Sep. 15, 2020
Fantasy Football Sleepers Week 1
If one of your starters is questionable for week 1, or is a last minute scratch due to Covid 19, take a look at this list of players that are available in at least 75% of leagues.
Tyrod Taylor, Los Angeles Chargers, 3.5% owned in ESPN leagues
The Chargers have a juicy matchup in Week 1, taking on the Bengals. Tyrod Taylor takes over for Phillip Rivers, who left in free agency. Tyrod will have a nice set of weapons to pass to, including Keenan Allen on the outside, Hunter Henry over the middle, and Austin Ekeler out of the backfield. Tyrod is also a solid runner. For his career, he averages 5.5 yards per carry and has rushed for 16 touchdowns. Last year, the Bengals defense gave up the 4th most yards and 8th most points.
Phillip Rivers, Indianapolis Colts, 16.8%
Rivers will take his first snap for Indianapolis on Sunday, taking on Jacksonville Jaguars, who keep gutting that defense. In the past calendar year, the Jaguars have gotten rid of DE Yannick Ngakoue, CB Jalen Ramsey, CB A.J. Bouye, and DE Calais Campbell. The Jaguars have some young talent on defense now, but they lack experience and pedigree. The Colts should have their way on offense in Week 1.
James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars, 7.5%
The Jaguars backfield is a mess and will take time to sort out. They cut Leonard Fournette a week and and their presumed starter Ryquell Armstead hit the IR. On the team's first unofficial depth chart of the season, James Robinson is listed as the starting running back. The team will likely have a running back by committee approach until someone takes the job. Chris Thompson should have the first crack at passing downs while Robinson takes the early down snaps. James has "really been a pleasant surprise" according to GM Dave Caldwell.
Hunter Renfrow, Las Vegas Raiders, 11.8%
The Raiders are taking on the Carolina Panthers in week 1. Hunter Renfrow is listed as a starting WR, next to rookie Henry Ruggs III. Renfrow should see a large number of targets until Ruggs can prove himself to be anything more than a deep threat. In the last 2 games of 2019, Renfrow had 13 receptions, 209 yards, and 2 touchdowns.
Laviska Shenault Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars, 5.8%
The Jags have a solid #1 receiver in D.J. Chark. Behind Chark, the depth chart is pretty murky. Chris Conley, Keelan Cole, Dede Westbrook and Shenault will compete for playing time and targets. Shenault has impressed in camp and is listed as a starter, which is promising for the rookie. He's listed at 6'1", 227 pounds. He should be a good red zone threat and is very versatile, able to play outside, in the slot, and even in the backfield. He had 23 carries for Colorado last season.
Michael Pittman Jr., Indianapolis Colts, 24.6%
The Colts have one solid receiver in TY Hilton. The fight for #2 will be between Pittman and 2nd year receiver Parris Campbell. Listed at 6'4" and 223 pounds, Pittman has shown in training camp to be a good red zone threat.
Blake Jarwin, Dallas Cowboys, 20.9%
The Cowboys take on the Los Angeles Rams in Week 1. Both teams will have to put up points to compete in this game. The Rams' defense will focus on the outside receivers of the Cowboys in Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup; and stopping Ezekiel Elliott out of the backfield. The middle of the field should be open for Jarwin. Last season, Jarwin had 48 targets and veteran Jason Witten had 83 targets. With Witten gone, that increases the opportunities for Jarwin.
Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans, 22.9%
Jonnu is looking for a breakout season and will play Denver in Week 1. A.J. Brown is the #1 pass catcher in Tennessee. Beyond Brown, there isn't clarity who the #2 guy is. Jonnu has a great opportunity to seize targets over the middle. Last season, he had 35 receptions, 854 yards and 3 touchdowns on 44 targets. Those targets should increase to over 60 this season.