I wasn't planning on writing a fantasy football piece this season, but couldn't resist. This weekly feature will take a look at some sleepers, at each position, who could help fantasy teams win their weekly matchup. To determine the sleepers, I will be using the fantasy points allowed at each position statistics, courtesy of AsktheCommish.com.
For week 1, I will use the fantasy points allowed for 2013. The thought behind these sleeper picks is that the defenses they face will be as poor as they were in 2013. That may not be the case, but we cannot base any of our analysis based on what we saw in preseason. The same holds true in fantasy baseball, as you can't rely on spring training stats on draft day.
Week 1 Sleepers
Last season, the defenses that gave up the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks were:
1. Minnesota - 390 points
2. Dallas - 370 points
3. Oakland - 348 points
4. Tampa Bay - 341 points
5. Atlanta - 339 points
More concisely, each of these team defenses gave up more than 20 points per game to opposing quarterbacks.
With the Raiders traveling east to play the Jets in my home state of New Jersey, Jets quarterback Geno Smith should put up a nice game for fantasy owners in Week 1. In Week 14 of the 2013 season, Smith led the Jets to a 37-27 win over the Raiders, throwing for a touchdown and running one in as well, putting up 21 fantasy points. He put up 20 or more points in two of his last four starts last season, and five times in all. Look for Smith to put up a nice game for his owners on Sunday. For those in two QB leagues, I would not hesitate to start him this week.
Running Back - C.J. Spiller, Bills vs Bears
Below is a list of the defenses that gave up the most fantasy points to opposing running backs in 2013:
1. Dallas - 412 points
2. Chicago - 406 points
3. Tennessee - 361 points
4. Green Bay - 358 points
5. St. Louis - 356 points
Each of these team defenses gave up more than 22 points per game to opposing running backs.
Bills running back C.J. Spiller may be in a running back by committee in Buffalo, but he has the talent and skills to put up an excellent game in Week 1 vs the porous Bears run defense. He has the breakaway speed to take it to the house anytime he gets his hands on the ball. Reports indicate Fred Jackson will be the Bills every down back, but Spiller doesn't need many touches to reach 100 yards on the ground. Here are his 100+ yard rushing games from 2013:
1. 16 carries for 103 yards vs Carolina
2. 12 carries for 116 yards vs Kansas City
3. 15 carries for 149 yards vs Atlanta
4. 19 carries for 105 yards vs New England
Below is a list of the defenses that gave up the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers in 2013:
1. Vikings -456 points
2. Lions - 452 points
3. Eagles - 448 points
4. Raiders - 423 points
5. Chargers - 421 points
Each of these team defenses gave up more than 26 points per game to opposing wide receivers in 2013.
Wright faces a Chiefs secondary that was scorched in the second half of the season, and is missing top cornerback Brandon Flowers, who left via free agency. Wright had a terrific second season in the NFL catching 94 balls for 1,079 yards but only two scores. I think he will reach paydirt this weekend against a bad Chiefs secondary.
Tight End - Ladarius Green, Chargers vs Cardinals
Below is a list of the defenses that gave up the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends in 2013:
1. Cardinals -215
2. Jaguars - 163
3. Cowboys - 160
4. Falcons - 158
5. Bears - 152
Each of these team defenses gave up just about 10 points per game to opposing tight ends last season, with the Cardinals giving up an average of 13 points per game.
Chargers tight end Green may not be the starting tight end in the Philip Rivers offense, but like Spiller, he doesn't need many touches to accumulate yards. Last season, he caught 17 of his 30 targets for 376 yards and three touchdowns. That's a 22 yards per catch average....or what fast wide receivers average. Look for Green to score a touchdown against the Cardinals bad middle of the field defense.
Going forward, I will use current season fantasy points allowed statistics from Ask the Commish, but using data based on a few week's stats may not tell us much.