7 Deep Fantasy Football Sleepers for Week 11
Starting sleepers is always a bit fun, but it's never ideal. You always want to have fantastic options overflowing on your roster, but everybody knows that's never the case.
And those players in deep leagues? Forget about it!
That really makes sleepers as deep as these as late in the season as it is kind of unfun. Still, if you need 'em, you need 'em. And if you need 'em, we got 'em.
Well, even if you don't need 'em, we still got 'em. Those aren't contingent on one another.
Now that we have that sorted, which off-the-radar guys could come through in Week 11?
Week 11 All-Deep-Sleeper Team
Quarterback: Matt Hasselbeck (Started in 6.2% of ESPN.com Leagues | Owned in 10.3% of ESPN.com Leagues)
Mark Sanchez is all the rage this week, and it makes sense. However, his ownership levels haven't exactly spiked. Still, he's been covered before, so let's focus in on Hasselbeck. In his two starts in Weeks 4 and 5, he racked up 15.4 and 16.2 fantasy points. That put him around QB 16 for each week, which is really the best you can expect from him.
Despite the lack of upside, his floor is pretty nice, considering. Yes, Atlanta ranks third against fantasy passers this year, but they haven't exactly played a tough schedule. They're 21st against the pass, per our Adjusted Defensive Net Expected Points (NEP) metric. Atlanta has just 10 sacks on the year (last in the league), and Hasselbeck has enough weapons to continue posting reasonable fantasy points in this good matchup.
Running Back: James White (Started in 6.1% of ESPN.com Leagues | Owned in 32.8% of ESPN.com Leagues)
White saw 28 snaps last week against the Giants but saw just one carry and one target (which he caught). That's not super exciting. However, Bill Belichick played Dion Lewis 73 snaps against the Week 2 contest against the Bills. He had 7 carries for 40 yards and a score and 6 catches on 9 targets for 98 yards. If things go similarly, White should be the benefactor, though there's no guarantee he'll perform as well as Lewis did.
The Bills actually rank 27th against the run, which lends itself to a LeGarrette Blount type of game, but with the highest implied total on the slate and the injury to Julian Edelman, the Pats could be leaning on White a bit to make a difference with the pass.
Running Back: Rod Smith (Started in 0.0% of ESPN.com Leagues | Owned in 0.0% of ESPN.com Leagues)
No, I didn't forget to update Smith's ownership percentages. He's just available in basically every ESPN league there is. Who is he? Well, he's Darren McFadden's backup in Dallas. Yes, McFadden has been dominating backfield snaps, but he cropped up on the injury report on Thursday. If McFadden can't go, then Smith is instantly an intriguing option.
Tampa Bay does rank fourth against the run, per our metrics, but if we're gifted a starting running back at this level of availability, it's hard to turn that down. If McFadden's injury lingers, you could be scooping up a potential useful piece for the playoff push, too.
Wide Receiver: Jamison Crowder (Started in 6.4% of ESPN.com Leagues | Owned in 15.0% of ESPN.com Leagues)
The matchup overall is a nightmare: Carolina ranks eighth against fantasy receivers and second in pass defense, per our metrics. A big reason for that, though, is Josh Norman. He'll be squaring off with either DeSean Jackson or Pierre Garcon. That leaves Crowder in the slot against a beatable nickel man in Bene Benwikere.
The team total is gross (18.75), but the spread (Washington is a 7.5-point underdog) is good for Crowder's prospects. Challenging the outside corners won't bode well for Kirk Cousins, so chipping away via the slot could lead to a garbage day frenzy for Crowder.
Wide Receiver: Brian Quick (Started in 0.3% of ESPN.com Leagues | Owned in 2.2% of ESPN.com Leagues)
After inexplicably missing the first three games of the year -- as if the Rams are teeming with receiver talent -- Quick is starting to see some usage. I should stress "some." Quick has played 35, 35, and 33 snaps in his last three games, with target marks of 1, 3, and 7, respectively. He hasn't caught more than one of those, despite the climbing target totals.
The good news is that Nick Foles is out and Case Keenum is in. Quick is a deep threat type of player, and Keenum isn't afraid to fling it deep. Baltimore is a not-so-scary 17th in Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play and are 13th against the run. Todd Gurley will still get fed, but Quick could beat the defense over the top if Baltimore hones in on the run.
Tight End: Crockett Gillmore (Started in 8.0% of ESPN.com Leagues | Owned in 15.4% of ESPN.com Leagues)
I could roll with Jacob Tamme for the 100th week in a row, but I won't. He makes sense again this week, but Gillmore is even less popular. The matchup -- isn't great -- but it kind of actually is. St. Louis is 18th against fantasy tight ends, and a lot of that has to do with Zach Miller's bonkers game last week. They're third against the pass, per our metrics. They're fifth against the run.
Something has to give, though, and the Ravens have an implied point total of 21.75, which isn't great by any means. But if Keenum struggles to get the offense going, or if he has a turnover or two near his own goal line, Gillmore and his red zone targets (one in his past three games, two of which were from inside the 10) could prove start worthy this week.
Flex: Leonard Hankerson (Started in 2.1% of ESPN.com Leagues | Owned in 13.4% of ESPN.com Leagues)
Hankerson was performing well enough early in the year to be much, much more than a deep sleeper option. He's -- hopefully -- back from his hamstring injury this week and will get to face off against the Colts, who rank 24th against fantasy receivers and are 26th against the pass, per our metrics. Indy actually ranks 12th against the run, so Hankerson could see some action if he's 100 percent.
Julio Jones eats targets for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but Vontae Davis isn't the guy to challenge time and time again, regardless of the receiver. Hankerson has much more upside than being just a deep sleeper recommendation, and the matchup is right for him to cash in on that in Week 11.