Each week during the NFL season FST brings you our Fantasy Football Sleepers of the Week column, which takes a look at lesser-known players that could deserve a start due to a favorable matchup, injury, or other circumstances. Let’s take a look at some sneaky plays for Week 13. If you have any fantasy football roster questions feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.
The Green Bay Packers are already on their 4th quarterback of the season. Thankfully Aaron Rodgers will be returning next week from injury and for Cheese heads will hopefully prevent the ship from further sinking out of the playoff picture. However, for this one game Matt Flynn will be making a start. He’s no stranger to the Green Bay Packers playbook and Coach McCarthy should allow him to throw it around on a Detroit defense that let rookie QB Mike Glennon light them up for a couple touchdowns and 250 passing. There is definitely potential here, but probably best used as a sleeper in 14 man roster deeper leagues or 2 QB formats.
While Cutler has been out of action, McCown has done well in filling in for him. This could be McCown’s last start prior to Jake’s return so if you’re in need he could have top 10 value this week. The Vikings are givers when it comes to opposing QB points and rank within the top 5 in that category. With the options at receiver and very reliable catching running back in Forte there is every reason to believe he can eclipse his 2 touchdown performance from last week. McCown has big time sleeper potential in Minneapolis this weekend.
Nate Burleson has emerged and Matt Stafford has officially signed on to let the old man become a well-targeted option in the Lions passing game. Megatron will probably post up 150 plus yards receiving and get a score or two against the Packers, which is a typical days’ worth of work for him. However, Burleson as a solid #2 option really helps to move and propel this team down the field if they are stalled in the running game. While with the Seahawks Burleson played a crucial role in a predominantly passing west coast offense and he’ll be ready again when called on Thursday.
Looking for a deep, deep sleeper from the realm of absurd? Look no further than if Crabtree gives it a go on Sunday for the 49ers. Monitor his status, but Crabtree is definitely practicing and he should be OK to go full speed on his feet after his achilles surgery. The return of Crabtree should be helpful to Boldin owners too since they cannot double coverage and game plan everything for him now. Crabtree developed a strong rapport late in the season last year with Kaepernick so he could have an immediate fantasy impact. Deep sleeper capability this week.
For whom the Ball tolls when Knowshon goes down? Monteeeeeee. Either way, Ball is seeing much more of the red zone carries and is factoring a much larger roll into the Broncos’ offensive plans now. If he can minimize the fumbilitis then Del Rio will allow him more playing time and Moreno’s tread on his running tires is pretty thin after a strong workload earlier this year. Look for Ball to bring a fresh punch to the running attack and have an impact against the Chiefs’ suddenly vulnerable defense.
The Kool-Aid kid or human bowling ball as he’s referred to is one of the highlights of this column. He’s a serviceable running back who makes his fantasy relevance when he gets the goal line touches and touchdowns. Tampa Bay is relatively weak and if the Carolina offense can continue to make plays and get into the red zone it could be a big day for Tolbert. Tolbert loves to vulture touchdowns and produces some of the most interesting touchdown celebrations. I think owners will find a way to celebrate with Tolbert on at least one of them this week.
Rivera is Matt McGloin’s favorite tight end. Who is Matt McGloin? Wrong question, it’s who is Mychal Rivera? This rookie from the University of Tennessee has an opportunity to make a name for himself as they square off with the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. Rivera was sidelined early last week with concussion symptoms after a big hit but he’s back in action and the Cowboys are one of the worst defenses against the pass in the NFL. McGloin is still new to the offense and having a big tight end who can secure the football is a great sleeper pick recipe.
While Fleener has yet to break out and have a string of games that make defenses game plan for him, he’s getting better at blocking and finding ways to get open. The way the Colts have had issues against the pass rush and without Reggie Wayne to make plays; Fleener will have to step up more now to fill that void. These college roommates from Stanford have posted big numbers before and there is definitely great comfort with one another and trust with the route Fleener is running too. Expect Indy to look Fleener’s way more often and targets translate to more points.
You have to be joking right? As much as I whale away on the Jaguars week-in and week-out I have to finally say this is the game that the defense puts up a solid week. In 2 of the last 3 weeks the Jaguars have accounted for at least 10 fantasy points. They are showing signs of resistance from their secondary and earning turnovers as a result. Brandon Weeden has regained the starter job for the Browns due to Jason Campbell’s head injury. Weeden has amassed more interceptions than touchdowns this season and was benched for being ineffective. In addition, the Browns have allowed the 5th most points to opposing defenses. So while many teams may be quick to spot play the Browns in this matchup the true sleeper here is the Jags. Really? Oh yeah!