Week 13: Sleepers of the Week
If one of your normal starters is injured or facing a tough match-up, here are some players you might consider starting in their place. While these players may not be every week starters, they are good bets to perform well this week. Most of the players that will be listed are on fantasy rosters, but not normally starters.
Chad Henne and the Jacksonville Jaguars travel to Buffalo to take on the Bills in week 13. Henne has been excellent over the last two games, throwing for more than 600 yards and six touchdowns against the Texans and Titans. Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon have emerged as two good weapons for Henne, making it likely that he can keep his good play going for as long as he retains the starting job. Henne is available in almost 70 percent of fantasy leagues, and while he is not going to keep his three touchdown per game pace going, he does make for a good injury fill-in or play in 2 QB leagues. Fantasy owners can pick up the former Miami Dolphins quarterback and can expect him to throw for at 200 yards and at least one touchdown this week in Buffalo.
Jonathan Dwyer and the Pittsburgh Steelers travel to Baltimore to take on the Ravens in week 13. Dwyer was named the Steelers' starting running back for this week, following poor performances from everyone in the Pittsburgh backfield last week. Dwyer was not able to get it going in week 12, rushing nine times for just 19 yards, while also losing a fumble. This performance should not inspire confidence in fantasy owners, but he will be getting the first crack at the Ravens this week, making him a good play as a gamble in fantasy leagues. The Ravens rush defense is currently ranked 25th in the league, giving up nearly 130 yards per game on the ground. In their week 11 matchup, Dwyer touched the ball 15 times for 81 yards, but was unable to find the endzone. This week should be different, and fantasy owners can expect at least 75 yards and a touchdown from the Steelers running back.
Rashad Jennings and the Jacksonville Jaguars travel to Buffalo to take on the Bills in week 13. Jennings has been in and out of the starter's role for the Jaguars since the injury to Maurice Jones-Drew, but even when he has gotten the start, has been mostly ineffective on the season. Jennings was benched the last two games for Jacksonville, but was forced to take over for Jalen Parmele following an injury last week. Jennings came off the bench and rushed 16 times for 43 yards and a touchdown against the Titans. He has a better matchup this week against a Bills defense that currently ranks 30th in the NFL, giving up nearly 150 yards per game on the ground. Desperate fantasy owners can start Rashad Jennings this week and can expect 80 yards and a touchdown.
Felix Jones and the Dallas Cowboys take on the Philadelphia Eagles in week 13. Jones is coming off a six carry, 14 yard performance against the Washington Redskins, but was able to salvage his fantasy day by catching three passes for 47 yards and a touchdown. The Cowboys have been hoping for a return from DeMarco Murray this week, but while it looks like he may try to practice on Wednesday, it is still up in the air as to whether he will try to give it a go on Sunday. If Murray is unable to play, Jones should be considered a good Flex play or weak RB 2 option in fantasy leagues. His ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, and Dallas' lack of any other major threats at the running back position will ensure that Jones touches the ball close to 15 times again this week. Fantasy owners can start Jones and can expect 80 total yards and one touchdown.
Marcel Reece and the Oakland Raiders return home to take on the Cleveland Browns in week 13. Reece has been excellent since taking over for the injured Darren McFadden, breaking the 100 total yard mark in each of the last three games, but has been unable to find the endzone in any of these games. The Raiders seem to think that McFadden will return this week, but that does not make Reece worthless in fantasy leagues, especially in point per reception leagues. If McFadden does return, he should be a little rusty, meaning that Reece will still be in the mix for carries, and receptions out of the Raiders backfield. The Browns defense is allowing nearly 120 rushing yards per game, 18th in the league. Fantasy owners should have Marcel Reece in their lineups this week, even if Darren McFadden does return, and can expect 70 total yards and a touchdown from the Raiders backup running back.