Week 11 Offensive Sleepers

A look at the best under the radar plays in Week 11


Marcus Mariota (vs Indianapolis)

Mariota doesn’t have much to work with in the passing game, but last week Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith was enough to put together a solid fantasy game against the Patriots, and that was with the Titans winning going away and having Derrick Henry finish the game with two rushing scores. This week, Andrew Luck won’t go as quietly as Tom Brady did, and he’s facing a Colts defense that allowed multiple passing scores to everyone except Alex Smith, Derek Anderson, and just back from ACL surgery Carson Wentz. Derek Carr, Blake Bortles, and even Sam Darnold have been good starts against the Colts this year.

Eli Manning (vs Tampa Bay)

Manning hasn’t had a banner year, but he has been productive when the matchups dictate that he should be this year, including a three touchdown game against the 49ers last week and nearly 400 yards passing against the Falcons in Week 7. The Bucs are the easiest passing matchup in the league, and Manning has all of his young weapons healthy for this one. He’s a suitable bye week coverage quarterback for Tom Brady.

Blake Bortles (vs Pittsburgh)

Bortles is pulling us back in with his solid game against the Colts last week. He didn’t even need to generate points as a runner to be a decent start, thanks to a big play to Donte Moncrief and over 100 yards on receptions to running backs. The last time the Jaguars faced the Steelers, Bortles was outstanding, and the Steelers are more likely to sell out to stop Leonard Fournette than they are to focus on stopping the passing game. With their defense failing to keep games low-scoring for opponents, Bortles could be forced into a game script that is fantasy-friendly.

Lamar Jackson (vs Cincinnati)

We don’t know if Jackson is starting, and even if we find out that he is, we don’t know how often he might give way to Robert Griffin III III. He’s a risky start this week, but one that could still swing your matchup. The Bengals defense is so bad that they fired their coordinator last week, and they might be playing with three backup linebackers. Jackson can break a game open as a runner or passer and it’s not difficult to imagine a smashing debut in this matchup. Consider Jackson as a streamer or Brady bye week coverage quarterback if he starts and you want upside.

Running Back

Alex Collins (vs Cincinnati)

Collins has been a disappointment after being drafted to post RB2 numbers every week with an RB1 upside. The second half of the season could be good to him and his fantasy teams again this year with the winds of change blowing at quarterback for the Ravens. If Robert Griffin III III or Lamar Jackson (especially Jackson) get the start this week, the Bengals defense (which might be playing three backup linebackers) will likely yield much larger rushing lanes to Collins since they will have to play 11-on-11 football on running plays. Few rushing defenses have been weaker than the Bengals as it stands, and they could be at even more of a disadvantage this week.

Doug Martin (at Arizona)

We’re reaching here, but such is the quest for running back sleepers when six teams are on bye. Martin has been running well and making Jon Gruden look good for one this year, but the team hasn’t been giving him game scripts to get into the range where he would matter in a fantasy lineup. This week the Raiders face the Cardinals, whose offense isn’t going to bury anyone, and whose run defense has been roadkill more than once this year.

T.J. Yeldon (vs Pittsburgh)

Yeldon’s role is still robust even with the addition of Carlos Hyde and return of Leonard Fournette. He’s the two-minute drill back and a favorite receiver for Blake Bortles, who is even more inclined to play it safe on dropbacks now. The Jaguars could easily find themselves in catchup mode again this week with the Steelers coming to town and Yeldon has averaged over five receptions and 50 receiving yards in Jaguars losses this year.

Theo Riddick (vs Carolina)

Riddick has been asked to pick up the slack in the passing game with Golden Tate shipped out, and his target share could grow even more this week with Marvin Jones Jr coming in very questionable for the matchup against the Panthers. He could be a featured receiver if Jones is out or ineffective with Kenny Golladay likely facing James Bradberry and the Lions lacking a tight end to take advantage of that weakness in the Panthers pass defense.

Peyton Barber (at New York Giants)

Barber has been a fantasy dud despite being a starter all season, but he could come through for teams that need him in a pinch this week. The Giants have given up a running back touchdown in every game this season, and they’ve given up two scores to the starter in each of the last two games. Barber has been successful as a runner in three of the last five games and the Giants have been gashed by a 100-yard rusher in each of their last two contests.

Wide Receiver

Josh Reynolds (vs Kansas City)

This one is simple. Reynolds has been on the field for over 80% of the offensive snaps in the two games Cooper Kupp missed before tearing his ACL last week. The Chiefs secondary has a weakness at outside corner. The Rams-Chiefs game should be the highest-scoring game of Week 11. Reynolds had two scores in his last start. Everything is set up for a ceiling game this week.

D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel (at Detroit)

Moore and Samuel underperformed against the Steelers last week, but they should be in line for an even better sleeper opportunity this week at Detroit. Darius Slay could shadow Devin Funchess and make Moore and Samuel preferred targets against the Lions lesser corners. Both have the speed to turn any touch into a long score, and the Lions seemed all too willing to give up scores to swift receivers last week against the Bears. Both also have the potential to break a long play on a jet sweep or manufactured rushing touch.

Nelson Agholor (at New Orleans)

Agholor was finding more room downfield with Golden Tate on board last week, and that shouldn’t change as his snap counts weren’t affected by Tate’s arrival. Marshon Lattimore should be on Alshon Jeffery and the Saints also need to account for Zach Ertz, which will give Agholor a chance to be the big play threat in a game where the Eagles will sorely need chunk plays in the passing game to keep up with Drew Brees and the Saints offense on the road.

Sterling Shepard (vs Tampa Bay)

Shepard gets the Buccaneer bump this week as Tampa is coming to town to face the Giants. Odell Beckham Jr will surely get his, but the Bucs have yielded multiple passing scores to opposing receivers in over half of their games this year, and secondary targets like Juju Smith-Schuster, Taylor Gabriel, Tyler Boyd, and Curtis Samuel have all had huge games against them.

Tre’Quan Smith (vs Philadelphia)

Smith has been very quiet since bursting on the scene with two scores including a record-breaker against Washington, but he is due for a big play or two against an Eagles secondary that just lost their #1 corner and was already missing two other top options. All it takes is one play where Smith gets behind the defense to make your week as a WR3/Flex option.

Tight End

Vance McDonald (at Jacksonville)

McDonald should be your top sleeper this week. He’s healthy and still running over at least one tackler a week. He’s facing a Jacksonville defense that gave up 10 catches for 112 yards to him in the playoffs last year and allowed four touchdown to Colts tight ends last week. They also allowed two scores to Eagles tight ends in their previous game. AJ Bouye should return and give Ben Roethlisberger even more reason to target his marauding tight end in Week 11.

Jonnu Smith (at Indianapolis)

Smith has been coming in the last two weeks, just as the Titans need him with Taywan Taylor and Tajae Sharpe ailing to thin their wide receiver group. Marcus Mariota is playing the best he has all year, and the Colts have been generous to tight ends this year. Jaguars tight ends pulled in seven balls for 73 yards last week, Dallas Goedert, Jared Cook and Chris Herndon all scored against them, and Rob Gronkowski and Jordan Reed even had solid games against. Smith should be suitable for a one-week play if you’re in need.

Mark Andrews (vs Cincinnati)

Andrews was dominating targets among the Ravens tight ends going into the bye, and this week he’ll get a defense that has allowed five tight end scores this year, including one to Andrews back in Week 2. The Bengals are likely going to be starting three backup linebackers, which will give Andrews good matchups to exploit.

Ricky Seals-Jones (vs Oakland)

Seals-Jones had his second best fantasy game of the season and highest target total by far last week, and he’s poised to build on that going into Week 11. The Raiders have been eviscerated by tight ends this year. George Kittle had 4-108-1, Colts tight ends scored three times, and well those are all of the good tight ends they have faced this year. Virgil Green and Darren Fells scored against them and even Jake Butt had 4-48 against them among the nondescript cast of tight ends they have otherwise faced. Seals-Jones should continue to be a more featured part of the offense under new coordinator Byron Leftwich.