It is officially time to examine the Week 13 Fantasy Football Sleepers. As always, these are players who were either drafted toward the latter half of your fantasy drafts, or spent time residing on your leagues’ waiver wires until this week. Either way, a combination of their ability, and their specific matchups, has propelled them into a position to enhance your scoring total should you decide to start them.
With that, here are the sleepers for Week 13. For a comprehensive look at this week’s rankings for QB, RBs and WRs, just click here:
Brandon Weeden @ Raiders
From weeks 5-7 he threw for the sixth highest yardage total among all QBs (786). He also threw for 230+ yards and nine TDs from weeks 2-7, and had ascended into the top 10 in yardage for the season. But just when he appeared to be making a case as a low end QB1, his numbers degenerated considerably. He has only averaged 168 YPG in his last four contests, but he will be supplied with a chance to generate a much higher total this Sunday, if he successfully continues his recovery from a concussion. The Raiders have surrendered an amazing 169 points in their last four games, which equates to 42 points per game. Their issues in defending that pass have enabled opponents to produce 253 YPG, and they have permitted a league worst 23 TDs. Weeden has an opportunity to generate far better results then has manufactured in recent weeks, and if you are in a deeper league, or are searching for a one week play for any reason, he is a viable option. Just make sure to monitor his status leading up to Sunday afternoon. Along with the weather, as the forecast is growing less favorable.
Chad Henne @ Bills
Henne makes a return appearance to this column due to another appealing matchup, combined with the fact that he has generated 615 yards and six TDs in the past two weeks. That includes the 261 yards and two scores that he amassed in Week 12 against Tennessee. Since taking over for the injured and highly ineffective Blaine Gabbert, Henne has revitalized what had been an extremely stagnant Jacksonville offense, while taking advantage of the playmaking ability that is possessed by his gifted wideouts. Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon each have the ability to gain separation, and accumulate yardage after the catch. This will present a challenge for Buffalo, even though the Bills have improved their pass defense as the season has progressed. Still, they have permitted 20 TDs, and will surrender several more when they line up on Sunday.
Jacquizz Rodgers vs. Saints
Michael Turner was an exceptional runner from 2008-2011, but his time as an effective back has clearly ended. He has only averaged 3.5 YPC this season, and delivered an anemic 1.3 or lower in two of his past three contests. Meanwhile, Rodgers should be the beneficiary of an increased workload in order for the Falcons to push deep into the postseason, and that could begin this week. Last Sunday he received a season high 10 carries, while producing 49 yards and a TD. He supplemented that with 30 additional yards in two receptions when he lined up against New Orleans in Week 10, Rodgers was only allotted seven touches, but still managed to collect 62 total yards. He could easily garner twice as many opportunities this seek against the league's worst defense, and should amass more yardage than he did in Week 12.
Michael Bush vs. Seahawks
He was selected in the latter half of most drafts last summer, very often by Matt Forte owners who wanted insurance should Forte suffer an injury. That did occur in Week 12 versus Minnesota, and Bush is now temporarily elevated into an enhanced role in Chicago’s offense while Forte’s ankle is less than 100%. He accumulated a season high 60 yards on a hefty 21 attempts after Forte was sidelined last Sunday, while also scoring twice. Those were his fourth and fifth TDs of the season, and his first since Week 3. While Forte could return on a limited basis against Seattle, Bush will be receiving a sizable workload, and capture the highly desired goal line carries. He should match last week’s yardage total, and has an excellent chance to score again.
Ryan Broyles vs. Colts
The rookie was a non-entity in Detroit until Nate Burleson’s season ending injury in Week 7. That initiated a three game sequence in which Broyles was targeted 15 times, amassed 12 receptions, and scored twice. But then he received a grand total of three targets in Weeks 10-11, and only manufactured 41 yards. However, the suspension of Titus Young in Week 12 presented another opportunity for Broyles to seize a more prominent role in the Lions’ offense. He ultimately was targeted 12 times by Matthew Stafford, collected six receptions, and established a new career high with 126 yards. His productive outing, combined with Young’s perpetual behavioral issues, should keep Broyles entrenched as a highly utilized weapon against the Colts this week.
Chris Givens vs. 49ers
With Danny Amendola battling multiple injuries this season, the Rams have been in desperate need of another wideout to become a difference maker. In recent weeks, Givens has accomplished exactly that. 30 of his 45 targets this season have occurred in the past five contests, including 13 in his last two games. In Week 12 he collected five of six targets for a career high 115 yards, and his third touchdown of the season. Two of those scores occurred in his last three contests, and he has also exceeded 60 receiving yards in four of his last five games. With eight receptions of over 20 yards, and five in excess of 40, Givens has proven that he can deliver big plays. Amendola is hobbled yet again, which should further ensure that Givens will be supplied with more opportunities against San Francisco.
Martellus Bennett @ Redskins
He has not scored since Week 3, and has only accumulated 39 receptions on 61 targets this season. But this week he will be lining up against division rival Washington. Not only do the Redskins rank a paltry 31st versus the pass, but they have routinely struggled to contain TEs throughout the year. When Bennett faced Washington in Week 7, he was allotted a season high seven targets, and amassed a season best 79 yards. Eli Manning appeared to be rejuvenated in Week 12, and with a healthy Hakeem Nicks running more effective routes, space should open up for Bennett. Expect at least 60 yards, with a genuine chance to produce a TD.
Browns @ Raiders
Oakland’s 29th ranked rushing attack has been extremely inept, which has led to an extreme reliance upon Carson Palmer and the passing game. He has launched the ball with great regularity, having now thrown the third highest number of passes (449), including 40+ in six different contests. But his deficient line and inconsistent wideouts have recently been too much for him to overcome, which has resulted in turnovers and sacks. He has thrown 12 INTs, including at least one in 10 of his 11 games this season. He has also been sacked 24 times, after the Bengals contributed four to that total in Week 12. Mix in that inadequate rushing attack, and the Browns have plenty of deficiencies to attack defensively. They have the ability to stifle Oakland’s offense, and add to their current totals of 28 sacks and 13 INTs. Expect them to accumulate sizable fantasy points in the process.