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Sproles, Tamme have major sleeper appeal in Week 9

Looking for a sleeper to fill out your starting lineup? These 10 under-the-radar players could be on the verge of solid stat lines based on the matchups. For more lineup help, check out Start 'Em & Sit 'Em and our player rankings.

Josh Freeman, QB, Buccaneers

Believe it or not, but Freeman has scored the eighth-most fantasy points among quarterbacks (more than Tom Brady and Eli Manning) on NFL.com this season. With six teams on a bye in Week 9, he's a nice option for owners against the Falcons. In his last two starts for the Buccaneers, Freeman has averaged a very impressive 16.9 fantasy points.

Donald Brown, RB, Colts

The Colts backfield is littered with injuries, as Joseph Addai (shoulder) and Mike Hart (ankle) are both at less than 100 percent. That leaves Brown to see most of the work this week against the Eagles. Their defense has allowed an average of close to 16 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, so Brown has some starting appeal.

Shonn Greene, RB, Jets

Greene has been a major disappointment for fantasy leaguers, barely ranking in the top 40 in points among running backs this season. But if you need a flex starter in Week 9, he's still worth a look against the Lions. Their defense has surrendered more fantasy points to running backs than any other team in the National Football League.

Brandon Jacobs, RB, Giants

Ahmad Bradshaw is clearly the best fantasy running back on the Giants roster, but Jacobs has seen more work in recent weeks. In fact, he's scored a combined four touchdowns in his last three games. With six teams on a bye and a matchup next on the schedule against a porous Seahawks defense, Jacobs is well worth a look as a flex starter.

Darren Sproles, RB, Chargers

Sproles has quietly become a bigger part of the Chargers backfield committee in recent weeks, and he's a great sleeper against the Texans. With so many wide receivers dealing with injuries, Sproles could see a ton of targets against a Texans defense that's been terrible against the pass in 2010. That makes Sproles a very solid PPR option.

Nate Burleson, WR, Lions

The Jets defense did hold down the Packers last week, but overall they have still allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season. That's good news for Burleson, who has seen his number of targets increase in recent weeks. The veteran is a particularly nice sleeper in leagues that reward points for catches.

Patrick Crayton, WR, Chargers

The Chargers will be without Malcom Floyd and Buster Davis, while Legedu Naanee remains a question mark for this week's game in Houston. That leaves Crayton to fill in as the top wide receiver in the offense. Considering how poorly the Texans have defended opposing wideouts this season, Crayton should be seen as a viable No. 3 fantasy option.

James Jones, WR, Packers

Donald Driver has already been ruled out for this week's game due to an injured quadriceps, so Jones will no doubt see more targets in the Packers passing game. The Cowboys have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to wide receivers in 2010, so Jones has starting value in most fantasy formats. Jordy Nelson is also worth a look in deeper leagues.

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Greg Olsen, TE, Bears

Olsen has been held without a single reception in two of his last three games, so he's by no means a lock to put up big numbers for fantasy owners in a given week. However, he's still worth a roll of the dice if you need help at the position against the Bills -- their defense has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season.

Jacob Tamme, TE, Colts

Tamme made quite a nice impact last Monday night, catching six passes for 64 yards with one touchdown in a win over the Texans. Based on his increased role in the offense, the presence of Peyton Manning and a favorable matchup against the Eagles, Tamme has gone from waiver-wire fodder to legitimate fantasy starter in less than one week.

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com. Have a burning question for Michael on anything fantasy football related? Leave it in our comments section or send it to AskFabiano@nfl.com!

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