Fantasy Football: Top 10 sleeper picks of Week 13
By Genna Preston
The fantasy football playoffs are officially here. If your league’s playoffs don’t start this week, you’re in the home stretch; only a couple more weeks of headaches and heartbreak!
Nov 27, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) celebrates a touchdown with wide receiver De’Anthony Thomas (13) in the second quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
With the playoffs in full action, your starting lineup will literally make or break your post fantasy football season. It’s critical to fully optimize your roster with the most valuable players entering Week 13.
Must Read: Fantasy Football: Top 10 Start 'Em Picks For Week 13
As we’ve seen in past weeks, the big wigs in the league don’t always pull through. Actually, we’ve had a season full of busts week after week.
This is the week to go all in, especially if you’ve already clinched a playoff position. Every week many players fall under the fantasy football radar and go above and beyond any projected outcomes. These are the players you want to throw in your weekly lineup to get ahead of your competition.
After analyzing this week’s matchups, injuries, bye teams and past performance, I have identified several of these players. The anticipation is officially over, here are the top 10 sleepers of Week 13.
Next: 10. Washington Redskins D/ST
10. Washington Redskins D/ST
The Washington Redskins aren’t among the elite D/ST. However, given the right matchup, they can score big, like we saw in Week 5 against the Baltimore Ravens.
The Redskins allowed only 10 opposing points and three sacks. They earned over 35 fantasy football points in some leagues. This week the Redskins prepare to take on the Arizona Cardinals. And, as much as the Redskins offense will give up plenty of yards and points, their D/ST is in line for a great week.
When playing the Cardinals, opposing D/ST’s have scored the third most points in fantasy football. The only fall behind the Cleveland Browns and the New York Jets. Just last week, the Atlanta Falcons D/ST brought home about 20 fantasy points against the Cardinals. If you stream D/ST’s or want to change-up your roster, the Redskins D/ST is the way to go.
Next: 9. Green Bay Packers D/ST
Oct 9, 2016; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby (2) during the game against the New York Giants at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 23-16. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
9. Green Bay Packers D/ST
The Green Bay Packers can’t catch a break. Aaron Rodgers is on fire but, with a poor defense they fall short more often than expected.
Within their last five games, Green Bay D/ST has earned over 10 points only twice. However, this week’s Houston Texan matchup is almost heaven-sent.
Brock Osweiler has the most interceptions in the NFL. He’s tied with Ryan Fitzpatrick and Blake Bortles who have tallied 13 interceptions this season.
Osweiler has only topped the league average of over seven yards per attempt once this season. Not to mention the Packers will have home field advantage. If you need a Week 13 D/ST, the Packers is the way to go. Look for them to be a top streaming option this week.
Next: 8. Tight End C.J. Fiedorowicz, Houston Texans
Oct 9, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Houston Texans tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz (87) catches a pass as Minnesota Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway (52) tackles him in the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings win 31-13. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
8. Tight End C.J. Fiedorowicz, Houston Texans
I’ve said it over and over this season, tight ends aren’t the most productive fantasy football players. But, if you have C.J. Fiedorowicz, you’ve found him to be increasingly productive over the last few weeks.
Within his last eight games, Fiedorowicz has brought home at least nine fantasy points per game in half of his matchups. Not to mention, three of those outings he managed 14 or more points.
This week he comes face-to-face with the Green Bay Packers. The packers not only rank 31st against the position but, they have given the sixth most fantasy football points to opposing tight ends this season.
With productive tight ends being hard to come by, this is the week to take a chance with Fiedorowicz, especially for all of you Rob Gronkowski owners. Look for him to have a great Week 13. Fiedorowicz enters the week a TE1 or Flex option.
Next: 7. Tight End Vance McDonald, San Francisco 49ers
7. Tight End Vance McDonald, San Francisco 49ers
Over the course of the season, I haven’t suggested starting any San Francisco 49er unless it was Carlos Hyde. However, over the last couple of weeks, the 49ers offense has offered a little more fantasy football value.
Last week, Vance McDonald led the team in targets. He completed 4-of-8 targets for 60 yards. Over his last four games, he’s completed 240 yards and two touchdowns.
Based off his increased production, it’s safe to assume McDonald is a part of the 49ers offense. And, this week’s matchup seems to offer great fantasy results.
The 49ers take on the Chicago bears who rank 25th against the position and 11th in production surrendered to opposing tight ends. Look for McDonald to be a great Week 13 filler in a TE2 or Flex position.
Next: 6. Running Back Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears
Nov 13, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard (24) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. The Buccaneers won 36-10. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
6. Running Back Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears
Jordan Howard has been up and down all season. After his Week 4 breakout game, fantasy owners jumped at the chance to pick him up; only to be let down as he is very inconsistent.
Some weeks he earns over 20 fantasy football points per game, sometimes even topping 30. On the other hand, he didn’t even earn one point in Week 7. And, in Week 11 he earned less than 10 points.
Last week was a decent week against the Tennessee Titans. He had over 100 yards; 84 rushing and 43 receiving, earning almost 15 points. In his last four games, he’s averaged about 4.5 yards per carry and has at least 15 touches per game. This week Howard takes on the worst run defense in the league!
The San Francisco 49ers has offered opposing backs 5.1 yards per carry and a little over 171 rushing yards on average. How can you pass up Howard in this ideal matchup? Start him in Week 13.
Next: 5. Running Back Kenneth Dixon, Baltimore Ravens
Nov 27, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Kenneth Dixon (30) is forced out of bounds on a run by Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Josh Shaw (26) at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
5. Running Back Kenneth Dixon, Baltimore Ravens
Kenneth Dixon has been irrelevant when it comes to fantasy football. He falls second to Terrance West on the depth chart; this explains why he’s only earned double-digits once.
By no means does last week’s performance compare to top RB1 players, however, he out snapped West and had his most productive game of the season. Dixon rushed 13 times for a little under 50 yards and completed all four targets adding 31 yards.
He had a season-high 17 touches and his Week 13 matchup suggests we could see more of Dixon. This week, the Baltimore Ravens take on the Miami Dolphins. Last week the Dolphins offered Carlos Hyde 65 rushing yards and 30 receiving yards for almost 20 fantasy football points. The Dolphins rank 24th against the position which could result in a productive week for Dixon.
Expect Dixon to finish with at least 75 yards and a touchdown in this week’s game. He enters Week 13 a low-end RB2 option.
Next: 4. Wide Receiver Quincy Enunwa, New York Jets
Nov 27, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) catches a touchdown pass over New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler (21) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
4. Wide Receiver Quincy Enunwa, New York Jets
The New York Jets receiving corps have been a tough fantasy football sell this season, especially wide receiver Quincy Enunwa. After he earned almost 20 fantasy football points Week 1, owners thought he could be a roster option.
Unfortunately, since then, he’s only earned double-digit points three times. The wonky Jets quarterback situation also hasn’t helped his fantasy value.
However, Enunwa had his best season performance last week against the New England Patriots. He had his first career 100-yard game and a touchdown earning over 30 fantasy points.
This week the Jets take on the Indianapolis Colts who rank 30th in the league against the pass. On average, they offer opposing receivers almost 280 yards per game. If there was ever a week to have faith in the Jets, it’s Week 13. I mean he did earn 20 points against the Cleveland Browns!
Next: 3. Wide Receiver Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs
3. Wide Receiver Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs
It’s become more common to see player’s rise up the fantasy football charts later in the season. Especially with injuries coming into play and teams reserving their elite players for the playoffs.
Tyreek Hill is a great example of this. For the first half of the season, Hill was barely used by the Kansas City Chiefs because they relied on Jeremy Maclin. And now, Hills’s fantasy ownership has increased almost 40 percent over the last week!
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He’s earned well over 20 fantasy football points in three of his last six games. Last week’s matchup was by far his best season performance. Hill not only completed 9-of-10 targets but, he scored three touchdowns; rushing, return and receiving. He earned almost 30 points in Yahoo leagues.
This week he comes face-to-face with the Atlanta Falcons secondary who, have seen better days. The Falcons are 27th in the league against the pass and give opponents about 380 yards per game. Look for Hill to continue his success. Expect him to have a 100-yard game and a touchdown.
Next: 2. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets
Nov 27, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) throws the ball during the second half against the New England Patriots during the second half MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
2. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets
I am giving Ryan Fitzpatrick one more week this season. Yes, he’s been dreadful; he’s tied for the most interceptions this season. However, given the right matchup, he can pull through in a QB2 position. Just last week alone he earned almost 20 fantasy football points.
He completed 22-of-32 passes for a little under 270 yards and two touchdowns against the New England Patriots. He also lost one fumble and added one rushing yard to his total.
This week Fitzpatrick faces a weaker defense than last week. The Indianapolis Colts have given the third most passing yards and touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks.
He is projected to have another two touchdowns and at least 250 passing yards. If you’re in a two-quarterback league, go all in and put your faith in Fitzpatrick this week.
Next: 1. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers
Nov 27, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) throws a pass against Miami Dolphins during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. The Dolphins won 31-24. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
1. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers
I had high hopes for Colin Kaepernick after he was named the starting quarterback. And, although he hasn’t produced numbers like Tom Brady, he has offered some fantasy football value.
Kaepernick has earned double-digit points in all his matchups this season. And, in all but one he earned 20 or more points. Just last week we saw a glimpse of the Super Bowl quarterback we remember. He completed 29-of-46 passes for 296 yards. He added over 100 rushing yards and finished the game with three touchdowns earning over 40 points in some leagues.
This week the San Francisco 49ers prepare to take on the Chicago Bears. Although the Bears rank 16th in points allowed to opposing quarterbacks, they rank 22nd in rushing allowed to the position.
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Kaepernick had over 100 rushing yards last week which signals a must start in this week’s matchup. Expect him to repeat last week’s performance with over 300 yards total as well as two passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown.