Fantasy football sleepers: WR - Week 1

by Tim Heaney on September 7, 2011 @ 18:59:46 PDT


In this article KFFL breaks down the fantasy football sleepers of the week. We will avoid marquee names because players of that caliber are rarely benched, regardless of their matchup. Instead, we will focus on the players that make your fantasy lineup decisions stressful each week. Read on to learn which midrange to low-end players you wouldn’t necessarily consider that you need to get into your lineup.

Fantasy football sleepers: Wide receivers

Devin Hester, WR, Chicago Bears
Hester waiting to bust loose

Devin Hester, Chicago Bears vs. Atlanta Falcons

Fantasy value: High-end No. 3

  • Hester is listed as one of the Bears' starters but could be vulnerable to a rotation. Either way, the staff has raved about Hester's growth as a receiver; he reportedly has a better understanding of the system. With the kickoff rule changes likely limiting his impact in that department, Hester might be used by Chicago in more creative ways when snaps are taken.
  • The Falcons' secondary remains its biggest weakness and was in the league's bottom sector against the pass last season. They've been vulnerable to big plays since the start of last year ... and that's Hester's specialty. He's a better play, as usual, in non-PPR setups.

Plaxico Burress, New York Jets vs. Dallas Cowboys

Fantasy value: Flex or bench

  • In limited preseason duty, Burress flashed his talent, catching three throws for 66 yards and a touchdown. He looks to be on his way back to playing shape, though he'll probably be limited a little early on.
  • Still, he'll face a unit that was one of the most vulnerable secondaries in the NFL last season. Despite the acquisition of safety Abram Elam, Dallas' DBs are vulnerable. That's doubly enforced by their limited time to install their new defensive system, which could eventually be solid but probably not in Week 1.
  • The 6-foot-5, 232-pound Burress should cause matchup problems in the red zone. Dallas could also be without starting cornerbacks Terence Newman (groin) and Michael Jenkins (knee). While Jenkins could still suit up, it's looking like Newman will miss the game.

Davone Bess, Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots

Fantasy value: Flex or bench

  • Bess has shown more of his typical game this preseason; plenty of catches, not much done with most of them. Reception-friendly leagues value him more, possibly as much as a No. 3 this week, against a team that wasn't shy about giving up passing yards. Bess remains a safety valve for Chad Henne for a squad that's employing a new offense.
  • New England has made a living with plug-and-play pieces to their defense, especially their secondary, but Brandon Meriweather's release could mean another weak of transition for the DBs, giving Miami a better chance to attack them through the air.
  • Bess snared 11 passes in two games against NE last season, including an 8-96-1 Week 4. Miami is an underdog and will probably be throwing often.
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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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