Although we rely on big-name players to guide our fantasy football teams to victory, knowing how to locate the sleepers in a given week could be what pushes your team over the edge. With Week 13 of the NFL and fantasy football season on the horizon, here are some sleepers to keep in mind when setting your lineups.
Top Fantasy Football Sleepers in Week 13
Jordan Love, QB, Green Bay Packers
I was not planning on talking about Jordan Love this year, especially not with the contract Aaron Rodgers signed, but here we are. During Sunday Night Football, Rodgers suffered an oblique injury late in the game and did not return. He was already dealing with a fractured thumb coming into the game, and it’s safe to say his status moving forward is up in the air.
Full credit to Love. He did the job when the team needed him the most. Love completed 6 of 9 passes for 113 yards, including a 63-yard touchdown to Christian Watson, where he once again showed off his after-the-catch capabilities.
Love played probably the best football I’ve seen out of him since his junior year at Nevada. There was pace on the ball, he was hitting the correct windows, and he just seemed to have complete control of the offense, which you would expect after all this time. Love will undoubtedly be in sleeper consideration with a Week 13 matchup against the Bears on the schedule.
Mike White, QB, New York Jets
We saw the Mike White experience last year over a four-game stretch, and it had its ups and downs. But Sunday was nothing but an absolute master class. Taking over for Zach Wilson, White completed 22 of 28 passes for 315 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions while also adding two yards on three attempts.
This was just as much an impressive game out of him as it was an indictment on Wilson. Not only did White play well and finally get Garrett Wilson and Elijah Moore involved again, but he also led the Jets to their first opening-drive touchdown of the entire season, which truly set the tone for the game.
I would still say White is best used in DFS, with a matchup coming against the Vikings followed by the Bills. But if White holds on to the starting job, he will face the Lions, Jaguars, and Seahawks for the fantasy football playoffs.
Zonovan Knight and James Robinson, RB, New York Jets
While White injected life back into the Jets’ offense, second-year RB Michael Carter sprained his ankle, per coach Robert Saleh, and did not return. The concern is the dreaded high ankle sprain, which likely would end at least his fantasy season. Carter had eight touches and 36 total yards before his exit.
In his place, UDFA Zonovan Knight stepped up, rushing 15 times for 69 yards against the Bears. He also added 34 yards and caught all three of his targets which shouldn’t surprise many as he was one of the best receiving backs in this class coming out of NC State.
James Robinson was a healthy scratch, which I don’t believe will be the case next week against the Vikings. Of the two, I do favor Robinson as an RB3 in Week 13 rankings, but expect both to be involved. Knight is the more readily available player with a 0.1% rostership percentage. That needs to change regardless of Carter’s health.
Kyren Williams, RB, Los Angeles Rams
It’s funny how much changes so quickly. Back over the winter, when I was studying film, Kyren Williams was my favorite RB to watch. On film, he is Austin Ekeler but with a bit less juice. But as we saw, his testing numbers left a lot of meat on the bone, as did his draft capital.
More times than not, I let the NFL tell me what to think about a player like that. Therefore, he became a waiting game to see if/when Williams could become a fantasy asset in 2022.
That time may be now. Williams not only saw an increased role due to the release of Darrell Henderson Jr., he legitimately took snaps away from Cam Akers. In fact, he led the Rams’ backfield in total snaps (38 to 16) and edged Akers 21 to 15 on early downs. Between short yardage, third downs, and a two-minute drill, Williams nearly shut Akers out at 17 to 1.
The former Notre Dame RB led the team with 11 carries, although he was inefficient with 3.2 yards per carry. However, every running back for the Rams has been this year. Williams also caught three passes for 25 yards to finish second on the team in receiving yards, which is as much about Williams’ capabilities as it is where the Rams are right now as a team.
This is not a one-time fluke, either, as Williams played on 55% of the snaps with eight touches and 44 total yards the week prior. He’s not an explosive player, but with matchups coming up against Seattle, Las Vegas, and Green Bay, Williams is on the sleeper radar if you need RB depth for the end-of-season stretch.
Mack Hollins, WR, Las Vegas Raiders
On Sunday, Mack Hollins recorded his third 50+ yard game in the last five weeks by catching four passes for 63 yards and a touchdown in the Raiders’ overtime win against the Seahawks. Hollins scored his third touchdown this season and is now tied for 36th at the position with 531 receiving yards.
Where this becomes more interesting is when you look at the splits. In the five games without Hunter Renfrow, Hollins has averaged 7.2 targets, 4.6 receptions, and 64.8 receiving yards.
Odds are, he’s going to have at least one more game without Renfrow and TE Darren Waller. Hollins has been an under-the-radar target all season and will be a Flex option in Week 13 against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Treylon Burks, WR, Tennessee Titans
Holy cow, would you look at that? Who knew good things happen when you throw to the guy who is the most overtly athletic person on your offense not named Derrick Henry?
Treylon Burks has put together back-to-back solid performances. After setting a career-high 111 yards last week, Burks hauled in four of his six targets for 70 yards against the Bengals and even scored his first touchdown. Unfortunately, it was classified as an “other” touchdown because it was a fumble recovery, so fantasy managers didn’t benefit from it.
Burks saw his highest snap share since Week 3 but also played on 100% of the snaps in 11 personnel. While I wouldn’t call him a locked-in starter, Burks can be, depending on the situation.
Although I don’t love him against the Eagles despite what we saw on Sunday night, Burks is a sleeper that needs to be rostered rather than some of the dead weight you’re likely still carrying on your bench.
DeVante Parker, WR, New England Patriots
To be clear, the only reliable players for New England have been Rhamondre Stevenson and Jakobi Meyers. DeVante Parker will not crack that list, but there is certainly an opportunity for him in Week 13 to be an interesting sleeper.
Playing in his first complete game in several weeks, Parker caught all four of his targets for 80 yards on Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, Meyers (shoulder) and Nelson Agholor suffered injuries during the game, likely leading to Parker’s increased involvement. X-rays on Meyer’s shoulder returned negative, allowing him to return to the field in a limited capacity.
Still, Parker finished has finished as a WR4 or better in four of his previous five healthy games. If the Patriots lack additional options, he’s got a shot at cracking the top 48 again in Week 13.
Jameson Williams, WR, Detroit Lions
This is one of those situations where it’s all or nothing. What’s similar to Odell Beckham Jr., we’re shooting for the moon with Jameson Williams.
Still recovering from an ACL tear sustained in his final game at Alabama, the Lions have opened up the practice window for Williams to return from IR. Meaning he could be placed on the active roster as soon as this week.
Based on their trends this year, the Lions have been cautious regarding returning receivers from injury. DJ Chark played on just 10 snaps in Week 11, and Josh Reynolds only played on six snaps last week.
This is not a play for now. It’s one for the playoffs assuming that Williams is added and gets involved in the offense quickly.
During the playoffs, Williams will face the Jets, Panthers, and Bears in Week 17. That is about as good as it gets. While not a sleeper by name, Williams is certainly worth rostering based on his potential upside with no risk involved.
Foster Moreau, TE, Las Vegas Raiders
Foster Moreau earned his trip to the ice tub after playing on 100% of the Raiders’ 77 offensive snaps. Starting in place of the injured Waller, Moreau caught three of seven targets for 33 yards and a touchdown on Sunday.
He doesn’t come off the field, averaging 63.3 snaps on 99% of the Raiders’ offensive plays over the last six games. Volume is where Moreau’s value comes from, as he’ll never be the most efficient player.
With a likely return of Waller at some point soon, Moreau is a very intriguing sleeper for fantasy in Week 13 against the Chargers, who have allowed the third-most receiving yards, the most yards per reception, and the seventh-most fantasy points per game to the position.
Evan Engram, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars
By no means is this based on Evan Engram’s last performance. He caught his lone target for four yards in the team’s 28-27 win. His one target also tied a season low, but we’re playing the matchups.
Detroit isn’t far behind Arizona in how bad they are against tight ends. They allow the fifth-highest catch rate, seventh in yards per reception, and fourth in fantasy points per game while also sitting 23rd in DVOA to the position. Engram is a borderline TE1 in Week 13.
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