Week eleven is upon us, and we are in the fantasy football home stretch. In most leagues, there are just a handful of weeks left before the playoffs (and in some, it starts in just a couple). With byes dying out, it should get easier to stream. In practice, however, the attrition of the NFL season is starting to wear away at our top options, and underappreciated players are starting to become appreciated. Still, at this point last year, Russell Wilson was waiver wire fodder due to his disappointing start. It’s not too late to snag the next new hotness, and we are here to help. Here are three sleeper quarterbacks (owned in 50% of leagues or fewer for two, and at most 10% for the third, for you deep divers). All figures are based on Yahoo! ownership percentages as of Saturday.
Alex Smith (27% owned) versus Tampa Bay
The same caveat applies to Alex Smith that applies to every Alex Smith recommendation: don’t expect a high ceiling from Smith. Instead, if you have an otherwise high-variance team, then you need a decent base of points. He’s a good bet for somewhere between 15 and 17.5 points. Not great, but not terrible. The Buccaneers defense needs Herculean collapses like Jay Cutler and Derek Anderson to make their opposition look bad. Even with those meltdowns, the Bucs are allowing 19.39 fantasy points per game. Without those efforts, the Bucs have yielded 22.72 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks.
Colin Kaepernick (17% owned) versus New England
Kaepernick hasn’t been a great quarterback in his second stint as the 49ers’ starter. But he’s been a good fantasy quarterback. His worst game this season is 15 fantasy points, and has gone for 18, 23 and 23 in his other three games. His running gives him a good floor, going for at least 55 yards in three of four games (for an additional 5.5 fantasy points, or the equivalent of another passing touchdown and 150 yards). While New England is just outside the top ten in fantasy points to QBs, mobile QBs like Tyrod Taylor and Russell Wilson gave them fits (though Wilson rushed just three times). Their defense is struggling since inexplicably trading Jamie Collins, so Kaepernick is going to chip in some garbage time scores.
Brock Osweiler (10% owned) at Oakland
There are only two starting QBs this week who are owned in 10% or fewer of Yahoo! leagues: Brock Osweiler and Cody Kessler. Osweiler was trash last week but still chipped in two scores. The Texans’ defense is amazing and will be able to get Osweiler short field position against the Raiders, so he should be able to chip in a couple more scores. The weather is frightful for Steelers-Browns this weekend. Otherwise I would go Kessler. The Browns are going to turn to the ground game, and that will limit Kessler’s ceiling. If it were anywhere else, this would be a Kessler week.