Week 1: Super Sleepers
Later in the season we'll move the focus of this article to players we feel will perform well in weeks to come. Many of those players will be on a team already, so you'll need to decide if trading for them is worth the asking price.
Good luck this fantasy football season.
Fitzpatrick and the Bills shocked the NFL last year as Buffalo opened the season 3-0, and in the process beat division rival New England for the first time in 8 years. Fitzpatrick opened the season completing 17 of 25 for 208 yards with 4 touchdowns and no interceptions. Could Ryan possibly post similar numbers against the New York Jets in the season opener this year? Some would say I'm crazy, but look back at week 12 last year when Ryan completed 26 of 39 for 264 yards and 3 touchdowns with no interceptions. In week one it is hard to find diamonds in the rough, but if last year's week one is any indication of what we could see this season then Fitzpatrick could be a good play this week.
The big knock on Freeman last year was his touchdown to interception ratio. In 15 games he threw just 16 touchdowns while being intercepted 22 times. Compare those numbers to his 2010 performance when he played in 16 games throwing 25 touchdowns while being intercepted just 6 times and you see why fantasy owners were a little disappointed. Whether we'll see the Josh Freeman of 2010 or 2011 is yet to be determined; it is safe to say fantasy owners should feel comfortable with him in their starting line up. Josh played in fewer games in 2011 than 2010, yet he threw for 141 more yards. Add in Freeman's ability to scramble and possibly run one in and fantasy owners have a quality starting quarterback.
With Ryan Mathews likely missing this weekend's game against the Raiders due to a broken clavicle, the Chargers' run game falls squarely on the shoulders of Ronnie Brown. The former Eagles and Dolphins back proved he could split time with LeSean McCoy and Reggie Bush the past two years without missing a game. The past two seasons Brown has proven that he can be a viable back when his playing time is somewhat limited. Such will be the case this weekend as the workload will be shared between Brown, Le'Ron McClain and Curtis Brinkley. Brown has the best chance to see a majority of the carries with McClain seeing action in short yardage situations. If you're looking for a good flex starter who could post quality numbers then Brown could be a nice start.
When it comes to running backs, a fantasy owner's worst nightmare is Mike Shanahan. Of course I say this in jest with my point being that Shanahan seems to enjoy telling everyone his starting running back will be one player and then give the ball to a complete different back for a majority of the game. With that said, Royster has been elevated to RB1 on the Redskins' depth chart for this weekend. For the time being we have to hope this means he will receive the lion's share of carries this weekend. If this holds true then Royster could be a nice fantasy start this week.
At this time there's no gurantee Turbin will be fantasy worthy this weekend. Fellow back Marshawn Lynch has been out the past couple of weeks suffering from back spasms and could miss this weekend's game against Arizona. If Lynch can't go, Turbin will get the nod and fantasy owners would do well to get him in their line-up. The big 222-pound back has run well in pre-season action and he could use this opening to prove he should be a starter. Fantasy owners will need to keep an eye on this situation because Lynch or Turbin getting the start will likely be a game time decision.