For those of you who are in fantasy football leagues that save your championship game for Week 17, you’re in luck because I have six special sleepers that will win you that championship you’ve been longing for.
And if you’re worried about starting a player because you think he’ll get pulled early for resting purposes, I’m here to assure you that there are still plenty of teams out there with a lot left to play for, except the Atlanta Falcons who already have everything locked up.
Here’s my list:
Chad Henne, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Henne has been fairly solid since taking over quarterback duties back in Week 11, posting double-digit fantasy points in five of his last six games. This Sunday, his Jaguars get ready to square off against the Tennessee Titans‘ 26th-ranked pass defense who have allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. He’ll be without his top target Cecil Shorts though, who was recently placed on injured reserve, but in their season finale, he’ll look to make an impression for next season’s starting gig. If you’re searching for that diamond in the rough, Henne could be that guy.
Chris Ivory, RB, New Orleans Saints
Ivory is listed as probable for Week 17 against the Carolina Panthers‘ 18th-ranked rush defense. Lost in a crowded backfield, the Saints would be wise to give Ivory, who is scheduled to become a restricted free agent, plenty of touches in their season finale with hopes of trading him in the off-season. Giants RB Andre Brown and Eagles RB Bryce Brown are just a couple unknown names that have catapulted themselves into fantasy relevance in games against the Panthers this season.
Kenny Britt, WR, Tennessee Titans
We thought the transition from the old, weak-armed Matt Hasselbeck to the young, strong-armed Jake Locker would improve Britt’s fantasy outlook but they’ve yet to show much chemistry together. The good news, though, is that Britt has found the end zone more frequently with Locker at the helm, scoring three touchdowns in his last five games and topping 100 yards once during that span. This week the Titans face the Jaguars’ 12th-ranked receiving defense. Britt’s shown he’s been healthy enough this season to be effective but not consistently. In a plus matchup, look for Britt to excel in the season finale.
Steven Hauschka, K, Seattle Seahawks
I’m not usually a huge fan of kickers and defenses, but only Minnesota Vikings‘ Blair Walsh has scored more points at the position than Hauschka over the last month. If the Seahawks continue their streak of 40+ points per game, Hauschka figures to be real busy with extra points and the occasional field goals.
Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks
Baldwin had his best game of the season last week racking up 53 yards and two touchdowns against the San Francisco 49ers, after accounting for just 294 yards and one touchdown through the first 12 games. The Seahawks have already clinched a playoff-berth and have a chance to win the NFC-West with a win over the St. Louis Rams and a 49ers’ loss to the Arizona Cardinals. However, let’s be real, QB Brian Hoyer isn’t going to carry the lowly Cardinals past the 49ers this week, especially after the 49ers were completely embarrassed by the Seahawks the previous week. If that’s the case, the oft-injured Sidney Rice and Golden Tate will likely see the bench sometime before the fourth quarter and Baldwin will be the primary beneficiary.
Pittsburgh Steelers Defense
The Steelers D came up big last week against a young, talented offensive group in Cincinnati, racking up six sacks, two interceptions, one fumble recovery and allowing just seven points to QB Andy Dalton and WR A.J. Green. This week’s plus matchup against the Cleveland Browns has the Steelers’ D licking their chops. The Browns will be without star RB Trent Richardson and QB Brandon Weeden. Start these guys with confidence.