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NFL Sleeper Cell Week 13: WHAT THE EK…LER?!

Guess who’s the hot commodity this week. THAT’S RIGHT! It’s Melvin Gordon!

NFL Field by Erin Costa is licensed under CC BY 2.0

NFL Sleeper Cell Week 13: WHAT THE EK…LER?!

Estimated Reading Time: 5 Minutes



10. Charlie Forray – 99.39

9. Joanna Krupnick – 152.71

8. Meg Schneider – 186.51

7.  Andrew Wilhelm – 227.51

6. Ryan Kelly  – 240.79

5. Kevin Morin – 278.93

4. Jake Bridges – 359.47

3. Ned Donovan – 407.06

2. Justin Colombo  – 455

1. Andrew O’Neill – 461.22


Each week our writers will make one sleeper pick each, in the hopes of that guy pulling through and exploding for a big week. We’ll note reasons why we like that player over another so on and what not. Each writer will accrue points every week from their pick, but there’s a catch.

Since it’s about sleepers, we’re going to take the DraftKings ownership percentage and subtract that amount of points. For example, if you select Drew Brees as your pick and he scored 50 points, but his ownership is at 50%, you’ll only score 25. If your Running Back, Wide Reciever, Tight End, or Defense’s ownership is under 5%, your points will multiply, 5% is multiplied by 1.5, 4% by 2, 3% by 3, 2% by 4, 1% by 5, and less than 1% by 6. For Quarterbacks, the multipliers are halved, 4% by 1.25, 3% by 1.5, 2% by 2, 1% by 2.5, and less than 1% by 3.

At the end of the season, the top 2 writers with the most points will split a $100 prize pool $75/$25.


9. Joanna Krupnick – 152.71

JuJu Smith-Schuster – WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

That name. How can it go wrong?

7.  Andrew Wilhelm – 227.51

Kenyan Drake – RB, Miami Dolphins

A couple weeks ago I picked Damien Williams after Jay Ajayi was traded and it worked pretty well. Now after an injury to Williams I’m going back to the well for the other Dolphins back. Against a Broncos defense they gives up points to opposing RBs, this should hopefully work out.

6. Ryan Kelly  – 240.79

Austin Ekeler – RB, Los Angeles Chargers

The Browns stink, so a shifty pass-catching running back for an offense that’s clicking should be a good pick. But then again, my picks stink too, so something will have to give on Sunday. Ekeler should see at least eight to ten touches, and potentially more caries than receptions if the game gets out of hand. Hopefully the lack of a need to look downfield leaves the Chargers with a RB-heavy mindset offensively.

5. Kevin Morin – 278.93

Jimmy Garoppolo – QB, San Francisco 49ers

Who knows what will happen? He has a couple starts under his belt at the beginning of last year, and threw 2/2 with a TD against Seattle. GIVE ME SOMETHING HERE, JIMMY!

4. Jake Bridges – 359.47

Blaine Gabbert – QB, Arizona Cardinals

Wow this guy can’t catch a break. Nathan Peterman: Disaster. Vernon Davis: Horrid. Taylor Gabriel: Trash. Let’s get back on track. Although my last QB pick was a disaster, I have confidence that I’ll get back on top with my pick this week: Arizona’s Blaine Gabbert. Even though Gabbert is going up against the Rams, who are the 5thbest defense against QBs in fantasy this season, he’s been lighting it up since he took over the gig two weeks ago. He has a total of 498 passing yards in those two weeks, 5 TDs, and I think he can keep the trend going again this week. This has the potential to be a shootout as the Rams have been able to score at will this season. For that reason and Gabbert’s recent success,  I think he will still put up the numbers to remain valuable this week. Some advice to Blaine: look for the jersey that says “Fitzgerald” on the back.

3. Ned Donovan – 407.06

Keelan Cole – WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

I wrote an entire 5 paragraph essay about my pick, Jimmy Garrapolo, and you know what I realized? The first two paragraphs were about my pick last week, Keelan Cole. So I’m gonna be a Sleeper Cell first, and announce I’m taking Keelan Cole again for the second week in a row. Also last week I think me and one other person had him in DFS and if that trend continues? Well .01% ownership makes for a VERY nice multiplier in this league.

The Jaguars have found themselves another stud receiver, in an already overloaded Receiver room. Robinson, Hurns, Lee, Cole, Benn. You better believe the Jaguars are trading at least one if not two of these guys in the offseason to make room for Cole’s expanded role in the offense. Can you imagine if they had an actual Quarterback? I mean come on.

Last week Cole had seven targets and hauled in what could be argued for catch of the year in a garbage Bortles toss that was 8 million miles too High and hard. Look for Bortles to use Cole as his safety net going forward. Also the Colts have started to find some kind of identity, and with that newfound confidence has come a resurgent pass rush against an offensive line that is working overtime to protect a Quarterback who takes longer to make decisions than uncle Jesse at the Thanksgiving table. Bortles will get an earful about releasing the balcony and if Fournette is covered? (He will be) then look for a quick dump to our new favorite crossing slot receiver, Keelan Cole. 5 receptions for 70 yards and a TD.

2. Justin Colombo  – 455

Marlon Mack – RB, Indianapolis Colts

Marlon Mack is returning to Florida for the first time since he made himself a fixture in the college football scene. Do you think I’m excited about that? BECAUSE I AM. I’M ALL ABOUT THIS.

1. Andrew O’Neill – 461.22

Austin Ekeler – RB Los Angeles Chargers

Don’t look yet but the Los Angeles Chargers are creeping up on the AFC Playoff picture.  After a miserable start which saw them in position but eventually failing to win nearly every game they played in September and October, LA has shaken it off and is now the best bet to win the AFC West after a Kansas City meltdown and LA’s total shellacking of the Cowboys on Thanksgiving.

Melvin Gordon will start but is playing hurt, and even with a healthy Gordon in the lineup Austin Ekeler has gotten a steady number of touches every week, both in the form of carries and targets from Philip Rivers.  One big play out of Ekeler is all it’ll take to put a big number on the Sleeper Cell scoreboard.

P.S. The question of the week for me is: Will any of our writers be lured onto the Josh Gordon line by Hue Jackson’s “big plans”?


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