Incredibly, the fantasy football playoffs are rapidly approaching. Another season we eagerly anticipated for months is, sadly, almost behind us. Before we know it we’ll enter that depressing void between the Superbowl and NFL Draft.
But enough of the sad stuff, let’s concentrate on entering that void with a championship winning fantasy squad. Week 11 is a critical week as teams jockey for playoff positioning. In some larger leagues, this might be the last regular-season week. Either way, it’s important to stay abreast of sleepers that can help give you that edge and grab another win.
Let’s take a look at some players that could be considered sneaky plays for Week 11.
Robert Griffin III (QB) vs. TBB– At 1-8, Lovie Smith‘s Tampa Bay Bucs squad has been putrid on both sides of the ball. In particular, they’ve struggled to defend opposing wide receivers, who are averaging a healthy 42.8 PPR points-per-game against this secondary. That’s great news for RG3 and the Washington passing game, as ‘Skins trot out two excellent starting wide-outs in Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson. It hasn’t been a great season for Griffin, but those who drafted him as a backup or to play in a rotation would be wise to find a way to get him into their lineups this week.
Brian Hoyer (QB) vs. HOU- The only team that ranks worse than the Bucs at defending fantasy wide receivers? Yep, that’d be the Houston Texans, who have given up 1753 yards and 14 touchdowns to wide receivers in 9 games. Without star Josh Gordon, the Cleveland receiving corps
totally reeks hasn’t set the world on fire, but this seems like the kind of game that will see Hoyer game-manage his way to 250+ passing yards and a couple of touchdowns.
Other QB’s to consider: Teddy Bridgewater @Chi, Shaun Hill vs. DEN, Matt Ryan @CAR
Steven Jackson (RB) @CAR-
Jackson is coming off of his best game of the season, and over the last two Atlanta contests, he’s seen a season-high 36 touches while scoring in each. At the same time, the Falcons seem to be utilizing their other backs less over the last month or so, meaning S-Jax is becoming a more reliable fantasy option. Along with growing momentum, Jackson also looks like a strong option this week against a Carolina Panthers defense that has allowed an NFL-high 14 touchdowns to opposing running backs.
Alfred Blue (RB) @CLE- We all know how awesome Arian Foster is. We also know how fragile he tends to be too. When last seen, Foster was slamming his helmet to the ground after leaving the field with a groin injury in Week 9. Apparently that injury is quite severe, as Foster isn’t expected to play versus Cleveland. Even if he does suit up, he’d likely be limited. Backup Alfred Blue is expected to get the start this week against Cleveland’s 28th-ranked run defense. Blue is averaging 3.4 ypc, with a receiving score on the season, but should be in for a heavy workload against an ailing Browns defense that will be further weakened by the season-ending knee injury suffered by nose tackle Phil Taylor.
More sleeper RB’s: CJ Anderson @STL, Jonas Gray @IND, Branden Oliver vs. OAK, Jonathan Stewart vs. ATL
Roddy White (WR) @CAR-
Though teammate Julio Jones
might be more highly regarded, Roddy White has been the better fantasy option as of late. Over his last three games, White is averaging just under 7 receptions for 79 yards and has scored in 2 of 3. Furthering White’s Week 11 cause is the opponent, a Carolina secondary that ranks 26th in the NFL in fantasy wide receiver defense and has allowed an NFL-high 14 scores to opposing wide receivers. Better, still- Roddy White has absolutely destroyed this opponent in the past. Over the past four matchups, White is averaging
a whopping 8 grabs, 115 yards and has 5 touchdowns against the Panthers.
Davante Adams (WR) vs. PHI- Adams laid a big egg last week, as the Packers chose to utilize a two tight end approach against a hapless Chicago secondary. Those that own Adams should be used to it though. The rookie wide-out has alternated up and down weeks in all ten games this season. If you’re a believer in those trends, Week 11 should once again be an “up” game. It also doesn’t hurt that this is a primetime game for the Packers at home against a Philadelphia Eagles secondary that ranks 29th in defending fantasy wide receivers.
Brandin Cooks (WR) vs. CIN- We mentioned Cooks as a sleeper target last week and he came through in a big way. We like him again this week, as the Saints are in the comfortable confines of the Superdome. In home games, Cooks averages a healthy 7 for 79 line and has scored 3 of his 4 touchdowns in New Orleans. According to Pro Football Focus, the Saints’ Week 11 opponent has the worst defense in the NFL, so there should be ample opportunities for Cooks to make another big impact.
Other WR’s to look at: Anquan Boldin @NYG, Greg Jennings vs. CHI, Andrew Hawkins vs. HOU, Brandon LaFell @IND, Keenan Allen vs. OAK
Kyle Rudolph (TE) @CHI- After missing nearly two months with a groin injury, Kyle Rudolph is listed as probable and should return to fantasy prominence as a TE1 moving forward. Rudolph is far more talented than the other tight ends the Vikings have utilized since Week 3, and his return timing is impeccable, as Minnesota’s Week 11 opponent is an atrocious Chicago Bears defense that is dead last in fantasy football, allowing 19.4 PPR-points-per game to opposing tight ends.
Mychal Rivera (TE) OAk- Perhaps no tight end has more positive momentum than Oakland’s Mychal Rivera. Over the Raiders last three games, Rivera has 21 catches, 185 yards and 3 touchdowns. He has become David Carr‘s most -rusted target and a garbage-time hero. With many expecting the Raiders winless ways to continue this week against the Chargers, perhaps Rivera can come through for more late-game fantasy heroics.
Other quality TE plays: Travis Kelce vs. SEA, Jordan Reed vs. TBB, Vernon Davis vs. NYG, Jared Cook vs. DEN
Senior Writer Gridiron Experts. 2012 FantasyPros Most Accurate Fantasy Expert. Member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. 26-year fantasy football veteran. Featured on NFL.com, Fantasypros, Football Diehards annual magazine, local AM sports radio, podcasts everywhere and SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. Once scored 4 touchdowns in a single game for Polk High School.