Fantasy Football Week 11: Matt Camp's Top Sleepers at Every Position
The 2019 season has quietly been one of the worst to find long-term help on the fantasy football waiver wire. That's why it's more important than ever to find one-week wonders to plug and play, even if you have no intentions of keeping them on your roster.
It's been pretty easy to use this tactic for quarterbacks, as streaming can be done weekly with great success. Daniel Jones was featured in last week's sleepers article and wound up as QB2 for Week 10. Ryan Tannehill was also in that article and checked in at QB11. That's two names you could have snagged off the waiver wire who provided starting-caliber numbers. Derek Carr is in that conversation this weekend.
Kareem Hunt may not have been easy to grab off the waiver wire heading into Week 10, and you might have needed a little push to move him into your starting lineup. The same could be said for Tarik Cohen. Both appeared in last week's article and came through if you used them. Hunt was RB12, while Cohen was RB16.
These moves won't always work out, but there's enough evidence to show a one-week pickup can lead to a victory. These replacements might be slotted into a flex position but wind up turning into a top performer. The waiver wire is your friend if you stay vigilant.
Kyle Allen, QB, Carolina Panthers
Has Allen done enough for the Panthers to stick with him over Cam Newton in 2020? Who cares? We're worried about the here and now. Allen is coming off his first 300-yard effort of the season against the Green Bay Packers and heads into an even better matchup with the Atlanta Falcons in Week 11.
Yes, the Falcons defense actually came through with a solid performance in a win over Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints last week, but one good week doesn't erase what's been a season of bad defense. In the last month, the Falcons have shown enough improvement to be the 21st-best unit against quarterbacks, and yes, that is an improvement. For the season, Atlanta has been the fourth-easiest matchup for fantasy quarterbacks.
Strictly going off the matchup and Carolina having nothing more than an average defense, Allen should get enough volume to be at least a low-end starter. If he plays well, he has great upside potential.
Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders
The last time Carr was a part of this article, he hit for 285 yards and three touchdowns against the Houston Texans in Week 8. That 23.4-point outing made him QB7 that week, so we know he can take advantage of a favorable matchup. He gets that in the Bengals this weekend.
You won't be surprised to hear the last winless team in the league is struggling to stop the pass. During the last four weeks and in the 2019 season as a whole, Cincinnati is the third-easiest matchup for fantasy quarterbacks.
While facing a vulnerable defense is usually enough to boost a quarterback in a sleeper spot, Carr's recent play also makes him a little easier to trust. In his last four games, Carr has thrown for at least 285 yards three times and has an 8-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. In fact, Carr has just four interceptions on the entire season.
The Raiders are rolling, Carr is playing well and the Bengals are ripe for the picking, so rolling with Carr for Week 11 makes a lot of sense.
Randall Cobb, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Before Week 10, Cobb had just two games with at least 50 receiving yards. He hadn't scored since Week 1 and had posted at least five receptions on only two occasions. Cobb wrecked the Vikings by catching six of eight targets for 106 yards and a touchdown. He now has back-to-back games with eight targets and six receptions.
The Cowboys should give Cobb another solid target share when he gets a crack at the Detroit Lions defense. The Lions have been the 10th-easiest matchup for wide receivers in the last month. The Cowboys almost always feature Cobb out of the slot, so he could wind up as the biggest beneficiary of those facing this vulnerable secondary.
The combination of recent success and an exploitable defense makes Cobb usable. He should be a strong flex option with a path toward another top-25 WR performance.
Ryan Griffin, TE, New York Jets
While the fantasy world waited and waited and waited for Chris Herndon to get on the field, Griffin posted some decent performances in recent weeks. Now that Herndon is out of the picture once again, Griffin can resume acting as the team's top tight end.
Before Herndon returned to action in Week 10, Griffin posted 12.1 fantasy points per game in his previous four games and was playing at a top-five level during that span. There appeared to be some trust developing between Griffin and Sam Darnold, so hopefully the two can get back on track in Week 11.
You shouldn't feel threatened by Griffin's opponent. The Washington Redskins have been a pretty average defense against tight ends. Griffin should contribute as an effective chain-mover and red-zone target for Darnold.
The hunt for help at tight end feels like a weekly, ongoing process unless you're lucky enough to have one of the handful of reliable ones. Griffin is as good of an option as any tight end who might be on your waiver wire right now.
Brian Hill, RB, Atlanta Falcons
In a sign of the times, Hill was likely the top waiver wire pickup of the week. With Ito Smith on the injured reserve, Hill assumed the No. 2 duties in the Falcons backfield behind Devonta Freeman. Unfortunately for Freeman and the Falcons, the veteran running back went down with a foot injury, which opened the door for Hill to move to the top of the depth chart.
Hill ran for 61 yards on 20 carries and turned two targets into a 10-yard touchdown reception in the upset victory over the New Orleans Saints. Freeman’s foot injury has kept him out of practice this week, so Hill appears to be in line to face the Carolina Panthers as the unquestioned starter.
You might not be interested in a player who until recently was operating as Atlanta's third running back. Opportunity is now what matters to Hill, and sometimes timing is everything. If Hill is leading the way with Freeman out, he’d be doing so against the easiest possible matchup for fantasy running backs over the last month. Carolina's run defense has been a problem all season, as evidenced by the team ranking 29th in fantasy points allowed to backs.
Not every backup stepping in for a reliable starter will come through for fantasy (looking at you, Lions), but Hill should at least be a solid RB2 for this weekend. Any future value will depend on the health of Freeman.
Raheem Mostert, RB, San Francisco 49ers
It's never a bad idea to get a piece of the 49ers backfield. San Francisco has the second-best rushing attack in league at 161.8 yards per game along with 13 rushing touchdowns (tied for third). Mostert could be in line for a bigger role in that productive backfield if Matt Breida's ankle injury is bad enough to keep him out in Week 11. Mostert has a knee issue, but there's no concern about his playing status.
Mostert has just two games with double-digit carries, and those came when Tevin Coleman was inactive. To his credit, Mostert ran for 162 yards on 25 carries in those contests, so when he was called on to take on more touches, he responded. Since that game in Week 3, Mostert has just 27 carries in the last six games for 133 yards and a touchdown.
Even though Coleman would likely lead the way, when both active, Breida and Coleman had four games with each player registering at least 11 carries. The volume and success of this rushing attack make Mostert worth considering even if he's the No. 2 option in this backfield for Week 11. Of course, it doesn't hurt he'll be facing the fourth-best matchup for running backs in the Arizona Cardinals.
Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers
You might call Samuel's inclusion in this group of sleepers a case of chasing points, but that would be overlooking the reasons for Samuel's uptick in role and production. George Kittle sat out Week 10 and is in danger of missing Week 11 due to a knee injury. Emmanuel Sanders left Week 10 with a rib injury that could be bad enough to take him out of the Week 11 lineup. You can throw Dante Pettis (back) and Matt Breida (ankle) onto the pile, too.
What all those injuries mean is that Samuel's eight receptions, 112 yards and 11 targets from Week 10 might be needed in Week 11. If the 49ers want to feature Samuel, he's proved he can handle it, and it definitely helps to be taking on a poor Arizona Cardinals pass defense.
It's always a smart move to get a piece of an offense that ranks fourth in scoring and ninth in yards per game. Fire up Samuel with potential WR2 expectations, especially if Sanders and Kittle don't play.