The Sunday Sleeper Squad is a team made up of players that might be hanging around on waivers or offer a contrarian approach and can offer you a helping hand this week if you’re a team in need. And at this point of the season, you are probably in need of some kind of fantasy help. These factors could be matchup, injuries, both, or something totally off the wall leading us to our conclusion as to why these players could pay off. Of course, these are the ultimate boom-or-bust plays so may the odds be in your favor if you’re playing someone on this list. Let’s take a look at who made my Week 8 Sunday Sleeper Squad.
QB/ Joe Burrow/ Cincinnati Bengals: While many fear the Titans it is a thought that we should re-evaluate. The Titans are a beatable defense. Need some evidence, how about only 2 teams allow more TD passes per game than the Titans. Burrow has 300+ yards passing in 5 of his last 6 games. Also, he leads the league in pass attempts per game at almost 42 per game. The Titans have allowed multiple touchdowns to 5 quarterbacks in a row.
WR/ Scotty Miller/ Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Miller has been up and down this season but he is coming off his best game where he scored a TD and went over 100 yards. Next up is the NY Giants on Monday Night Football. Tom Brady has been on absolute fire recently making Miller an interesting play for a few reasons. Chris Godwin will be out with a finger injury opening targets for other receiving options. The Giants feature CB James Bradberry who is one of the more underrated CBs in the league and he should draw Mike Evans most of the night. While Rob Gronkowski is showing signs of life in the offense as of late it is Miller that offers that security blanket feel that Brady loves. The Giants are a beatable matchup through the air making Miller’s upside very intriguing. Godwin was out in Week 4 and Miller posted 5 catches for 83 yards and 1 TD. Miller has at least 73 yards receiving in 4 games this season. With an expected solid amount of volume mixed with a Giants defense that has allowed 101 receptions to WRs this season, 4th most in the NFL, we should expect a solid going away party for Miller when Antonio Brown hits the lineup next week.
WR/ Nelson Agholor/ Las Vegas Raiders: Agholor seems to be transitioning from deep ball threat to key piece in the passing game after seeing 9 targets last week. Those 9 targets tied for the team lead with Darren Waller. Agholor caught 5 balls for 107 yards and 1 TD last week. Agholor has been getting loose on opposing defenses lately and I expect him to get loose once again on a porous Cleveland defense allowing 210 yards per game to WRs.
WR/ Marquise Brown/ Baltimore Ravens: The Steelers are vulnerable to the deep ball and Marquise Brown is a deep-ball specialist. He leads the NFL in targets that have traveled over 20 yards in the air with 16. His 666 air yards through 6 games was the 3rd highest mark in the NFL. The Steelers have allowed three 100-yard receivers through 6 games. The Steelers have allowed 21 pass plays of 20-plus yards this season, which ranks as the 12th-most. This isn’t a matchup you go into looking for a Julio Jones-like 13 catches for 185 yards type of day but rather a day that is highlighted by a 50 yard TD off a play-action pass. And that play-action bomb is a very likely scenario for the man they call Hollywood.
RB/ Gus Edwards/ Baltimore Ravens: Gus the Bus gashed the Steelers defense for 130 yards in Week 17 of last season. With Mark Ingram most likely out Edwards should function as the “lead back” taking early-down and goal-line work from JK Dobbins, but Dobbins should handle the passes from the RB position. Yes, the Pittsburgh Steelers have a tremendous defense and Gus Edwards doesn’t look like a great play on paper but the Ravens had extra time to prepare for Pittsburgh and should have an extremely well-thought-out game plan featuring a heavy dose of runs; as clock control might be the plan of attack for the Ravens. Edwards should see approximately 10-13 carries on a very conservative prediction.
RB/ Giovani Bernard/ Cincinnati Bengals: He will get carries because Cincinnati can’t throw every play but don’t let your wildest dreams takeover. Bernard tallied 13 carries for 37 yards last week but added 5 catches for 1 TD and 59 yards. The Bengals should find themselves trailing in this one and need to throw to make up points and that is where Bernard will shine considering Tennessee can be vulnerable against the pass. In a Yahoo! half-point PPR setting the following RBs have registered 10 or more points against Tennessee this year: Melvin Gordon, James Robinson, Chris Thompson, Dalvin Cook, James Conner and David Johnson. Bernard will see 15+ touches in Week 8. Don’t ignore the volume.
TE/ Jonnu Smith/ Tennessee Titans: I’m reaching here but coming off an injury and disappointing return performance last week against Pittsburgh he seems to be a fit. Smith has a red zone target in every full game he has played this season and Cincinnati has allowed a TE TD in 6 of 7 games this season. 6 different TEs have posted double-digit days against the Bengals this year.
FLEX/ Brandon Aiyuk/ San Francisco 49ers: Deebo Samuel is out. The RB situation is cloudy per usual with bodies rotating in and out of the lineup. Making it necessary for someone to step up. Insert Brandon Aiyuk. Given Coach Kyle Shanahan’s love for what WRs can do with the ball in their hands after the catch and his creativity with play-calling Aiyuk could be a huge upside play against Seattle. Aiyuk dazzled for 6 catches and 115 yards last week and there is no reason to think he can’t repeat it. The Seattle defense allows more than 280 yards per week to WRs.
FLEX/ La’Mical Perine/ NY Jets: While the matchup with Kansas City doesn’t seem to be very RB friendly there are some things to like. The Chiefs are allowing 4.9 yards per carry and have allowed 7 runs to go for 20+ yards. Now with Adam Gase no longer calling plays, Perine saw 70% of snaps last week. He totaled 13 touches for 1 TD and 56 combo yards.