Our Week 2 sleepers features under-the-radar players that are currently being started in less than 50% of leagues. These players could produce good fantasy numbers due to a favorable matchup, injury, or other circumstances. For your final lineup decisions, check out our Week 2 player rankings and if you have any fantasy football questions, feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.
I love this matchup for the Titans offense, and especially for Jake Locker. The Cowboys (at home no less) just got done making a SF offense (that had been putrid in the preseason) look like the Denver Broncos. Locker is also coming off a good showing against the Chiefs defense at Arrowhead (always tough to play there). The Titans have almost as many weapons as the 49ers, and I like Locker to finish as a top 12 QB in his home debut, possibly with a rushing TD sprinkled in.
I went with this guy last week, and he rewarded anyone foolish enough to listen, scoring 2 TD and rushing for 60 yards. With the Saints on the road again, versus the Browns this time, I’m going back to the well. There’s no chance the Browns can stop the Saints aerial attack, and I believe this leaves plenty of chances for Ingram to punch one in from short yardage. I view him as a weekly RB3 / Flex option with room to grow. If you’re in need, start him!
If you’re the Colts, staring straight into a Monday night showdown with the high-powered Eagles offense, how much longer are you going to run Trent Richardson straight into a wall? Do you really feel like starting 0-2? The Colts can score with Philly, but they’re going to have to throw to do it, and that’s where my man Bradshaw comes in. I think he sees twice the snaps that Richardson does here, and goes off for 80+ all-purpose yards and a TD. This could be the last week we are allowed to define him as a ‘sleeper’.
Remember when the Bears were a dominant rush defense? Seeya later! You can bet your sweet bippy that the 49ers coaching staff watched the Bills run for darn near 200 yards against Chicago en route to a Week 1 win. San Francisco should go run heavy here, and that means both Hyde and Gore should eat. Carlos turned 7 carries into 11+ fantasy points last week, and I like his opportunities to continue to rise. The 49ers seem to be committed to keeping Gore upright this season, and that means a continued dose of Mr. Hyde, and bad news for opposing defenses.
I like Locker against Dallas, and I also like his rising star wideout. Hunter was on the field for 52-82 snaps against KC, received 8 targets from Locker, and led the team with 63 yards receiving. To KC is more than adequate at covering people. The Cowboys might just be the worst defense in history. Hunter blows up here, and I’ll probably never be able to use him as a sleeper again.
Hurns actually had a pretty good preseason, but nobody took notice. Then Cecil Shorts III was out on game day as usual, and still we turned up our noses at Hurns. 110 yards and 2 TD later, its time to wake up and smell the java. Hurns is at least their WR2 with Shorts out, and has the potential for more. The Washington pass defense is just as porous as the Philly version, especially against WR2’s (anyone see Bacarri Rambo completely whiff on DeAndre Hopkins last week? But I digress.) I think the Jags will move the ball and put plenty of points on the board here even if they don’t win, and Hurns should end up in the WR3 range. He’s a good guy to consider if you’re running light on WR due to the Welker suspension.
FYI: We’re going to be targeting what I perceive to be a most generous ATL defense until they prove themselves otherwise. Giving up 34 at home in Week 1 did nothing to make me think I’m incorrect in my evaluation. The Bengals get the ATL defense this week, at home, and they’re going to have to do more than just throw to A.J. Green if they want to win. Rookie Saints WR2 Brandin Cooks popped off for 77 yards and a TD last week, and I’m expecting a similar line from the Bengals WR2 Sanu this week. Atlanta should be so worried about containing Green and Bernard that there should be plenty of open spaces for Sanu to beat single coverage.
I know, I know. The Giants looked atrocious on MNF against the Lions. But this Donnell character caught my eye. Literally the only guy Eli was locked in with? Donnell. He measures 6 feet 6 inches, and 265 pounds, but to me it looked like he moved pretty well, caught balls in the seam, and impressively caught an end-zone fade for a TD. The Giants will have another week to prepare here, and they’re going against a defense that in 2013 (no kidding) was the worst defense in history against opposing TEs. Missing a few key pieces already, you can’t expect them to get much better. If you lost Jordan Reed or are searching for answers at the TE spot, Donnell is a name to consider.
After getting the royal beat down from the Titans (at home no less) in week 1, you can almost smell Andy Reid’s desperation cologne. He’s staring down the worst matchup in football, the dreaded @ DEN, and he’s lost key pieces of his vaunted 2013 defense. Denver is going to score, and score a lot, and if KC wants to keep up, it’s going to be go time for all their offensive weapons. Kelce looked positively Gronkish in the pre-season, but somehow only played 18 snaps in the week 1 loss. Reid admitted this was a mistake, and I’m expecting it to be corrected, especially in the red zone, in week 2. I like Kelce for 40-50 yards receiving, and a short TD. He’s another potential fill-in type guy with some upside.
This one is pretty easy. STL wasn’t great with Sam Bradford, and now they’re without him. They were less good with Shaun Hill, and now he’s either been benched or is dealing with a thigh injury (Can’t say I care which). Zach Stacy and Benny Cunningham are somehow sharing carries, which is ludicrous, and their leading WR in week 1 was Brian Quick, who has made a name for himself only by being anything but. The Rams were destroyed 34-6 in week 1, and I’m expecting more of the same when they visit the pirate ship in week 2.