7 Deep Fantasy Football Sleepers for Week 11
Regardless of the motivation for turning to the waiver wire/free agent pool, this is the place to find streaming options -- even for gamers in leagues as large as 14- or 16-team formats. Every week in this space, you'll find a quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, a tight end, and a flex who are low-owned options in Yahoo! leagues and offer plug-and-play appeal.
Kyle Allen, QB, Carolina Panthers
Yahoo Ownership: 24%
The Carolina Panthers host the Atlanta Falcons this week, and they're 5.5-point favorites at home, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, with an implied total of 27.50 points that's tied for the fourth-highest implied total in Week 11. The Falcons are coming off of a surprising road victory over the Saints, but it's important to avoid letting recency bias cloud your decision making. The big picture indicates the Falcons are a terrible pass defense.
Expanding on that, they're our second-worst ranked pass defense this year. Part of their problem defending the pass is their struggles getting after quarterbacks. The Falcons have the fifth-worst pressure percentage (defined as the sum of hurries, plus knockdowns, and sacks divided by dropbacks) at 19.4 percent, per Pro-Football-Reference.
While the Falcons are the second-worst pass defense, they're middle of the pack defending the run. Christian McCaffrey will still get his, but Kyle Allen faces less resistance than the do-it-ball back. Allen doesn't necessarily need much work to pile up points, either. The Falcons have coughed up the second-highest average explosive pass rate at 14 percent, according to Sharp Football. Our algorithm projects Allen to finish 13th in scoring at quarterback this week, and I'm in agreement with the top-15 projected finish.
J.D. McKissic, RB, Detroit Lions
Yahoo Ownership: 26%
J.D. McKissic is back again this week after a ho-hum performance last week. He carried the ball 10 times for 36 rushing yards, and he turned 7 targets into 6 receptions for 19 receiving yards. All of those totals led the backfield for the Detroit Lions, and Mckissic's 70 percent of offensive snaps played, per Pro-Football-Reference, also topped the backfield. Ty Johnson exited the contest with a concussion, and his playing status is uncertain after sitting out Wednesday's practice.
McKissic's upside for touches this week is enhanced if Johnson is forced to sit out the showdown against the visiting Cowboys, but the former Seahawk might be the better option to attack the Cowboys with anyway. McKissic has caught three or more passes in three straight games, and the Cowboys have yielded the sixth-most receptions (58) and fifth-most receiving yards (462) to running backs this season, according to Pro-Football-Reference.
The value of all of Detroit's offensive players would get a lift if Matthew Stafford is able to return this week, but that appears to be up in the air -- to the point, there's not an over/under total on the board yet. As it stands, our algorithm projects him to finish as RB32 in point-per-reception (PPR) formats. That's firmly in streamer territory for running back-needy gamers.
Patrick Laird, RB, Miami Dolphins
Yahoo Ownership: 0%
Just how bad does Kalen Ballage have to play for the Miami Dolphins to award some of his touches to the other backs on the roster? Last week, Ballage carried the ball 20 times for 43 rushing yards, and he added 2 receiving yards on 4 receptions. Out of 46 running backs who have carried the ball at least 50 times this year, Ballage ranks dead last with -0.19 Rushing Net Expected Points (NEP) per Carry. Out of 51 running backs targeted at least 15 times this year, he ranks 47th with 0.07 Reception NEP per Target. He's dreadful, and that could open the door to Patrick Laird as soon as this week.
Laird's measurables don't wow, as you can see on his PlayerProfiler page. The undrafted rookie was productive in college for the California Golden Bears, surpassing 1,200 yards from scrimmage and catching at least 45 passes in each of his last two years, according to his Sports-Reference page. His receiving chops could be especially useful this week, as the host Dolphins are 5.5-point underdogs against the visiting Bills.
Laird played eight offensive snaps for the Dolphins last week, and he rushed 2 times for 4 yards while corralling both of his targets for 15 receiving yards. Last week illustrates the floor's low for him, but if he siphons more work from Ballage, he could best our projected finish of RB46 in PPR formats this week. I'm optimistic he gets some extra touches en lieu of continuing to feed the wildly ineffective Ballage, making Laird an acceptable desperation streamer at running back in Week 11.
Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers
Yahoo Ownership: 26%
The San Francisco 49ers are on a short week and played an entire overtime quarter in their first loss of the season in an exciting Monday Night Football tilt in Week 10. Despite the short week, they have the second-highest implied total in Week 11 at a whopping 28.25 points. San Francisco's passing attack has a mouthwatering matchup on tap against our last-ranked pass defense.
Per a #49ers spokesman, Kyle Shanahan clarified his Kittle comment, saying the 49ers have NOT ruled the tight end out for Sunday. Shanahan wanted to say that the team has to *plan* as if he won't play. Suffice to say, Kittle is unlikely to go against the Cardinals. https://t.co/bYRIMP13TN
— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) November 14, 2019
San Francisco's absence of at least their all-world tight end would set the table for Deebo Samuel to build on his stellar performance from last week. Last week, the rookie wideout set new single-game highs in targets (11), receptions (8), and receiving yards (112) while eclipsing 80 percent of the team's offensive snaps for the first time since Week 1.
In Week 9 against this week's opponent, the Cardinals, Samuel hauled in 4 of 7 targets for 40 receiving yards. His day would have been considerably better, however, if not for an inexcusable drop in the end zone.
Deebo Samuel with a brutal drop in the end zone #GoNiners #SFvsAZ pic.twitter.com/49YPrK05pd
— Roto Street Journal (@RotoStJournal) November 1, 2019
Taking a glass-half-full view, it's promising to note Samuel didn't end up in the doghouse and instead rebounded to set the previously noted new single-game highs last week. In our PPR projections for this week, he checks in as WR41. He's my favorite of the deep sleeper receivers highlighted in this piece.
Auden Tate, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Yahoo Ownership: 17%
Ranking just a few spots lower than Samuel in our Week 11 PPR projections at receiver is Auden Tate, surfacing as WR46. He, too, boasts a cushy matchup. We rank the Oakland Raiders as the fifth-worst pass defense this season.
Unlike Samuel, however, he's attached to an undesirable implied total of just 19.0 points. Although, he could be busy if the Cincinnati Bengals find themselves in a negative game script for much of Sunday's contest. The Bengals are sizable 10.5-point underdogs.
Circling back to his positive matchup, the Raiders have coughed up the sixth-most receiving yards (1,712) and are tied for the seventh-most touchdown receptions (12) allowed to receivers this year. Receivers have roasted the Raiders for a robust 15.42 yards per reception. The following tweet from NFL.com's Graham Barfield depicts Oakland's major struggles against perimeter receivers, which is noteworthy because Tate's played in the slot just 20.9 percent of the time this year, according to PlayerProfiler.
Fantasy points allowed by receiver alignment in Week 1-10: pic.twitter.com/zi9fz40GDf
— Graham Barfield (@GrahamBarfield) November 13, 2019
The Bengals turned to rookie quarterback Ryan Finley last week, and Tate finished second on the team in targets (6) and receptions (3) while finishing third in receiving yards (36). Interestingly, he did top the team in percentage of Cincinnati's targeted air yards at 28.04 percent, per NFL Next Gen Stats, narrowly edging out Tyler Boyd's mark of 27.88 percent. Tate's my second-favorite deep sleeper at receiver this week.
Dallas Goedert, TE, Philadelphia Eagles
Yahoo Ownership: 18%
I wrote about Dallas Goedert earlier in the week as one of a trio of tight ends included in the 3 Fantasy Football Tight End Streaming Options for Week 11 piece. I maintain my assertion from the linked piece that O.J. Howard is my favorite streaming option this week in league's where he's available. Having said that, his 43 percent ownership rate in Yahoo! leagues is too high for him to fit the spirit of this piece, leaving Goedert as my favorite of the remaining two tight ends touted in that piece. Check out the link for my analysis as to why I'd take the plunge with Goedert this week. Additionally, our algorithm projects him to finish as TE16 in PPR formats this week, making him an acceptable streamer and the highest-projected scorer of the three tight ends I touted earlier in the week.
Hunter Renfrow, WR, Oakland Raiders
Yahoo Ownership: 12%
Hunter Renfrow wraps up this week's deep sleepers, and he ranks just one spot behind the previously highlighted Tate in our projections as WR47 in PPR formats for Week 11. He's my least favorite receiver suggested as a streamer, but that's primarily due to concerns about the Raiders building a large lead and salting the game away with their supremely talented rookie running back, Josh Jacobs.
Of course, Renfrow could help the Raiders pile up the points before they lean on the running game to close the game out. The Raiders have the highest implied total of the week at 29.5 points, and the matchup is tasty. We rank the Bengals as the fourth-worst pass defense. At first blush, it doesn't necessarily look like a good matchup for receivers, though.
The Bengals have allowed the fewest receptions (84) and 14th-fewest receiving yards (1,377) to receivers this year, per Pro-Football-Reference. The league-low receptions yielded to receivers is a bummer for Renfrow's outlook, and the fact Cincinnati's coughed up a staggering 16.39 yards per reception to wideouts might lead one to deduce perimeter receivers have fared better than slot receivers. That deduction would be incorrect, though.
According to Barfield's previously cited tweet, the Bengals have allowed the third-fewest PPR points per game to receivers lined up wide, but they've allowed the sixth-most PPR points per game to slot receivers. PlayerProfiler credits Renfrow with playing the slot 70.9 percent of his snaps, positioning him nicely to take advantage of the Bengals' susceptibility to getting roasted by slot receivers. Renfrow's caught four passes or more in three-straight games, and he'll look to keep rolling this week in a plus matchup for slot receivers.