7 Fantasy Football Sleepers for Week 10
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.
Nick Foles (18%) - In most leagues, Jared Goff is the go-to streamer as he takes on the porous Seattle Seahawks secondary. However, Foles is available in more than 80% of leagues, and he too draws an advantageous matchup in the visiting Minnesota Vikings. According to Pro Football Reference, the Vikings' defense is giving up the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing signal-callers, including the fourth-most touchdowns and third-most yards. In six of their eight games, they have allowed either 290 yards or two passing scores, including five games in which quarterbacks have accomplished both feats.
Foles hasn't been awesome, but he has passed the ball 40-plus times in five games, and he has gone back-to-back matchups with two touchdowns. With Chicago expected to score 21 points in a close game, it wouldn't be shocking for Foles to post a top-12 fantasy performance at the position.
Joshua Kelley (57%) - Last week, it turned out to be the Kalen Ballage comeback game in the Los Angeles Chargers' backfield. With Justin Jackson leaving the game early on due to a knee injury, coach Anthony Lynn gave Ballage 15 of the 24 running back carries en route to 69 yards and a touchdown. But the thing is, it was Kelley who saw the majority of snaps, posting a 54% snap share to Ballage's 39%.
He also turned his 9 carries and 5 targets into 59 total yards. His 5 targets (and catches) tied a season-high, so if he's able to get back to the 10-plus carries he saw without Jackson he could have a nice 15-touch workload to work with. That would do wonders for his Week 10 upside against a Miami Dolphins defense that rates far better against the pass (1st) than the run (17th), according to our metrics.
J.D. McKissic (48%) - Whether you need a solid RB2 or just another depth piece for flex consideration, McKissic is your guy this week. He is fresh off a 14-target game in which he saw a season-high 83% snap rate in a narrow loss to the New York Giants. It marked his fourth time in five games tallying no fewer than six catches and six targets, and that doesn't factor in the handful of carries he sees on a weekly basis. And to add to it McKissic is a candidate for touchdown regression.
For the 278 snaps, 82 opportunities (carries plus targets), and 456 yards he has accounted for to this point he has precisely zero touchdowns to his credit. Lucky him, he has a date with a Detroit Lions' squad allowing by far the most receiving touchdowns per game (0.63) to opposing backs, according to JJ Zachariason. He should be able to take advantage in this clash of strength against weakness.
Allen Lazard (43%) - It's always crucial to keep an eye on players returning from injury, but that practice is even more important when the player is someone with as notable a role as Lazard. He is the team's primary receiving option opposite the dominant Davante Adams, and Aaron Rodgers has performed as one of the best quarterbacks in the league to this point. Lazard and Rodgers have clicked over the past two seasons, including his 17 targets through three games in 2020. That, and a dream clash with the Jacksonville Jaguars -- 30th versus the pass -- has him positioned as a flex consideration going into Sunday afternoon.
Darnell Mooney (24%) - Speaking of impressive complementary pass-catchers, Mooney (to Allen Robinson) has been among the best this season. The unheralded rookie has stepped in to overtake Anthony Miller for second on the team in wideout snaps, averaging a 69% snap share on the season but an even greater 88% over the last three weeks. In that same time, he's garnered 24 targets from Foles, turning them into 152 yards and a touchdown. In Week 9 alone he had a 23% target share and 117 air yards, according to DLF's Bruce Matson.
According to DynastyProcess.com, his expected fantasy point totals have reached 12.3, 12.6, and 18.5 over the last three, meaning he has failed to live up to expectation. But by our numbers, the Vikings are 31st against the position and 19th against WRs, so if he and Foles were ever going to connect for a massive day this would be it.
Jalen Reagor (21%) - Bye weeks can be a burden to some fantasy owners, but it can also be a big blessing for those who track those players set to return. Reagor is among this week's top options in that category, as he looked solid in his first time playing since Week 2. Against the Cowboys, he was targeted 6 times on his 47 snaps, and his 73% snap rate looked promising when you consider his 85% snap share in his prior outing. Throw that into a head-to-head with a New York Giants' defense that has allowed the 10th-most fantasy points per game and third-most air yards to opposing teams, and you have a recipe for Reagor's first true rookie breakout.
Austin Hooper (46%) - The same that can be said for fantasy managers forgetting about guys like Reagor goes especially for players who were injured heading into the off week. This week, that target is Hooper. After undergoing an appendectomy between Weeks 6 and 7, the Cleveland Browns' lead tight end is ready to return to the field against the Houston Texans following another week of practices.
In the fantasy world that's a big deal, because Houston is not only 26th against the pass, but they have allowed the 11-most fantasy points to tight ends. The opportunity has been even greater of late, as they have surrendered 14, 6, and 7 total targets to tight ends over the past three games. Expect Hooper to get his usual workload and produce in what projects to be a high-scoring game in Cleveland.