Rank's 11 Week 13 Sleepers


One of my favorite moments in wrestling happened right after Steve Austin won the 1996 King of the Ring and dropped his infamous "Austin 3:16" promo. Austin was given the title (spoiler alert, wrestling is scripted drama) when HHH was being disciplined for an incident that happened at Madison Square Garden. Austin would go on to be one of the best wrestlers of all-time by taking advantage of his opportunity.

I'm not going to predict Austin Ekeler will have similar success as he fills in for Melvin Gordon in Week 13. But, he's going to have an opportunity in primetime to make his presence felt. And really, he just needs to look across the field to the opposing sideline to find another running back who made the most of his chance this season.

There is reason for optimism from Ekeler. He has the most scrimmage yards (763) in the NFL among players with one-or-fewer starts this season. He's also been more efficient than Gordon this year. He's averaging 7.5 yards-per-touch, compared to 6.4 for Gordon. He will also be joined by Justin Jackson in the Chargers backfield and if you have room for a stash, you might want to add him considering we still aren't 100 percent sure if Ekeler will maintain his role and Jackson gets more run.

I'm pulling for Ekeler, though. And I'm hoping that in the near future, Austin 3:16 will say, "I just won a league title for you."

Anyway, here are nine more guys who could help you this week or in the near future.

Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns

We've all heard about how much better Baker has played since the change at offensive coordinator and whatnot. But, it's pretty incredible. Baker sent from a 8:6 TD:INT rate, to 9:1. I'm not so worried about the Texans defense (coming off a Monday night game) that I would be scared off. And, this is the kind of game that I could see with a high ending point total, as both clubs vie for a playoff spot.

Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills

Allen was dealing last week. It's impressive given the utter lack of weapons around him that he was able to look pretty good moving the ball against the Jaguars. His 99 rushing yards was the most by a Bills quarterback since the merger, and the second-most by a quarterback in a game this season (Lamar Jackson, of course, a few weeks ago). The Dolphins rank 29th in total defense, though they are slightly better against the pass (21st).

Case Keenum, QB, Denver Broncos

I'm not sure if the Bengals have exactly switched places with the Cleveland Browns, but it's getting close. So, I love to stream the quarterbacks against Cincinnati, who have allowed the most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season (23.5). But let's not be too tough on Keenum who has started to play better in recent weeks. He's had at least 15 points in three of his last four games. If you're in need of a huge contrarian play, here's your guy.

Matt LaCosse, TE, Denver Broncos

You may also take Keenum's tight end, too. He scored a season-high 9.4 fantasy points last week and I understand where you might have some apprehension about chasing the fantasy points. It's like looking in the fridge right now and wonder if that stuffing will have still kept in what is now just of a week. But, you're probably going to be all right. I like LaCosse mostly for the reasons I wrote about with the Bengals. Cincy is last in total defense, scoring defense and third-down conversions. Cincinnati is allowing the fifth-most YPG (68.4) and ninth-most PPR points per target (1.61) to the position.

LeGarrette Blount, RB, Detroit Lions

My producer on NFL Fantasy Live tried to talk me out of advocating Blount last week against the Bears. Here's something you need to understand: You can be a dominating defense, but still allow a couple of players to get some easy fantasy points. I'm confident Blount will be able to get after the Rams in this contest.

David Moore, WR, Seattle Seahawks

Hey, if you ever run into Doug Baldwin, please tell him that we miss him. But Baldwin did kind of warn us coming into the season, so I can't be super heated. Moore has been pretty good recently, the recipient of at least five targets in three of the last four games. He's actually become a preferred performer near the goal line, as he's logged seven red zone targets this year. That's second among Seahawks receivers.

Josh Doctson, WR, Washington

The Eagles secondary is banged up. Which is kind of an understatement. It's like saying Jinder Mahal is jacked. There are obvious things that you don't need to say, and yet, here we are saying such things. Or at least writing them. But here's my deal, I'm going to look to see if I can get Doctson in some spots this weekend. He got some targets last year. He's scored in two of his last four. Please don't @ me to see if you should start him mover OBJ because he's playing the Bears. Because you totally should.

Dante Pettis, WR, San Francisco 49ers

I have to admit I'm a little biased with this one. His dad played for the Angels. My Angels. And I remember Pettis when he was a super-start at JSerra High School out where I live in Orange County. So I've been watching him for a while. He had a nice game against the Buccaneers in Week 12. His production will be tied to Nicky Mullens, who didn't do very well at Tampa Bay. My conjecture is he had to deal with all of his friends and family wanting tickets, so his focus was probably a little off. Playing in Seattle will be no easy feat. And now I'm wondering why I have him listed here at all. Well, he does figured to be right behind George Kittle in targets, so there is that.

Indianapolis Colts DST

I met Cody Kessler at the NFLPA Rookie Premiere. We bonded over our love of the "Impractical Jokers" which means we're friends for life. So I love this guy like he's Murr, Sal, Joe, Q and Joey. That's right, I put Joey Fatone in as one of the IJs. Despite all of that, and my sincere desire that Kessler can be a starting quarterback in the NFL, I'm going to remain skeptical.