2013-09-05 11:00:00 EDT
Week 1 in the NFL has officially begun, and the anticipation is high for the weekend as fantasy matchups everywhere get rolling. There will be some crucial lineup decisions to make in the next couple of days, and on that note we’ve uncovered a few sleeper options out there who could come up big this weekend. Let’s take a look at some of the unexpected players who could help lead your team to victory in Week 1.
Isaac Redman, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers: We’re admittedly pretty high on the Steelers this year. That’s mainly because of their tissue-paper schedule–which features jaunts through the wimpy AFC East and several other locations that should be penciled in as wins. They’ll start things out with a softball-pitch against Tennessee, and though there’s plenty of murky water in the Pittsburgh backfield, Redman is a relatively sure bet. He’ll see the bulk of the workload on the ground (and pick up some more through the air), and shouldn’t have too much difficulty with the Titans. He’s a low-end RB2 or flex this week.
Jordan Cameron, TE, Cleveland Browns: Cameron is a very popular sleeper pick for the opening weekend, so we’d be remiss if we didn’t check in on him here. He’s a No. 1 fantasy TE that most owners got at a No. 2 price, and things should start out well against the Dolphins. With no Josh Gordon on the field (he’s serving a suspension), Cameron’s targets will only increase, and he should be able to make the most of them with his mismatched size. He’s a trendy play, and for good reason.
Zach Sudfeld, TE, New England Patriots: Another popular TE pick for the opener is Sudfeld. He was great in the preseason, tallying six grabs and a score through three games. He’ll be facing the Bills in Week 1, and you can bet that Tom Brady will be having a fun time cutting up their secondary. While Rob Gronkowski is out (which in all likelihood will be this week at least, and possibly beyond), Sudfeld makes a great replacement TE for those in need.
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Jeremy Kerley, WR, New York Jets: There isn’t much to like about the Jets, but if you dig a little deeper you can find a gem or two for fantasy. Kerley is one such discovery, as he’s about the only thing New York has going for their receiving corps in the opener. They’ll be hosting the Bucs, and though Tampa Bay’s secondary is much improved (see: Darrelle Revis trade), Kerley should get plenty of looks as one of the few reliable targets for rookie QB Geno Smith. He’s a low-end flex, but could pay off if he can score.
Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Atlanta Falcons: There’s no middle ground on Rodgers this week. You’ll find people who either love him or hate him, and that’s based on a truckload of uncertainty involving the Falcons’ running game. He’ll serve as the backup to new Atlanta arrival Steven Jackson, and though Jackson’s skillset is similar to (and better than) Rodgers’, there are a couple of things to like about him this week.
The Falcons will open up against the Saints, who boast one of the worst defenses in all of the NFL. Even if Rodgers doesn’t get much field time in a change-of-pace role, there’s always mop-up duty for a potential blowout. He’s a lower-end–and risky–flex play.
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