Week 2 Fantasy Sleepers: Overlooked Stars Who Deserve a Start

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 13, 2013

Sep 8, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert (center) makes a catch between Chicago Bears cornerback Tim Jennings (left) and Bears outside linebacker Lance Briggs (right) during the second half at Soldier Field. Chicago won 24-21. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Spor

Fantasy leagues can be won or lost on the tough decisions you have to make.

Unless you're playing in a four-team league, every week is filled with doubts over which of your players are the right ones to start. You've got three or four automatic starters, and the rest are much bigger variables.

You don't want to miss out on that advantageous matchup for one of your players. Then, his big performance won't be helping you at all.

These four guys are unlikely to be nailed-on starters in most fantasy leagues. However, they had good performances in Week 1 and are looking at opponents that should surrender a fair amount of fantasy points. If you've got any of these players or they're out there on the waiver wire, make sure to give them a look.


QB: Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams

Unless you're in a very deep league, Sam Bradford is likely sitting on your bench. That should change this week. In his first game, the fourth-year quarterback had 299 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Losing two of his top three receivers from 2012 didn't seem to have an adverse effect on his numbers.

The Atlanta Falcons gave up a lot of yards to the New Orleans Saints last week. While the Saints have a good offense, it was a bit surprising how Drew Brees was able to take apart the Atlanta secondary.

Bradford should have another big game in Week 2 going up against that same Falcons secondary. He's not going to put up Brees-like numbers, but it should be a very similar performance to his opening week showing. That's good enough for a No. 1 QB.


RB: Rashard Mendenhall, Arizona Cardinals

Giving up a big performance to Adrian Peterson is nothing to be ashamed about. You cannot read too much into how the Detroit Lions were in Week 1.

Based off last year's results, though, there's reason to believe Rashard Mendenhall could have a nice performance in Week 2. In the Arizona Cardinals' 27-24 loss to the St. Louis Rams, Mendenhall carried the ball 16 times for 60 yards.

Against a still suspect Lions defense, he should have another good performance, possibly in the realm of 80-to-90 yards and a touchdown.

He's a definite flex option and likely available in some leagues. If that's the case, make sure you pick him up as quick as you can.


WR: Mike Williams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

New Orleans has improved a lot since welcoming back Sean Payton. The one thing you can continue count on with the Saints is that they're still going to give up a lot of yards and points. While they're not as bad as last year, they still surrendered 367 yards to the Atlanta Falcons.

This should be the perfect antidote for a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that is reeling at the moment. Tampa Bay lost to the New York Jets, and its head coach and starting quarterback aren't seeing eye to eye at the moment, via Pat Yasinskas of ESPN.

Josh Freeman should have a much better performance, thus helping out Mike Williams. He should see improvement on his numbers from Week 1 (four receptions, 52 yards and a touchdown), which would be a nice boost for those fantasy owners who have him.


TE: Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals

Something that got lost a bit in the Cincinnati Bengals' 24-21 loss to the Chicago Bears was the seamless way in which Tyler Eifert integrated himself into the Cincy offense. The rookie tight end had five receptions for 47 yards and was the second-leading receiver for the Bengals.

Against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Eifert and the Cincinnati offense as a whole should have a much easier time getting yards. The Steelers looked old and ineffective against the Tennessee Titans, and the Titans have an anemic offense at best.

After Green, one of Andy Dalton's main targets will be Eifert, especially in the red zone. Don't be surprised to see something like six receptions for 80 yards and a touchdown for the rookie.