When identifying potential sleepers, snap count and target share are the name of the game. The difference between a player being a sleeper or just some bench piece is a very fine line. It is all about how productive a player can be with the limited looks that they receive. It is also important to consider their matchup and their team’s offensive scheme. The conclusion of Week 11 has left us with some more useful data points. Things are getting down to the nitty-gritty. The waiver wire is bone dry. So based on that, I’ve decided that there was a need to give you a couple more names to pick from. Without further adieu, here are six Week 13 sleepers who could provide a spark for your fantasy squad.
Week 13 Sleepers
Drake London- WR, Atlanta Falcons
With Kyle Pitts out for the season, all eyes are on Drake London. People want him to show what his ceiling could be as the top threat in the passing game. After last week’s performance, that ceiling remains to be seen. Raise your hand if you figured that it would be Olamide Zaccheaus to lead the team in receiving against the Commanders. Zaccheaus received an absurd eight targets, reeling in five for 91 yards. Looking at London’s four targets I’m willing to chalk this one up as a fluke. Those four targets represent London’s third-fewest looks on the season.
Drake’s matchup makes him one of the top Week 13 sleepers. It is highly likely that London is able to bounce back against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are coming off of a short week, just having played Monday Night Football. The Steelers secondary has been torched all season long. They represent the friendliest matchup for fantasy wide receivers. Look for the Falcons to dial up a few extra plays for London to get him going. The Steelers have a top-five run defense, so the Falcons’ game plan should be to attack them through the air.
Tyler Conklin- TE, New York Jets
The legend of Mike White continues. It’s official, the New York Jets can not play Zach Wilson ever again. When the BYU product is under center the team comes out very flat. Even Joe Flacco was able to breathe life into this offense. Mike White’s stellar play against the Bears last week closes the book on the Zach Wilson experiment. Also thanks to White’s stellar play, we can start rostering Jets again, yay! Garret Wilson looks like an every-week start once again, and now I think you can play Tyler Conklin again. At least you can this week.
Mike White does appear to have all the makings of a …. DAWGGGGG
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) November 27, 2022
I had to make sure that at least one of my Week 13 sleepers had a revenge game narrative. As much as the NFL is a business, you must understand that these players are still real people with real feelings. Conklin spent his first four seasons in Minnesota. He was great for the Vikings in relief, but a healthy Irv Smith and a freshly re-signed Johnny Mundt left Conklin as the odd man out. For the first time since being let go, Conklin gets to return to U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings are almost as bad (9th worst) at covering tight ends as the Steelers are at covering wide receivers. I’d imagine that Conklin will enjoy quite the homecoming with a capable QB under center.
Kendall Hinton- WR, Denver Broncos
Let me start by saying that it feels super gross to include a Bronco in my Week 13 sleepers list. But as the intro stated, pickings are slim. And as nasty as it may seem, Kendall Hinton fits the bill of a sleeper pick. With the absences of Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler, Hinton has seen his playing time and usage dramatically increase. In the three weeks before the Week 9 bye Hinton played 21%, 9%, and 2% of snaps. In Weeks 10-12 it has been a different story. He saw a season-high 96% in Week 10, 88% in Week 11, and 92% in last week’s loss to the Carolina Panthers. Kendall Hinton probably isn’t going to win games for the Denver Broncos. That doesn’t mean that he can’t help you win your fantasy matchup.
Last week Russell Wilson showed the world that he had a new favorite target. Hinton ended the day with a season-high 9 targets. He was able to corral five balls just 35 yards, adding one 13-yard rush. At the end of the day, those numbers aren’t sexy, but it does show promise for future games. The rushing attempt specifically catches my eye because it shows that he’s viewed as a chess piece in this offense. The Broncos have a sketchy Baltimore pass defense on tap for this week. As long as the Earth continues to revolve around the sun and rotate on its axis, the Bronco should be playing from behind, making Hinton an interesting sleeper pick.
Kareem Hunt- RB, Cleveland Browns
Get ready to hear the media talk non-stop about Deshaun Watson from now until the moment the Browns are eliminated from playoff contention. Unfortunately, thanks to the miraculous win over the Buccaneers last week, the Browns aren’t out of the playoff picture quite yet. This whole team really gets a bump with Deshaun Watson scheduled to be under center. I thought it best to mention the players who hadn’t been reaching their potential. Amari Cooper, David Njoku, Nick Chubb, and Donovan Peoples-Jones have all had productive seasons with Jacoby Brissett as the starter. I’m pleasingly surprised that Brissett was able to keep three pass catchers afloat, I just know that Watson can support a little bit more.
Browns wide receiver David Bell was also a candidate for this Week 13 sleepers spot, but I decided to talk more about Hunt. Kareem began the year pretty hot but has fizzled in the past few weeks or so. He was averaging 11 carries per game in the first five weeks of the season. That number has dropped to just 6 over the last six weeks. The reduction of carries isn’t that alarming because he is mainly used on passing downs anyway. The alarming part is that his targets have dropped right along with it. In the last three games, Hunt has only been targeted 5 times. That is night and day compared to the 10 his got in the first three games. Look for Watson to rely on his uber-athletic check down as he gains his footing in this offense and begins to build chemistry with his wide receivers.
Marvin Jones Jr.- WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
Not one, but two Week 13 sleepers with a revenge game narrative. I need to quit spoiling y’all. Marvin Jones is the WR3 on this team, there is no doubt about it. Christian Kirk is the clear number one, and Zay Jones has done enough to replace him as the two. That does not mean that Jones’ involvement has to disappear (1 TD last week). This is especially true now. Jacksonville Jaguars starting running back Travis Etienne left last week’s game with a foot injury. This is not the same foot that was operated on a year ago, which is good news for the organization. He has not been ruled out for this week yet, but it does not seem likely that he plays.
The news isn’t the worst for Jones either. The Jaguars have JaMychal Hasty and newly acquired Darrell Henderson. While Hasty performed well in Etienne’s stead, I wouldn’t beg him as likely for a repeat performance. With that being said the Jaguars may decide to lean more heavily on the passing game. Depending on how much not having Etienne throws this offense out of whack, the Jags could be playing from behind anyway, forcing them into the same pass-heavy script. When the Lions take the field, points go up, which makes Mr. Jones stand out to me as a sleeper for this week.
Isiah Pacheco- RB, Kansas City Chiefs
We end the Week 13 sleepers with Isiah Pacheco. He has now put up two double-digit fantasy scores in a row, playing in a pass-heavy offense. With Isiah getting hot, it’s almost hard to justify calling him a sleeper. I’m willing to do so because of his matchup. Pacheco will have to square up against a Bengals run defense that just limited Derrick Henry to 38 rushing yards on 17 attempts. So what makes me think that Pacheco can succeed where the mighty King Henry failed? It is all about priorities.
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) November 27, 2022
Last week the Bengals’ priority number one was limiting Derrick Henry on the ground. They did just that. While they clamped him on the ground, he beat them up through the air with three catches for 79 and a near TD. This is not me saying that Pacheco is going to go crazy and catch a million passes. Pacheco is going to have success because he’s not going to be priority number one. We saw it in the Chiefs’ last two meetings against the Bengals. Priority number one is stopping Patrick Mahomes. The Bengals found something they liked, which was playing two deep safeties and forcing Mahomes to throw underneath. That plan could be altered a bit now that Tyreek Hill isn’t a factor, but stopping Mahomes will remain the priority regardless. If the Chiefs recognize this, Pacheco could be in for another big game.