Fantasy Football: 6 Sleepers for Week 11
The word "sleeper" gets thrown around a lot in the world of fantasy football, to the point where an actual definition may vary from person to person. In general, sleepers are NFL players who may be flying relatively under the radar in a particular field. That could be an under-rostered player in season-long leagues, a player with an exciting matchup in a given week, or even a potential star just ahead of their true breakout.
In any case, we all need to find a sleeper from time to time. Whether you're a fantasy football hipster looking to roster an exciting new player before your league-mates hear about him, a daily fantasy manager looking for a lower-salary player to fill out a lineup loaded with studs, or even just a manager in a pinch due to byes or injuries, we have you covered. We'll be bringing you six fantasy sleepers each and every week throughout the season.
Fantasy Football Week 11 Sleepers
Will Levis, QB, Tennessee Titans
FanDuel Salary: $6,600
Things haven't been easy for rookie quarterback Will Levis since he took over quarterbacking duties for the Tennessee Titans. The 2023 second-round pick has been under constant pressure, absorbing 10 sacks in just three appearances. Fortunately, he may catch a bit of a breather this week against the flailing Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Jags are allowing the third-most fantasy points per game to opposing passers. In recent weeks, two of their foes have set season-highs in passing yardage and two more have reached their third-best marks. This could be a nice get-right spot for the rookie, whose most recent games since his shocking debut have left something to be desired.
Quentin Johnston, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
FanDuel Salary: $6,200
If you didn't watch the Los Angeles Chargers' Week 10 game and just read the box score, rookie receiver Quentin Johnston might look like great pickup in fantasy football. If you did watch the game, you might feel otherwise. Despite his solid production (4 catches for 34 yards and a touchdown) Johnston was a bit of a disaster during the game, prompting broadcaster Tony Romo to call the rookie's knowledge of the playbook into question.
Still, you don't have to like a player's game to roster them in fantasy football. Johnston has an enormous opportunity ahead of him as a starting wide receiver on one of the most prolific passing offenses in the league. The banged-up Chargers don't have many other options to consider in the passing game, which forces looks the rookie's way. Johnston is still finding his footing in the NFL and could blossom into a solid starter in the coming weeks with the high volume of reps he'll be seeing in Los Angeles.
Jayden Reed, WR, Green Bay Packers
FanDuel Salary: $6,000
On the flip side of the same game, we have another rookie in Green Bay Packers second-rounder Jayden Reed. Unlike Johnston, Reed has already posted solid numbers at various points throughout his rookie campaign. The issue for Reed has been playing time -- the Packers' wide receiver rotation has led to the former Michigan State Spartans wideout averaging just over 50% of the team's offensive snaps per game.
Fortunately, Reed has demonstrated an ability to produce efficiently despite limited volume. His 1.88 yards per route run leads all Packers pass-catchers and ranks fifth-best in the strong 2023 receiver draft class. He has topped 80 receiving yards twice in the Packers' last three games and is making a strong case to earn even more playing time going forward.
He might not need a bump in playing time to have a solid Week 11 outing. The Packers are facing the Chargers, whose defense is allowing the fifth-most fantasy points per game (32.8) to opposing wideouts. They've fielded one of the worst defenses in the NFL this season, meaning the Packers' skill position players (like Reed) should be able to produce efficiently, even on limited targets.
Ty Chandler, RB, Minnesota Vikings
FanDuel Salary: $5,900
Ty Chandler is set up for a potentially career-defining opportunity in Week 11. After spending the first half of the season toiling on special teams behind Minnesota Vikings teammates Alexander Mattison and Cam Akers, the speedy second-year back could now become the team's starting running back -- for this coming weekend and perhaps beyond. Akers suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in Week 9 while Mattison suffered a concussion in Week 10 and currently isn't practicing. This could leave Chandler alone atop the team's running back depth chart against the Denver Broncos.
Chandler ran a blazing fast 4.39-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine a year ago and should see a significant number of carries this week. He already seemed to be mixing in for touches before Mattison's concussion last week and tallied 15 total touches in the win. Plus, he'll draw a tissue-soft matchup against the Broncos' helpless run defense that is allowing a league-high 29.8 fantasy points per game to opposing backs. With a strong enough performance here, Chandler could earn himself a starting-caliber role in Minnesota's offense down the stretch.
Rico Dowdle, RB, Dallas Cowboys
FanDuel Salary: $5,000
Whether or not fans of Tony Pollard want to hear it, his backup is having a pretty nice season with the Dallas Cowboys. Almost mirroring the way we saw Pollard outshine lead back Ezekiel Elliott for years, we're now seeing Rico Dowdle shine as the backup while Pollard hits a wall. Dowdle may or may not earn an increased role in Dallas' offense going forward, but he could see a significant number of carries on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers either way.
Dowdle handled 12 carries once last week's game against the New York Giants got out of hand and could find similar work this week, as FanDuel Sportsbook's NFL odds have the Cowboys as 10.5-point favorites in Week 11. The Panthers' rushing defense is on almost equal footing with Denver's, as well. They're allowing 27.3 fantasy points per game to running backs (second-most) and actually hold the honor of being the worst rushing defense in numberFire's schedule-adjusted metrics.
Dowdle should get plenty of garbage time carries against a terrible rushing defense, giving him a chance to post efficient fantasy numbers as the Cowboys close out what should be an easy win.
This column usually sticks to just six sleepers each week, but I wanted to highlight two players who could be worth monitoring with possible role changes on the horizon.
The Buffalo Bills recently fired offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey in the wake of run game struggles and fumbles and have had Leonard Fournette ramping up on their practice squad. He could see increased usage going forward if the team makes changes to their offense.
The Philadelphia Eagles' run game was white-hot to start the season but seriously cooled off in the weeks preceding their bye. The duo of D'Andre Swift and Kenneth Gainwell lost efficiency as the weeks dragged on, so the team could shake things up. They've had Rashaad Penny -- who was a star for the Seattle Seahawks when healthy -- riding pine for most of the season. His fresh legs could give them the boost they need to finish the season off strong.
Tyler Conklin, TE, New York Jets
FanDuel Salary: $4,800
It brings me nothing but stress to recommend a pass-catcher on a Zach Wilson-led offense, but New York Jets tight end Tyler Conklin is getting too many targets to ignore at one of the thinnest positions in fantasy football. He's averaging over six targets per game in Jets losses -- and the Jets lose a lot.
They should face quite a deficit on the scoreboard this week against Bills' strong offense. But while the Bills' offense has generally performed well this year, their defense has lost key players all across the formation. Their injuries should help Wilson complete a few passes this week, which could mean a nice fantasy day for the team's second-leading receiver behind Garrett Wilson.
The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.