Fantasy Football Week 11 Cheat Sheet: Deep Sleepers to Target

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistNovember 14, 2018

Marcus Mariota is coming off two winning efforts against the Cowboys and Patriots.
Marcus Mariota is coming off two winning efforts against the Cowboys and Patriots.Mark Zaleski/Associated Press

Finding the right lineup for NFL Week 11 is a challenge for most fantasy football players. In addition to injuries and slumps that are a part of every football season, this a is a brutal week in terms of the bye.

Six teams are off, and that means fantasy general managers may have to fill in their rosters at multiple positions.

The New England Patriots are among those teams that are off this week, and GMs who have Tom Brady, James White, Julian Edelman, Rob Gordon or Rob Gronkowski on their teams will have to make key moves.

The Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers are also off this week, leading to additional lineup adjustments.

The season has reached a critical point for NFL teams and fantasy teams, as playoff spots are influenced with every game. We can't help NFL coaches with their lineup decisions and game plans, but we can help your fantasy team with the addition of these deep sleepers.

These players are currently on 40 percent or less of Yahoo rosters.


Deep Sleepers

QB Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans (30 percent)

QB Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (35 percent)

QB Eli Manning, N.Y. Giants (17 percent)

RB Rashaad Penny, Seattle Seahawks (18 percent)

RB Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts (26 percent)

RB Javorious Allen, Baltimore Ravens (33 percent)

WR Anthony Miller, Chicago Bears (15 percent)

WR Donte Moncrief, Indianapolis Colts (11 percent)

WR Josh Reynolds, Los Angeles Rams (4 percent)

TE Jeff Heuerman, Denver Broncos (7 percent)

TE Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles (6 percent)


QB Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts

Have you been paying attention to what is going on with the Tennessee Titans? After a halting 3-4 start to the season that included a 13-12 loss to the Buffalo Bills, the Titans have returned from the bye to beat the Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots in back-to-back weeks.

The win over the Cowboys was a 14-point Monday night road triumph, and they followed that up with a 24-point beat down of the Patriots.

Suddenly, the Titans are one game behind the Houston Texans in the AFC South and are breathing fire in the second half of the season.

There are several reasons for this turnaround, and a major step up by Marcus Mariota appears to be the most important. Mariota's season-long numbers are not overly impressive, but he has completed 67.3 percent of his passes. He has thrown for 1,498 yards (187.3 yards per game) and he has a 7-5 TD-interception ratio.

However, Mariota has been better against Dallas and New England. He threw for 240 and 228 yards, respectively, and he threw two TD passes in both games. He did not throw an interception in either game.

It's all systems go on Mariota at this point, and nobody is happier about it than rookie head coach Mike Vrabel. The Titans face an Indianapolis Colts team that is starting to play more competitive football as well, but the Colts are 4-5 and rank 23rd in yards allowed.

This game between two ascending teams could turn into something of a shootout, and Mariota is on track for his best game of the season.

Samuel Gold @SamuelRGold

TOUCHDOWN RASHAAD PENNY!!!! - Read-option handoff - Russell Wilson holds the end man for the cutback - First TD of Penny's career! #Seahawks #SEAvsLAR https://t.co/QXM935aZIz

RB Rashaad Penny, Seattle vs. Green Bay Packers

Many NFL observers had written off Pete Carroll and the Seahawks at the start of the season. The glory days of the franchise were over, and they were expected to be a third-place team behind the powerful Los Angeles Rams and the San Francisco 49ers.

The Niners stopped climbing after the Jimmy Garoppolo ACL injury, and while the Rams are as good or better than many observers expected, the Seahawks have proved to be a competitive team that has ignored preseason prognostications.

The Seahawks are 4-5 and second in the NFC West, and while they are outside the playoff structure, their overall position could improve this week if they can beat the Packers at home and the Minnesota Vikings lose to the Chicago Bears Sunday night.

The Seahawks would still trail the Vikings by half a game, but they would be in an excellent position to make a solid closing run.

Rashaad Penny has turned into a viable fantasy alternative as a result of Chris Carson's hip injury. Penny took his opportunity and ran with it against the Rams in Week 10 with 12 carries for 108 yards and a touchdown. That should mean that Penny will be a key contributor against the Packers and in ensuing weeks.

Carson could be back against the Packers Thursday night, but it won't be at Penny's expense. Carroll is touting the running back-by-committee approach, but he is not going to limit Penny after his most recent performance.

"When everybody's healthy, not everybody's going to get the ball a lot," Carroll said, per Gregg Bell of the Tacoma News-Tribune. "That's just the way it goes, so we'll figure that out."

Don't believe that for a second.

Make a bet on Penny being the man for the Seahawks against the 22nd-ranked run defense of the Packers. He looks like a winning fantasy deep sleeper for Week 11.

Chicago Bears @ChicagoBears

@Mtrubisky10's next TD 🎯? @AnthonyMiller_3. #DETvsCHI | #DaBears https://t.co/SqJTThGtFf

WR Anthony Miller, Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings

There are still several critics who don't believe in the Chicago Bears as a solid, winning NFL team. 

They are in first place in the NFC North, and rookie head coach Matt Nagy has a powerful defense led by pass-rush specialist Khalil Mack and rookie linebacker Roquan Smith. However, many look at their offense as a group that is in transition.

It's time to look again, as quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has made progress each week and was named NFC offensive player of the week after his 355-yard, three TD performance against the Detroit Lions in Week 10.

This does not mean that Trubisky will repeat that performance every week, but he has become a winning factor for the Bears.

He has a crew of solid receivers led by Allen Robinson, and rookie Anthony Miller is becoming an important factor in the game plan. Miller has explosive speed and can run away from tacklers after catching the ball. He has caught 24 passes for 332 yards and four touchdowns as the Bears prepare for the Vikings.

Miller is coming off an eye-opening game against the Lions when he caught five passes for 122 yards and a 45-yard TD. The Vikings are giving up 258.1 passing yards per game, and they may not be able to slow down the speedy rookie.


TE Jeff Heuerman, Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers

Jeff Heuerman may not be top of mind for even a small percentage of fantasy players, but he has a chance to be a complementary performer for the Broncos most weeks. 

Heuerman, a 6'5", 255-pound fourth-year player, is coming off an excellent 10-catch, 83-yard, one-TD game in Week 9 vs. the Houston Texans. The Broncos were on their bye in Week 10, and Heuerman figures to be part of the game plan Sunday against the Chargers.

He has caught 25-217-2 to this point, and the Chargers allow 263.8 passing yards per game. Heuerman will not be a priority for Gus Bradley's defense, and he has a chance to make a solid contribution in this matchup.