Fantasy football sleepers are still available for fantasy football players, even with the first week of the season is in the books. Many of you are looking to separate yourself from the 1-0 pack, or are looking to avoid the dreaded 0-2 hole. Unless you played quarterback Peyton Manning, and Jamaal Charles’ two fumbles did not hurt you, you are seeking some answers that will help you get a win in Week 2. There are a couple of sleeper picks that can help you get there.
It does not matter if you are in a fantasy football league, or play weekly fantasy football games, i.e Fanduel and DraftKings, there can always be a slight tweak to the roster.
In Week 1, fantasy football numbers were dismal for running backs. In the top five of ESPN’s fantasy football rankings, only the Chicago Bears’ Matt Forte and Jeremy Hill of the Cincinnatti Bengals were legitimate first round picks. They come in ranking second and fifth respectfully. Carlos Hyde, Chris Ivory, and Bishop Sankey, a good fantasy football sleeper himself, tops off the five highest ranked running backs.
Several of the top running backs suffered through ineffectiveness, injury, or as is the case with Philadelphia’s DeMarco Murray, a small workload. It is too soon to dump the top ball-carriers, but it is never too late to make a sneaky pick up.
New England’s Dion Lewis had a fairly decent debut, rushing for 69 yards, with 12 carries (courtesy of ESPN) against the Pittsburgh Steelers defense. He is worthy of being added to your fantasy football league. Lewis is not a good play this week with a road game versus the Buffalo Bills, but for later usage, as a fantasy football sleeper, he should be ideal. Lewis will share a workload with the returning (courtesy of the Boston Globe) LeGarrette Blount.
RB Dion Lewis forced 8 missed tackles on 19 carries - best rate of any RB in week 1 with significant carries. pic.twitter.com/uJwq9jTOAn— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) September 16, 2015
It is not inconceivable to play them both in the right situation. Dion Lewis is a perfect fit in the fantasy football leagues that uses a flex spot. He had 51 yards, from four passes, increasing his fantasy value. Lewis is only owned in 40 percent of the ESPN fantasy football leagues.
Other running backs to look at are Arizona’s David Johnson and Buffalo’s Karlos Williams. Injuries to their teams rushers will garner them some carries.
For those of you who need a quarterback, Arizona’s Carson Palmer plays against a Chicago Bears defense that is still seeking their identity. Palmer is a good play for a week to week fantasy football league. He is an affordable $7,800 this week. The Bears cornerbacks had good pass coverage last week, but despite the good coverage, the Green Bay Packers’ receivers still made plays. Arizona boasts a trio of wide receivers that will test the Bears, yet again. Also, the running game will be nonexistent this week. Starting running back Andre Ellington is out with a knee sprain.
Do not ignore Buffalo’s Tyrod Taylor. Taylor is the perfect example of a fantasy football sleeper.
Tyrod Taylor: 88.2 Total QBR on Sunday was the 5th-best mark by a @buffalobills quarterback in a game in the last 10 seasons— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 14, 2015
Last week, the Bills QB flashed dual-threat ability versus the Indianapolis Colts. He faces a New England defense that is not that much better. Taylor could have a game where he throws for 250 yards, while running for another 40 yards. Tyrod Taylor is owned in less than 20 percent of the ESPN fantasy football leagues, 17.8 percent to be exact. If your fantasy football league is a keeper league, it might not be a bad idea to grab him up.
There are no sleepers among the wide receivers and tight ends just yet, but if you want to test out any boom or bust potential there are three players to keep an eye on. Cleveland’s Travis Benjamin, San Diego’s Ladarius Green and Brandon Coleman from New Orleans.
With Benjamin it will all come down to who is throwing the football. According to NFL, Austin Davis took some of the first team reps for the Cleveland Browns this week.
Here is the problem with that. Davis just recently signed with the team. As of now, it looks like Johnny Manziel will call the plays under center against the Tennessee Titans. While Manziel’s fantasy football numbers may not look all that impressive, he showed good chemistry with Travis Benjamin, especially with the 54-yard touchdown grab.
Benjamin could be a good cheap play in a week to week fantasy football league, but I would wait until the starter is officially named.
As for Green and Coleman, they both play for high-volume passing teams and they are going to get some good looks as the their games, and the season goes forward. My advice for you is to get them while you can, especially if you are an owner of Dez Bryant or Desean Jackson. They are good fantasy football sleepers.
Week 2 of the fantasy football numbers should begin to balance out the way that the fantasy drafts broke down. There are still some good fantasy football sleepers out there. Grab a fantasy football sleeper or two while the getting is good.
[Photo by Brett Carlson/Getty Images Sport]