Week 13 Fantasy Football Sleepers
Week 13 might not be the best time of the year to dive into the bag of tricks, but considering how advanced leagues are getting with multiple flex spots and the excessive number of big-name injuries in the NFL this season, finding a few fantasy football sleepers for week 13 could be exactly what you need to advance to the post-season in your league.
This article also works great for those of you who are calling it a year and are looking for some DFS Sleepers for DraftKings or Fanduel. I would also suggest checking out our Week 13 Fantasy Football Rankings for more tips and advice.
Week 12 was one of the most high-scoring weeks of the 2017 season on the overall fantasy football scoring leaderboard. In fact, the top six players that include Julio Jones (50.8), Antonio Brown (40.9), Alvin Kamara (36.8), Keenan Allen (34.2), Robby Anderson (32.6) and Ben Roethlisberger (30.5) all scored over 30 fantasy points. Moreover, one of which is viewed a sleeper, though, should he really be at this point? The player in question is Robby Anderson. Entering Week 13 with a 45.2 start-percentage at ESPN, Anderson is the WR14 with 154.5 fantasy points in standard scoring formats. While he had a monster game last week, his production was far from an anomaly — see Julio Jones through the first 12 weeks of the season. He’s been surprisingly consistent in 2017 averaging 14 FPPG.
Perhaps a reason why Anderson is being under-valued is that he is playing for the Jets with Josh McCown under center. However, McCown, who finished Week 12 as the ninth overall scoring leader with 25.1 points, is the QB13 with 176 points is having the best year of his career and is worthy of the fantasy football community’s attention. While I’ll agree that McCown is a sleeper — he is only owned in 35.6 percent of ESPN leagues — he is more or less viewed a streaming option amongst the fantasy community while his production clearly warrants him to be considered a roster-able QB2.
Most-Productive Players from Week 12
Sleepers Week 12: Full-Disclosure
|Player||Pos||Rank||Points||PPR Rank||PPR Points|
The following is a recap of the players from my Week 10 Fantasy Football Sleepers article. You can read that here.
Entering Week 13, some fantasy owners may be forced to shop the waiver wire due to a handful of notable injuries around the league. With players that include C.J. Prosise, Devonta Freeman, and Aaron Jones all succumbing to injuries last week, be sure to check out Andrew Erickson’s Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 13 to assist you with filling the vacant holes on your fantasy rosters. You can read that here.
Week 13 QB Fantasy Sleepers
Although I’ve gone to the Jared Goff well a handful of times with successful results in 2017, I didn’t trust him in last week’s win over the Saints. Completing 28-of-43 passes (65.1 percent) for 354 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception — he finished Week 12 as the QB11 with 19.9 fantasy points — Goff once again proved he should be viewed a strong fantasy option in most matchups. However, although he is fantasy football’s QB8 with points this season, he is only being started in 47.7 percent of leagues at ESPN while being rostered in 80.6 percent of them.
In his upcoming matchup against the Cardinals, Goff will face one of the friendliest foes for an opposing quarterback. In fact, while he is entering Sunday’s contest accumulating at least 19 fantasy points in four out of past five games — three of which went for at least 20 — Arizona will limp into the matchup surrendering at least 17.4 points to the position in five of their past seven.
And while some may be hesitant to employ Goff in a crucial fantasy matchup this week which could be a win-or-go-home scenario with wide receiver Robert Woods on track to miss his second straight game with a shoulder injury — he is not expected to return until Week 15 — I wouldn’t be. As mentioned above, Goff played extremely well last week with rookie Josh Reynolds stepping up with a 4-37-1 stat line in Woods’ absence. Facing a Cardinals defense surrendering the fourth most fantasy production to QBs at an 18.9 FPPG pace, Goff is an upside QB1 for Week 13. If you have him on your roster, start him unless you’re a Russell Wilson, Carson Wentz or Tom Brady owner.
ESPN Start-Percentage: 33.1%
For those of you who don’t believe in Case Keenum, it’s time to get on board. Although he is only the QB17 with 161.5 fantasy points since Week 1, he didn’t play in the season opener — remember Sam Bradford? Therefore, if we remove that week, he is the QB15 from Week 2 on. While the QB15 should be rostered in the majority of fantasy leagues, he is only owned at 56.9 percent of them at ESPN. Moreover, scoring at least 17 fantasy points in each of his past four games — he’s thrown for 1,154 yards, nine TDs and three interceptions in that time span — he is the QB7 with 86.1 fantasy points while averaging 21.5 FPPG since Week 8. That’s mid-range QB1 territory.
In his upcoming matchup against the Falcons, Keenum will face a defense that will be playing without their top cornerback, Desmond Trufant, who is ruled out with a concussion. While his absence should further handicap a secondary already allowing the 15th most fantasy points to QBs at a 16.9 FPPG rate, it should also open things up for Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, one of the league’s top receiving duos. Heading into Sunday’s matchup finishing as a QB5 or better in his past 3-of-4 games, Keenum warrants QB1 upside for Week 13.
A player like Case Keenum is labeled a tournament-buster in DFS formats, especially with the opportunity he has in his upcoming matchup. For more extensive DFS knowledge, check out Mike Hauff’s Draft Kings Primer for Week 13. You can read that here.
Week 13 RB Fantasy Sleepers
ESPN Start-Percentage: 42.1%
Since Week 8, Alex Collins has emerged as one of fantasy football’s most productive running backs. Rushing for 265 yards and two TDs on 67 carries while adding a 9-52-0 stat line as a receiver, Collins is fantasy’s RB15 with 43.7 points while averaging 10.9 FPPG in that four-game timespan. However, although Danny Woodhead (hamstring) returned from his 10-game stint on the injured reserve list in the midst of Collins’ success in Week 11, he has yet to cut into his the starter’s workload. In fact, Woodhead’s return ultimately cancels out Buck Allen’s fantasy value as the Ravens primary receiver out of the backfield, while Collins continues to maintain his quality role on early downs.
In his upcoming matchup against a Lions defense surrendering the sixth most fantasy production to the running back position at a 20.1 FPPG rate, Collins should continue to thrive. While the Detriot defense has allowed an opposing RB to compile at least 12.1 fantasy points in five of their past six games — they’ve allowed an opposing rusher to score a TD in six straight games in that timespan — Collins has rushed for 113 yards or a TD in his past 3-of-4. Collins is in the RB2 conversation, with back-end RB1 upside, for Week 13.
ESPN Start-Percentage: 37.21%
Although Tom Brady is dealing with an Achilles injury that sidelined him at practice earlier in the week, he returned for Thursday’s session and was removed from the Week 13 injury report as a result. However, Brady is banged up, which could translate to extra work for Patriots running backs. While I’m not saying they will heavily feature the run over the pass — let’s face it, if Brady is in he intends to light up the scoreboard — offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels could elect to run more once (yes I’m assuming) New England jumps off to a healthy lead over a Bills team the future Hall of Famer has lit up throughout his legendary career.
In that scenario, I believe Rex Burkhead will continue to produce as he has since Week 8. In fact, although Dion Lewis is also playing extremely well — he is fantasy’s RB18 with 43 points in standard formats and the RB20 with 50 points in PPR — Burkhead is right there with him in fantasy production. Totaling 236 yards and three TDs on 48 touches (16 receptions), Burkhead is following Lewis as the RB20 with 41.6 standard points and eight spots ahead of him as the RB12 with 57.6 PPR points. Moreover, in his upcoming matchup against the Bills, he will contest a defense surrendering the third most fantasy production to RBs at a 21.6 FPPG rate.
While both Burkhead and Lewis should produce, I believe the former could breakout. Facing a Bills defense that has collapsed since trading Marcel Dareus to the Jaguars ahead of Week 8 — they’ve allowed an opposing RB to score at least 12.1 fantasy points in the past 4-0f-5 games including two games of at least 21.6 points in that time span — Burkhead warrants RB2 upside in PPR scoring formats in Week 13.
Week 13 WR Fantasy Sleepers
ESPN Start-Percentage: 44%
You can make an argument that the Rams passing attack didn’t begin to take off until Week 7, the last time they opposed the Cardinals. As mentioned in the Goff blurb above, he accumulated at least 19 fantasy points in four out of his past five games. However, I failed to mention that he collected those points by throwing for a least 311 yards or two TDs in that timespan. Concurrently, we also saw the emergence of Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. While Woods is likely out, Kupp is once again favored over Sammy Watkins to finish as the Rams top scoring pass-catcher. In the same before mentioned timespan in which Goff’s been on fire, Kupp has also been hot, though, on a much lesser level. Accumulating a 27-332-1 stat line in his past five games, Kupp is the WR28 with 64.2 PPR points.
From a fantasy perspective, perhaps the biggest takeaway from the above paragraph is the anticipated absence of Woods. Why? Well, in his first game without Woods last week, Kupp tallied career highs in targets (11), receptions (8) and yards receiving (116). And although Watkins also produced, he only hauled in four of his nine targets for 82 yards and a score. With Patrick Peterson expected to blanket Watkins, all signs are pointing to Kupp going off against a Cardinals secondary that has issues containing a team’s primary slot receiver, especially if he can line up and deliver from all over the formation.
Although the Cardinals defense is surrendering the ninth most fantasy points to WRs at a 22.3 FPPG rate, they’ve played better of late, only allowing two WRs to score double-digit fantasy points in their past five games. The significance? Kupp was one of those wideouts to do so, scoring 11.1 fantasy points back in his first career game against Arizona, hauling in 4-of-10 targets for 51 yards and a TD back in Week 7. In a plus matchup, Kupp is a strong Flex option with WR2 upside in PPR scoring formats in Week 13.
ESPN Start-Percentage: 4.2%
However, while he is beginning to produce statistically, his target-share has always been there. So much so that he leads the Bills with 61 targets. Still, although his target-share has been plentiful — he is averaging a team-high 5.5 targets per game — his catch-percentage is a league-worst 37.7 percent amongst qualifying pass-catchers, only hauling in 24 passes on the year while being credited for a pair of drops. Because of his outstanding opportunity-share and the before-mentioned uptick in production, Jones remains a quality deep sleeper option moving forward.
With Kelvin Benjamin (knee) trending toward an inactive designation for his second straight game — he has yet to practice this week — Jones should continue to lead the Bills in targets and wide receiver production in his upcoming matchup against the Patriots. Now, although the New England defense has improved following a treacherous start, they have still allowed an opposing WR to score a touchdown or double-digit fantasy points in 9-of-11 games, though the only two games in which the Patriots failed to surrender at least 10.6 points to an opposing WR occurred in the past two contests. Facing a Patriots defense yielding the sixth-most fantasy points to WRs at a 24.2 FPPG rate, Jones remains an opportunity-dependent Flex option for Week 13. It’s only a matter of time before he “gets it” and goes off.
Week 13 TE Fantasy Sleepers
The Raiders will enter Sunday’s Week 13 tilt against the Giants extremely short-handed at wide receiver. In fact, they will be without their top two options. With Michael Crabtree out due to a one-game suspension for violating the league’s unsportsmanlike conduct policy. Plus, Amari Cooper out due to a sprained ankle and a concussion, the door is open for Jared Cook to go off. Why? Well, Oakland’s passing attack was already disappointing, and that was with Crabtree and Cooper in the lineup. Now that they are both out, the Raiders will rely on Johnny Holton, Seth Roberts, and Cordarrelle Patterson to handle their pass-catching duties in Week 13.
With that kind of deficit at pass-catcher, inserting Cook in your fantasy lineups this week is a no-brainer. Not only should he garner an increased target share — averaging 5.9 targets per game, Cook is third on the team with 65 targets behind Cooper (85) and Crabtree (66) — but his matchup against the Giants is unbelievable. Although they shut down Vernon Davis last week — they held the Redskins’ TE1 to zero points — I’d credit his lack of showing up to Washington’s gameplan, more so than New York’s ability, or lack thereof, to contain the tight end. Facing a Giants defense surrendering the most fantasy points to the TE in 2017 at a 12.2 FPPG rate — they’ve allowed an opposing TE to score a TD in 9-of-11 games this season — Cook warrants top-five TE1 upside for Week 13.
ESPN Start-Percentage: 41.6%
Entering Sunday’s matchup against the Browns, Henry will face a defense that is overly welcoming to opposing tight ends. So much so that they’ve allowed a TE to accumulate at least 63 yards or a TD in seven of their past eight games dating back to Week 4. Moreover, the Cleveland defense is surrendering the third most points to the position at a 10.6 FPPG pace. Coming off of his best game of the year against the Cowboys in which he caught all five of his targets for 76 yards and a TD, Henry, who is fourth on the team in targets (44), is in the TE1 mix for Week 13. Start him with confidence.
Week 13 Deep Fantasy Sleepers (In Case You’re Desperate)
ESPN Start-Percentage: 1.9%
Okay, guys, I’ve been saving this one. As most of you know from reading my content and listening to the FFFaceoff podcast, I’m a lifelong Cowboys fan. However, I’m a football fan at heart and tend to fall for the underdog or a defensive team that reminds me of the old Ray Lewis/ Ed Reed Ravens defense. Well, for the past two seasons, I’ve gushed over the Jaguars, while being killed over my confidence in Blake Bortles. And if you haven’t guessed it, this is a buildup for a Jaguars wideout. No, I’m not talking about Marqise Lee. I’m referencing Dede Westbrook. I loved Westbrook in the preseason, who flashed just as much as Detriot’s Kenny Golladay, but quickly faded due to a core muscle injury. As a result of undergoing a surgery to repair the injury, he lingered on the short-term injured reserve list until Jacksonville activated him in time to make his NFL debut in Week 11.
Although he made an outlandish proclamation ahead of first career game — he told the press he would drop 200 yards in his debut game against the Browns — he didn’t come close. In fact, in his first two games combined, he only caught 9-of-16 targets for 76 yards. So why do I like Westbrook this week? Well, one stat I want to focus on is his target share. His 16 targets in his past two games are leading the team in that timespan, so the opportunity to produce is there. It’s up to him to make it all click.
However, another factor to consider is his matchup. While Westbrook had favorable matchups on paper against the Browns and Cardinals in his first two games, both of those defenses struggle against the upper-tiered offenses while containing the lesser fortunate. That’s not the case on Sunday. Westbrook will see his most favorable foe to date in the form of the Colts and their defense surrendering the eighth most fantasy production to WRs at a 22.4 FPPG pace. Facing an Indianapolis defense who’ve allowed an opposing wideout to accumulate at least 101 yards or a TD in six of their past seven games — they will also be without starting cornerback Rashaan Melvin who is out indefinitely with a hand injury — Westbrook is a target-dependent desperation Flex option for Week 13.
ESPN Start-Percentage: 1.4%
Since joining the Bears in Week 10, Dontrelle Inman has emerged as the team’s clear-cut WR1. In fact, his 22 targets are leading all Bears pass-catchers in that timespan. While his production has yet to consistently follow — aside from his debut Week 10 matchup in which he caught six targets for 88 yards, he’s only caught seven passes for 107 yards in his two games since. However, while his opponents were favorable, his upcoming foe, the 49ers, present one of the softest matchups he’ll see for the remainder of the year — they’ve allowed an opposing WR to score a TD in five out of their past six games. Facing a 49ers defense surrendering the 14th most fantasy points to WRs at a 20.9 FPPG pace, Inman, fantasy football’s WR27 with 32.5 PPR points since Week 10, is a quality Flex option for Week 13. Only start him in dire situations.
Thank you for reading about my sleepers for Week 13. I hope you enjoyed it! Want more? Mike Hauff and I debate fantasy football news, notes and yes, sleepers, on our show, the Faceoff, a Gridiron Experts podcast. Check it out. Oh, and before I forget, we will answer your questions on our show! All you have to do is Tweet us with your question @FFfaceoff.
Thanks for reading and Good Luck!