Week 1 Sleeper: Quarterback Jake Locker: Why He Could Post Big Numbers Against New England

Throughout the week we will highlight some potential sleeper options, giving you the positives and negatives in order to help you make a decision.  Let’s kick things off with Jake Locker:

Positives:

  • Taking on the Patriots, there is a good chance Locker is going to have to play catchup early on. That is going to increase his opportunities to make plays in the passing game.
  • The Patriots secondary was among the worst in the NFL in 2011, allowing the second most passing yards per game (293.9) and the tenth most passing touchdowns (26). With no major changes and the expectation of playing in front, there is no reason to think things will change this week.
  • Has a strong running game, led by Chris Johnson, which should help to keep the Patriots honest (even if they have a big lead).
  • Has a high upside group of receivers including Kendall Wright, Nate Washington and tight end Jared Cook.
  • He has the ability to scramble, when necessary, with 56 rushing yards on just 8 attempts in his rookie season. It isn’t going to be a major factor, but it does give him the edge over similar options.

Negatives:

  • While the loss of Kenny Britt may limit his potential slightly, Britt was not expected to be at full strength at the start of the season anyways so his loss shouldn’t be a major impact on Locker’s value.

Conclusion:
There is an awful lot to like about Locker in Week 1, especially given the matchup. While he isn’t going to enter the season as a fantasy starter (outside of two-quarterback leagues), if this game was midway through the season he likely would be a must use option.

He has the potential to move quickly and a favorable matchup to open the season may kick start things. If you ended up weak at quarterback, using him in Week 1 is not a bad idea depending on who your other options are.

Make sure to check out all of our Week 1 rankings:

2 comments

  1. Sean viau says:

    Would you consider starting him over romo in week one? Taking the giant D, romo’s relatively week line, and the weather into consideration?!?

    • I could see considering it, but it’s hard for me to recommend it. I still think Romo will be able to make plays on the Giants secondary, as long as he is upright (they can’t sack him every time he drops back, can they?)

      That said, it wouldn’t be an awful decision either. I have Romo ranked higher (#11 vs. Locker’s #16), but if your gut is telling you to go Locker you could do something a lot crazier. If it was me, though, I’d go Romo.

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