Week 13 is a critical one for fantasy owners. As we approach the end of the regular season in many fantasy football leagues, this week could determine which teams make the postseason as well as playoff seeding. The good news is that we are finally done with the dreaded bye weeks. However, there are still plenty of quarterbacks who can be considered sleepers this week. If you have a quarterback whose Week 13 status is still in question like Mitchell Trubisky or one who has underwhelmed and has a bad matchup like Tom Brady, these players may be worth a look this week. Here are my Week 13 quarterback sleepers.
Week 13 Quarterback Sleepers
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys v. New Orleans Saints
Dak Prescott has been on quite an impressive run lately. And I do mean “run”. Prescott rushed for his fifth touchdown in the past six games in last week’s victory against Washington. He has now finished as a top-eight fantasy quarterback in four of his last six games. Banking on a rushing touchdown from a quarterback is not always a wise strategy, but Prescott is facing a New Orleans Saints team that has allowed four rushing touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks this season. That number is tied for the most in the NFL. Even if Prescott does not find the end zone on the ground, he should be able to put up plenty of fantasy points in this matchup.
New Orleans has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. The 8.39 yards per attempt enemy quarterbacks have averaged is the third-highest in the league. Dallas will try to establish Ezekiel Elliott, but odds are that Prescott will have to throw more than usual in order to keep up with the potent Saints’ offense. This game has one of the highest implied totals on the slate with Dallas as a rather large underdog. Facing this type of game flow would likely result in a more pass-oriented approach. That should help raise the floor in the event he does not rush for another touchdown. Though I would not count on another top-eight performance, that mark is certainly within his range of outcomes. That is why Dak Prescott is one of my favorite Week 13 quarterback sleepers.
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans
Baker Mayfield has led a resurgent Cleveland Browns team to respectability this season. Cleveland won its first road game since 2015 and has its first winning streak since 2014. From a fantasy standpoint, Mayfield has produced as well. He has consecutive overall QB5 finishes and has been a top-six fantasy quarterback in three of his last five games. Mayfield has a chance to keep that momentum going in Week 13 when Cleveland travels to Houston to take on the Texans.
The matchup may not be ideal, as Houston allows the seventh-fewest fantasy points to the quarterback position. But Marcus Mariota just finished as last week’s QB6 against Houston, throwing for over 300 yards with a lone incompletion on his ledger. This game may also be one where we see a little bit of a letdown from the Texans. They have put themselves in position to essentially salt away the division with a Week 14 win against Indianapolis, so they may be looking past the Browns a bit. Cleveland’s offense is in a nice rhythm right now and could give Houston problems. Baker Mayfield should be able to produce a solid fantasy day in this game.
Colt McCoy, Washington Redskins v. Philadelphia Eagles
Colt McCoy made his first start in four years on Thanksgiving Day, finishing as last week’s QB22 in Washington’s loss in Dallas. McCoy did have 268 passing yards and two scores, but three interceptions were his undoing. The veteran will look to take better care of the ball and improve on that effort this weekend when Washington hosts the Philadelphia Eagles.
The defending Super Bowl Champions have been an up and down team all season long. They have yet to post consecutive victories and have been ravaged by injuries on both sides of the ball. Philadelphia has been so decimated in the secondary that wide receivers were playing defensive backs in last week’s practices. In part due to the injuries, their defense has simply not been the same. After finishing fourth last season with 31 takeaways, the Eagles enter Week 13 with just eight takeaways on the year, leading only the San Francisco 49ers in that category. McCoy’s aggressive style combined with the Eagles’ issues on the backend could be a boost to his outlook for this week.
McCoy has also shown the ability to make plays on the ground. In less than a game and a half, McCoy has rushed for 63 yards. He is not necessarily someone I would be excited about pinning my fantasy playoffs on, but you could certainly do worse when looking for Week 13 quarterback sleepers. Among the quarterbacks likely to play this weekend are Jeff Driskel, Cody Kessler, Chase Daniel, Josh McCown, and Nick Mullens. Quarterback gets ugly quickly. Colt McCoy may not have the ceiling that the other quarterbacks on this list possess, but he could be the ugly duckling that leads you to a Week 13 victory.
Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins
Josh Allen returned to action following a month-long absence due to a shoulder injury. He returned in grand fashion, emerging from last week’s game as the overall QB3. Allen’s outing raised some eyebrows, as it came against Jacksonville’s vaunted defense. Last week’s effort was his second elite fantasy finish. The other came against an equally stout Minnesota defense. Go figure. In each of those games, Allen posted 15.9 fantasy points in rushing production alone. That is not a reliable benchmark, of course. But it highlights the potential that Allen possesses. He has another chance to flash that upside when Buffalo faces the Miami Dolphins in Week 13.
The rushing numbers are what gives fantasy players hope, but the rookie’s passing skills and opportunity still leave plenty to be desired. Allen has thrown for just 992 yards in seven games. For reference, eight different quarterbacks have eclipsed 1,000 passing yards in the last four weeks. When you consider that over half of the league’s teams have had their bye week during that time frame, it shines quite a negative light on Allen’s lack of passing prowess. That basement floor is evident when looking at Allen’s weekly finishes. In the five games in which he has failed to produce top-four results, he has finished outside the top-25. In fantasy, the rookie has been all or nothing. Because of that volatility, Allen is far from a safe play. But for those who own Trubisky or are playing in deeper leagues, Josh Allen may be someone worth considering this week.
Mick Ciallela has been writing for FantraxHQ since July 2017. He has also written for Bleacher Report. He is a lifelong sports fan and has been an avid fantasy sports player for many years. Mick was the Overall Champion of both the 2016 Football Challenge – Roto and 2017 Play 3 Football contests hosted by CDM Sports. Mick was born and raised in Mount Vernon, New York and currently resides in New London, Connecticut.
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