While there are still Monday Night Football games yet to be played, the real fantasy gurus are already looking forward to Week 2 and which sleepers will help them guide their team to victory.
Whether you won or lost in Week 1—or if you still don’t know yet—it is imperative to always work the waiver wire or trade market for the hidden gems of 2012; that is where fantasy leagues are won and lost.
All of the following players were late-round picks in your fantasy draft or even possible free agents, but they will have huge Week 2 numbers that could put your team in the win column.
C.J. Spiller, RB, Buffalo Bills
Despite the fact that the Buffalo Bills lost to the New York Jets 48-28 and trailed for almost the entire game, young running back C. J. Spiller has become one of the hottest fantasy commodities on the market.
With 169 rushing yards and a touchdown on just 14 carries—as well as two catches for 25 yards—Spiller took over the starting role when Fred Jackson injured his knee, and submitted his application to be starter for the rest of the season.
There are serious questions about the severity of Jackson’s knee injury, but if the damage is substantial enough to keep him out for an extended period of time, Spiller becomes an absolute stud.
The Bills play the Kansas City Chiefs next, and Spiller will have a field day if Jackson can’t go.
Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears
Fantasy owners may have been terrified at the way the game started for the Chicago Bears, but Jay Cutler calmed down, found his rhythm and put on a great showing against a tough Colts defense.
With the revitalized rapport with Brandon Marshall, Cutler is looking to return to the elite form he had with the Denver Broncos. Add in the rookie Alshon Jeffery, and Cutler will be one of the top five QB’s statistically by the end of 2012.
Chicago plays Green Bay in Week 2, so Bears fans and fantasy owners should all rejoice at the prospect of their offense facing little-to-no resistance. If you own Cutler, start him and expect more than 400 yards of passing and at least four touchdowns.
Stevan Ridley, RB, New England Patriots
The New England Patriots destroyed the Tennessee Titans Sunday, 34-13, but it was the performance of running back Stevan Ridley that really stole the show.
When New England squares off with the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2, fantasy owners should expect similar numbers from the young running back (21 carries for 125 yards and a touchdown against the Titans.)
Arizona’s front seven may be vaunted as one of the toughest in the NFL, but so was Tennessee’s.
As long as Ridley is getting the bulk of the carries, the elite Patriots passing game will open up the field enough to give the powerful back room to get moving. Once his legs are churning, it’s hard to stop him.
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.