Week 13 Fantasy Sleepers: Ben Roethlisberger, Ronald Jones, and T.Y. Hilton lead deep-league bargains

Who are some of the least talked about fantasy football sleepers for Week 13? If you need a Hail Mary, go deep. These guys just might hit.

It’s time for our Week 13 edition of fantasy football sleepers. My Week 12 fantasy football sleepers included Tony Pollard and Jamaal Williams. So yeah, sometimes they work out. Who are my favorite fantasy football sleepers in Week 13?

Fantasy Football Week 13 Sleepers | QB and RB

A sneaky 20-point quarterback? A shocking RB2/3 pulled from the waiver wire? There are always bargains to be found. Here’s my favorite QB and RB sleepers for Week 13.

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Why do I punish myself with seemingly inane predictions? Because the best predictions are the well-researched contrarian ones most people are afraid to make. Aside from a near-comeback in Week 11 against the Chargers, Big Ben has been abominable in fantasy. His second-best output was 16.2 points in Week 9. He has all the talent around him he needs. The problem is that injuries and age have taken their toll.

But here’s what I see: a 5-5-1 Steelers team with its postseason hopes hanging in the balance. If they lose to Baltimore next weekend, they’ll need to almost win out to score a playoff berth. The Ravens have given up the third-most receiving yards this year while picking off only 5 passes (tied for fourth-fewest in the league). The mistake-prone Roethlisberger should right the ship enough to manufacture 18+ fantasy points — good enough to make desperate fantasy managers happy.

Ronald Jones, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Ronald Jones earned 7+ carries for the third time in four games on Sunday, and he scored for the second straight contest. Yes, Leonard Fournette was the hero. The more interesting angle, though, is whether Jones will be a locked-in RB3 next week against the Falcons in a game the Bucs win comfortably.

I believe the answer is “yes,” or at least “very likely yes,” because nothing is guaranteed in this life. Jones’ yards per carry is a healthy 4.5 this year. Last year, it was 5.1. He’s not a backup in the traditional sense. He’s a talented back who’s been relegated to the No. 2 role by an even more talented back. I like Jones taking over in the fourth quarter against Atlanta and piling up — at a minimum — streaming value.

Fantasy Football Week 13 Sleepers | WR and TE

On Sunday morning, I picked up and started one of my favorite Week 12 sleepers, Kendrick Bourne, who went on to be a top-five WR. Who’s my favorite WR and TE sleepers for Week 13?

T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts

An injury-plagued season, combined with the rapid ascension of WR1/2 Michael Pittman Jr., has made T.Y. Hilton a fantasy afterthought. Coincidentally, the 32-year-old used to be a consistent WR1/2 from 2013 to 2016, as well as in 2018. He still remained serviceable in 2019 and 2020, though he missed seven games combined during those two seasons.

This year he’s taken another step back, unable to provide consistent value while battling neck and quad injuries and a concussion. In fact, he considered retiring this summer because of his inability to stay healthy.

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But we can’t count Hilton out yet. While he has only 21 targets across five games this year, he played a season-high 42 snaps (61% of offensive plays) this past weekend, culminating in 4 catches for 28 yards and a touchdown. If we assume his usage will remain steady — or even increase as he works his way back into football shape after missing so much of the season — then 6-7 targets are realistic next weekend against the Texans.

If injuries and bye weeks have decimated your roster, consider taking a flier on the largely unrostered Hilton.

Tyler Higbee, TE, Los Angeles Rams

Recommending the TE17 isn’t always seen as a wise move. But Tyler Higbee’s been a rock-solid contributor most weeks, netting 7.6 fantasy points or more in seven of his last nine games. His catch rate has declined precipitously in recent weeks, which is always a concern. But Matthew Stafford continues to target him, and on the whole, he’s been a consistent contributor as LA’s No. 5 offensive option.

I like his Week 13 matchup against the Jaguars, a game the Rams should win handily. As I like to say sometimes, “blowout potential yields blow-up potential.” I’ve actually never said that, but it makes sense, doesn’t it? If we think a team has a good shot at 30+ points, then their starters have a better-than-average shot at good fantasy production. Higbee is one of the best Week 13 TE streamers if you don’t have a top-six option.

BJ Rudell is the Fantasy Football Director for Pro Football Network. You can read all of BJ’s work here, listen to him on PFN’s Fantasy Football podcast, and check out his contributions in PFN’s free fantasy newsletter. Give him a follow on Twitter: @BJRudell.


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