Before we get started, let’s take a look how last week’s sleepers fared (click here to read the original article):
Mark Sanchez – 18-31, 272 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Ahmad Bradshaw – 60 yards rushing, 0 TD; 3 receptions, 11 yards, 0 TD
Sydney Rice – 2 receptions, 17 yards, 0 TD
Brandon Pettigrew – 0 receptions, 0 yards, 0 TD
While Bradshaw may not have had the biggest game, I think I’d say I went 2-2 with those picks, not spectacular, but respectable.
As the injuries begin to mount (i.e. Anthony Gonzalez) and some already begin to panic after a slow start to their season (i.e. Brandon Jacobs, Frank Gore & Larry Johnson), let’s take a look at a few players who may be available on the waiver wire who have potential to help you this week:
Jamarcus Russell – Oakland Raiders – vs. Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs defense is not very impressive, having allowed 300 yards through the air to second year quarterback Joe Flacco and a Baltimore Ravens offense that is not all that impressive. That’s not to say that Russell and company are an impressive bunch…
Last night against the Chargers, Russell was not spectacular, but he wasn’t completely awful either as the Raiders moved the ball well, especially early on. He completed 12-30 passes for 208 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. Of course, one of the picks came on a hail mary on the last play of the game, so that shouldn’t be counted against him. He needs to improve his accuracy, but a weak Chiefs defense could be a good medicine to help correct that.
Remember, it may just not be his arm that does the damage. The Chiefs defense also allowed 198 yards on the ground, second most in the league, and Russell can run.
Owned in 9% of Yahoo Leagues and 11.9% of ESPN Leagues
LeSean McCoy – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. New Orleans Saints
He’s the second string running back, but with Donovan McNabb potentially out, or at least limited, there is going to be a strong focus on the Eagles ground attack. While Brian Westbrook may get the bulk of the carries, McCoy proved last week that he has the ability to make the most of his opportunities when he averaged over five yards per carry (and the Eagles are going to try to preserve Westbrook, which should mean a fair amount of carries).
The Saints only allowed 33 yards on the ground last week, but they were also playing from ahead, forcing their opponents to the air to try and stay in the match-up. They also faced the Lions, which says a lot.
Owned in 47% of Yahoo Leagues and 1.6% of ESPN Leagues
Antwaan Randle El – Washington Redskins – vs. St. Louis Rams
The Rams are not a good team, simply put. While Randle El is the second receiver on his team, he stepped up against a tough Giants defense, catching 7 passes for 98 yards. Granted, the Giants secondary was beat up, but it still was an impressive performance.
He only had seven catches in a game three times in the past two seasons (and hadn’t done it since 2004-2005 prior to that), so there should be concern that he is going to take a step backward next week. You also have to assume that Santana Moss is not going to be completely silenced once again.
With how bad the Rams defense appears to be, there should still be plenty of opportunities for everyone, however. He may get the chance to run the ball. He may get the chance to throw the ball (they tried to run a play for him in Week 1, but the Giants read it). He definitely is going to get the chance to catch the ball. While his catches and yards may decrease slightly, he’s going to have plenty of chances to contribute and potentially find the end zone.
Owned in 14% of Yahoo Leagues and 1.6% of ESPN Leagues
Vernon Davis – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Seattle Seahawks
He seems to be a perpetual sleeper, doesn’t he? The former first round draft choice has all the talent, it’s just a matter of him maturing and being able to utilize it on a consistent basis. There has been signs that he may finally be getting there.
Coach Mike Singleton has said that he is one of the locker room leaders, a bold statement considering he was buried in his doghouse last season. He also produced on the field, catching five passes for 40 yards. Maybe this is finally the season?
Owned in 47% of Yahoo Leagues and 13.1% 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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