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Week 12 Fantasy Sleepers: Underrated Players That Will Produce Big Numbers

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 06:  Running back  Ben Tate #44 of the Houston Texans looks on prior to the start of the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on October 6, 2013 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIINovember 19, 2013

Week 12 hasn't quite arrived yet, but it's not too early to take a look ahead at some of the potential fantasy football sleepers that should light up the NFL gridiron.

A couple of these players are established veterans, while some are young, budding studs that could serve as franchise cornerstones for their respective organizations and become hot fantasy commodities in the process.

Let's take a look at some overlooked offensive players that owners should rush to pick up this week, along with some projected numbers for each of them.

 

Mike Glennon, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 11:  Mike Glennon #8 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers passes during a game against the Miami Dolphins at Raymond James Stadium on November 11, 2013 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Last week's opponent was the NFC South defending champion Atlanta Falcons, who are in complete disarray this season. With that said, Glennon had his best game to date, completing 20 of his 23 passes for 231 yards and two touchdowns.

Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com highlighted just how impressive that was for the precocious Glennon:

It looks as though the rookie third-round pick could indeed have the stuff of a franchise quarterback if his play thus far has been any indication.

Now in the mist of a two-game winning streak, it looks as though he'll continue thriving in Week 12 in a road clash with the Detroit Lions, whose shaky secondary comprises the league's 30th-ranked pass defense.

That should lead to a big day for the passing attack, aided immensely by big wide receiver Vincent Jackson coming off of a 10-catch performance at Raymond James Stadium this past Sunday.

Projected Numbers: 20-of-30 for 250 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT

 

Ben Tate, RB, Houston Texans

HOUSTON, TX- NOVEMBER 17: Ben Tate #44 of the Houston Texans rushes past Nick Roach #53 of the Oakland Raiders on November 17, 2013 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. Raiders won 28 to 23.(Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)
Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

The team's former second-round pick isn't doing himself any favors by calling Texans fans "wishy-washy," per the Houston Chronicle's Nick Mathews. This is an imploding club that has now lost eight games in a row.

One of the most overlooked, less-appreciated developments in the midst of the downfall has been Tate's play. He is fighting through broken ribs, which has to cause immense pain to breathe, much less absorb punishment from NFL front sevens.

Tate is in a contract year, and his recent comments suggest that he may have one foot out the door of Houston. At least when he steps onto the field, it doesn't show.

Whether that's fueled by performance incentives he may reap the benefits of in free agency, being a consummate professional or a little bit of both, is unclear.

What is certain is that Tate will enjoy an excellent, 100-plus-yard performance in Week 12 when he faces the Jacksonville Jaguars' last-ranked rush defense.

Projected Numbers: 24 carries, 140 yards, 2 TDs

 

Kendall Wright, WR, Tennessee Titans

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 17:  Wide receiver Kendall Wright #13 of the Tennessee Titans runs with the ball against the New York Jets at LP Field on December 17, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The 2012 first-round pick is starting to reflect his value in Tennessee. Despite only one touchdown on the season to date, Wright is leading the Titans with 59 receptions and 660 yards.

NFL Network's Mike Mayock made an interesting comparison between Wright and Minnesota Vikings star Greg Jennings:

There are similarities in some of Wright's qualities, as he's smaller at 5'10" and 191 pounds but has the speed to be a deep threat and the finesse to run precise routes.

Ryan Fitzpatrick sought out Wright for 12 targets, and completed nine of them for 80 yards in last week's loss to Indianapolis. In facing the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, Fitzpatrick—who completed 22-of-28 passes against the Colts—should find success against a worse pass defense.

The Raiders are 25th versus the pass, and Wright can beat any Oakland defensive back in a one-on-one scenario.

Projected Numbers: 10 receptions, 125 yards, TD

 

John Carlson, TE, Minnesota Vikings

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 07: John Carlson #89 of the Minnesota Vikings carries the football during the game against the Washington Redskins on November 7, 2013 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Phot
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

With last year's Pro Bowl MVP Kyle Rudolph out with a foot injury, it's up to Carlson to be the go-to target down the seam and underneath.

Carlson has filled in admirably for Rudolph as the No. 1 tight end and had a breakout performance of sorts when he hauled in seven catches for 98 yards and a touchdown in Week 10's Thursday night victory over Washington.

Whether it's Christian Ponder—who was benched in Week 11—or Matt Cassel starting under center, neither QB has a ton of arm talent to stretch the field with the league's best.

That will create a lot of situations where Carlson can be counted on. The NFC North rival Green Bay Packers host the Vikings at Lambeau Field and are better against the run than the pass.

Adrian Peterson can establish the ground game, so Carlson should see at least seven targets for the third game in a row.

Projected Numbers: 7 receptions, 75 yards, TD

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