For an explanation about the numbers and rationale behind “Sleeper Math,” you can read the first column of the year. Congratulations to Ben Tate of the Houston Texans for graduating from “Sleeper Math.” He was in Tier III for the week 1 column.

Tier I

Roddy White (19) – Back to back appearances in “Sleeper Math” for Roddy. The Falcons offense does not look as explosive as we thought it would be, but there should still be plenty of production to go around. Roddy is a stud and a great trade target if your team could use an elite receiver.

Antonio Gates (19) – I own Gates on a lot of my teams so this week he killed me. A big part of me wants to get on a plane, track him down, and re-create that scene from “The League.” The Pats just blanketed him all day which is why Vincent Jackson ripped it up. Gates should be back to his old self soon enough. Right now is a great time to buy low on him and make a trade.

Chris Johnson (18) – One way or another, this should be his last appearance on “Sleeper Math.” We all know why there should be pessimism about Chris Johnson; let me discuss the reasons to be optimistic. He had no OTAs and no pre-season. Like it or not, the first couple weeks of the regular season will effectively be his preseason. He carried the ball 24 times in Week 2 and although he was ineffective, it demonstrated that he is healthy enough to do it. There is just all this talk going around about how he got his contract and will now tank it. People need to realize that these NFL contracts can be slithered out of quite easily by teams. This is not baseball people. I am not guaranteeing that Johnson will go back to what he was 2 years ago, but right now his value is lower than it ought to be.

Ahmad Bradshaw (18) – He has not produced to his ADP thus far and Brandon Jacobs keeps rumblin’, bumblin’, and stumblin’ to vulture TDs. That being said, Bradshaw is really overlooked as an RB. He looks much healthier than he was last year, has a good offensive line to run behind, can run the ball between and outside the tackles, and catches it well. He is not the type of player who is electric enough to finish in the top 5 or 10 overall for the year, but he should be one of the most consistent and reliable players in Fantasy for 2011.

Tier II

Dez Bryant (17) – Can the kid stay healthy? With Bryant, that is really the only question. We saw Week 1 what he is capable of. Normally I shy away from players with injury concerns but sometimes the upside is too much to ignore. This might be your last chance to get him on the cheap.

Jeremy Maclin (17) – The “mystery injury” stuff scared the bejeezus out of me in drafts this year. Subsequently, I do not own Maclin on any team. After watching him on Sunday I am drinking the Kool Aid. The argument could be made that he does not even belong on this list, but there are still a lot of owners out there who drafted him reluctantly and would be willing to part with him at a discount relative to his projected production from here on out. The “Mike Kafka factor” does not really concern me because the Eagles run a system where you can plug most anyone in at QB and you will get 250 yards a game.

Mike Williams (16) – Two straight bad weeks for him. This is make or break time. Maybe he cannot handle being a true #1 and having team’s game plan for him. That is a legitimate concern but also creates room to buy low. For the right price, I would be willing to snag Williams and hope he starts repeating 2010.

Daniel Thomas (16) – So I guess that whole “Reggie Bush as a feature back” thing is over with. Thomas had a lot of buzz coming out of the draft but was not quite up to snuff during training camp or the preaseason. His stock dropped considerably as Reggie Bush’s rose but that all changed on a dime in Week 2. He racked up 107 yards on the ground with 18 carries and had 1 reception for 10 yards. This might be the start of a big breakout and if so, this will be your last opportunity to get him before the price becomes too steep.

Tier III

Thomas Jones (15) – He really could not look any worse so far and neither could the Chiefs offense. That being said, Jamaal Charles is out for the year and someone will have to carry the ball. Jones is injury proof and notched 896 yards rushing last season. I am not particularly crazy about 33 year old running backs but Jones could be very useful as a flex/bye week fill in option.

Dexter McCluster (14) – The Charles injury should open up some room for opportunity. The problem I have with McCluster is that he is such a hybrid type player that I do not see him getting a ton of total touches as a RB. He is still worth picking up though because I might be wrong about that and you never know what a player will do given opportunity.

Deji Karim (15) – He is the most likely player to be on this list all season. Regardless of how MJD is doing I love the potential that Karim has if he becomes the #1. In any deeper type of format, he is a must stash.

C.J. Spiller (14) – Fred Jackson looks like Marshall Faulk out there and the Bills offense is lighting up the scoreboard just like the “Greatest Show on Turf.” Spiller has really come a long way, however, and is a really nice deep Sleeper for your bench.

Javon Ringer (14) – Same situation as last week- both CJ2K and Ringer are on here. If I had Chris Johnson, I would be pretty intent on handcuffing him, especially since Ringer has played fairly well when he has been given a chance.

  1. CL says:
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    right now, who do you like as a better “stash” in a 12 team, 1 PPR, return yards?

    Karim or Helu?

  2. Drew

    Drew says:
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    @CL: I like Helu a little more because he has two ways to become the starter whereas Karim only has one. Helu is getting a decent amount of touches and could eventually be favored over Hightower or be given the opportunity due to injury. The only way Karim starts is if MJD gets hurt.

  3. CL says:
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    @Drew: excellent point. thanks.

  4. Drafted Peyton Manning and have Flacco/Cutler to fill in, what is your take on trading Plaxico and Flacco for Rothlesberger? (my other WR’s are Roddy White and Jennings and all three have a week 8 bye week).

  5. John Barleycorn says:
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    How big is too big a price for Thomas? I’m offered a trade of Roddy White for Thomas and Bush (I have Run DMC at RB1 and can’t play RB at Flex. PPT league.) That seems like a bridge too far, though RBs score masses of points, being point per carry & point per reception.

  6. Drew

    Drew says:
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    @kR Express: If you can get that deal done, make it happen. You can go to the wire or something when the Bye Week comes along.

    @John Barleycorn: I like the Roddy White side of that trade a lot more.

  7. John Barleycorn says:
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    @John Barleycorn: Yeah, I think it’s cuckoo, too. (Sorry for lack of clarity, I have Roddy White, and have been offered these 2 RBs.) I tried Maclin for Thomas, which I thought seemed fair enough, but it didn’t fly.

  8. John Barleycorn says:
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    dammit. talking to myself again. you know what i meant.

  9. vinny says:
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    Which side of this trade would you rather have?

    Stafford and Addai or Bradford and MJD

    Thanks guys!

  10. Drew

    Drew says:
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    @vinny: That’s as even a trade as I’ve seen in a while. If push came to shove, the Bradford/MJD side is slightly better. I’m just nervous about MJD staying healthy the entire season. That being said, Addai’s value takes an enormous hit without Peyton.

  11. @ drew: whatdya think about Tate and tony gonzalez for gates? Currently have Blount, F Jones, Addai and P Thomas at RB?

    Whats your take on Tate, think he will play in to a split back situation or any possibility of holding the RB1 spot?

  12. John Barleycorn says:
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    @vinny: I think the MJD side of that is the winner. MJD when healthy is up at the top. Addai is just sliding down slowly and ceding carries. Not even close for me. Sure, health is an issue, but Addai has been injured too, so I would opt for MJD side in a second.

  13. Random Collmenter says:
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    1. start stafford vs. vikes or cam vs. jags this sunday?

    2. also, am i crazy to be considering dropping robert meachem for david nelson? i already have calvin, britt, and brandon marshall, so i’m mainly looking for a spot-starter with upside.

    3. thirdly, kinda panicking on owning reggie bush. he’s my RB4, but still… would i be crazy to drop him for jerome harrison, who will be a stud once jahvid best inevitably gets hurt?

  14. Random Collmenter says:
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    i could also drop bradford for david nelson (and have stafford as my QB1 and Cam as my backup).

  15. Drew

    Drew says:
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    @kR Express: That might leave you a little thin at RB, but I like that trade. I’m going to sink or swim with Gates this year and i like the odds.

    @Random Collmenter: Stafford. Not crazy- Saints receivers are not reliable and Nelson could be a PPR monster. I own Bush on a couple teams so I’m in the same boat. It’s kind of like owning Ryan Grant- you can’t trade him but you can’t drop him. You might be able to trade Reggie Bush for something, even if it’s not much. Maybe as part of a package?

  16. Drew

    Drew says:
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    @Random Collmenter: if your league just starts 1 QB, you have way too many. If it isn’t a Keeper League, I would trade Cam Newton ASAP. His stock will never be higher than it is right now.

  17. Child Please says:
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    .5 PPR, $100 Waiver Wire budget

    How much would you bid on Daniel Thomas and Eric Decker?

  18. Random Collmenter says:
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    thanks for the advice.

    what u think about offering cam and meachem for gronkowski? (then i would pick up david nelson after trade went thru). gronk is going to be a monster while hernandez is out…

  19. Random Collmenter says:
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    my thought is that guy who owns gronk needs a QB. his QBs are flacco and collins.

  20. Drew

    Drew says:
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    @Child Please: I’m aggressive, I’d lay out 30 for Thomas and 15 for Decker

    @Random Collmenter: I would be OK with that.

  21. Scott says:
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    Feel thin at WR with Nicks and Harvin as my Wrs..strong at RB with Rice, Forte, J-Stew, Hightower, Helu, Tolbert…thinking of offering a 2-for-1 to a guy who has Wayne, Britt, Steve Johnson and Steve Smith…who would you package? Thinking Hightower and Harvin for Johnson, would prefer Britt…

  22. The Vaporizers says:
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    Who do you want the rest of the season? Chris Johnson or Felix Jones?

  23. Drew

    Drew says:
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    @The Vaporizers: He has question marks attached to him, but I’d rather have Chris Johnson by a mile.

  24. The Vaporizers says:
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    Thanks Drew, that was what I was thinking, but just needed a tad of assurance before sending out these trade offers. I’m going after CJ by packaging Felix with Meachem in one league, and with Reggie BUsh in another. I got my fingers crossed that I get an accept!

  25. SoCalStrong says:
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    Sidney Rice? Drop him? IF he is healthy will he even have anything to offer in that offense? I need RB depth, looking to add Ringer in the event of a CJ injury

  26. and1mcgee says:
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    rank these WR for ppr leagues:

    Devery Henderson
    Brandon Gibson
    Nate Washington
    Denarius Moore
    David Nelson
    Brandon La’Fell

    thanks!

  27. lone wolfpack says:
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    How do you feel about Bess in a PPR league? Does his value not sky rocket the better marshall does/the less bush is on the field?

  28. Drew

    Drew says:
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    @SoCalStrong: He is another one of those players that you can’t really drop yet. You are going to have to wait a little longer.

    @and1mcgee: Nelson, Henderson, Moore, Gibson, Washington, La’Fell

    @long wolfpack: Bess is much more ownable in PPR. He is worth having. Marshall’s performance doesn’t change his value a lot for me, nor does Bush’s.

  29. t2green2 says:
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    Drew, If you had Nelson and S Johnson would you deal one of them in a package or would you roll with it for a few weeks to see how SJ’s johnson is??? I have been offered VJax for Lloyd and Nelson.

  30. Random Collmenter says:
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    don’t expect kendricks to fare any better this week against baltimore… would u drop him for any of these guys still on the waiver wire? thinking chandler, even though the pats shut down gates last week…

    chandler
    jeff king
    evan moore
    dickson
    watson

    thanks for all your help!

  31. Drew

    Drew says:
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    @t2greeen2: I’m always open to the right trade. I would take that trade (assuming you’re getting the VJAX side of it) in a heartbeat.

    @Random Collmenter: TE is such a crap shoot this season. Kendricks, Moore, Chandler would be my top 3 for this week in that order. St. Louis is throwing him the ball a ton (even though he’s not catching it too often)

  32. MichaelK9 says:
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    So I’m in two different conundrums. I’m in a 16 team league, so depth is a bit of an issue.

    First, I have Rodgers and Cam Newton. While I REALLLLY want to trade Cam, I have Rodgers, my starting D, and one of my two RB’s with week 8 byes, and I don’t have another option at QB. Do I hold him for depth or make some kind of trade?

    Second, my WR are VJax, AJ Green, Eric Decker, Titus Young, and D Nelson (Buffalo). I have to start 3 this week and I’m pretty set on VJax for obvious reasons. Which other two do I start?

  33. bigmarcg says:
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    Would you drop Cadillac for Redmond or Helu?

  34. blueblazzer says:
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    Please rank: Nelson, Moore, Henderson, Holley

  35. Drew

    Drew says:
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    @MichaelK9: If it’s not a Keeper league, I’m trading Cam all day. I’d start VJAX, Decker, and Green

    @bigmarcg: eh I’d drop him for Helu I think.

    @blueblazzer: I’d rank ’em just like you have them

  36. Colin says:
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    One player missing from this list is Jermichael Finley. Jackass has been killing me. I expected WR2 type numbers from him each week. He is capable of putting up monster numbers but just hasn’t for whatever reason. He dropped a TD a la Calvin Johnson last week, so his line should have been better than it really was.

  37. Matt says:
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    I’ve offered a trade where i get Fitzgerald/Delone Carter for Turner/Boldin. The rest of my team is Rice, Wells, Starks, McGahee, Calvin, Holmes, Meachem, Amendola, and Simpson. I’m 2-0 and i’d love to pair a stud WR with Calvin so I dont have to guess between Holmes and Boldin every week. I also dont believe in Turner long term, while i do like the potential of Wells, Starks, and Carter. Would you stick with this trade?

  38. Random Collmenter says:
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    should i drop bess and pick up amendola in anticipation of his return? .5 PPR league.

    my WR core is hurting: Calvin, Percy, David Nelson, Bess.

  39. Random Collmenter says:
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    colston is available too… should i drop bess for him or amendola?

  40. christian says:
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    I’m thinking about making a play for Dez Bryant on a WR-heavy team (Megatron, S. Smith, K. Britt, J. Knox) that currently does not start him. He has MJD and is predictably weak at RB beyond him (BJG-Ellis, J-Stew, Woodhead, & K. Hunter).

    I have Ray Rice, Knowshown, P. Thomas, Addai, CJ Spiller, & Deji as my RB’s and Jennings, Holmes, Meachem, Mike Thomas and E. Sanders as my WR’s. Thinking about throwing Deji (important handcuff for MJD) and M. Thomas in a 2-for-1 deal for Dez. Would that get it done or is it giving away too much for an injury-prone player? Any imput would be awesome.

    Btw, we are also the only two 2-0 teams in our highly competitive ($1000 buy-in) 12 team PPR league.

  41. Drew

    Drew says:
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    @Colin: Yeah, Finley could definitely be in this conversation

    @Matt: I am a big fan of that trade for you; agree w/ everything you are saying.

    @Random Collmenter: If they’re both healthy, Amendola is a little better. He probably makes a better stash than Bess. Colston is so unreliable that I have stayed away from him the past few seasons. Too much spreading the ball around in New Orleans for my taste.

    @Christian: If he would take that deal, I would do it for sure. You aren’t giving up any starters and you’re getting a receiver that has a huge ceiling when he’s healthy. Winning Championships is where the glory and, in this case, money are at. To do it you have to make some aggressive moves that may or may not work out. Staying pat is a recipe for mediocrity.

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