Fantasy Football: Highlighting the Best Sleeper Players in Week 11
By Week 11 of the fantasy football season you know where your roster needs help. The playoff push has already begun and it may be time to pull the proverbial rabbit out of your hat to score an upset.
That's where these sleeper picks can come in.
QB, RB, WR and TE are all addressed as we help you to become your league's best Houdini impersonator, or at least become competent enough to pull a coin from behind your buddy's ear.
Daryl Richardson, RB, St. Louis Rams
Highlighting Daryl Richardson as a sleeper after Steven Jackson earned 29 carries last week may not seem to make much sense.
However, after a seven-carry output last week, Richardson may be in for a heavier workload this week. He did average 8.3 yards per carry against the 49ers and has averaged 5.7 on the season despite not scoring a touchdown.
The New York Jets defense ranks 30th in the NFL against the run, allowing 145 yards per game on the ground. Jackson may again see more work, but Richardson has proven he will make the most of his opportunities.
And the Jets are the type of defense that should give him ample opportunities.
Danario Alexander, WR, San Diego Chargers
The cat was somewhat let out of the bag last week when Danario Alexander caught an 80-yard bomb and finished Week 10 with five catches for 134 yards.
However, it is worth noting that Alexander has the makings of anything but a one-hit wonder. The man who was supposed to sit ahead of him on the depth chart, Robert Meachem, has underwhelmed all season.
The San Diego Chargers are undoubtedly looking for offensive answers and Alexander could be a solid complement to Antonio Gates and Malcom Floyd.
The Denver Broncos have good pass defense, but knowing Alexander will likely be away from Champ Bailey makes him a solid sleeper option.
Dwayne Allen, TE, Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck has shown he is not afraid to check down to his tight ends throughout the 2012 season. Most of the time that means numerous targets for Coby Fleener, but with Fleener out of the lineup, those throws should head toward Dwayne Allen.
Allen has 162 yards receiving over the last three weeks and has the potential to break out against a New England Patriots pass defense that leaves much to be desired.
New England allows the 29th most passing yards per game in the league and is stout against the run. A high volume of Luck passes are clearly in the forecast.
James Starks, RB, Green Bay Packers
Alex Green continuously disappoints when the Green Bay Packers ask him to be their lead running back. His struggles combined with the way James Starks played well in the teams last outing leads me to believe Starks may be an extremely quiet sleeper pick.
He rushed for 61 yards on 17 carries against the Cardinals in Week 9. Not exactly standout numbers, but productive nonetheless.
The Detroit Lions rush defense has not been as good as the sum of its parts and Green Bay should have chances to spell Aaron Rodgers and the passing game throughout the contest.
Look for Starks to get the workload over Green and be the better fantasy option.
Steve Smith, WR, Carolina Panthers
Is it possible for Steve Smith to be a sleeper?
Well, after only four receptions for 60 yards in the last two weeks, his fantasy owners may have been slightly lulled to sleep.
Fear not, all ailments can be cured by playing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their truly terrible secondary. If Smith is in a slump he can surely break out of it against the Buccaneers and potentially score only his second touchdown of the season.
Of course that would also require Cam Newton to play to the best of his abilities, but we will just hope for the best in that regard.
Brandon Myers, TE, Oakland Raiders
For one reason or another, Brandon Myers continues to be overlooked by the fantasy football community at large.
Don't fall victim to this mentality. Myers has been heavily targeted in recent weeks and has 20 catches for 205 yards and two touchdowns over the past four games.
Now he has the chance to attack the New Orleans Saints defense—the same Saints defense that allowed Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez to catch 11 passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns last week.
Carson Palmer, QB, Oakland Raiders
It's hard to fully get behind Carson Palmer because he can be so inconsistent and tends to turn the ball over.
Those worries are not exactly going away this week, but just like Myers, he will have a tough time struggling against the New Orleans Saints secondary.
Palmer has been good the last few weeks, throwing for over 360 yards in each of the past two contests and a combined six touchdowns.
With Darren McFadden out of the lineup this is going to be a pass-dominated offense for the foreseeable future. Palmer is a quality sleeper.
Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
With Ben Roethlisberger out of the lineup, the Pittsburgh Steelers are almost certainly going to rely heavily on the running game.
That does not mean Byron Leftwich will be showcasing his slower-than-a-turtle speed, but rather that opportunities will present themselves for Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer.
Dwyer is the more intriguing option after outplaying Redman in Week 10. The Baltimore Ravens are more susceptible to the running game than most would expect, allowing 132 yards per game on the ground.