7 Fantasy Football Sleepers for Week 11
Everybody loves a good sleeper pick.
Throughout the season, of course, sometimes sleepers aren't just luxuries to gawk at but necessary fill-ins for our fantasy football lineups.
Not every situation requires benching your starters for a sleeper, but every fantasy team and situation is different, and I'm sure we're all playing daily fantasy football on FanDuel anyway. That's where sleepers really can pay off.
Because there is no consensus definition of what a sleeper is, I'll keep it consistent throughout the season. Using ESPN's fantasy football platform, I'll choose quarterbacks and tight ends outside the top 15 in roster percentage and running backs and wide receivers outside the top 40.
I'll also list some honorable mentions because there's nothing worse than realizing that every player mentioned in an article is already rostered in your league. We're seeking non-obvious plays who can put up starting-caliber performances. I'd rather list too many options than too few.
[Editor's note: The New Orleans Saints named Taysom Hill their starting quarterback for the week.] Jameis Winston (1%) - This one is a no-brainer. And we will more than likely see Winston's roster percentage balloon to more than 50% with Drew Brees' managers scrambling to fill his spot. With Brees dealing with multiple rib injuries and a collapsed lung, we'll see Winston step in for his first start this year, and it couldn't come at a better time. The division-leading New Orleans Saints are at home against an Atlanta Falcons team that has been roasted to this point. They are dead last in our own defensive pass efficiency, and in the fantasy realm allowing 1.1 more fantasy points per game than any other team to quarterbacks. The Saints are down for 27.5, according to the betting lines, which speaks to not only the opponent but the offensive system and weapons (Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas) at his disposal. Don't overthink this if you need QB help.
Damien Harris (59%) - It's about time everyone gets on the Damien Harris train. The second-year back has been getting the majority of the running work in New England, as he's taken 17 carries a game for an average of 98 rushing yards and 11.8 fantasy points over the last three games. He even faced a tough matchup against the Baltimore Ravens (first in Adjusted Defensive Rushing NEP per play) this past week, but Week 11 brings the chance of an upside game. The Patriots are road favorites against the Houston Texans, a defense that ranks 30th against the run and is fresh off a pounding at the hands of the Cleveland Browns' two-handed monster. If Harris continues to see significant snaps as the team's primary runner -- especially in a positive game script -- he could explode for a second consecutive 100-yard game.
Salvon Ahmed (13%) - When Myles Gaskin went down with an injury, most fantasy managers flocked to the likes of Matt Breida and Jordan Howard. But it's clear that Ahmed is the guy until Gaskin regains his health. The undrafted rookie out of Washington has stepped up to play 46% and 76% of snaps in Weeks 9 and 10, rushing the ball 7 and 21 times, respectively. After rushing for more than five yards a carry in his first game against the Arizona Cardinals, Ahmed put up workhorse numbers -- 21 carries for 85 yards and a touchdown -- against the Los Angeles Chargers. Don't expect much in the receiving department, but if you're dealing with injuries Ahmed's standing seems to be solid at least for the next or two.
Jakobi Meyers (38%) - The Texans are bad against the run, but they aren't great versus the pass either. They are 26th in that respect, and -- according to our advanced stats page -- have allowed the 10th-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers. They've allowed a total of 13 touchdowns to receivers, with 7 of those in the last four contests. Meanwhile, Meyers has become the go-to guy in the Pats' passing game. Since Week 7, he has had no lower than a 26% target share in any one game, including three straight games with at least a 41% share. In that time he's had double-digit targets twice, and he's due for some touchdown regression without a single score on his 27 catches.
Breshad Perriman (13%) - To address the negative first, the Chargers are not the most fantasy-friendly team when it comes to wide receivers. They have allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points per game to the position, yet they are 16th against WRs thanks in part to the coverage of Chris Harris on the other side. Either way, it's unlikely Perriman is limited by a Chargers' pass defense that was just bested by Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins a week ago. If anything, a bad performance from Joe Flacco could hurt Perriman's start-worthiness, but if the Jets' last game was any indication the Flacco-Perriman connection could provide big value after a 100-yard, 2-score breakout from the free-agent signee.
Josh Reynolds (6%) - Reynolds went from being a non-factor, playing 51% and 61% of snaps in Weeks 1 and 2, to a big piece of the offense over the past five games. He has played no fewer than 72% of snaps en route to 7.2 targets and 4.0 catches a game, as well as a pair of touchdowns. His average depth of target (aDOT) is up to 12.8, trailing only Van Jefferson -- who he has replaced -- among Los Angeles Rams' wideouts. In fact, that's more than five yards above the marks of both Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. As the team's big-play threat, we could see him bust out any given week, particularly against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who stop the run and primary receivers first. They're third against WR1's, but Reynolds -- technically the third option -- figures to benefit most as Tampa ranks 19th against WR2's.
Logan Thomas (30%) - Thomas has been an early beneficiary of the switch from the injured Kyle Allen to Alex Smith. With Smith stepping in back in Week 9 and starting in Week 10, the Washington Football Team's top tight end has received six targets in each game. He's turned that opportunity into 7 receptions, 94 yards, and 12.9 fantasy points, including 8.6 this past week against the Detroit Lions. This week, Washington is facing Cincinnati, and in case you missed it they were lit up for 333 passing yards and 36 points by the Steelers a week ago. Eric Ebron drew six targets to little production, yet the Bengals are the second-worst team at defending opposing tight ends.