The Sunday Sleeper Squad is a team made up of players that might be hanging around on waivers 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 7 Sunday Sleeper Squad.
QB/ Justin Herbert/ LA Chargers: Herbert has pumped life into this offense as has them scoring points. In the matchup this week with Jacksonville there is potential for a high-scoring affair. Despite Herbert personally being winless on the year, he has been playing in competitive games, with none of his losses being more than one score. In his 4 career starts, Herbert has at least 22 fantasy points in 3 of them, and he has 7 TD passes in his past 2 games. This week against a Jaguars pass defense that allows the highest completion percentage to opposing quarterbacks in the entire NFL and the second-highest yards per attempt Herbert isn’t somebody to leave on the bench.
RB/ Justin Jackson/ LA Chargers: Justin Jackson, also featured as the Friday FLEX of the Week, out-snapped Joshua Kelley in the Chargers last game 41-24 and saw 6 of 7 RB passing-game targets while posting 94 scrimmage yards on 20 touches. The Jaguars defense has allowed the fourth-most rushing yards to RBs this season and the fifth-most fantasy points and also is tied for the third-most rushing touchdowns to RBs. Jackson possessed a 63% touch share among Chargers running backs in the last game.
RB/ Giovani Bernard/ Cincinnati Bengals: Any RB who is in line to receive 15+ touches potentially deserves attention and Gio Bernard is no different. Yes, we’ve seen the Bengals offense but they’ve scored 23+ points in all but 2 games this season; including 30 the first time they played Cleveland. He had 5 receptions against the Browns in their last meeting. Bernard saved an underwhelming performance against Indianapolis and their tough D by scoring a short TD last week. With Joe Mixon out against Cleveland Gio will function as the lead back and has shown the ability to succeed in larger roles in his career. The Browns have allowed a RB to score in every game except one. Mixon has 19+ total touches in every game this season, so Bernard could be in for a heavy workload. And Bernard has scored at least 12 PPR points in the past 6 games he’s had 10+ touches.
WR/ Tim Patrick/ Denver Broncos: Last week against the Patriots, Patrick had 101 of Drew Lock’s total 189 yards passing. Patrick has scored at least 14 PPR points in 3 games in a row. Patrick is big, strong, fast, and clearly, the No. 1 target in the Broncos offense since Courtland Sutton got hurt. He faces a Chiefs pass defense that gave up multiple scores to receivers in Weeks 5 and 6.
WR/ Keelan Cole/ Jacksonville Jaguars: What would you do if I told you Keelan Cole was the team-leader in targets this season at 38? Well, it’s true. While it is a slim leader over Laviska Shenault (35 Targets) and DJ Chark (34 Targets) it is still a lead. But he is coming off a 6 catch and 143-yard outing against the Detroit Lions. Cole has another beatable opportunity this week against the Los Angeles Chargers and their 29th-ranked pass defense. Cole has caught at least 4 passes in 5 of 6 outings this season. In each of those 5 games, he’s topped 40 receiving yards.
WR/ Christian Kirk/ Arizona Cardinals: It isn’t very often the fantasy community gets excited about 3 targets and 2 catches. However, these 2 catches went for 2 TDs and 86 total yards. It was an overall weird game as Kyler Murray threw 24 passes completing 9 of those attempts. So while the volume was low for Kirk it was low for the entire passing game. Next up is another mouthwatering matchup with the Seattle Seahawks and that vulnerable secondary. We saw on Monday night that Christian Kirk is a legitimate deep-threat when healthy. Kirk leads Arizona in deep targets this season, yes including DeAndre Hopkins. It is important to note, Arizona’s Week 7 opponent, the Seattle Seahawks, allows the most catches and yards per game on deep receptions this season. Arizona will need to throw to keep up with Russell Wilson and the Seattle offense.
TE/ Ian Thomas/ Carolina Panthers: This one is a super deep play. Did you know the New Orleans Saints have allowed a receiving TD to a TE in every game this season? While Thomas doesn’t come with the pass game volume of George Kittle or Travis Kelce he faces a defense that gives up TE TDs. Play the matchup because even a stat line of 1 catch for 2 yards and 1 TD is productive at a weak position group outside of the Top 5.
FLEX: JaMycal Hasty/ RB/ San Francisco 49ers: Last season I grabbed Raheem Mostert before their early-season game with Cincinnati just in case. Something told me to play him but I didn’t and Mostert balled out. This season when Jeff Wilson Jr scored 2 TDs against the Giants I played him because I learned my lesson. And since I’ve learned my lesson I’ll bet on Kyle Shanahan leaning on the undrafted rookie from Baylor. Hasty logged 9 carries for 37 yards and was used to melt the clock last week. The team raves about what Hasty has shown in camp and practice. Now with Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman out against New England and Jeff Wilson being limited all week in practice with a calf issue, it isn’t crazy to assume Hasty shares duties with McKinnon. McKinnon has shown some regression the last few weeks with what he has done with his touches and given his injury history, it might be time to ease off the gas for McKinnon. Hasty showed he was more explosive than Wilson last week and should get a chance to build on that performance.
FLEX: Robert Tonyan/ TE/ Green Bay Packers: It was a tough outing for the Packers against Tampa Bay but there is plenty of reason to believe Aaron Rodgers doesn’t let another embarrassment happen. While Tonyan has an 11% target share it is the growing belief that with every week Tonyan continues to establish himself as the #2 option in Green Bay behind Davante Adams. Also, the matchup with the Texans is a good rebound spot for Tonyan and they allowed Anthony Firkser to go over 100 receiving yards last week and the Texans LBs are not at full strength. It sounds like Tonyan will score to me this week.