Sunday Sleepers: Week 3 (Gradkowski, Cotchery & More)

Looking for a sleeper option who may be available on your waiver wire who could make a major impact this week?  Let’s take a look at a few options (for consideration on this listing from week-to-week, a player must be owned in less then 50% of both Yahoo and ESPN leagues):

Bruce Gradkowski – Oakland Raiders – at Arizona

He replaced Jason Campbell in Week 2 against the Rams and proved that the Raiders offense had the potential to move the ball through the air.  He went 11-22 for 162 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT and will now get the chance to start the game.

This is the same player who torched the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2009 for 308 yards and 3 TD, so it’s hard to say that it’s impossible that he excels.

Arizona, who was torched by the run in Week 2 (Jason Snelling had 129 yards and Michael Turner had 75 yards), still allowed Matt Ryan to throw for three touchdowns.  Would it be a surprise to see the Raiders look to enjoy a similar strategy?  Turn Darren McFadden loose to run wild and then have Gradkowski use Louis Murphy and Zach Miller to finish off the drives.

It certainly sounds like a potential recipe for success, and it could bring strong results for the newly installed quarterback.  Those in need of a quarterback in two-quarterback formats could certainly do worse then taking the gamble on him.

Gradkowski is currently owned in 2% of Yahoo leagues and 0.4% of ESPN leagues

Wide Receiver:
Jerricho Cotchery – New York Jets – at Miami

The DWI arrest of Braylon Edwards brings about it an opportunity for Cotchery to relive the time where he was the top receiving option for the Jets.  While those days are long behind him, Santonio Holmes is still suspended and the Jets have said that Edwards won’t start (though they have not yet said exactly how much he will play).  That leaves Cotchery as the last man standing, along with tight end Dustin Keller, giving him an opportunity to make a few plays.

Granted, there are still concerns surrounding quarterback Mark Sanchez, despite his three touchdown performance, but being the teams WR1 should bring about opportunity.

It’s easy to look at the Dolphins success against the pass thus far, but you need to drill down a little bit more.  They faced the Bills in Week 1, who is an anemic offense, at best.  Then, they faced a Vikings team who we all know is struggling to get on track, whether it is the fault of Brett Favre or the injuries to the receiving corps.

No, I wouldn’t say that Cotchery is going to go for 100+ yards, but he easily could come in at around 70 yards and a touchdown.  That certainly makes him an intriguing option if you are in need of a gamble in deeper formats.

Cotchery is currently owned in 40% of Yahoo leagues and 16.5% of ESPN leagues

Running Back:
John Kuhn – Green Bay Packers – at Chicago

As I’ve said before, finding a sleeper running back is an extremely difficult task.  This week, however, an opportunity may have presented itself.

After losing Ryan Grant for the season, it appeared that Brandon Jackson would take over the every down duties.  However, that does not appear to be the case.  Recently the news came out the coaching staff wanted to limit his carries, meaning Kuhn could get opportunities to succeed.

In Week 2 he actually got nine carries going for 36 yards.  In the first week, he had two carries for 15 yards and a touchdown.  He should continue to receive carries as they look to limit the exposure of Jackson, meaning he has the potential to produce similar to Peyton Hillis has thus far.  So, if Hillis has value in your league, Kuhn certainly could as well.

Kuhn is currently owned in 3% of Yahoo leagues and 2.0% of ESPN leagues.

What are your thoughts of these players?  Would you use any of them in Week 3?  Have any other sleepers you’d suggest?

Make sure to check out our Week 3 Rankings & Other Articles:

Sunday Sleepers: Week 4
Sunday Sleepers - Week 2 (Jerricho Cotchery & More)


  1. All solid options. I only think I’d trust Kuhn in TD heavy leagues or in a flex position this week, but he should be a decent option during the bye weeks.

  2. Nick Tenaglia says:

    Got an Oakland skill player problem…..

    I cant start 1 RB, 2 WR and 3 Flex….
    My RBs: Ray Rice, Michael Turner, Jason Snelling, Ryan Matthews, Rashard Mendenhall, Darren McFadden
    My WRs: DeSean Jackson, Austin Miles, Larry Fitzgerald, Louis Murphy, Eddie Royal, Jacoby Jones

    I think Ray Rice vsCLE and Austin @HOU are no-brainers. It appears that DeSean Jackson has made a connection with Vick, and being @JAX should prove to be a good matchup.
    So now I need my 3 Flex…. I don’t know why, but I desperately want to take a flyer on both Louis Murphy and DMC. And my last player would be Mendy.
    Am I crazy to want to play both Murphy and DMC? Should I sit Murph and go with Turner?

  3. admin says:

    I’d definitely play Turner over Murphy. He just has too much of a higher ceiling. Murphy, McFadden & Mendenhall would be the way I’d go.

  4. Nick Tenaglia says:

    ummmmm Mr Admin? You’re double-speak is cofusing me….

    On the one-hand you say that you would “definitely play Turner over Murphy”.
    And then you say that “Murphy, McFadden & Mendenhall would be the way [you'd] go”.

    Have you been drinking again? Stop drunk-blogging!

  5. admin says:

    Sorry Nick, typo!

    McFadden, Mendenhall & Turner. That’s the way I’d go.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>