Sleepers can win you matchups in fantasy football. It happens every week, in every league, every single year. Sneaky players falling into favorable matchups, or whispers in the injury report give players under the radar a chance to shine. Here are five fantasy football sleepers that can help you win in Week 1:
Carson Palmer, QB, Arizona Cardinals
He has great receivers, is in a pass-heavy offense, and San Diego’s defense isn’t exactly the steel curtain. In fact, San Diego was dreadful against the pass last year and will be starting a rookie on one side at corner. Palmer also may be without starting running back Andre Ellington, which could have him taking it to the air more than expected. That should lead to solid QB1 production in week one.
Joique Bell, RB, Detroit Lions
Bell also benefits from a crappy opposing D in Week 1. Going up against the Giants who gave up the second most receiving yards to running backs last year, combined with a quarterback who throws the ball a ton and you’ve got yourself a strong play. He’ll still have to worry about Reggie Bush, but Detroit’s system makes both of these backs potential RB2 options in any given week.
Marqise Lee, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
Chad Henne probably won’t make it through the season, but he can definitely put up yards throwing the rock. The Jag’s are going to be throwing a lot in Week 1 trying to keep up with Chip Kelly’s high powered offense. Lee showed off his speed during preseason and with starter Cecil Shorts III sitting out with injury, he’s primed for a ton of targets. He could be a solid WR2 this week if all goes well.
Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego Chargers
Only owned in about 50% of fantasy football leagues, Gates should have a big Week 1 going up against a Cardinal’s D that gave up the most receptions, yards, touchdowns and fantasy points to opposing tight ends last season. Stud safety Tyrann Mathieu (knee) may be out for the opener, too, while the Cardinals will also be without Daryl Washington. Many people are down on Gates this year, but that could change quickly if he explodes in front of the nation on Monday Night Football.
Philadelphia Eagles DEF/ST
Their offense gets all the attention, but any defense playing the Jaguars has a chance to put up some pretty nice numbers. This will especially be the case if Philly can stop Toby Gerhart and force Chad Henne to throw more than the Jags want to.