It is the start of the NFL season and, as always, we are going dumpster diving for trophy winning Week 1 sleepers!
Can you believe that we are actually here already? It is the start of the NFL season and, as always, we are going dumpster diving for values. It has been like eight months since I wrote a Trophy Winning Sleepers column; some of you probably didn’t even know it existed before this very moment for Week 1. So, let’s go over the ground rules on how this works and what you can expect from this column moving forward.
Each not-so-sexy start has to be a player outside of the ESPN Fantasy Consensus Top 20 for running backs and wide receivers and outside the Top 15 for quarterbacks and tight end. To be considered a hit, they must finish in the Top 12 at their position for the week.
Every column (besides this one) will begin with an accountability section where we cover the hits and misses from the previous week. Why? Because victory lapping is incredible, but only if you take accountability for the losses. I want to give the reader confidence I know what the hell I am doing. Showing your entire process and owning each pick is a way of building trust.
Don’t like my process? I guess you can find one of the other million people writing articles nowadays. But it is essential to keep everything transparent,
So who is ready to take that first step in securing your Championship League Trophy by playing some of these sleepers in Week 1?
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Lock in the QB17 as One of the First Week 1 Sleepers
Man, this almost feels like cheating, but Kirk Cousins comes in as the consensus QB17 for the week in ESPN rankings. What a screaming value for a Week 1 sleeper. The last time Cousins had the Packers at home, he lit them up for 341 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions.
Let me give you a list of players I am starting Cousins over this week so you can properly set your lineups. Play Cousins over Tua, Jameis Winston, Trey Lance, Joe Burrow, and his opponent, Aaron Rodgers. He also is a coinflip to outscore Tom Brady, Dak Prescott, and Derek Carr. He’s not sexy at all but he’ll put up points and you like that!
With All the Sleepers at Running Back, I'm Going Against My Team for Week 1
I will never forgive myself if this misses…
Chase Edmonds has become the back everyone expects to lead this backfield in touches, and he gets New England at home this week. Now, the Patriots are known for being tough on the ground with a line led by Christian Barmore and Devin Godcheaux. However, Edmonds does his damage in the air and is a big-time PPR start.
Coming in as a sleeper at RB30 for Week 1 on ESPN, expect him to outscore big names such as Josh Jacobs, David Montgomery, Cam Akers, Travis Etienne, and Antonio Gibson. So after Week 1, say goodbye to his low acquisition price.
Deep Dive at Wide Receiver... for a Rookie?
At WR48, we find the route-running extraordinaire Chris Olave. He should find the end zone against the division-rival Falcons—who are already mathematically eliminated from the playoffs and just playing for the draft picks.
Coming out of Ohio State, this speedster has to show his coaches they can and should have used him in more intermediate and deep routes. F*ck It and Chuck It Jameis Winston will take advantage of his speed from Day 1. I would start Olave over Amari Cooper, Christian Kirk, Chris Godwin, and Tyler Lockett.
The Week 1 Hail Mary of Sleepers
If you followed along last year, you would have seen I hit on basically zero-percent of my tight end calls. The position is an absolute dumpster fire, and trying to figure out who is going in the top ten has as much chance of success as I do with Hailee Steinfeld. But I guess anything can happen, so here we go.
Austin Hooper has a chance to lead the team in targets for Week 1, which would be great because they are playing the Giants, who are barely an NFL team. Sure, we all expect Henry to be the focal point of this offense. However, a big Henry game means red zone opportunities; red zone opportunities mean potential touchdowns. For tight ends to finish top 10, all you need are touchdowns. So give me Hooper as the play over Pat Freiermuth, Tyler Higbee, Mike Gesicki, and Noah Fant.
Whether these picks hit or not, we are all winners this week because the NFL is back, and we can finally stop listening to all the preseason noise.
Need a little insight on where to watch the games or what to look for? Check out our Week 1 Preview!