Week 1 Fantasy Football Rankings: Breaking Down Best Sleeper at Each Position

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistSeptember 5, 2012

HOUSTON - NOVEMBER 09:  The NFL shield logo on the goal post during play between the Baltimore Ravens and the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on November 9, 2008 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

That’s right folks, fantasy football season is back with a vengeance in 2012 and Week 1 is going to be absolutely amazing.

We have missed football so much!

If you’re dying to get to the action like the rest of us, you have to start the perfect lineup to ensure the opening weekend is as great as it can possibly be.

You don’t want to start the year 0-1 in your fantasy league.

Fantasy owners are always looking for that edge, so this week we have the sleepers at each position that will blow up for your team. Good luck!


Quarterback: Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens (vs. Cincinnati)

While the last matchup between these teams meant nothing because of Baltimore locking up its playoff spot early, the first game between the Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals in 2011 featured QB Joe Flacco throwing for 270 yards and two touchdowns.

The Bengals drafted Dre Kirkpatrick to help solidify their secondary, but injuries have cost him preseason action and he will be rusty if he does play. That's good news for Flacco.

With the emergence of Torrey Smith as a star wide receiver and the presence of Anquan Boldin and Ray Rice, the Ravens QB will have a field day.

The improvements on Baltimore’s offensive line, and an offseason to get on the same page with the entire offensive unit, will have Flacco crossing over 300 yards passing with three touchdowns.


Wide Receiver: Titus Young, Detroit Lions (vs. St. Louis)

As much as Calvin Johnson has stolen the spotlight from Titus Young in Detroit, the young Lions receiver will be ready to capitalize on the defense’s concentration on Megatron this season.

Young had at least four catches in each of the last four games in 2011 and scored four touchdowns in those games as well. With a preseason of being the No. 2 receiver on the field, Young is ready to blow up against a terrible St. Louis secondary.

Sleepers all come with risks, and Young is no exception. While there is no doubt he could go without a reception Sunday, he will likely catch five passes for 67 yards and a touchdown and reward you for the loyalty.


Running Back: Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots (vs. Tennessee)

With the injury to Shane Vereen still holding him out of action and the departure of BenJarvus Green-Ellis, the majority of the carries out of the New England Patriots backfield will come from Stevan Ridley.

Ridley is facing a tough Tennessee Titans front seven, but New England’s potent pass attack will give the young star plenty of chances to shine Sunday.

As tough as the Titans are up front, Ridley will touch the ball 25 times (20 rushes and five receptions) for 120 yards and a touchdown. If you get that out of a mid-round fantasy pick, those are huge numbers.


Tight End: Jared Cook, Tennessee Titans (vs. New England)

As great as the New England Patriots are, they are at their weakest through the middle of the field. The Tennessee Titans will exploit the lack of depth and talent at linebacker for the Patriots and use tight end Jared Cook to cut right through the defense.

In the last three games of the 2011 season, Cook had 21 catches for 335 yards and a touchdown.

That’s good for any tight end, let alone a tight end likely on the waiver wire or selected in the waning rounds of your fantasy draft. With an average draft position of 129.43, Cook could become the breakout fantasy star of 2012.

Against the Patriots, Jake Locker will look to Cook often, giving him seven catches for 111 yards and a touchdown.


Check back for more on the National Football League as it comes, and don’t miss Bleacher Report’s NFL page to get your fill of all things football.