Week 13 Offensive Sleepers

A look at the best under the radar plays for Week 13

Quarterback

Colt McCoy (at Philadelphia) - We’re assuming top streamers like Baker Mayfield, Marcus Mariota, and Dak Prescott are all rostered in your league. If you have dig deeper for your QB2/Superflex or desperation streamer, McCoy is a solid play. He adds value with running ability, is getting Chris Thompson back, and is facing a no-name pass defense that will have to be resourceful to slow down any competent NFL passing game.

Jeff Driskel (vs Denver) - Driskel has some things going for him in fantasy leagues this week. He could be getting AJ Green back, he was productive in relief of Andy Dalton, and he has athleticism and running ability to up his floor. On the downside, he’s facing a Broncos defense with a top level edge rush going up against a third-string left tackle, and the Browns defense was in prevent mode while he was putting up numbers last week. Consider Driskel a boom/bust streamer/QB2/Superflex for Week 13.

Chase Daniel (at New York Giants) - Daniel was very competent in Week 12 and made the Bears feel comfortable giving Mitchell Trubisky another week of rest to mend his sore shoulder. He has a full complement of weapons against an underwhelming Giants defense that has to now acknowledge that their season is over. He isn’t a high ceiling play, but he should be very efficient and hold the line as a QB2/Superflex this week.

Josh Allen (at Miami) - Allen is scraping the bottom of the barrel, but as he showed last week, he has some surprising fantasy punch for a low volume quarterback. This week he gets a much better matchup in Miami, and it might surprise you to learn that he has scored four rushing touchdowns in the last four games he started and finished. The Dolphins defense has gone down hill, giving up 15 passing scores in their last five games against quarterbacks that aren’t named Sam Darnold. None of those five quarterbacks had fewer than two passing scores even though two of them had 20 and 22 pass attempts. Allen could come through as a hail mary at quarterback this week.

Running Back

Derrick Henry (vs New York Jets) - Henry has three scores in the Titans last two wins, and he had a pair of scores in the 24-point win over the Patriots. If you project this week’s game with the Jets to go similarly, Henry should have a lot of opportunities against a demoralized Jets defense that has allowed at least 182 rushing yards in each of the last two weeks. Carlos Hyde and Latavius Murray have each scored twice against the Jets, and Jordan Howard had one of his best games this year against them. With Marcus Mariota playing well, Henry should be able to be the next power back to put up good numbers against the Jets this year.

Nyheim Hines (at Jacksonville) - Hines will still be behind Marlon Mack this week, who appears to be on track to clear concussion protocol by Sunday, but he might be the better back to attack the Jaguars defense in Week 13. The Jaguars held Mack in check in the first meeting, and they won’t have excellent run blocking tight end Jack Doyle for this one. It takes an assumption of rational coaching to project the Colts to use Hines more this week, but the Colts coaches have been very rational with their player usage and Hines can also pick up some the slack Doyle has left in the passing game, including in the red zone.

Jordan Howard (at New York Giants) - Howard is probably one of the last players you’d want to put a checkmark beside this week, but he could work out. The Bears should be conservative on offense and rational coaching would dictate attacking the Damon Harrison-less Giants run defense that was gashed for over 100 yards by Adrian Peterson, Peyton Barber and Matt Breida in recent weeks (and Josh Adams would have joined them last week if a long touchdown wasn’t called back). Howard should also get a chance to score from short yardage at least once in a matchup the Bears defense should be able to exert some will over.

Royce Freeman (at Cincinnati) - Freeman hasn’t had that big breakthrough game yet, but he Week 13 is a good candidate because of the matchup and offensive philosophy of the Broncos. Freeman looks to be over his ankle injury now and he’s facing a defense that has given up 13 touchdowns to running backs in the last six games. The Broncos defense could have a field day against a backup quarterback on a team that is mailing it in and give Freeman a game script that will be heavy with second half salt the game away carries.

T.J. Yeldon (vs Indianapolis) - Yeldon will split the backfield with Carlos Hyde since Leonard Fournette was suspended, but he should get the better half of it because of the matchup. Cody Kessler should be focused on high percentage safe, short passing, and the Jaguars are facing a Colts defense that has been giving up huge numbers to running backs as receivers. Kenyan Drake had 5-64-1 last week, Jalen Richard 8-50 in Week 8, James White 10-77-1 in Week 5, Chris Thompson 13-92 in Week 2, and just three weeks ago, the Colts allowed Fournette to get 5-56-1 as a receiver, and Yeldon 5-51. Consider him a high floor PPR play.

Wide Receiver

Josh Reynolds (at Detroit) - Reynolds has been a hit in two of three games that Cooper Kupp missed, and only one was a game where his team scored 54 points. This week should make it three out of four as he’ll draw one of the weaker Lions corners in the wake of performances by #2/#3 receivers that have yielded 7-157-1 to DJ Moore, 5-122-1 to Anthony Miller, and 4-97-1 to David Moore in recent weeks. Reynolds added a size/speed element to the Rams offense that Jared Goff should be able to take advantage of with Darius Slay likely trying to slow down Brandin Cooks.

John Brown, Michael Crabtree (at Atlanta) - The Ravens pass offense has been fantasy kryptonite since Lamar Jackson took over, but he made strides last week and this week he’ll get the bottom tier Falcons defense indoors. Brown can get free deep behind a Falcons secondary that has allowed five games of multiple touchdowns to opposing wide receiver corps and six 100+ yard games. Crabtree caught Jackson’s touchdown pass last week and should provide an easy short range target for the Falcons. Opposing quarterbacks have averaged over 40 pass attempts a game when facing the Falcons in Atlanta, so Jackson should be pushed to do more as a passer and give Brown and Crabtree an opportunity to come through after two quiet weeks with Jackson at quarterback.

Adam Humphries (vs Carolina) - DeSean Jackson is battling a thumb injury and OJ Howard is already out for the season, so the difficult to project Bucs pass offense is getting easier to project. This week they’ll face a Carolina defense that handled Jackson and Mike Evans in the first matchup thanks to great play from their young corners Donte Jackson and James Bradberry - albeit with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback - which resulted in Humphries catching two scores among eight receptions for 82 yards. Humphries has also generally done better with Jameis Winston than Fitzpatrick, so Winston should be able to get a lot out of the matchup that was good for Fitzpatrick in the first matchup between these teams.

Josh Doctson (at Philadelphia) - Doctson’s name evokes feelings of disappointment in fantasy circles, but that could change on Monday night. He was Colt McCoy’s most targeted pass catcher last week, and McCoy also targeted him more than any other wide receiver when he entered the Week 11 loss to Houston in relief of Alex Smith. This week, Doctson gets the Eagles secondary which is mostly comprised of street free agents.

Christian Kirk (at Green Bay) - Kirk will need good play from Josh Rosen to pay off as a sleeper this week, but he should have some help from the Packers secondary. For the last four weeks, two wide receivers have caught at least five balls for 43 yards against the Packers, and half of them scored. Kirk has scored in two of the last four weeks, and he’s responsible for 118 of Josh Rosen’s 241 passing yards in those games. If Rosen’s production ticks up a bit, Kirk could have his best game of the year.

Tight End

Matt Lacosse (at Cincinnati) - Case Keenum had thrown an interception in every game this year until Week 9, and he hasn’t thrown one since. Keenum has done a better job getting the ball to his tight ends during that span, with at least seven tight end targets in those games, completing at least five of them, and twice finding a tight end for touchdown. Jeff Heuerman is now out for the season with rib and lung injuries, which makes Lacosse the clear #1 tight end and likely recipient of the majority of those targets. He’s facing a Bengals defense that has allowed seven scores to tight ends this year, including two to Browns tight ends last week.

Kyle Rudolph (at New England) - Rudolph had a talk with the coaches before last week’s game about his frustration with his lack of targets, and it resulted in his best fantasy game since Week 3, notching seven catches for 63 yards. This week, he’ll draw the Patriots defense that allowed 9-81 to Jets tight ends last week, touchdowns to Jonnu Smith and Jimmy Graham the two weeks before that, 4-50 to Bills tight ends before that, and 9-126-1 to Trey Burton before that. Eric Ebron and Erik Swoope also combined for three scores against them earlier this year. The trend of Rudolph playing a larger role in the pass offense should continue.

Jesse James (vs Los Angeles Chargers) - Coming into 2018, Vance McDonald had been an oft injured player earlier in his career, missing at least five games in three of his five years in the league. He came into the season with a foot ailment, but once over that had been healthy until a hip injury caused him to miss some time last week. He might be able to play with it this week, but he could leave again, and in a week that the Steelers will need their tight ends to play a larger role in the passing game because they’ll be facing an excellent set of Chargers cornerbacks. Los Angeles has allowed touchdowns to the likes of Nick Vannett and Luke Stocker.