It's a sad state of affairs when fantasy football owners are already sent scrambling to the waiver wire or deep onto their benches for a starter one week into the season.
Welcome to fantasy football!
Whether it's due to an unfortunate draft or injuries, many fantasy football teams have already been forced to hit the panic button, so while the red lights flash and the siren blares in the background (can you shut that thing off? It's making it hard to concentrate), here's a look at a trio of deep sleeper options that could be set for big enough games to help get you in the win column in Week 2.
Matt Cassel, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs were smoked by the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday, but blame for that defeat can't really be laid at the feet of quarterback Matt Cassel (at least not entirely), as the eighth-year pro completed over 60 percent of his passes for 258 yards and a score while rushing for another one.
Listen—no one's going to confuse Matt Cassel with Matt Ryan anytime soon, and your guess is as good as mine why the Chiefs handed him $63 million after one good year with the Patriots, but as Kent Babb of The Kansas City Star put so eloquently recently, "Cassel isn’t a bad quarterback. He’s [just] not an especially good one, either."
However, Cassel and the Chiefs square off this week against a Buffalo Bills team that just made Mark Sanchez of the New York Jets look good to the tune of 266 yards and three scores.
I repeat—the Bills just made Mark Sanchez look good. All you really need to know.
Donald Brown, RB, Indianapolis Colts
Not a lot went right for the Indianapolis Colts in their season-opening loss to the Chicago Bears, and with the team digging itself into an early hole, the Colts were forced to abandon the run game fairly early, resulting in only nine carries for running back Donald Brown.
The fourth-year pro made the most of the work he was given, though, picking up 48 yards and scoring on an 18-yard touchdown scamper against a Chicago defense that ranked fifth in the NFL against the run in 2011.
This week's matchup against a Minnesota Vikings squad that was also a top-12 run defense a season ago isn't an especially favorable one, but the Colts have a much better shot of staying in this game, which should mean more touches for Brown and a puncher's chance at a solid fantasy outing.
Andre Roberts, WR, Arizona Cardinals
It's somewhat fitting that the A&E TV network just aired a remake of the 1978 movie Coma, because we're headed to the coma ward for this next deep sleeper.
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Andre Roberts hauled in the game-winning touchdown pass in last week's victory over the Seattle Seahawks, which capped off a five-catch, 54-yard performance for the third-year pro.
Granted, the 24-year-old isn't the sort of wide receiver you plug into your starting lineup with the warm and fuzzies. However, you know that the Cardinals are going to have to throw the football this week when they travel to New England to face the Patriots and that star wideout Larry Fitzgerald will receive the lion's share of the defense's attention.
That should translate to lots of single coverage against a pass defense that allowed the most fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers in 2011.