Fantasy Football Week 1: Top 5 sleepers to consider
By Genna Preston
Week 1 of fantasy football is the best time to take risks. Throw some of these sleepers into your starting lineup.
Welcome back! It’s officially the start of the 2018 fantasy football season. If Thursday’s Philadelphia Eagles versus Atlanta Falcons game didn’t get you excited I am not sure what will.
Jay Ajayi earned over 30 fantasy points in some leagues. What a way to open the season!
It’s explosive players like that we rely on week-to-week. Drafting an A-list team is only half of it. You have to keep up to date with injuries, bi-weeks, and weekly matchups.
With all of that in mind, I will be analyzing the top 5 fantasy football sleepers week after week. So without further ado, I will introduce you to this week’s sleeper options heading into Week 1.
5. Bilal Powell, RB New York Jets
Bilal Powell isn’t a name we hear enough. But, this season I am positive he will go from a Week 1 sleeper to a fantasy football starter more often than not.
The New York Jets still haven’t revealed who the leading running back will be. However, it’s important to note, Isaiah Crowell has battled a lot of soreness and pain throughout the preseason.
Powell is also a fantastic pass catcher. With the Jets starting rookie quarterback Sam Darnold, Powell could find himself a ton of touches.
Let’s also not forget the Detroit Lions don’t have a great run defense. if you need a levy on a Bell replacement or are feeling risky, go all-in with Powell in Week 1.
Next: 4. He may "steel" the position in Week 1
4. Jaylen Samuels, TE Pittsburgh Steelers
Vance McDonald returned to limited practice on Wednesday after being out with a foot injury. By Thursday, McDonald was listed under the “DNP” list leaving us to assume he wouldn’t be starting in Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns.
Obviously, the Pittsburgh Steelers immediately turned to Jesse James for their TE1 position. However, with Le’Veon Bell’s current unknown situation, Jaylen Samuels has the potential earn a decent amount of fantasy football points.
Whether used as a fullback or tight end, Samuel’s athleticism is bound to disrespect the Browns defense. In 2017, the Brown’s surrendered double-digit fantasy football points and touchdowns to the position.
With McDonald out and Bell’s situation, Week 1 points all direction to Samuels. He’s a must-start when it comes to players to gamble on this week.
Next: 3. This quarterback is ready to take over
3. Patrick Mahomes, QB Kansas City Chiefs
I know what your thinking! Patrick Mahomes against the Los Angeles Chargers has to be a joke. A 2017 top defense against the 2017 drafted quarterback, is coming face-to-face with a top 5 defense.
However, before you move onto the next slide, there is some significant upside to this matchup. In their past four matchups, Alex Smith earned at least 18 or more fantasy football points.
Since the offseason, Andy Reid has prepared Mahomes for this moment in hopes of keeping his 4-0 record against the Chargers. Another interesting reason that increases Mahomes’ value is that Jason Verrett is out.
Verrett, the Chargers top cornerback, tore his Achilles and is out for the season. This defense is going to struggle a bit without a key defensive player. Yes, there are other quarterbacks you can roll with, but this is fantasy football, and Mahomes is considered a sleeper for a reason.
Next: 2. This Jag is going to be a WR1
2. Keelan Cole, WR Jacksonville Jaguars
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Marqise Lee is out for the season with a knee injury. This makes room for Keelan Cole to come in as the Jackson Jaguars star receiver.
Although Cole will be sharing time with Donte Moncrief, Dede Westbrook, and D.J. Chark, the Jaguars have stated they want Cole to be their No. 1 wide receiver.
Cole has the potential to have some big plays this week against the New York Giants inconsistent defense. This is great news for fantasy owners as he is only fifty percent owned in most leagues.
Even with him sharing time on the field, Cole has the potential to earn 15 or more points in Week 1. Don’t say I didn’t tell you so.
Next: 1. This defense will dominate the kingdom
1. Detroit Lions D/ST
Depending on how your fantasy football draft went, there’s a possibility you didn’t draft a defense, or there are still several to choose from if you want to switch things up.
This week’s Detroit Lions versus the New York Jets game holds a promising outcome for the Lions defense. Let’s start with the Jets quarterback situation.
Rookie quarterback Sam Darnold will be starting in his first NFL career game. Although he has potential to be an outstanding quarterback, we only have preseason to go off of.
The Lions are great at forcing turnovers, which could mean doomsday for the rookie. If you start the Lions defense you will easily earn some valuable fantasy football points.
The Lions aren’t strong enough to be an every-week starter, however, in a matchup like this, you have to put them on your starting roster. Don’t second guess it.