Fantasy Football Week 2: Sleepers to Start at Every Position

Shawn Brubaker@@63brubakerContributor IISeptember 15, 2012

TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 9:  Quarterback Josh Freeman #5 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rushes upfield for a second-quarter gain  against the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium September 9, 2012 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

A lot of players didn't have the kind of opening week they wanted in fantasy football, and these players might be looking for a sleeper to help insert some life into their teams.

Those players should look no further than these players. They might not be big names, but these players, despite little fanfare, should rack up some fantasy points.


Quarterback—Josh Freeman

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman is going to have a big game this weekend, win or lose.

Freeman will be taking on the Giants, who have a good chance of taking a big lead on the Bucs. If they do, Freeman will be forced to pass the ball, and he should find some success.

The Giants' secondary is just mediocre, as Tony Romo proved in the NFL's opening game. They will definitely struggle to contain Mike Williams and Vincent Jackson.

The Buccaneers could very well be in the game, though, in which case Freeman's potential is slightly lessened. They will want to run the ball with Doug Martin, which will limit Freeman's attempts.

On the flip side, though, a strong running game would open up the play-action pass. Freeman has the arm to pose a vertical threat to the defense, which should help him put up big numbers regardless of whether the Bucs are in the game or not.

Last week, the Buccaneers had a wildly conservative game plan that limited Freeman's opportunities. Such a game plan won't win this week, so expect Freeman to have more attempts and more production.


Running Back—Jonathan Dwyer

Jonathan Dwyer was the Steelers' most effective back against Denver, so expect him to receive a bulk of the carries against the Jets.

As good as the Jets' defense is, the Steelers will still try to run the ball. Dwyer's power should enable him to get some tough yards, and maybe a touchdown or two as well.

The Jets are probably riding high after last week's big win over the Bills, meaning they could be in for a letdown. The Steelers, on the other hand, are hungry for a win after last week's loss against the Broncos.

That could result in more than a few turnovers for the Jets, which would increase the red zone opportunities for Dwyer and increase his fantasy value further.

For those looking for a pinch start at running back, Dwyer is the perfect fit.


Wide Receiver—Kendall Wright

Kendall Wright had an inauspicious start to his career, finding himself held to 37 yards on five receptions against the Patriots.

Wright has a much easier task this week against the Chargers. He should be helped by the fact that Kenny Britt is back, as Britt will probably be used mostly as a decoy in his return to game action.

Further, Wright is definitely developing a rapport with quarterback Jake Locker. Wright is an exciting playmaker over the top with good run after the catch ability on short routes. Locker will probably look his way multiple times throughout the game.

Also helping Wright's case is the fact that the Chargers should be able to score early and often against the Titans. The Titans will need to pass to keep up, and Wright will definitely see a good amount of those targets. 

Finally, if Nate Washington is still limited, Wright will be the beneficiary of the extra targets that would normally go to Washington. The two have similar skill sets, so Wright should fill in for Washington nicely.

All in all, Wright has a chance to make a big impact in his second game.


Tight End—Greg Olsen

The Panthers are going to have to pass early and often to keep pace with the Saints this week, and Greg Olsen should benefit from those extra passing attempts.

The Saints secondary was exposed by Robert Griffin III and the Redskins, so Cam Newton and the Panthers should pick right up where Washington left off.

Olsen is essentially the No. 2 receiver on the Panthers, meaning he should receive a ton of targets. He will also be the top red zone target as well, meaning he could grab a touchdown or two as well.

Most of the Panthers passing game should be in starting lineups this week, and Olsen is no exception.


Defense—Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals defense was an embarrassment against the Ravens on Monday night, but they seem to have found a cure: playing against the Cleveland Browns.

No quarterback was worse than the Browns' Brandon Weeden last week, so the Bengals should have little trouble forcing him into turnovers. 

A good rule of thumb this season will be to start the defense that is playing the Browns. That makes the Bengals' defense a must start this weekend.