The Monday Night Football game between the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles is supposed to be the highest scoring game of week one in the NFL. Naturally, everyone playing daily fantasy football or finalizing their week one season long starting lineups are trying to figure out how to get some exposure to the game. You don’t want to feel like you’re forcing it, but with stars like DeMarco Murray and Julio Jones hitting the turf, where speed kills the most, it’s tough to resist.
Things just got a little more interesting, too. Atlanta’s normal #3 wide receiver Devin Hester (toe) has officially been ruled out for the week one battle, which should help the likes of Julio Jones and Roddy White garner even more attention from Philly’s defense. Both should feast on an Eagles pass defense that struggled mightily in 2014 (although they did add Byron Maxwell), but one huge sleeper can’t be forgotten: Leonard Hankerson.
Hankerson steps up into the #3 role and for a game that should see a lot of three and four-wide sets from both teams, he’s suddenly a hot name to consider for fantasy leagues. Hankerson showed well during preseason play, as he hauled in seven catches for nearly 80 yards and a score in the month of August. A camp darling all summer, Hankerson knows offensive coordinator Mike Shanahan’s offense from their days in Washington together and has the size and speed to make plays all over the field.
Obviously Julio Jones is the top wide receiver play in this game and the savvy Roddy White deserves consideration, too. But Hankerson is the minimum price at DraftKings and with a decent role in week one, could be one of the top sleepers to chase after. Add in White’s health (not quite 100% after elbow surgery, plus natural regression) and Hankerson’s fantasy stock is quickly heating up.
Things could change once Devin Hester returns (likely in two weeks), but for now, specifically in a game expected to feature a ton of offense, few sleepers provide as much upside as Leonard Hankerson just might. Keep in mind Hankerson is largely a flier in DFS leagues if you want to go the contrarian route or stack up on elite options. He’s really only an option in redraft fantasy leagues if you have major injury issues at wide receiver or are in an insanely deep league.