7 Deep Fantasy Football Sleepers for Week 11
The 2020 NFL season -- like everything about 2020 -- is unique. While turning to the waiver wire or free agent pool for streaming options is a common practice in normal years, the need for deeper options could be even greater this year as the NFL tries to navigate playing through a pandemic.
This is your weekly home for finding deep sleeper options across the board this year with plug-and-play options listed at quarterback, running back, receiver, and tight end. Whether you set out to stream or circumstances have changed for your roster and dictate streaming on the fly, I've got you covered with a full roster's worth of low-rostered choices in Yahoo! leagues.
Alex Smith, QB, Washington Football Team
Yahoo Roster Percentage: 7%
I'm not the first numberFire author to tout Alex Smith this week, as my colleague Austan Kas did so on Tuesday. Kas specifically highlighted the favorable matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals when discussing Smith's case for usage. It's the primary reason he's my preferred option as a deep sleeper at quarterback, too.
Piggybacking on his analysis, though, I'm also intrigued by the potential for an up-tempo game. The Washington Football Team is playing at the 14th-fastest situation neutral pace of play and will be getting a pace pick-me-up against a Bengals squad that's playing at the 9th-fastest situation neutral pace of play, according to Football Outsiders.
Rex Burkhead, RB, New England Patriots
Yahoo Roster Percentage: 38%
After appearing in this space last week, I'm running it back with Rex Burkhead after he smashed, totaling 66 yards from scrimmage, 4 receptions and 2 touchdowns in the upset win for the New England Patriots. He's had back-to-back games touching the ball double-digit times, has caught three or more passes in three of his last four games, and he's trusted in scoring territory.
Further elaborating on the last point, when 10 yards from scoring or closer, Burkhead's 8 rushing attempts and 3 rushing touchdowns are second on the team to Cam Newton's 19 rushing attempts and 8 rushing touchdowns. Further, in that area of the field, Damien Harris (four rushing attempts), Sony Michel (two), J.J. Taylor (one), and James White (one) merely collectively match Burkhead's total. Burkhead's added a receiving score on his only target 10 yards from scoring or closer, too, and White is the only other back on the team with a target that close to scoring.
The numberFire projection algorithm has him firmly in the flex or fringe RB2 mix in point-per-reception (PPR) formats, ranking as RB31, sandwiched between teammates White (RB30) and Harris (RB32). Of the three, I slightly prefer Burkhead, followed by Harris, and rounded out by White.
Matt Breida, RB, Miami Dolphins
Yahoo Roster Percentage: 22%
This is another repeat visitor at the running back position from last week. Unlike Burkhead, Matt Breida didn't smash. In fact, he didn't play. At the time of writing last week, I was optimistic he'd play after being credited with a limited practice on an estimated practice report. One week later, he practiced in full on Wednesday and appears truly poised to return this week.
The difference between my analysis last week and this week is that Salvon Ahmed followed up a solid first showing in Week 9 with a strong one in Week 10, toting the rock a whopping 21 times for 85 yards and a score and reeling in his only target for 5 receiving yards.
The path to touches for Breida looks a bit more difficult than it did a week ago, but the Miami Dolphins have eliminated one mouth to feed from the equation by dumping Jordan Howard. Even in a change-of-pace role, Breida's home-run speed makes him a viable desperation play at running back, and that's essentially the best one can ask for rummaging around in the bargain bin for a back on under 25 percent of Yahoo rosters.
Michael Pittman Jr., WR, Indianapolis Colts
Yahoo Roster Percentage: 28%
Rookie receiver Michael Pittman Jr.'s had his first season interrupted by injury, but he's turned in his two best performances of the year in his last two games. In Week 9, he hauled in 4 of 7 targets for 56 receiving yards. Last week, he secured 7 of 8 targets for 101 receiving yards and added a 21-yard rush. Over the last two weeks combined, he leads the team in targets (15) receptions (11) and receiving yards (157). No other pass-catcher has bested 100 receiving yards during that two-game stretch.
Pittman Jr. led the way in the percentage of snaps played (81.43 percent) among receivers on the Indianapolis Colts in Week 10 after playing the second-highest percentage (86.76 percent) in Week 9, as you can see on our snap count page.
The first-year pro's playing time, coupled with his rock-solid usage the last couple weeks, fuel his inclusion in this space. The numberFire projection algorithm projects him to finish as WR45 in PPR formats this week, but I'm a tick higher on his outlook and view him as a top-40 option at the position.
Jalen Reagor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
Yahoo Roster Percentage: 25%
Speaking of rookie receivers who've had their season interrupted due to injury, the same has been the case for Jalen Reagor. In all, Reagor's played in four games for the Philadelphia Eagles, and he's chipped in as a key cog in the passing game, besting 40 receiving yards three times, catching three or more passes three times, and reaching pay dirt one time -- chipping in a two-point conversion in the same contest, to boot.
In his two games back from injury, he posted a Week 8 line of 3 receptions for 16 yards, 1 receiving touchdown, a rush for 6 yards, and a successful two-point conversion before coming out of the team's bye to tally 4 receptions on 7 targets for 47 receiving yards in Week 10. Last week, his 88.06 snap percentage was tied with Travis Fulgham's mark for the team high at receiver. He's in a prominent role on offense.
His volume in his return from injury is promising, and his usage as a field-stretching option lends itself to him helping fantasy gamers on just one play. Among tight ends and receivers with at least 10 targets this year, Reagor's average depth of target of 15.7 yards down field is tied for the 11th-deepest mark, according to Sports Info Solutions.
Tyler Eifert, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars
Yahoo Roster Percentage: 5%
I preface my pick at tight end every week by pointing out the position is a dumpster fire this year, and that remains the case. Logan Thomas is on too many rosters to allow for inclusion in this piece, but he's my favorite option among tight ends who are on fewer than 50 percent of Yahoo rosters -- he's on 46 percent of rosters.
As for the players who qualify for inclusion here, Tyler Eifert gets the nod thanks entirely to his steady-if-unspectacular target totals in two games with rookie Jake Luton starting for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
In two starts, Luton's attempted 73 passes. He's directed nine passes to Eifert. He's not an exciting option, but Eifert should reel in a few passes and avoid a scoring bagel. That'll do for tight end-needy gamers.
Breshad Perriman, WR, New York Jets
Yahoo Roster Percentage: 10%
The New York Jets are coming out of their Week 10 bye following their second-highest scoring output of the year, posting 27 points against the Patriots with Joe Flacco playing quarterback. Starting quarterback Sam Darnold remains sidelined with a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder, leaving Flacco to build on his efficient performance. Flacco starting should benefit rookie receiver Denzel Mims -- who is also a viable deep sleeper -- and Breshad Perriman.
Darnold ranks in the bottom half among qualified quarterbacks in average intended air yards this year at 7.4, while Flacco leads the way in the mark at 10.3. The veteran signal-caller's willingness to chuck it deep pairs nicely with Perriman's wheels and big-play ability. Perriman erupted for 5 receptions for 101 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns on 7 targets in Week 9, and his receptions, receiving yards and 2 touchdown grabs led the team, while his seven targets were second only to Mims' eight.
Perriman's a low-floor option, but his usage lends itself to a higher ceiling than typically accompanies such a widely available wideout.
Joshua Shepardson is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Joshua Shepardson also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username bchad50. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.