Following a successful draft, the best way to give your fantasy football squad its best chances to win is to know which players are on the verge of a breakout. Knowing these potential sleepers can give fantasy managers a huge edge over their competition.
Here are some fantasy football sleepers to consider heading into Week 2 of the 2021 season.
Mac Jones (QB) New England Patriots
Jones looked solid Week 1 and ran the offense we all expected to see from him in New England. It looked like a simplified version of what Tom Brady used to run, where he takes the snap and gets the ball to his pass catchers quickly. He was good, not great, and failed to win in his NFL debut, however, that was against a menacing Dolphins’ pass defense.
This week Jones gets to take down the lowly Jets. The Pats are going to be an angry team coming off a demoralizing home loss and will look to victimize the Jets. This one has blowout written all over it and Bill Belichick is known for running up the score. This could lead to a huge day for Jones in his first true breakout Fantasy performance of his young career. The Jets are one week removed from allowing Sam Darnold to throw for 279 yards and a touchdown on them.
Kenyan Drake (RB) Las Vegas Raiders
The matchup against the Steelers isn’t great for running backs, but that could be a plus for Drake who is the team’s pass-catching back and will be utilized if running between the tackles is futile. Despite being viewed as the backup he played 41 snaps last week to Josh Jacobs’ 45, a 48/52 split. Combine all that with the fact that Jacobs was limping on and off the field all night and has now popped up on the injury report with a DNP on Wednesday and everything points to a potential flex-worthy week from Drake.
Last week against the Ravens, he saw 11 touches totaling five receptions and 70 total yards. I would expect an uptick in volume this week due to the game script and Jacobs being banged up. I like him as a sneaky flex option this week.
David Johnson (RB) Houston Texans
All eyes are on Mark Ingram in the Texans’ backfield after he received 26 carries last week, but they shouldn’t be. The attention should turn to Johnson who is their undisputed pass-catching back. What happened last week with the Texans is unlikely to happen again this season, especially this week going up against the Browns.
Last week the Texans were blowing away the Jags and Ingram managed 26 carries on just 36 snaps. You can throw that game script right in the trash. The Texans will be losing this week and Johnson will be out on the field catching passes. Not only that, but he also looks like a better runner than Ingram based on what we saw last year and heard out of camp. He could be a solid PPR flex this week in a game the Browns will likely be winning by more than just a little bit.
Latavius Murray (RB) Baltimore Ravens
Murray looks locked in as at least the RB2 in Baltimore and could even be the RB1 as we saw the Ravens trust him and not Ty’Son Williams in the second half of Monday Night Football. While Williams out-snapped Murray and handled a much heavier workload in the first half, Murray ultimately handled more carries and was the man down the stretch. A big reason for this was Williams whiffing on multiple blocks including one that led to a brutal hit on Lamar Jackson and a crucial fumble. Plays like that may cost the much younger Williams dearly when it comes to snap shares.
Murray is far from a lock from stepping out and being the man in Baltimore, however, so is Williams. At worst this is a split backfield and Murray is the Gus Edwards to Williams’ JK Dobbins. At best that situation is flipped and Murray becomes a legitimate RB2. If you are searching for a flex this week you can do a lot worse than Murray.
Will Fuller (WR) Miami Dolphins
Hopefully, you haven’t forgotten about Fuller. Last season before being suspended for PEDs with five games left in the season, he had been an elite option. He was the WR8 at the time and has always been a highly productive option when healthy. The good news is he’s healthy.
There are plenty of other options in the Miami passing attack, nevertheless, that may be a good thing for Fuller because defenses can’t just lock in on him. DeVante Parker, Jaylen Waddle, and Mike Gesicki will all command attention. The Dolphins’ weapons are still being sorted out by Fantasy owners, but it’s not very often a WR1 from the previous season is just forgotten about like this. You may have struck gold if you drafted him late in your drafts.
Editors Note: Fuller has been ruled OUT for Week 2 due to a personal issue.
Rondale Moore (WR) Arizona Cardinals
Kyler Murray and the Cardinals’ passing attack looked unbelievable last week and the surprise Fantasy star was Christian Kirk. However, I prefer to target Moore for Fantasy relevancy. We’ve seen Kirk enough to know who he is and we’ve seen him have monster games then disappear over and again. Moore is the more talented receiver and was just as good as Kirk last week minus the touchdowns.
Week 1, Moore saw 5 targets, the same as Kirk, and took them for 68 yards compared to Kirk’s 70. That was Moore’s first NFL game and he’s just flat out a more talented player than Kirk. Moore’s snaps and targets should only go up each week and he will emerge as the clear-cut WR2 in Arizona sooner rather than later. If I’m rolling the dice on a pass-catcher for the Cardinals against a terrible Vikings’ secondary who isn’t DeAndre Hopkins, Moore is my sleeper pick.
Tyler Boyd (WR) Cincinnati Bengals
With Tee Higgins getting all the preseason hype and J’Marr Chase getting all the Week 1 hype, Boyd is flying under the radar. Sure, Boyd didn’t have a great game with just three catches for 32 yards last week, but that doesn’t mean we should just forget about him. For years he’s been the most reliable receiver in Cincinnati and a PPR machine.
Don’t get spooked after just one poor outing. We are far from knowing exactly how this WR corps is going to pan out throughout the season. He still has value and no one should be shocked if he comes out and catches seven or eight passes this week against the Bears.
Tyler Conklin (TE) Minnesota Vikings
With Irv Smith out indefinitely, Conklin is the clear TE1 in Minnesota and should see plenty of targets. In week 1 he caught four passes for 41 yards and looked good out there. I don’t expect Conklin to put your team on his back and carry you, but he is a viable streaming option. I expect him to catch about four to six passes again next week against the Cardinals and he should have similar yardage totals again, right around 50. If he can catch one of those passes in the end zone then you have a nice sleeper you snagged off waivers.
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