Skip to main content

Rank's 11 sleepers: Bryce Brown a hidden gem

Well if you know anything about me, I'm completely transparent. So I will admit to you that I had readied myself to pen about 600 words on why Bryce Brown would be the better pickup in fantasy football this week. And then James Koh had to point out the Bills website has the esteemed Anthony Dixon listed as Boobie Dixon on the club's website.

Now that changes everything! Plus, I have a history with Tony Dixon going back to the time we did a chat at the Super Bowl.

All of this compelling evidence notwithstanding, I'm going to probably lean on Brown this week as my pick from the Bills.

Coach Doug Marrone did have this notion Brown was going to be a 'redshirt' this season for the Bills. And it made sense with C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson ahead of him on the depth chart. But situations like this are exactly why you pick up a player like Brown. Brown is a lot more explosive than Dixon. You all probably remember the time when he set the fantasy world on fire with two monster games in 2012. He's legit and he's gotten endorsements from former Eagles teammates and even Jackson himself.

The matchup isn't bad. The Jets defense has allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to running backs over the last month. So teams have been able to run on them. I'm just going to go with the gut feeling here. I like Brown to get about 15 touches and be a nice flex option for you. Especially if you need some help in the wake of bye weeks (Frank Gore) or injuries (Bills running backs).

Are you ready for the rest of Rank's 11?

Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins
Yes, this is a little reactionary given how he just put up a great stat line against the Bears, but he's played really well in the last couple of weeks -- going back to the time when coach Joe Philbin threatened to bench him. Come to think of it, I'm not sure Philbin has announced Tannehill is the starter right now. So uh, I guess we can go with Tannehill this week? That truly is a question (it's not).

Alex Smith, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
Well I'm going to add another quarterback for a variety of reasons. For starters, Philbin hasn't announced a starter yet. Second, Smith's not playing against my boys down in Duval County, Florida. And third, well, the Chiefs are going against the St. Louis Football Club. And I feel like the FC has is going to be a little flat after it beat the Seahawks last week. And Kansas City is flying high right now. The Chiefs. The Royals. #Analysis

Brian Hoyer, QB, Cleveland Browns
Hahaha. Oh, I'm just teasing. I wanted to see if you're paying attention. This guy was a joke last week. Thankfully, I let the guys on NFL Fantasy LIVE talk me out of starting Joe Flacco. So there you go, as you can see, the NFL Fantasy LIVE folks are just like real people. I'm never going to forgive some people. NEVER.

Jerick McKinnon, RB, Minnesota Vikings
Unlike the Flacco thing last week, there is nothing like sticking to your convictions and having it work out in your favor. While some might have shouted down on me for picking up McKinnon as the go-to guy when (expletive) got sideways in Minnesota, we are now having the last laugh. As we've said all along, Matt Asiata is a nice player but he's a plodder. McKinnon has crazy skills. It just took a little bit of time for him to get acclimated into the lineup. He's going to be a crazy-nice play this week against the Bucs. This is my first chance getting to start him.

Tre Mason, RB, St. Louis FC
Oh man, you were able to stash Mason on the bench (or you added him this week) and you're really hyper to get him into the lineup. Well, the matchup ain't great. The Chiefs have been one of the stingiest teams against the run this season. And Branden Oliver didn't really do much against the Chiefs. Well, that was more about the Chiefs' game-plan. Which was flawless. Let me just go ahead and put it out there on Front Street, I'm going to play the dude. Unless you added him to a team that has DeMarco Murray and Arian Foster at running back (which happened in one of my leagues), let it rip, fantasy enthusiasts. He did pretty well against the 49ers and Seahawks so what are you waiting for?

Now, you might ask about Denard Robinson right here. I'm not sure I like the matchup. Matt Forte smoked the Dolphins and it barely moved the needle on the Dolphins' standing in FPA. So I can't quite move him into my sleeper category. Sorry about that.

Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
Well, you won't escape without at least one player you can start from Jacksonville. He put together a pretty nifty move against the Browns when he turned a somewhat short pass into a huge touchdown.

Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks
Dude really stepped up in the wake of Percy Harvin's trade to the New York Jets. He's a top receiver for a pretty reliable quarterback, so he's clearly somebody to play this week. He's especially valuable in leagues that play three receivers.

Brandon LaFell, WR, New England Patriots
You probably forgot about him because he didn't play so well against the Jets in Week 7. But he had put together some solid weeks in those leading up to his five-point middling offering last Thursday. I'm going to go back to him again. The Bears haven't been great against the pass, and standout cornerback Kyle Fuller has fought a host of injuries. I actually like this game to be a shootout so it would behoove you to start LaFell this week if you're especially hurting at receiver.

Gavin Escobar, TE, Dallas Cowboys
He's gone from somebody who was a That Helps No One Wall of Famer to a guy you have to take seriously in deeper leagues. He's scored a number of touchdowns in recent weeks and he's one of those complimentary tight ends we wanted Laddy Green to be this season. So I give it a go with Escobar if you need a tight end. Because seriously, how happy are you Vernon Davis isn't playing this week? Amazing, right?

Kansas City Chiefs D/ST
This squad is a good start because St. Louis gives up tons of sacks. It also has an inexperienced quarterback who could be harangued into mistakes. Look, there aren't going to be a lot of options out there.

Philadelphia Eagles D/ST
This has been one of the hottest squads in the business recently, but some carless holder might have placed the Eagles on the waiver wire last week. So give them a look to see if they are available to you.


Travaris Cadet, RB, New Orleans Saints
He was the guy to pick up the slack for the Saints when Pierre Thomas went out. So I would expect him to be a maven in this offense this week. So Cadet is a must-play guy in a PPR league. Well, not a must-start, but you get the gist.

Jonas Gray, RB, New England Patriots
He totally out-snapped Brandon Bolden and will likely get an increased role in the future. I'm not 100 percent confident it will be this week. This looks like a pass-crazy game for Tom Brady. But if you're really hurting for an RB, it's worth taking a look at Gray because Bill Belichick could just switch it up for us because Belichick.

Scott Chandler, TE, Buffalo Bills
Yep, we're going way deep for this one. You know what, he's going into the Danger Zone. He's way too much of a boom-or-bust guy. But if you're a Matchup Monkey, then you should like Chandler this week against the Jets who give up tons of points to fantasy tight ends.

Carson Palmer, QB, Arizona Cardinals
I'm not sure if he truly fits in the Danger Zone. But he warrants a look going up against the Eagles who have given up a ton of points to quarterbacks this season.

-- Follow Adam Rank on Twitter @adamrank

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content