By Week 11, the bye weeks are over and the playoff picture is becoming clear in your league(s). You are either researching waiver wire sleepers because you a) need someone with upside to win a key Week 11 battle, or b) you are in the playoffs already and are looking down the road to guys who can help you win a championship.
So my goal with this week’s waiver wire sleeper column is to satisfy both searches.
Some of the guys below are excellent Week 11 choices while others are more longer-term type plays. Regardless, I think all of the guys discussed below have the ability to help you better your chances at playoff success – either getting there or winning there – and that’s what it’s all about.
Fantasy Football Week 11 Sleepers
There are no teams on bye in Week 11!
Remember, the rules for this post are: a player must be owned in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues to be included; and, I focus on players’ value for Week 11, although I’ll recommend players with poor matchups or outlooks if they especially stand out as valuable long-term acquisitions.
Fantasy Football Week 11 Sleepers: Quarterback
Matt Cassel, Kansas City (v Arizona, 45%)
Brett Favre has been starting football games in the NFL since before many of you were born, and he’s had only two 400-yard passing games. One of them came two weeks ago against the Arizona Cardinals, despite the fact that he was getting hit repeatedly, was still missing Sidney Rice, no longer had Randy Moss, and had a #1 target – Percy Harvin – who was running on a bum ankle.
So…starting the QB facing Arizona is a good idea. The Cardinals give up 250+ passing yards per game and at least a TD pass in every game. Matt Hasselbeck added 333 yards and a TD to the Cardinals pass D ledger in Week 10. Matt Cassel isn’t a great start every week, but he can take advantage of good matchups. And as his 469 yards and 4 TDs in the Chiefs’ Week 10 blowout showed, Cassel has some momentum you can build on.
Vince Young or Kerry Collins, Tennessee (v WAS, 35% and 2%)
It’s never clear from week-to-week which QB will be starting for the Titans. In Week 11, it doesn’t really matter because whoever starts will be throwing against a Washington pass D that is among the most generous in the NFL. With Randy Moss now on the roster, the Titans passing game has the deep threat it lost when Kenny Britt went down. This matchup warrants a start for either QB.
Shaun Hill, Detroit (at Dallas, 20%)
Hill has been very productive as a fill-in for the oft-injured Matthew Stafford this year. The Cowboys pass defense has been among the worst in the NFL in terms of giving up TDs as well as creating turnovers, which they simply do not do (or, at least, they didn’t before Week 10). As long as the Lions have Calvin Johnson, their QB will have value. With Nate Burleson and Brandon Pettigrew also in the mix, this is a passing game that can take advantage of good matchups.
Others to keep your eye on: Troy Smith threw for 300+ yards and a TD last week, and the Tampa Bay defense can be scored upon; Colt McCoy continues to be solid and account for at least one TD per week, so he’s not a bad option if you’re desperate.
Fantasy Football Week 11 Sleepers: Running Back
Darren Sproles, San Diego (v DEN, 40%)
I’m well aware that in Sproles’ last game, a seemingly tasty matchup versus Houston, he had only two touches and did nothing with them. I also realize that San Diego should have a healthier WR corps and Antonio Gates back in Week 11. And yes, I know that Darren Sproles is third on the third RB rung in San Diego, behind Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert.
But that matchup against Denver screams out with potential, for no defense in the NFL has been as generous to opposing running backs as the Broncos’ has been. In 7 career games against Denver, Sproles has scored three TDs, and it was just a few weeks ago that three Oakland running backs produced fantasy value against the Broncos. If you’re in a PPR league. Sproles could offer decent value in Week 11.
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