still not sold long-term, however.
6. Shaun Hill vs. STL
The Lions are due and Calvin Johnson makes any quarterback look decent.
7. Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. JAX
It’s pretty amazing, but he’s actually posting some decent numbers and Jacksonville is primed for a letdown after last week’s big win.
8. Jermaine Gresham vs. TB
He’s due for a solid game and Talib will be busy with T-Ocho.
9. David Gettis vs. CHI
Sadly enough, he may be the Panthers best receiving option. Yikes.
10. Sam Bradford @ DET
It’s tough to watch him and remember he’s still a rookie. He’s not close to hitting the wall yet.
11. Matt Cassel @ IND
The Colts should put up enough points to force the Chiefs to throw. That may be just fine for Cassel since safeties in Indy are dropping like flies.
12. Mario Manningham @ HOU
If Mario Williams doesn’t annihilate Eli Manning, this Mario is a good play against a suspect Texans secondary.
13. Tim Hightower vs. NO
He’s been very quiet, but the Cards have to run with Max Hall at the helm.
14. Michael Bush vs. SD
Looks like DMC is going to miss a game and that should set things up nicely for Bush.
15. Dez Bryant vs. TEN
An extra week of practice should do him wonders. Roy Williams needs a repeat of his last performance to keep holding him off.
16. Kenny Britt @ DAL
Britt is quietly coming on here and injuries are giving him the opportunity dynasty owners have been waiting for.
17. Bruce Gradkowski vs. SD
You have to love his competitive spirit. Hopefully we love his fantasy numbers this week.
18. Santonio Holmes vs. MIN
LaDainian Tomlinson may have some trouble against Minnesota this week. Let’s see of Holmes can make an immediate impact.
Ken is on Twitter at DLF_KenK