Identifying sleepers is paramount in fantasy football, as the NFL’s premier players typically perform at a similar level each week. Thus, it’s the guys who round out your roster who oftentimes decide whether you flounder, or bask in victorious glory.
Many fantasy football owners are in a tough spot as we head into Week 6 of the 2016 NFL season. Injuries are piling up in the NFL, and the Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a bye week, which waters down the player pool.
While it’s undoubtedly difficult to overcome losing a starter, it’s not impossible. With that in mind, here’s a look at five potential fantasy football sleepers for Week 6.
Cameron Meredith, WR – Chicago Bears
Cameron Meredith has become a name that many fantasy football aficionados are interested in of late following the injury to Chicago Bears wide receiver Kevin White.
According to ESPN, Meredith was Chicago’s most targeted receiver in Week 5 (12 targets) against the Indianapolis Colts. And the NFL sophomore made the most of his increased role, tallying nine receptions for 130 yards and one TD.
Cameron Meredith says WATCH THOSE ANKLES BOI ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/LJM3DqI0xj— Best NFL Plays ™ ???? (@BestNFL_Plays) October 9, 2016
With both Alshon Jeffery and Eddie Royal somewhat hindered by injuries, it’s fair to assume Meredith will receive a plenitude of targets again in Week 6 against the disappointing Jacksonville Jaguars defense.
Terrance West, RB – Baltimore Ravens
Terrance West has essentially solidified the feature back role for the Baltimore Ravens amid the release of veteran Justin Forsett, who’s now with the Detroit Lions.
After tallying 113 rushing yards and one TD in Week 4, West was solid once again in Week 5 against Washington with 95 yards over just 11 carries (8.64 yards per carry).
Terrance West can make people miss. https://t.co/6FCeuep0Mk— Garrett Downing (@gdowning14) October 11, 2016
Baltimore has struggled to score aerially in recent weeks, and will likely look to West more often in the red zone against the New York Giants in Week 6.
Marcus Mariota, QB – Tennessee Titans
Marcus Mariota still needs plenty of seasoning in the NFL before he can be thought of as a reliable fantasy football option on a weekly basis.
However, there’s no denying his upside in favorable matchups. In Week 5 against the abysmal Miami Dolphins, Mariota electrified with 163 yards and three TDs through the air, to go along with 60 yards and one TD on the ground.
An absolute strike by Marcus Mariota to Delanie Walker. TD Titans! https://t.co/Ctwp1PE887— A to Z Sports (@AtoZSports) October 9, 2016
This is how Titans fans imagine Marcus Mariota running the football. TD! https://t.co/XwgwIPgLKK— A to Z Sports (@AtoZSports) October 9, 2016
Tennessee has another dream matchup in Week 6, as they host the lowly Cleveland Browns in front of the Nissan Stadium faithful. At 2-3, the Titans are very much alive in the lackluster AFC South, and should be firing on all cylinders against a far inferior opponent.
Expect Mariota to carve the Browns to shreds with over 250 total yards and four total TDs.
Michael Thomas, WR – New Orleans Saints
Michael Thomas is quietly having an excellent rookie season for the New Orleans Saints, and is slowly becoming a reliable fantasy football option.
Prior to New Orleans’ Week 5 bye, Thomas had scored a touchdown in two straight games, and saw a huge increase in snaps played.
In Week 6, the Saints host the surprisingly poor defense of the Carolina Panthers on the fast track of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
This an ideal game to target for daily fantasy football enthusiasts. According to Football Locks, the swell folks in Las Vegas expect it to be the highest scoring showdown of the week, with an over/under of 53 points.
Fire up Thomas expecting 75 yards and one TD at minimum in what should be a shootout.
Charles Clay, TE – Buffalo Bills
Charles Clay’s role in Buffalo’s offense has increased in importance over the past few weeks, as Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins’ injury has forced Buffalo to ask others to step up.
Charles Clay is slowly becoming one of Taylor's favorite targets, rightfully so. Unfortunately a yard short of a first on that one— Spencer T. German (@Spencito6) October 9, 2016
Over the past two weeks, Tyrod Taylor has targeted Clay 12 times, and he’s tallied a respectable 10 receptions for 120 yards.
Charles Clay's 53 receiving yards in the first half today mark his second most as a Bill--had 82 yards last year in the first half at Miami.— Buffalo Bills PR (@BuffaloBillsPR) October 9, 2016
Charles has a matchup that’s conducive to fantasy gold in Week 6, as the Buffalo Bills will travel west to take on the San Francisco 49ers.
San Francisco has given up a woefully inadequate 140 points this season, which is the second-most in the NFL. Thus, Clay is primed for a solid game and could provide tremendous value as a fantasy football sleeper, especially in daily leagues.
[Featured Image by Stacy Revere/Getty Images]