Fantasy Football Emerging Names: Sleepers Who Are Must-Starts in Week 2

Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 10, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 19:  Donald Brown #31 of the Indianapolis Colts carries the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the game on August 19, 2012 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Week 1 had its fair share of fantasy bench players and sleepers who proved that they're worthy of being given a starting spot on your team for Week 2.

Rookies who were easily drafted but rarely started in some leagues shined bright in their NFL debuts, and it'd be foolish to not go with the hot hand after some of the spectacles we've seen so far.

There were also plenty of established players in new locations that showed their worth on the big stage and warrant their owners to give them the starting nod over struggling stars.

With so much proven in an awesome Week 1 of NFL action, let's take a look at some sleepers who you can't ignore from here on out.


Robert Griffin III - QB - Washington Redskins

You can't have a better NFL debut than the one rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III had Sunday.

He had the numbers. RGIII's final statline read 19-for-26 with 320 yards and 2 TDs. He scampered 10 times for 42 yards. 

The way he did so was even more remarkable. Shredding the ball through a talented Saints defense with his signature zip and sprinting past their front seven, Griffin showed that he may have even been worthy of the No. 1 pick this year.

Experts knocked on RGIII because they were unsure how his quick feet would settle against fast, lethal NFL defenses. But against one of the scarier defenses in the league, he danced around and showed that he's going to be very capable of ripping long rushing plays.

That combined with his uncanny ability to stay alive in the pocket makes him a stat-sheet stuffer and means he'll be a perennial 20-point fantasy scorer this season. It's hard to find a QB worthy of starting over RGIII, despite him starting in less than 20 percent of ESPN Fantasy Football leagues. 


Donald Brown - RB - Indianapolis Colts

Brown is a slightly more popular starter (23 percent of ESPN leagues), but he still isn't started as much as he should be. He proved that in the Colts' debut Sunday in Chicago.

Rookie quarterback Andrew Luck and company trailed early to the Bears, and that forced the No. 1 pick to throw the ball much more than he liked, but expect Brown to get many more opportunities when the Colts are actually in the game.

Most of his nine carries came in the first half, including an incredible 18-yard touchdown scamper that brought Indy within three points in the second quarter. But once the Bears offense got hot, the Colts were forced to air it out and Brown was never able to get involved in the run game.

But when he did, he was running downhill with a lot of steam. He's going to be taking a lot more of the workload than usual in this Indianapolis backfield, and with that will come many more touchdowns.


Lance Moore - WR - New Orleans Saints

Saints wideout Lance Moore is the epitome of a sleeper. He's owned in more than 99 percent of ESPN leagues, yet he only starts in 11 percent of those same leagues. 

He's proven himself as worthy of being on each fantasy owner's teams, but rarely gets the nod to start. With the departure of Robert Meachem to the Chargers sure to affect the amount of touches each receiver gets, look for Moore to touch the ball much more this season.

Moore blew up Week 1 against the Redskins with six receptions for 120 yards and a score. 

Drew Brees has grown accustomed to Moore as one of his favorite wideouts due to a growing chemistry between the two, and that's set to increase this year as Brees and this Saints offense doesn't appear to have lost a step after last season.

A combination of all of these things will make Moore a much more valuable starter than some may have expected heading into the season.