November 8, 2023, 11:14 pm
In fantasy football, there are oftentimes players that go overlooked heading into a week of games. Sleepers are left on benches every single week, but sometimes that “big game from out of nowhere” could have been easily predicted and utilized in starting lineups. In this piece, I’ll be tiering and listing some of the sleepers I’ve identified ahead of Week 10 of the 2023 fantasy football season. If they’re on your bench, feel comfortable playing them over a starter with a worse outlook for Week 10. There’s also a chance they could be on the waiver wire, so snatch them up if you’re in need of their services.
I’ll be looking at players rostered in at least 50% of ESPN leagues and tier them in descending order of their percentage started on fantasy teams. In other words: the further down the list, the deeper the sleeper for Week 10’s matchups. If you’re looking for this week’s top waiver wire adds, check out this essential piece from Shane by clicking the link below!
Tier One: Started in 20-50% of fantasy leagues
WR Christian Kirk – Jacksonville Jaguars (90% rostered / 31% started)
Before putting up 8.6 PPR fantasy points in Week 8, Christian Kirk averaged 17.25 fantasy points between Weeks 2 and 7. Christian Kirk has been one of the most consistent receivers with one of the highest floors among other WRs in his same tier. Kirk and the Jaguars are going to be fresh coming off of their Week 9 bye as they roll into this week’s juggernaut matchup with the San Francisco 49ers. While the 49ers have a star-studded defense, they’ve been susceptible to allowing fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. The 49ers have given up the fourth-most PPR fantasy points to opposing WRs on the season, and Kirk should continue his streak of consistent fantasy value in Week 10.
RB Javonte Williams – Denver Broncos (85% rostered / 30% started)
Another playing coming fresh off of a bye week, Broncos RB Javonte Williams had his true breakout game the last time he touched the field in Week 8. In the team’s shocking upset win vs. the Kansas City Chiefs, Williams set season-highs in snap share and touches. He had his first true workhorse workload of the season in that game, logging 63% of the team’s RB snaps and recording a whopping 30 touches for 98 yards and a touchdown. That was against a stout Chiefs defense, while the well-rested Williams gets a date with the Buffalo Bills this week, whose defense has gotten leakier as the season’s progressed. They allow the 12th-most PPR fantasy points to opposing RBs on the season, and have allowed 20 RB receptions over the last three weeks. If Williams continues his increased workload in Week 10, he’ll at least be a mid-level RB2.
QB Geno Smith – Seattle Seahawks (60% rostered / 21% started)
Geno Smith is coming off of what was by far his worst game of the season in Week 9’s blowout loss to the Ravens’ elite defense. Smith totaled just 1.56 fantasy points on the day, throwing for just 157 yards, no touchdowns and an interception in the contest. However, Smith has a real shot to bounce back vs. the Commanders and their porous pass defense. Washington has surrendered the second-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks on the season. Smith has plenty of weapons to distribute it to at every level on the field, and he could submit his best performance since Week 2’s 27-point outing vs. the Lions.
Tier Two: Started in 10-20% of fantasy leagues
QB Will Levis – Tennessee Titans (35% rostered / 17% started)
Will Levis had an underwhelming second NFL start on Thursday Night Football in Week 9 vs. the Steelers. After airing it out and throwing four touchdowns in his NFL starting debut vs. the Falcons in Week 8, Levis had just 262 scoreless passing yards last week. Now, the Titans’ rookie QB will make his third consecutive start vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, whose pass funnel defense surrendered the greatest rookie QB performance ever to C.J. Stroud and his 470 passing yards and five touchdowns. Levis should be able to pick apart the Bucs’ miserable passing defense, who have allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks on the year.
RB Tyler Allgeier – Atlanta Falcons (51% rostered / 13% started)
On Monday’s press conference after Sunday’s loss to the Vikings, Falcons head coach Arthur Smith did all but endorse Tyler Allgeier as the team’s primary goal line back. The Falcons have been among the more surprisingly effective offenses of the 2023 season, and Allgeier has found some avenues to weekly fantasy success this year. Over the last five weeks, Allgeier has logged an average of nearly 16 touches per game, but has only seen the end zone once despite getting nearly all the goal-to-go carries. However, the matchup with the Cardinals in Week 10 is far and away the best matchup the Falcons RBs have has this season. Arizona has given up four rushing touchdowns over their last two games, and hopefully Allgeier can find the end zone in back-to-back weeks.
WR Demario Douglas – New England Patriots (25% rostered / 11% started)
Demario “Pop” Douglas is a 2023 sixth-round draft selection rookie WR for the Patriots who has seen quiet involvement in the Patriots’ messy passing game all season long. Over the last three weeks, though, Douglas has recorded 20 targets, with at least six in each contest. Injuries to the New England receiving group has left a vacancy for opportunities. While the passing game isn’t the most appealing by any means, Douglas has been a consistent part of the Pats’ game plan over the last few weeks. He’s led the team in WR snap share in each of the last two weeks, and set a career-high of 83% snap share in Week 9. New England gets a beatable matchup with the Colts’ defense in Week 10, and could see another decent workload and production in the realm of the WR3 conversation.
Tier Three: Started in 0-10% of fantasy leagues
RB Ezekiel Elliott – New England Patriots (37% rostered / 9% started)
Another New England Patriot that could provide more value in Week 10 than expected is secondary RB veteran Ezekiel Elliott. Zeke has had a consistent 40/60 split with lead back Rhamondre Stevenson, and has been the more effective back of the two at times this season. The Colts have surrendered the fifth-most PPR fantasy points to opposing RBs on the year, and Elliott could be an alright plug-and-play RB for deeper leagues looking for someone with a decent chance at touchdown upside.
QB Taylor Heinicke- Atlanta Falcons (8% rostered / 5% started)
Taylor Heinicke threw for 268 yards and a touchdown in his first start for the Atlanta Falcons in the nail-biting loss to the Vikings in Week 9. As he gets more comfortable in this offense, and potentially even adds WR Drake London back in the mix for Week 10’s matchup with the Arizona Cardinals, Heinicke could be a solid QB2 play in this week that see Jalen Hurts, Patrick Mahomes and Tua Tagovailoa all taking the week off as their teams take byes. Heinicke is a great streaming option with the needle pointing up for a multitude of reasons.
TE Juwan Johnson – New Orleans Saints (9% rostered / 2% started)
Are you a Travis Kelce manager looking for a stop-gap solution at the tight end position for Week 10? Maybe if you missed out on Taysom Hill, the top Saints tight end option, scrolling down the depth chart to Juwan Johnson could do some good in this week. Johnson saw his snap share and target share cranked up in Week 9 vs. the Bears, as he made his second appearance since returning from a calf strain that held him out four games. He caught all five of his targets for 29 yards and a touchdown last week, and gets another top-10 plus matchup for tight ends as the Saints square off with the Vikings in Week 10. Johnson could be a solid streaming tight end, even with Taysom Hill’s gadget involvement not expected to slow down.