Kunal Breaks down some Fantasy sleepers

NFL players get hella injured a lot, but they get paid millions of dollars to play a game, so they play banged up on the reg. Just look at this crazy SOB Tony Romo, quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. Dude wants to play against the Redskins on Monday night with a broken rib and a punctured lung. I’m pretty sure that’s crazy. But you know what, reader? I get a ton of enjoyment out of watching these players sacrifice their bodies for my enjoyment and Tony Romo is on my fantasy team, so as far as I’m concerned, Tony Romo would be doing me a huge disservice by not playing. Tony Romo is among the least of my injury concerns this week, though, so I have spent a lot of time (on campus because my internet at home isn’t working … Mediacom sucks) looking for hidden gems available in free agency. Since I know fantasy football is the real hot thing on campus right now, and I know my fellow fantasy owners are dealing with injury concerns of their own, I thought I would offer my advice on some of the best players available in over 50 percent of fantasy leagues.

Roy Helu, RB, Washington Redskins (Owned in 9.9 percent of ESPN.com leagues):

For the moment, Tim Hightower is still the number one back in Washington. However, Helu stole the show in the second half of last week’s game against the Cardinals while racking up 74 yards rushing on only 10 carries. Mike Shanahan said Hightower got tired in the second half, but that’s coach-speak for Helu was doing a better job of hitting the holes with speed. Helu is quicker and more dynamic than Hightower, and I expect him to steal more and more carries every week until he eventually becomes the featured tailback.

Nate Burleson, WR, Detroit Lions (Owned in 39.7 percent of ESPN.com leagues):

Put me down as one of the believers in the 2011-2012 Detroit Lions. That defense is swarming right now, and the offense is humming like a well-oiled machine. “Recepticon,” as he calls himself (in keeping with the Transformers-themed nickname “Megatron” of fellow receiver Calvin Johnson), is on pace to catch 96 passes for 1,224 yards. He probably won’t put up numbers quite that good, but I’m a fan of buying into this Detroit Lions offense any way possible. Considering that Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Jahvid Best are all owned in a majority of leagues, Burleson as the clear number two receiver in that Lions offense is your best bet. Remember, Matt Stafford likes to sling it around a lil’ bit, and Calvin Johnson draws attention from defensive backs like honey draws attention from flies … seems like an ideal situation for Burly.

Fred Davis, TE, Washington Redskins (Owned in 15.3 percent of ESPN.com leagues):

Yes, Yes, I know, I am an unabashed homer. However, this Redskins offense has been moving the football with Rex Grossman at the helm, and Davis has been one of the main beneficiaries. The former USC star has 11 grabs for 191 yards and a TD so far this year, and even though injured tight end Chris Cooley is recovering from a knee issue and is starting to see more and more playing time, the Redskins look like they’ll continue to utilize a two-tight end set, which should allow Davis the opportunity to make a few plays downfield every game. I am so sold on the value of Davis that I picked him up and dropped Chris Cooley after I found out that Aaron Hernandez wouldn’t be able to go in week three.

Eric Decker, WR, Denver Broncos (Owned in 4.4 percent of ESPN.com leagues):

All my Minnesota peeps know about this dude, perhaps the greatest athlete in Minnesota high school sports history (with apologies to Joe Mauer). With number one receiver Brandon Lloyd inactive last week against the Bengals, Decker had a monster game, catching five passes for 113 yards and two scores. Decker looks every bit as dangerous as a Bronco as he was for the Golden Gophers, and even though Lloyd is expected to return soon, number two receiver Eddie Royal sustained a serious groin injury, and will be sidelined for at least a few weeks. Dude is just a freak athlete, and with Kyle Orton spreading the ball around, I expect Decker to get a fair number of footballs thrown his direction as the season progresses.

Matt Hasselbeck, QB, Tennessee Titans (Owned in 9.3 percent of ESPN.com leagues):

Ahh Matt Hasselbeck, or as non-sports watching people know him, the brother-in-law of Elizabeth Hasselbeck from The View. How quickly people forget that Matt Hasselbeck is not that far removed from being an elite quarterback in this league. Hell, he’s only a few months from beating the defending Super Bowl champs in the first round of the NFL playoffs. The Titans have some weapons in Chris Johnson, Kenny Britt and Nate Washington, and Hasselbeck had a field day against the vaunted Ravens defense last week, hanging 358 yards passing on the Nevermores. Hass has had trouble producing passing touchdowns over the last couple of seasons, but if you’re dealing with injury concerns at the quarterback position, Hasselbeck is worth a look as a value-play. Keep in mind that the Titans’ next two opponents are the Broncos and the Browns, two of the NFL’s worst passing defenses.