Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football Week 13: Top Sleeper Options for Key Playoff-Race Matchups

DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 24: Nate Burleson #13 of the Detroit Lions celebrates after scoring a touchdown on an 11 yard pass from quarterback Matthew Stafford #9 during the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Ford Field on November 24, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images
Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistNovember 26, 2013

The fantasy football postseason is right around the corner, which means the final push for playoffs spots is reaching a fever pitch. Making the right lineup decisions is going to make the difference between having a shot at the title and being eliminated from contention.

As always, a majority of the lineup choices are easy with fantasy owners leaning heavily on their stars to lead the way. But it's those remaining selections that lead to hours of internal debate before settling on a final decision right before kickoff.

To help with that process, let's examine some of the top sleeper options available for fantasy teams looking to fill a void in Week 13. They aren't top players, but they can provide solid production and could very well help push a team over the top.

 

Week 13 Sleepers

Fantasy Football Week 13 Sleepers
PositionPlayerTeam
QBJosh McCownChicago Bears
RBDonald BrownIndianapolis Colts
WRNate BurlesonDetroit Lions
TECharles ClayMiami Dolphins
KDan CarpenterBuffalo Bills
DMiami Dolphins
Fantasy Week 13

 

Top Sleeper Options

Josh McCown (Chicago Bears)

GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 04:  Josh McCown #12 of the Chicago Bears passes against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on November 4, 2013 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Bears defeated the Packers 27-20.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

McCown has been a pleasant surprise for the Bears following the injury to Jay Cutler. The starter remains sidelined with an ankle injury and Dan Hanzus of NFL.com reports he's likely to miss another week with a possible return in Week 14.

His absence opens the door for another McCown start. The journeyman is averaging over 16 fantasy points per game in the four games where he received a majority of the snaps, including an 18-point outing against the St. Louis Rams last week.

In Week 13, he gets to face a Minnesota Vikings pass defense that ranks 29th in the league at more than 280 yards allowed per game. Coming off a performance that saw him connect on 77 percent of his throws for 352 yards, expect the Bears to give him even more leeway this week.

 

Nate Burleson (Detroit Lions)

Burleson was a fantasy asset during the first month of the season, especially in PPR leagues. He racked up at least six catches in each of the first three games, including a 116-yard performance in his final game before suffering an arm injury.

He finally returned to action last week and he didn't miss a beat. Assuming his usual role in the Lions' high-powered offensive attack, he reeled in seven catches for 77 yards and a touchdown, immediately bringing him back onto the fantasy radar.

Opposing defenses are forced to focus on Calvin Johnson. They often have to double or even triple the dominant wideout, which in turn opens up more space for Burleson to work underneath. He should have another strong showing against the 20th-ranked Green Bay Packers pass defense.

 

Charles Clay (Miami Dolphins)

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 17:  Charles Clay #42 of the Miami Dolphins during their game at Sun Life Stadium on November 17, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Clay emerged as an intriguing option after scoring in double digits in three of the first five weeks. He's only scored at least 10 once over the past six weeks, however, causing a lot of fantasy owners to give up on him as he failed to build off the solid start.

While the Dolphins tight end is no longer a weekly starter in fantasy circles, he still possesses enough upside to be considered a matchup play. He's got a good one in Week 13 against the New York Jets, who rank 23rd against the pass.

Since getting the ground game on track has been such a major problem for the Dolphins, Ryan Tannehill will likely be going to the air a lot once again. It equals a high number of targets for Clay, and that makes him a good sleeper, at least for this week.

 

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