Rotoprofessor’s Week 1 Fantasy Football Sleepers

Sep 9, 2009

Written by 
Eric Stashin the Rotoprofessor

While it’s just the season’s first week, that doesn’t mean you aren’t already looking towards the waiver wire for a little help.  Maybe an injury has opened up a void.  Maybe you’re just unhappy with your draft results.  Whatever the reasons, here’s a few under-the-radar offensive options to look at:

Mark Sanchez – New York Jets
It’s tough to lean on a rookie in his first career start, but Sanchez steps in to a pretty good situation.  The Jets are going to lean on the running game while trying to protect Sanchez, much like the Ravens did in 2008 with Joe Flacco.

He also gets to face a team in the Houston Texans who was in the bottom third in the league in defense last season, allowing 336.6 yards per game.  They didn’t do anything significant to upgrade either, outside of adding first round draft choice Brian Cushing at LB. 

They were among the leagues worst in interceptions, with just 12, so if the Jets can wear them down on the ground there should be plenty of opportunity for him to succeed.
Owned in 23% of Yahoo Leagues and 25.1% in ESPN Leagues

Ahmad Bradshaw – New York Giants
We all know the successes of last seasons Giants #2 RB, Derrick Ward, who managed to rush for 1,000 yards despite being the understudy to Brandon Jacobs.  The third back in that vaunted trio, Bradshaw opens the season as the new Giants #2 man, which could lead to some huge success.

Jacobs was banged up a bit in the final preseason game, something that has become a common occurrence for him.  He did return, but you still have to wonder how healthy he’s going to be on Opening Day.

Facing the Redskins, running on the inside may be tough going, thanks to the new $100 million man in the middle of the defensive line, Albert Haynesworth.  If Jacobs is getting stuffed on the inside, or is still a bit banged up, they could turn to the speed of Bradshaw on the outside to get things going.
Owned in 48% of Yahoo Leagues and 98.2% of ESPN Leagues

Wide Receiver
Sidney Rice – Minnesota Vikings
Let’s make no mistake about it, Brett Favre is going to be coming out with something to prove.  He’s been listening to everyone doubt him and it wouldn’t surprise me if he steps onto the field and torches the Cleveland Browns, led by his former coach Eric Mangini.

It’s a season full of retribution for Favre, and Mangini is likely just the first on the hit list.

Bernard Berrian is going to be on one side, but he’s likely to draw the most interest from the defense.  That should open things up for Rice, a player who we’ve already discussed as having the potential to have a breakout campaign in 2009 (click here to read the article).
Owned in 18% of Yahoo Leagues and 13.3% of ESPN Leagues

Tight End
Brandon Pettigrew – Detroit Lions
We all know that tight end is a wild card position to begin with.  You just never know which player is going to step up and have a huge week.  With Pettigrew being named the starter for the Lions, as well as Matt Stafford being handed the starting role, it makes for a good combination.

When you have a rookie QB, they are going to be looking for an outlet.  They are going to be looking to get the ball out as quickly as possible.

Pettigrew was a first round draft pick, so we all know he can perform.  Look for him to try to prove to the masses right off the bat that he was deserving of his draft selection.
Owned in 21% of Yahoo Leagues and 18.9% of ESPN Leagues

How do you think these players are going to perform in the season’s first week?  Are there any other sleepers you are eyeing?

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Picture courtesy of Icon Sports Media, Inc.

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2 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. CCC
    September 9th, 2009 at 4:08 pm #

    I’m not sold on Bradshaw

  2. LestersLegends
    September 9th, 2009 at 8:04 pm #

    I like him, but not this week.

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