Week 1 extended sleepers
Posted on: September 10, 2010 4:48 pm
Edited on: September 10, 2010 4:53 pm
Every week I'll dive into some sleepers beyond what we write in Start 'Em and Sit 'Em to help some of you in deeper leagues. Some weeks will have more guys than others, but this should be helpful for those owners in 14- and 16-team leagues.
Kyle Orton (at JAC): There's a reason why we like Jabar Gaffney so much, and that's because the Jaguars secondary should struggle. Orton has the chance to post decent stats here, but I'm curious if the Broncos give Tim Tebow some playing time, especially with some potential goal-line work in his return to his hometown.
Josh Freeman (vs. CLE): With Mike Williams and Kellen Winslow, Freeman has quality targets against a weak opponent in the Browns. If his wrist weren't a concern he'd be higher in my rankings, but he has the chance to make plays in this matchup. And keep in mind this is Winslow against his former team, so he wants to play well, which will help Freeman. Consider Williams a sleeper also in this matchup.
Ricky Williams (at BUF): The Dolphins should be able to run all over the Bills, and Ronnie Brown, who is a great start this week, won't do it all by himself. Williams played well against the Bills last year and was likely drafted as a No. 3 or 4 Fantasy running back. If you're looking for a flex player in Week 1, Williams is a solid option.
Peyton Hillis (at TB): Jerome Harrison is the Browns running back to use this week, but Hillis has the chance to work at the goal line and catch passes out of the backfield. Tampa Bay's run defense will improve this year with the additions they've made at defensive tackle, but Hillis has plenty of upside this week now that he's clearly the No. 2 running back for the Browns with Montario Hardesty (knee) out for the year. Hillis is worth using as a flex option in deeper leagues, especially PPR formats.
Tim Hightower (at STL): Hightower has the chance for a big week if Beanie Wells (knee) doesn't play in this game. And even if he does, Hightower will likely get the majority of touches so Wells isn't asked to do much. The Rams aren't going to stop the Cardinals on offense, and Hightower is a great choice as a flex player in leagues where receptions count.
Nate Burleson (at CHI): As you read in Start 'Em and Sit 'Em (you did read it, didn't you?) I'm very fond of the Lions offense this week and this season. Matthew Stafford, Jahvid Best, Tony Scheffler and that other guy who plays wide receiver, Calvin Johnson, are all worth starting this week. And Burleson might join in the fun since he'll get plenty of single coverage with the Bears focusing on Johnson. In deeper formats, consider Burleson a No. 3 Fantasy wide receiver.
Anthony Gonzalez (at HOU): Last year's season opener didn't go too well for Gonzalez, who injured his knee against Jacksonville and was lost for the year. Something tells me Peyton Manning will be looking for Gonzalez as a feel good play. This is just a hunch, but the Texans also have a rebuilding secondary and are without Brian Cushing (suspension). It will tough to find someone good enough to line up with Gonzalez in the slot.
Mike Williams (vs. SF): Seattle cut T.J. Houshmandzadeh for a reason, and Matt Hasselbeck still has to throw to someone. That could be Williams since John Carlson will get plenty of attention. We're not talking about Williams as someone to consider in standard leagues, but he does have the chance to make some plays if the Seahawks are chasing points as expected.
Jeremy Maclin (vs. GB): DeSean Jackson is going to see plenty of Charles Woodson, which means Maclin will likely line up against Tramon Williams. I'll take my chances with Maclin in this matchup, and the Eagles will likely be throwing most of the game. Maclin is worth using as a No. 3 Fantasy wide receiver in most formats.
Steve Breaston (at STL): We're finally going to see what the Cardinals offense looks like with Derek Anderson now the starter and Larry Fitzgerald back after injuring his knee in the first preseason game. With Fitzgerald on the field, Breaston will see plenty of single coverage against a weak secondary. Like Maclin, Breaston can be considered a No. 3 Fantasy wide receiver in most formats.