SleepersSeptember 24, 2011


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Sleeper Watch - 4 comments

By R.J. White

It was likely very deep in your fantasy draft when the first Bears receiver came off the board. In fact, it’s highly likely the one that was first drafted in your league was Johnny Knox, and he couldn’t even lock up a starting job heading into the season. Clearly, there’s opportunity for someone to step up in Chicago and see a spike in targets if that person can set himself apart on game day. So let’s talk about Dane Sanzenbacher.

Wait, who? Sanzenbacher came out of Ohio State as an undrafted free agent after leading the Buckeyes in receptions (55), receiving yards (948) and receiving TDs (11) in his senior season. That performance won him team MVP, but with no hype attached to him as a player, he latched on to the Bears in hopes of playing well in the preseason and cracking the final roster. He certainly pulled that off, even pushing Earl Bennett to be the team’s starting slot receiver.

Bennett was hurt in the Week 2 game against the Saints, allowing Sanzenbacher to play two out of every three snaps. He wound up with three catches, which led all Bears receivers on the day and was second on the team behind Matt Forte. Even better, he caught the only TD reception by a Bears receiver this season in the first quarter of the game. Forte leads the team in receptions by a mile with 15, and Johnny Knox is second with just five receptions. Three receivers are tied for third with four, including Sanzenbacher.

The Bears are desperate for a stand-out performance at receiver, and with Bennett out for Week 3’s critical game against the Packers, Sanzenbacher could give it to them. Green Bay has allowed two straight 400-yard passing performances to opposing quarterbacks while winning two shootouts. If Cutler can top even 300 receiving yards on Sunday, Sanzenbacher stands a great chance at approaching or exceeding 100 yards if he’s on the field for two out of every three snaps again. Take a chance on him now and avoid any potential rush during next week’s waiver period.

 
R.J. White is the head editor at the Cafe, writes for FanDuel and Razzball and has previously written for FanHouse. Catch up with him in the forums under the name daullaz. Follow him on Twitter; don't follow him in real life.
 
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4 Responses to “Dane Sanzenbacher”

  1. Interesting. Nice article. I think it might be a bit too early for me to go get him but ill for sure keep my eyes peeled.

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  2. Hippo45 says:

    It’s really no surprise that the slot receiver in Chicago is a sleeper candidate. Every Mike Martz offense has had a decent slot receiver option because his offense focuses on that position.

    Devin Hester had 9 targets last game and if he continues to have that many targets he would be the guy to own.

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  3. karl0528 says:

    I like Dane’s upside but as a Bears fan who lives in Chicago I’m not buying into him yet. I think if anyone will flourish in this offense it will be Williams or Knox with Williams having the greatest upside. This offense is so enigmatic and Dane is very unproven I don’t feel as if the dice should be rolled on him yet until he proves something. For example, we saw that he was targeted and got a TD last week but there were plenty of missed opportunities where he dropped passes and so forth. Remember, he was an undrafted rookie and there has to be a reason other teams in the league passed on him and let’s face it Chicago upper brass is not the best at evaluating offensive talent. I am no expert but I would think that Williams (if he plays) or Knox have the better upside this week with Hester being a flex option for a possible punt return for a TD this week.

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  4. User avatar Navyseal says:

    Knox’s upside is far better than Roy’s imo… Knox is a burner/potential homerun threat, and Cutler has the arm, meanwhile Williams can’t outrun a two-wheeled tri-cycle and continues to drop passes everywhere he goes — when he is healthy enuff to start, that is… LoL

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