Week one is gone and out of the way, and injuries and roster changes are already starting to take over what we thought was normalcy in fantasy football.
All of the certainties and "locks" we thought we had figured out are slowly fading away. Think about it. Andre Johnson was terrible for fantasy owners in week one. Ditto for Matt Schaub. And Chris Johnson was looking to be among that company until he busted out a 70+ yard touchdown run against Oakland.
But it's not all about start players meeting expectations or proving they've been over-hyped. Sometimes, in leagues with 12+ teams, it's about finding those deep, hidden gems. Sometimes it's about finding those extra couple of guys who should never be a starting fantasy option in a normal league, but have enough value to make things happen in a deep league.
Here's a look at the fantasy options still available out there that could be solid sleepers moving forward:
Note: Not all of these guys are going to make a killing for you today, tomorrow, or necessarily ever. However, ALL of them are available in no less than 95% of all standard leagues, so they present some solid value considering their availability.
Dennis Dixon, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers (Available in 97% of all standard Yahoo! league)
Dixon wasn't awesome in week one, and he likely won't have an amazing game against the Tennessee Titans relatively strong defense in week two, either. However, he's still the starter, and is likely to keep the job until Roethlisberger returns after Pittsburgh's week five bye.
Shaun Hill, QB, Detroit Lions (98%)
Hill has never been flashy, and even lost his job in San Francisco largely because of this fact. But with an improved defense and ground game, he may not have to be. Matthew Stafford is out for a while and he still has some explosive weapons (namely Calvin Johnson) at his disposal. Not a bad resume for a guy owned in just 2% of all standard leagues.
Seneca Wallace, QB, Cleveland Browns (99%)
Jake Delhomme isn't for sure out for week two just yet, but the fact that the 34-year old veteran is already in danger of missing action tells us we'll be seeing Wallace under center before long. Good or bad, that should keep Wallace on your radar if you're in a deep league.
Jimmy Clausen, QB, Carolina Panthers (99%)
One Matt Moore concussion away from seeing action as a starter. That's all it almost took. Moore looks like he'll be able to pass the concussion tests and start week two, but his weak performance in week one doesn't do him any favors, either. Another injury or bad showing, and Clausen could be hearing his name called.
John Kuhn, FB/RB, Green Bay Packers (98%)
As soon as Ryan Grant went down, everyone scampered after Brandon Jackson, and here Kuhn still sits, wasting away at the bottom of 98% of all fantasy football leagues. Kuhn was used as a receiver and short-yardage back before Grant was lost for the season, so I can't fathom how or why he is being so under-valued. Kuhn scores three times on just 15 total touches in 2009, and he already has a score on two total touches this season. Need I say more?
LaRod Stephens-Howling, RB, Arizona Cardinals (98%)
Chris "Beanie" Wells is still not fully healthy, and LRSH is still not rostered in more than 2% of all leagues. Interesting. True, his value is completely gone once Wells returns, but he currently does hold value as Tim Hightower's back-up, as he displayed his abilities en route to 60+ total yards (not including returns) in week one.
Harry Douglas, WR, Atlanta Falcons (99%)
With Michael Jenkins still out, Douglas found himself reasonably active against a tough Pittsburgh Steelers defense, hauling in three catches for 39 yards. Considering he's third on the pecking order currently (at best), that has to be an achievement. As long as Jenkins remains out, Douglas has the potential to be a decent weapon, providing Matt Ryan can start to find him more.
Aaron Hernandez, TE, New England Patriots (97%)
Hernandez only caught one ball in his rookie debut, but it went for 45 yards. He may not see a ton of action as a pure pass-catching tight end behind better blockers in Alge Crumpler and Rob Gronkowkis, but he clearly has the talent to make plays at the next level. That alone should keep him on your fantasy radar.
Evan Moore, TE, Cleveland Browns (98%)
If Cleveland hadn't already spent money on free agent acquisition Benjamin Watson, I'd confidently vouch for Evan Moore as a fantasy contributor down the road in 2010. However, his three-catch, 87-yard week one performance might be doing that for me, already. He'll struggle to be consistent as the back-up, but in deeper leagues, Moore could be a TE2 gem.
Tony Moeaki, TE, Kansas City Chiefs (98%)
The rookie was excellent in his career debut, catching three passes for 21 yards and a touchdown. It appears the Chiefs have found a possible replacement for Tony Gonzalez. One major issue: the Chiefs passing game as a whole leaves a lot to be desired, so curb your fantasy expectations for the rook.