Fantasy Football Sleepers: Week 13
Fantasy Football Sleepers
It's late in the week and many football fans are just now emerging from the tryptophan-induced coma of Thanksgiving. In addition to all those carbs, Thursday featured three NFL games and tons of fantasy talent has already played. Hopefully, none of your key contributors put you in a bad spot, but if they did, there is still plenty of time to recover.
In between sips of Pepto, you can also bring relief to your fantasy lineup by making the right substitutions and picking up potential difference-making sleepers to insert into your lineups. With the playoffs literally right around the corner, these late-season victories are the most important yet, and crucial for the championship push.
Here are some undervalued and sleeper picks to consider for Week 13. Happy Thanksgiving!
Jared Goff (Los Angeles Rams) - Heading into the season, no one could have predicted that Jared Goff would have to be considered a sleeper, but Goff has been straight-up atrocious for a significant portion of the season. Over his last three starts, Goff has averaged a mere 209 passing yards per game, thrown five interceptions and failed to throw a single touchdown pass. Goff's starting percentage in fantasy lineups has dipped below 33% and he's being widely dropped off rosters altogether as the Rams plummet. However, Week 13 looks like an intriguing 'get right' spot for Goff as the Rams travel to Arizona to face a Cardinals' defense that has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, including a league-worst 29 touchdown passes. Of course, starting a player that is struggling this badly comes with substantial risk, but there's enough upside in this matchup to warrant the gamble.
Nick Foles (Jacksonville Jaguars) - Foles was listed in this column last week but wasn't particularly effective. He completed 32-of-48 for 262 scoreless yards and avoided interceptions but the Jaguars focused on their ground game and Foles had an effective, but disappointing effort. Week 13 looks like a better opportunity for John DeFilippo to exploit a horrendous Tampa Bay secondary that has allowed the second-most fantasy point to quarterbacks this season. The Bucs have surrendered multiple touchdowns in eight of their last nine matchups, so Foles has an excellent shot at producing above-average stats in this potential shootout.
Darrell Williams (Kansas City Chiefs) - Damien Williams (ribs) has yet to practice this week and looks unlikely to have any kind of significant role. Conversely, LeSean McCoy is two weeks removed from being a healthy scratch, so that makes Darrell Williams a decent bet to lead the Kansas City backfield in touches. Darrell Williams scored against the Chargers prior to the bye and could once again be in a good position to contribute as both a runner and receiver, especially in the red-zone.
Ronald Jones (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) - Throughout November, Jones has taken a bigger share of the backfield carries in Tampa. In fact, Peyton Barber has played 15 or fewer snaps in three of the Buccaneers' past four games while Jones has managed to punch in a rushing score in those same three contests. Jones has also assumed a larger role in the passing game and that ascending usage should continue in Week 13 against a Jacksonville squad that has allowed the fourth-most rushing yards to running backs and ceded five total touchdowns to the position in their last three games. Jones is a sneaky bet to approach 20 total touches and produce top-15 fantasy numbers.
James White (New England Patriots) - There's no telling how Bill Belichick will exploit a struggling Houston defense, but no team has allowed more receptions (81) to running backs than the Texans, who also have dropped 11 of 12 matchups to New England. In the 2018 season opener, White got nine touches, including four receptions and a TD grab. The Patriots enter Houston with an injury-ravaged receiving corps, which should lead to an added emphasis on getting White out into space to present a mismatch against Houston's linebackers. It wouldn't be a surprise at all to see White approach double-digit targets in this one, making him an excellent RB2 in PPR formats.
Alshon Jeffery (Philadelphia Eagles) - After practicing in full all week, Jeffery is expected to return to the Eagles' lineup just in time to face a leaky Miami secondary that has allowed an NFL-worst 19 touchdowns to wide receivers. Jeffery has been in and out of the lineup all season and has yet to surpass 76 receiving yards in any one game but Week 13 looks like a good opportunity to exploit a mismatch and get healthy in a hurry.
James Washington (Pittsburgh Steelers) - Washington led Pittsburgh's receiving corps in snaps (58) last week and also produced a 79-yard TD strike as soon as QB Devlin Hodges entered the game. With Hodges now being named the Steelers' starter against Cleveland and No. 1 receiver Juju Smith-Schuster looking very doubtful to suit up, Washington looks like the most likely Pittsburgh pass-catcher to lead the team in targets, giving him solid WR3 value in Week 13.
Auden Tate (Cincinnati Bengals) - Since Andy Dalton was usurped as the Bengals' stater, Tate's blossoming fantasy value fell off a cliff. In three games without Dalton under center, Tate only caught eight total passes for 102 yards, which also included a scary injury. Now that Dalton is back, Tate should see a big boost in routes and targets and also gets an excellent Week 13 matchup against a Jets' secondary that has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to wideouts so far this season.
Jack Doyle (Indianapolis Colts) - Doyle had out-snapped Eric Ebron in 10 of the 11 games the duo played together but now that Ebron has been placed on IR, Doyle will see an even bigger share of snaps and targets. Week 13's opponent, Tennessee ranks just 21st against tight ends and Doyle has a solid track record against this opponent. Now that he's commanding a larger share of the tight end looks from QB Jacoby Brissett, Doyle offers top-10 upside at a position that has next-to-zero depth.
Tyler Higbee (Los Angeles Rams) - Gerald Everett (wrist) hasn't practiced and left Week 12 early. That resulted in Higbee snagging a season-best five balls against the Ravens, mostly in garbage time. Still, if Everett is sidelined, Higbee has real top-10 potential as the only tight end against an Arizona defense that has been historically bad against the position. The Cardinals have allowed an NFL-worst 12 touchdowns to tight ends so far in 2019.
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Jody is a member of both the Pro Football Writer's of America (PFWA) and Fantasy Sports Writer's Association (FSWA) and has been covering the NFL and fantasy football for over a decade. Jody won FantasyPro's Most Accurate Expert contest and also garnered the FSTA's accuracy award in 2012. A Houston native, Jody has covered the Texans locally since 2016 for both digital and radio audiences. Past writing stops include CBS Sportsline, Gridiron Experts, Pro Football Focus, Fanball, FantasyPro's. Jody is also a frequent guest on SiriusXM and Houston radio and his work regularly appears in print on newsstands each summer.