Below Erin Lee, a longtime RotoBaller, highlights a few NFL sleeper rookies for your fantasy teams in Week 12. We chose 1 TE, 1 RB and 1 QB who are flying a bit under the radar, and have the potential to put up some fantasy points in Week 12 and down the home stretch. If you want more analysis by Erin on NFL rookies click here.
NFL Rookie Sleepers for Week 12
Matt McGloin - QB, Oakland Raiders
In what has been a year chock-full of quarterback injuries, Week 11 provided yet another surprise performance from a backup quarterback as Matt McGloin carried the Raiders to a win over the Houston Texans. Playing in place of the injured Terrelle Pryor, McGloin was more impressive than anybody could have imagined. He made smart decisions, controlled the game well, and looked like anything but a rookie. He threw three touchdowns and no interceptions, good enough to earn the starting job once again in Week 12 against the Titans. One game doesn’t define a quarterback’s talents, however, and the Titans have had more time to review game tape to prepare to face the rookie. He won’t have the same element of surprise he had against the Texans so how he performs this weekend will give a much clearer picture about how legitimate his talent really is. He’s a very risky play with such a small sample size but you could reap the benefits if he can repeat his impressive performance.
Montee Ball - RB, Denver Broncos
When the season started, the Broncos were firmly committed to a backfield by committee approach, a nightmare for fantasy owners. As the season has progressed, Knowshon Moreno emerged as the clear No. 1 back. In Week 12 against the Chiefs, Moreno owners were heartbroken to see the continued emergence of Montee Ball, who snagged two touchdowns and 26 yards on 8 carries. His biggest issue this season has been ball security, and a fumble early in the game against Kansas City certainly didn’t indicate that much has changed, but the fumble was ultimately credited to Manning and Ball went on to make up for it with his two TDs. Denver will take on New England, who has been very mediocre against the run this year and this game should be a shootout, full of plenty of opportunities for Ball to snag a few more goal-line carries. If you’re scouring the waiver-wire, Ball is a nice boom or bust sleeper option for Week 12.
Mychal Rivera - TE, Oakland Raiders
If his 26-yard reception from Matt McGloin was the only piece of game tape you’d seen from the Raiders all season, you’d think they were headed for the playoffs. Rivera and McGloin, both rookies trying to emerge on the Raiders roster, found instant chemistry on Sunday as Rivera finished with 54 yards and a touchdown, his best performance of the season. His performance capped off several weeks of steady improvement from the rookie tight end. If McGloin and the entire Raider offense are going to be successful, an increased role for Rivera has to be a key part of the strategy. His next matchup with the Titans is a great one for him to continue getting more involved, as the Titans have been very weak against opposing tight ends this season. Keep him on your radar going forward and toss him in your lineup this weekend if you’re in a deeper league.