Fantasy football sleepers: WR - Week 1

by Tim Heaney on September 9, 2010 @ 17:01:00 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

Johnny Knox, Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions

Fantasy value: No. 2

  • Buffalo Bills WR Lee Evans
    Evans could exploit Miami's weakness
    Knox looks like a textbook example of a Mike Martz receiver. The offense has struggled during the preseason, but Knox is a starter and the Bears' best deep threat.
  • Deep threat ... against Detroit? Per game against wideouts last year, the Lions allowed 12.13 catches (tied for sixth most in the league), 170.6 receiving yards (second most), 1.25 receiving touchdowns (third most) and 14.1 yards per haul (tied for sixth highest average).
  • Can injured Lions safety Louis Delmas hold up for the whole game? This secondary is already shaky enough without one of its anchors being dinged.

Lee Evans, Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins

Fantasy value: No. 2

  • The inconsistent Evans has on the whole been a fantasy frustration in recent years, but quarterback Trent Edwards has showed positive signs this preseason. Evans will be the focus of the passing game (and, unfortunately, passing defenses) without Terrell Owens in tow.
  • Bright side: Even though they ranked in the middle of the league in passing touchdowns allowed last year, Miami and their steady run defense leant to them giving up 151.1 receiving yards per game and 1.13 touchdown grabs to wideouts.
  • Evans didn't do much on the whole against them last year, but he had 100 yards on just four grabs. More good news for the deep threat: The Dolphins allowed 16.1 yards per catch to this position last season.

Legedu Naanee, San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs

Fantasy value: No. 3 or flex

  • Though Patrick Crayton was just acquired and can do many of the same things Naanee can, Vincent Jackson is still in purgatory, so Naanee will be involved in an offense that will throw consistently.
  • The Chiefs allowed 157.6 receiving yards and 1.00 touchdowns per game to wideouts last year; both ranked in the 10 worst defenses in each category. KC's secondary took another hit with the trade of Jarrad Page. Talented rookie Eric Berry will be joined by John McGraw, a downgrade to replace Page.
  • The shifty, sure-handed Naanee's likeliest contributions are cheap, chain-moving catches, making his value in point-per-reception leagues greater than contrary formats.

NEW - Louis Murphy, Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans

Fantasy value: No. 3 or flex

  • Who else do the Oakland Raiders have at wideout? Chaz Schilens (knee) isn't looking good for Week 1. Darrius Heyward-Bey has been nothing special ... again. Murphy is their most explosive option and made the most of his preseason time. Oh, and the Raiders finally have a competent slinger in Jason Campbell.
  • Lucky him: Tennessee gave up the most receiving yards per game (175.8) to wideouts last season, while also surrendering per-contest averages of 1.31 touchdowns and 13.63 receptions. The Titans' defense lost some key pieces (Kyle Vanden Bosch, Keith Bulluck), so they stand to be a little weaker overall.
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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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