7 Fantasy Football Sleepers for Week 11
Week 10 was a tough week for injuries as we lost Cooper Kupp, Zach Ertz, and Dallas Goedert for extended periods of time. With injuries mounting and bye weeks in full force, identifying low-rostered sleepers is more important than ever.
Sleeper is an ambiguous term. For the purpose of this article, we'll define anyone on fewer than half of Yahoo! rosters as a sleeper. Typically, I'll actually aim to feature players on fewer than 40 percent of rosters.
Don't worry, deep-league gamers, this article is intended to help folks in leagues of all shapes and sizes. With that in mind, I'm following my predecessor's lead, including honorable mentions. If the featured players are already rostered in your league, the honorable mentions should provide you with players to consider filling in for an injured starter or a player on a bye -- or for whatever other reason you're diving into the free-agent pool.
While this article is primarily written through a season-long lens, sleepers are certainly viable as daily fantasy punts in certain builds, too. Keep that in mind when you're looking for cash-game savings or trying to gain cheap leverage in tournaments. That's why you'll see every player's FanDuel salary listed next to their Yahoo! roster percentage this year.
With bye weeks in full swing, identifying sleepers is even more important for your season-long and daily fantasy needs. This week, the Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins. Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are all on bye.
Last week was another strong performance for this column. Donovan Peoples-Jones put up a season-high 99 yards, Cole Kmet was the overall TE1, Rachaad White came through as the stash I've been pounding the table for, and both Daniel Jones and Marcus Mariota delivered top-13 fantasy performances.
Let's aim for more strong results in Week 11.
Marcus Mariota (38% | $7,200) - Time really is a flat circle: another week, another appearance for Marcus Mariota in this column.
Between matchups, bye weeks, and the arbitrary 50% rostered threshold, Week 11 is brutal for quarterback streaming. If Daniel Jones or Jared Goff are available, pick them up now. If not, Mariota is the best option remaining, albeit not a very safe one.
As I've written about ad nauseum, we want to target quarterbacks with rushing ability in our lineups, especially when we're digging for sleepers. Ranking sixth in rushing attempts (63), seventh in rushing yards (347), and tied for third in rushing touchdowns (3), Mariota certainly qualifies.
To his credit, he's mostly delivered for this column's weekly readers (of which there are many). Last week is just the latest example, when Mariota put up nearly 19 fantasy points and finished as the QB13.
This week's matchup is great. Per our schedule-adjusted metrics, the Chicago Bears' defense ranks 27th in the league, susceptible against both the pass (29th) and the run (23rd), and that's with Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn in the lineup for most of the year. They were both traded before the trade deadline, and in the two games since, Chicago has allowed 35 points to the Miami Dolphins and 31 points to the Detroit Lions, both at home. Now, Mariota gets to face them at home as a three-point favorite.
Shockingly, Atlanta has the third-highest team total of any team this week (26.75), and this game's total is sneakily 50.5, the highest of all games this week. The floor here is scarily low in the event Mariota throws two first half interceptions and gets benched, but if he plays the full game, another top-15 fantasy performance is in the cards.
Isiah Pacheco (44% | $6,200) - Stop what you're doing and go pick up Isiah Pacheco. Got him? Okay, good. It makes no sense that Pacheco is still available in over half of Yahoo! leagues. Let's review the facts.
Before the bye week, Pacheco was named the Kansas City Chiefs' starting running back. Since then, he has out-carried Clyde Edwards-Helaire 29-10, most notably receiving 16 touches to CEH's zero in Week 10. In doing so, Pacheco set season highs in snap percentage (56%), rush attempt share (73%), route participation (37%), and touches (16), per PFF. Edwards-Helaire played just four snaps. We also know that rookies tend to benefit from the post-bye rookie bump.
Long story short: Pacheco is the new early-down back on the league's best offense, per our schedule-adjusted metrics. The analysis can end there, but it certainly helps that Pacheco is tied to this week's highest team total (28.25) as a 6.5-point road favorite against the Los Angeles Chargers and their 29th-ranked adjusted run defense. This is a smash spot for Pacheco, and he needs to be rostered everywhere.
Trestan Ebner (1% | $4,600) - Nothing gets me going like a 1% rostered sleeper. With Khalil Herbert on injured reserve with a hip injury, Ebner is the next man up behind David Montgomery in the Bears backfield.
This is not your traditional next-man-up situation, either. Montgomery is a free agent next season and wasn't drafted by the new Bears regime. The new regime did, however, use a sixth-round pick on Ebner in the 2022 draft. At 3-7 and not competing for a playoff spot, the Bears have plenty of incentive to understand what they have in Ebner.
When Montgomery missed time earlier this season (part of Week 3 and all of Week 4), Ebner actually had an okay role. He played 24% of the team's snaps in each week, recording seven touches in the first game and eight in the second. It's reasonable to assume that with Herbert and his 37% snap share now out, Ebner will have a role.
As the clear handcuff to Montgomery, Ebner is worth a stash. But in the event his role is at all similar to Herbert's, he's a worthy streamer right away. As mentioned, this game has the highest implied point total of the week (50.5), and Chicago is just a three-point road favorite, implying a close game. The Atlanta Falcons rank 27th against the run, per our schedule-adjusted metrics, so the matchup is pristine. There's a ton to like about Ebner's sleeper profile this week and beyond.
Parris Campbell (29% | $5,800) - While we are bereft of quarterback sleepers this week, there are plenty of opportunities to mine for gold at the wide receiver position. Let's start with Parris Campbell, who is simply not on enough fantasy rosters.
The former first-round pick has finally managed to stay healthy this season, and it's led to some legitimate PPR results when Matt Ryan is under center. Campbell's target counts in Ryan's last three starts (starting with the most recent) are 9, 12, and 11. Campbell has managed at least seven catches for 50 yards and a touchdown in all three games. We're talking major target volume with Ryan, and there's no reason to think Ryan will be benched after the team's galvanizing win behind him and new head coach Jeff Saturday in Week 10.
So, as with many recommendations in this column, this is a short and long-term stash. While the matchup isn't enticing against the Philadelphia Eagles, Campbell should have the opportunity to eat while in catch-up mode.
Darius Slayton (27% | $6,300) - Sitting in the new coaching staff's doghouse the entire summer and into the early portion of the season, Slayton has made his way out by attrition. But his recent performances have made it impossible to put him back on the bench, especially for a team in need of wide receiver help.
Slayton has averaged 75% of the team's snaps over the last three weeks, and he's recorded a top-36 performance in each contest, inclusive of two top-20 performances. He's playing like a WR3 with upside yet is available in over 70% of leagues.
This week, Slayton faces the Lions and their 31st-ranked schedule-adjusted pass defense. The Giants are three-point home favorites with a strong 24.25-point team total. Slayton should be in line for another top-36 performance with upside for much more. He's a legitimate streaming option and a sneaky way to access this game in DFS.
Nico Collins (20%, $5,900) - Once again, we find ourselves opportunity in the form of a player who isn't rostered in enough leagues. Collins, a 2021 second-round pick, is coming off his best game of the season in which he recorded a season-high 10 targets and a touchdown. Sneakily, Collins has recorded at least 49 receiving yards in four of seven games this season, the same number of times as teammate Brandin Cooks despite playing one fewer game.
In fact, Collins outpaces Cooks in both receiving yards per game and yards per catch, yet Cooks is rostered in 55% more leagues than Collins.
Long story short, Collins needs to be on more teams. This week, he faces the Washington Commanders' pass funnel defense; Washington ranks 1st against the run but 15th against the pass, per our metrics. Collins is a sneaky WR3 this week and beyond.
Honorable Mentions: Donovan Peoples-Jones (40% | $5,900), DeAndre Carter (33% | $5,700), Jarvis Landry (19% | $5,400), Van Jefferson (23% | $5,600), Ben Skowronek (4% | $5,300), Kalif Raymond (6% | $5,300)
Trey McBride (6% | $4,200) - With Zach Ertz sadly done for the season, it might finally be Trey McBride time. McBride was the first tight end drafted in 2022, and the Arizona Cardinals spent a second-round pick on him, indicating that they had major plans for his future usage.
McBride essentially assumed a full-time role once Ertz went down, playing 76% of the snaps (Ertz played 21%). While the box score didn't match, McBride will now have a full week of practice as the starting option. At a position starved for streaming options, McBride's talent and presumed new role offer as much upside as anyone outside of the elite tier. Even in a tough matchup against San Francisco 49ers, he's worth a pickup. Managers looking for a safer floor can stream the other honorable mentions below.
Eli Weiner is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Eli Weiner also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Eweiner2. 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.