Fantasy Football Sleepers: Week 13
Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB)- After beginning the season red-hot, Fitzpatrick has cooled off considerably. Over the last seven games, he’s tossed only six touchdowns and fallen off the fantasy radar. But this seems like the kind of game where he could get back on track. Over the last three weeks, the Jaguars have surrendered an NFL-high 1015 yards passing, with eight total touchdowns to signal-callers. You wouldn’t want to sit an established fantasy signal-caller for Fitz, but if you’re in a situation where you start two QB’s or have been bitten by the injury bug, Fitzpatrick warrants some consideration.
Knowshon Moreno (RB)- Perhaps Week 12’s biggest surprise was Moreno’s last-second nomination as the starter in place of the injured Willis McGahee. While most of us fought to get a waiver claim on Ronnie Hillman, John Fox started the veteran Moreno and he responded by claiming 24 of the Broncos 27 running back touches. Any time you can get a featured back in a Peyton Manning offense, you want to play them. On first glance, this Week 13 meeting with Tampa’s top-ranked rush defense is a lousy matchup for Moreno, but over their last five games Tampa ranks 22nd in terms of fantasy points-per-game allowed to opposing running backs, including five touchdowns in those five games.
Jonathan Dwyer (RB)- The crowded and confusing backfield situation in Pittsburgh may have gotten a lot clearer after a dreadful eight turnover performance last week. Rashard Mendenhall has been demoted to third-string and Issac Redman is better utilized as a receiver and occasional change-of-pace runner. That leaves Dwyer to reclaim the majority of carries, especially on first and second downs. No doubt the Mike Tomlin would like to call a very conservative, run-heavy offense this week as his Steelers try to protect third-string quarter back Charlie Batch and keep their playoff hopes alive.
Ryan Broyles (WR)- Titus Young‘s attempted sabotaging of the offense may have had the reverse effect. With Young suspended, Broyles stepped up huge against a tough Houston defense. In that game, Broyles was targeted a dozen times and hauled in six catches for 126 yards. He is now entrenched as the starter opposite of Calvin Johnson and that means favorable coverages as teams employee a constant double-team to Johnson. For Week 13, the well-rested Lions host an Indianapolis secondary that is currently the NFL’s fifth-worst in terms of allowing fantasy points to wide-outs.
Santana Moss (WR)- Santana Moss might not be making a huge impact with targets (under 5 a game) or yards, but he’s got a nose for the endzone. Moss is tied for seventh in the NFL with seven touchdowns and he’s scored five times over Washington’s last five games. This week’s NFC East showdown between the Redskins and Giants is expected to be a shoot-out, and Moss enjoyed his best game of the season six weeks ago when this same opponent.
Dallas Clark (TE)- Clark’s stock is on the rise after putting together his two best performances of the season in back to back weeks, and scoring two touchdowns in Tampa’s last three games. With Champ Bailey having plenty of experience shutting down Vincent Jackson, Josh Freeman will be forced to rely on other receivers. Another positive trend for Clark is Denver’s inability to defend tight ends. The Broncos currently rank 31st in the league, surrendering 10.9 fantasy points-per-game to tight ends.
Cleveland Browns (DST)- Bolstered by the return of a healthy CB Joe Haden and DT’s Phil Taylor and Ahtyba Rubin, the Browns defense has looked downright impressive. In consecutive weeks, this unit sacked Tony Romo seven times then forced an incredible eight turnovers while finally beating the Steelers. Return specialist Josh Cribbs remains a top-notch returner and is always a candidate for a return touchdown. Perhaps the biggest reason to consider Cleveland this week is the weather. Tropical storm conditions are expected throughout the day in Oakland. The forecast currently calls for a 100% chance of heavy rain, with sustained winds of 20+ m.p.h. and gusting even higher. Combing a surging Browns defense with a struggling, turnover-happy Oakland offense and horrible weather conditions sounds like a formula for fantasy success.