Nov. 17, 2016
Fantasy Football Sleepers, Week 11
Has there ever been a quieter 7-2 team than this year’s Chiefs? Starting with a 2-2 record after the first four games, they have reeled off five straight wins to capture first place in the highly competitive AFC West. They still have some important games ahead of them, including Denver twice and a home date with the Raiders on the Thursday Night Football schedule, so we will see what they’re made of very soon. Alex Smith has been conservative as usual (he only has 8 TDs all year) and now Jeremy Maclin is injured, but for some reason this team just grinds out wins weekly. Andy Reid needs to remember this type of play when he makes his yearly playoff trip, we’ve seen defenses like that make deep runs…What has happened to the Packers? I know they’re hurting because of injuries but regardless of who is in the lineup, they need to play like an NFL player. Giving up 47 points to the Titans is very unacceptable, even if Mariota and Co. have dropped 30+ in three straight games. I’ve heard many a Cheesehead fan say they need to get rid of Dom Capers, it looks like that could be a real possibility very soon. However, let’s not discredit those Tennessee boys, they have been balling as of late, have a fairly favorable schedule down the stretch, and let’s face it we would rather watch Marcus Mariota in the playoffs over Brock Osweiler and the Texans…Just when we thought Drew Brees would finally have a bad game at home, he comes through in the second half including his clutch TD pass in the 4th quarter to tie the game up. Of course, we know what happened after that. With all of the cameras in an NFL stadium, how was there no camera that could catch the angle of Justin Simmons stepping out of bounds, it looked very apparent to me; that's a bad break for the Saints. The Broncos are lucky to get that win heading into their bye, they host Kansas City afterwards so Trevor Semien needs to do his homework, he’s been awful since he’s come back from injury…The Rams are just the third team in NFL history to win multiple games without scoring a touchdown, one was against Seattle in Week 2 mind you, but it makes sense a Bryce Petty quarterbacked Jets team could only muster six points. Brandon Marshall (and his fantasy owners) must be livid, this is a very passionate guy when it comes to football, he’s going to be kicking some ass during the bye week in practice…Can the Eagles be any more Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? They start off 3-0 and the football world is experiencing Wentz shock, they proceed to lose their next two before dismantling the Vikings in their fancy new stadium, they lose their next two games to division rivals before taking down a powerful Falcons team this past week. I don’t know what to make of this team just yet but they play competitive and that spirit should keep them in the race for 2nd place in the NFC East…The Buccanneers probably won’t be playing in the playoffs this year, but their future is bright if Jameis Winston can continue to make plays like his weaving through traffic deep completion. And the guy isn’t even really a runner…If the Redskins continue to play at the level they currently are, they will punch their ticket to the playoffs. Kirk Cousins is a big reason for this team’s success, he currently owns a 94.8 QB rating and has effectively managed his team to victories. This year’s NFC playoff race is going to be a site to behold with currently 9 teams in play for the last two playoff spots, it’s going to be fun to watch…Is it just me, or has Colin Kaepernick actually started playing like a competent NFL QB? He has rushed for over 50 yards in each of his games as the 49ers starter, and has started to look a little more comfortable in Chip Kelly’s offense. Ultimately their defense again failed miserably and allowed the Cardinals to drive down to score the game-winning field goal, but it looks like Kaep will most definitely have a job next year outside of Santa Clara…While I was watching my Niners game at the Phoenix airport this Sunday, I was left out of the spectacle that was the Cowboys-Steelers match up. This game looked very similar to a playoff game and if the Pittsburgh defense was any good they could have possibly made a rematch happen come February. Big Ben to Antonio Brown just looks like poetry in motion, as does the pass from Dak to Dez. Is there any doubt that Ezekiel Elliot is MVP? You could make an argument for Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, or even Dak himself, but Zeke gets my vote easily, he is the epitome of a RB legend…We knew Tom Brady and the Patriots would get a big test against the Seahawks, and we got the game that we wanted, but I’m not so sure that non-PI call was the right one to end the game. I’m all for letting them play but when you pull on a guy’s arm it should most definitely be called and New England should have been given another chance, although their three plays before that were shut down considerably…It looks like the Giants are for real at the moment. Although it’s usually a roller coaster when Eli Manning is under center, if he can take care of the football (no small feat) and the defense can continue to play solid defense, they could also put a wrench into the playoff picture. The Bengals on the other hand just look lost defensively. The best way to beat Cincinnati is keep AJ Green and Jeremy Hill on the bench and teams have been able to move the ball at will against their defensive unit.
The teams on bye this week are the Falcons, Broncos, Jets, and Chargers. There are some big names that will be on their one week vacations so take heed to these sleepers.
QB – Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers, vs NE
(Draft Kings Price: $5,200, Yahoo! Daily Price: $27)
Matt Ryan and Phillip Rivers owners have quite a conundrum on their hands this week. There aren’t too many names on the waiver wire this week that pop off the page so I’m going to roll with Kaep for a second straight week (unless you wanna roll with Brock Osweiler, your choice). After a very slow start to his reign as starter, the former Wolfpack member has delivered top-8 numbers in back to back weeks and is starting to look a little more comfortable in Chip Kelly’s offense. This week he is guaranteed to be playing from behind against what is going to be a pissed off Patriots team who will be chomping at the bit to avenge their tough SNF loss at home. There should be garbage time stats galore, and his rushing numbers give him a nice safe floor to fall back on. I predict he will rack up his 2nd rushing TD of the year and could be a nice addition to your DFS squad this week.
Projected Line: 235 passing yards, 1 TD, 65 rushing yards, 1 TD
WR – Robert Woods, Buffalo Bills @ CIN
(Draft Kings: $4,900, Yahoo! Daily: $18)
We are coming into the last couple of weeks where you are able to ride Woods’ hot streak. There are talks that Sammy Watkins could be eligible to play in Week 12 so let’s take advantage while we still can. We just saw Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard shred the Bengals defense on Monday night and Tyrod Taylor has been on fire in recent weeks. It’s a good spot for the former Trojan and he is almost certainly on your waiver wire after his bye last week, although he should have been worth a hold after his 10-catch, 162-yard performance against the vaunted Seahawks secondary. Like the saying goes: One man’s waiver fodder is another man’s treasure. I think that’s how it goes.
Projected Line: 7 receptions, 85 receptions, 1 TD
WR – Eli Rogers, Pittsburgh Steelers @ CLE
(Draft Kings: $4,300, Yahoo! Daily: $15)
Here’s a nice deep sleeper no one really saw coming before last week. I thought Will Fuller was going to play in Week 10, I had him penciled in until 9:58 am when I checked my lineup and found out he was inactive (I was out of town). Luckily I picked up Rogers earlier in the week as insurance, and he delivered for me with five catches, 42 yards, and a TD (although that was a questionable call). This week he’s got a cupcake matchup against the Browns who don’t need an explanation. Sammie Coates has a case of the dropsies, Markus Wheaton and Darrius Heyward-Bey are sidelined with injuries, and Antonio Brown continues to rightfully be double teamed. This is a perfect setup for Rogers who should rack up more receptions and another TD spike. In PPR he should have a steady floor for the rest of the season and in DFS he will bring great value, add him as needed.
Projected Line: 5 receptions, 80 receiving yards, 1 TD
WR – Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs vs TB
(Draft Kings: $4,500, Yahoo! Daily: $18)
Last week, Jeremy Maclin was held out due to a groin injury. Although he may make a comeback in Week 11, it looks like we found out who the real playmaker on this team is. Tyreek Hill accumulated a whopping 13 targets, grabbing 10 of those for a nifty 89 yards in place of the injured Maclin. The Chiefs know what they have in their 5th round pick this year, and they have tried to get him touches whenever possible, even carrying the ball out of the backfield at times. The Tampa Bay Bucs have allowed the 2nd most points to receivers in the fantasy game so Hill is a very high upside play who should see time at wide out and as a change of pace option at the RB spot. And get this, Hill’s rest of season schedule is very fantasy friendly (@ATL, vs OAK, vs TEN) except for two games against the Broncos so he’s a going to be an asset going forward. Don’t sleep on this guy.
Projected Line: 6 receptions, 65 receiving yards, 25 rushing yards, 1 TD
RB – CJ Prosise, Seattle Seahawks vs PHI
(Draft Kings: $4,200, Yahoo! Daily: $18)
With Thomas Rawls expected to be back, one may think Prosise’s reign as lead back is coming to an abrupt halt. I’m not sure that will happen so don’t panic. Coach Pete Carroll really likes his young rookie, even enough to leave him in the red zone against the Patriots. I don’t know if that was because of Christine Michael’s hamstring injury but anyone who catches passes and gets red zone work is someone I’m going to be targeting. Unfortunately, he was added last week in all of my leagues so I have no shot at him. Don’t make the same mistake as me, grab him now. Rawls will be brought along slowly and Michael has been mostly a flop so far, so there is still time for CJ to continue his case for the full-time job, at least for one more week. This Seahawks offense is coming around and Prosise is guaranteed to be along for the ride.
Projected Line: 55 rushing yards, 1 TD, 6 receptions, 50 receiving yards
RB – Rob Kelley, Washington Redskins vs GB
(Draft Kings: $4,400, Yahoo! Daily: $17)
I understand the Redskins were playing against the Minnesota Vikings last week, so that scared many off from adding Rob Kelley despite coach Gruden saying he was currently the lead back. That explains his low 48% ownership rate. He responded with 97 rushing yards on a hefty 22 rushing attempts; not the sexiest numbers but he has lost yards on only 2 of his 60 carries this season, that’s impressive. Kelley again has a tough matchup against a surprisingly staunch Packers run defense who have only allowed 85.3 rushing yards/game so far this season. Don’t shy away again, the volume is there, and we know volume is king in the fantasy game. He should offer nice FLEX numbers this week, and will have a big role going forward.
Projected Line: 75 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 10 receiving yards
RB – Dion Lewis, New England Patriots @ SF
(Draft Kings: $3,300, Yahoo! Daily: $15)
The rumblings out of New England are that Dion Lewis will be active for Week 11 against the 49ers. Now this is no guarantee, so don’t go plugging Lewis into your starting lineup and forgetting about him. He must be monitored, but as of now he is not on the injury report, so that’s great news. James White has been mostly a bust this season, save for a big 2-TD game in Week 6, so Lewis should have no problem reclaiming his “passing-back” role once again. What better way to come back than against the porous Niners defense, who have allowed by far the most points to the positon. Like I said before, make sure you monitor him throughout the week if you do decide to grab him, but I have a hunch he’ll make a nice comeback this week.
Projected Line: 50 rushing yards, 5 receptions, 50 receiving yards (if he plays this week)
TE – Ladarius Green, Pittsburgh Steelers @ CLE
(Draft Kings: $2,500, Yahoo! Daily: $10)
In Week 10 Green finally made his long-awaited debut for his new team catching 3-of-4 targets for 30 scoreless yards. That obviously won’t win you a match up but it’s a promising start and Green looked healthy throughout the game. With the Steelers offense desperately needing playmakers outside of AB and Le’Veon, Ladarius couldn’t have come at a better time. John James was solid with his role at TE but it’s no secret that Green possesses a far higher ceiling, especially in the red zone. Plus, he gets to play against the team that allows the most points to the TE position, take the risk and stream away.
Projected Line: 5 receptions, 65 receiving yards, 1 TD
D/ST – New York Giants vs CHI
(Draft Kings: $3,500, Yahoo! Daily: $15)
In the beginning of the season the Giants were a real sleeper to put up big numbers after their offseason spending spree on defense. It didn’t start out great but they seem to have found their groove winning their last four games and limiting a solid Bengals offense to only 20 points in Week 10. This week they get to tee off on Jay Cutler and the Bears who just lost Alshon Jeffrey for four games due to a PED suspension. We know how bad Cutler is so this should be no surprise pick. Oh, and after you get double digit fantasy points this week, fire them up again the following week against the 0-fer Browns.
Projected Line: 4 sacks, 2 INTs, 1 fumble recovery