Week 13: Sleepers
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Dalton's ownership rate at ESPN.com is down to 47-percent. The Bengals are coming off a bye, so that might have something to do with it, but Dalton has also been extremely volatile in recent weeks. In his last three games, he has five TD passes, eight INTs and one fumble lost. He has passed for 338, 274 and 93 yards in that span, respectively. All this said, Dalton remains a Top 10 fantasy QB. Cincinnati must still lean heavily on their passing game, which ranks 10th in the NFL. In Week 13, the Bengals head out west to face San Diego's generous pass defense. The Chargers conceded eight passing TDs and nearly 1,200 passing yards in their last three games. Double check the waiver wire for Dalton and you might find yourself a fantasy starter for Week 13.
McCown is coming off an excellent showing against the St. Louis Rams in which he passed for 352 yards and two TDs. He did turn the ball over twice (one INT and one fumble lost); however, the 34-year-old continues to outplay expectations and projections based on the matchup. This week, the Bears travel to Minnesota to face fantasy football's second-worst defense against opposing QBs. The Vikings have allowed 23 passing TDs this year and that's the most of any team. In their last five contests, Minnesota is averaging 291 yards and two TDs. McCown should have no problems producing at least a moderately good stat line as a low QB1 in Week 13.
Fantasy owners who have been starting Vereen were overextended these last two weeks and were fortunate to have Stevan Ridley fumble away his playing time yet again last week. Vereen now becomes an immediate impact player with RB1 potential since the Patriots will likely increase his workload and snap count. It wasn't just Ridley fumbling away the ball either, with LeGarrette Blount also gave away a fumble last week. Considering Vereen is averaging about eight receptions and 60 receiving yards per game in his three contests this year, he is a must-start in PPR. These are Darren Sproles type numbers. Anything Vereen gains on the ground should be viewed as a bonus. One small concern is whether the Pats opt to increase the playing time of Brandon Bolden as well, but knowing the rotation is always impossible when dealing with New England. Plug Vereen into your starting lineup for Week 13 and don't look back.
You know we are in the waning weeks of the regular season when the likes of Ogbonnaya is starting to get play as a possible sleeper. To the fourth-year back's credit, he is the only Cleveland back to see more than 43-percent of snaps in each of their last three games. His four carries for just 26 yards last week are obviously not very good, but Ogbonnaya did average 6.5 yards per carry, more than double what Willis McGahee and Fozzy Whittaker produced. He is also seeing quality looks as a pass-catcher with 16 receptions over his last four games. His two fumbles lost in his previous two contests are a red flag though. Ogbonnaya is not going to crack the starting lineups for most teams, but he is the featured back in Cleveland and that still counts for something. The Browns should continue to expand his role since he's the only back putting up stats.
Generally speaking, it is best to err on the side of caution in fantasy football. There's no reason to pursue risk because every player already carries with him varying amounts of it. When it comes to Harvin though, he is one player who is talented enough and underappreciated enough to roll the dice with. Despite returning from injury in Week 11 and only catching a single pass for 17 yards, Harvin is worth consideration for Week 13. Back in Week 11, Harvin played on just 37-percent of snaps. Looking ahead to Sunday, Seattle has had a full week to implement and tweak the offense to allow Harvin to be more involved. He should be the focal point of their passing attack in larger and larger portions as each week passes as he is the team's best receiver by a long shot. Get on him now to make the most of it.