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Cassel, Bush have fantasy sleeper appeal this week

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.

Matt Cassel, QB, Chiefs: Cassel could be a great option off the waiver wire this week for fantasy leaguers in need of a quarterback. The Southern California product has an extremely attractive matchup against the Dolphins, who have surrendered the second-most fantasy points to opposing signal-callers. Cassel is still available in around 40 percent of NFL.com leagues, so check your league's free agents.

Tim Tebow, QB, Broncos: Based on his awful play over the last two weeks, Tebow has become a real risk from a fantasy perspective. I'd still give him a shot against the Raiders, though, as their defense has allowed an average of more than 17 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. In his last start against the Silver & Black, Tebow threw for 138 yards, rushed for 78 yards and scored two touchdowns.

Michael Bush, RB, Raiders: Darren McFadden is dealing with a foot injury that has his status for Week 9 in serious question, so Bush could wind up seeing a ton of carries against the Broncos. The Louisville product has the tools be a solid fantasy starter in a prominent role, and the Broncos can be vulnerable to effective running backs. If McFadden is indeed inactive, Bush is a nice No. 2 runner.

Brandon Jacobs, RB, Giants: News of Ahmad Bradshaw's foot ailment has Jacobs' stock soaring in fantasy leagues. The veteran runner is in line for a major role against the Patriots, who field one of the weakest defenses in the NFL. In fact, New England has surrendered an average of close to 20 fantasy points per game to opposing backs. Jacobs is a viable No. 2 back across the board this weekend.

Mike Tolbert, RB, Chargers: As we continue the theme of injured running backs, Ryan Mathews is dealing with a groin ailment that could have him limited or out against the Packers. That makes Tolbert a very attractive No. 2 or 3 fantasy running back. Sure, the Packers have been tough against the run -- but Tolbert is going to see a ton of touches this week, including those all-important red-zone looks.

Victor Cruz, WR, Giants: Cruz has been quite the find off the waiver wire for fantasy owners this season. Outside of one bad stat line against the Bills, he's posted great numbers over the last five games. Next on the schedule is a date with the Patriots, who have allowed the most fantasy points to wide receivers. With or without Hakeem Nicks (hamstring) in the mix, Cruz is a tremendous option.

Malcom Floyd, WR, Chargers: Floyd has started to make some noise in fantasy land, posting 100-plus yards in two of his last three games. His success should continue against the Packers, who have given up an average of 25.84 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers -- that's the most in the entire league. If he is active for this contest, Floyd is clearly worth a look off the waiver wire.

Kevin Terrell/AP
The NFL Fantasy LIVE crew talks about whether or not Tim Tebow is worth starting on your fantasy team this week. (Click image for further analysis.)

Julio Jones, WR, Falcons: An explosive rookie out of Alabama, Jones is expected to return to action this week after missing two games with a bum hamstring. He couldn't come back at a better time for fantasy owners, as he'll face off against the Colts and their porous defense -- Indianapolis has given up the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. Consider Jones a viable No. 3 option.

Brent Celek, TE, Eagles: Celek had all but disappeared from the fantasy landscape for awhile, but he's back in the mix after scoring a touchdown in two straight games. The veteran out of Cincinnati is still a risk, but he's well worth using against the Bears as a one-week replacement option. No team in the entire league has allowed more fantasy points to tight ends after the first eight weeks.

Raiders defense: Tebow's matchup against the Raiders is clearly a favorable one on paper, but their defensive unit is still an attractive starting option based on the numbers. Defenses facing the Broncos have combined to put up the third-most fantasy points at the position, so this unit has plenty of starting value. The Silver & Black is widely available as a free agent on NFL.com.

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com. Have a burning question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!

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