Fantasy football stats: The sleepers of Week 13

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Hey, these guys weren't the best at their positions Sunday, but they were good, and that counts.

Some of this week's "Sleepers" might not actually be sleepers; in a lot of cases, they are big names who have un-bigged for one reason or another. (Yes, unbigged. Don't criticize.)

Anyway, this is a look at some guys who didn't quite make the top tier at their positions Sunday, but who might be a surprise performance or might be a sign of things to come:

Sleeper quarterbacks in Week 13

Alex Smith, KC (293 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception, 46 rushing yards, 21 fantasy points)

After his game Sunday, Smith now sits at No. 9 among quarterbacks in fantasy scoring this season. He has scored 20-plus fantasy points in three straight games, four of his last five, and six times on the season. It's nothing anyone would have predicted, but Smith is on pace to blow past his career highs in passing yards and passing touchdowns this year, and he's already doubled his previous career high in rushing yards.

Matt Cassel, MIN (243 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception, 11 fantasy points)

Cassel's mediocre-but-acceptable performance Sunday came in little more than a half of football. The dirty little secret about Cassel is he actually hasn't been awful this year. If Christian Ponder's concussion forces him to miss Week 14, or if the team just decides to be done with Ponder, Cassel could have some QB2 value against Baltimore next week.

Sleeper running backs in Week 13

Montee Ball, DEN (117 rushing yards, 11 fantasy points)

Ball might have had the quietest 100-yard game ever Sunday. With so much attention going to wide receiver Eric Decker and running back Knowshon Moreno, Ball averaged 9.0 yards on his 13 carries, almost doubling his previous career high in rushing yards. The Broncos would love to develop a second running back to team with Moreno down the stretch, and despite his fumbles, it's starting to look like Ball will be able to be that guy.

LeGarrette Blount, NE (44 rushing yards, 1 touchdown, 10 fantasy points)

If you want to guess which Patriots running back will be the best in fantasy on a weekly basis, go for it, but you'll be wrong. Blount and Ridley both fumbled a week ago. Ridley was a healthy scratch Sunday; Blount led the team in carries. If Blount were somehow suddenly to become the Patriots' sole running back, he would have decent value in that offense, but as it is, he's just one of a bunch of mouths to feed.

Sleeper wide receivers in Week 13

Roddy White, ATL (143 receiving yards, 14 fantasy points)

White is hardly a sleeper in the traditional sense of the word, but he had been awful and/or injured all season, and his Sunday performance was the first Roddy White-like game he's had all year, topping his previous season-high in yardage by almost 100 yards. It's a lost season for the Falcons, but they'll need to keep working White down the stretch to look at him for next year. If you've held on to White all season, things could be looking up.

Andre Holmes, OAK (136 receiving yards, 13 fantasy points)

Holmes was basically a non-factor in his two NFL seasons coming into the Thanksgiving game, but with Denarius Moore out with an injury, Holmes got more attention in the Oakland offense and came through. He had five catches in his career before seven catches Thursday, and as long as Moore is out and/or hobbled, Holmes could see his value continue to rise.

Sleeper tight ends in Week 13

Ladarius Green, SD (45 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 10 fantasy points)

This is Green's second straight week in this space; it's his third straight game of eight or more fantasy points. The backup tight end has seen his looks increase over the season, and at this point he has to be considered a viable piece of the Chargers' offense. You aren't going to be playing him over Antonio Gates or anything anytime soon, but Green is definitely a tight end to keep an eye on.

John Carlson, MIN (61 receiving yards, 6 fantasy points)

In his four starts since Kyle Rudolph got hurt, Carlson has averaged 7.5 fantasy points per game, which would tie him for sixth place among tight ends over the season. He's a low-end play, but Carlson has been productive the last few weeks for Minnesota, and it could continue at this modest-but-consistent rate.

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