Week 14 is here and it’s time for the playoffs. No teams are on their bye weeks so there’s no reason to start a “sleeper” when it’s win or go home. Owners that have a long shot to advance past the first round should strongly consider starting a boom or bust player with a high upside.
There is one boom or bust wide receiver that will be highly motivated for a big game against his former team and two more traditional sleepers that can help owners get out of the first round of the playoffs. Mike Wallace, Michael Crabtree and Doug Baldwin lead the crop of wide receivers outside the top 20 in scoring at their position with a lot of upside in Week 14.
Mike Wallace (WR – MIA)
Mike Wallace is the definition of a boom or bust player. He has big play capability but is very inconsistent. Wallace is a great play this week for two reasons; he’s coming off back-to-back 20 plus point performances in PPR leagues and he’s playing against his former team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Wallace will have extra motivation this week to make the Steelers regret not giving him top dollar (a decision they are not currently regretting ) and the Steelers are a good match-up with their top corner (Ike Taylor) having been exposed several time this year.
Owners have been reluctant to start and drop Wallace this season, but if there was ever a week to start Wallace, this would be it.
Michael Crabtree ( WR – SF)
Michael Crabtree is an interesting play this week. He’s going up against Seattle at home which is one of the toughest match-ups a receiver can have, but he should have some good opportunities to make some plays with Richard Sherman likely guarding Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis a majority of the game and Seattle’s other top two corners being inactive with injuries.
Seattle is giving up the second fewest fantasy points to wide receivers this season, but they are not the same team on the road and Crabtree did have a reception for 60 yards last week that proves he has big play ability coming off his injury.
Owners might not feel great starting Crabtree this week, but they could do a lot worse at the WR3 or Flex position.
Doug Baldwin (WR – SEA)
Doug Baldwin is the closest thing to a traditional sleeper on this list. He’s not a household name and is only owned in 24% of Yahoo and 16.5% of ESPN Fantasy leagues despite putting up double-digit fantasy points in four consecutive weeks.
Baldwin doesn’t have a lot of upside as he’s yet to eclipse 20 points in a PPR format but he seems like a lock to get between 13 to 16 points this week which is a good scenario for a WR3 or Flex play. Baldwin owners should keep an eye out to see if Percy Havin plays this week because it will decrease Baldwin’s value.
Owners that don’t want to risk a boom or bust player should definitely consider plugging Baldwin into their lineup even with his tough match-up against San Francisco.