Fantasy Football Sleepers: Week 1

Some players to consider boosting up your depth chart in the season-opener

Raheem Mostert

As we saw on Thursday Night Football, expect the unexpected in fantasy football. That’s especially true in the opening week, where it is more difficult to predict outcomes. However, we will try to dig deep to find our favorite Fantasy Football Sleepers: Week 1.

The great thing about Week 1 is everyone has championship aspirations. However, now isn’t the time to get cute with lineups. Finding unheralded sleepers in Week 1 is merely looking for flex options or players who are in a good position to out-produce their weekly projections.

Subsequently, now isn’t the time to get cute with lineups and overanalyze things. Stick with your studs. You drafted them for a reason. However, if you are in a deep league or got bitten by the injury bug, here are some fantasy football sleepers: Week 1 to consider.


Sam Howell (Washington Commanders) – Howell looked good this summer in Eric Bieniemy’s offense. The sophomore signal-caller has been deemed a season-long sleeper and is primed to get off to a good start. In addition to having a deep group of skill position players as a supporting cast, the Commanders are seven-point home favorites against an undermanned Arizona Cardinals club. Howell’s lone start last year resulted in a QB7 finish. A repeat of QB1 numbers is certainly a possibility.

Anthony Richardson (Indianapolis Colts) – Indy’s passing game could be a mess. However, that doesn’t mean that Richardson won’t get off to a fast start. The Colts have an inviting home matchup against a Jacksonville squad that surrendered the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks last season. Also, Jacksonville was particularly vulnerable on the ground, allowing the third-most rushing yards (469) to the position.

Daniel Jones (New York Giants) – Jones experienced a late-season reinsurance under Brian Daibol to close out last year. A rejuvenated Jones has added muscle and additional confidence entering the 2023 campaign. If Jones continues to be a rushing threat and with the addition of Darren Waller, look for a 20-plus fantasy performance on Sunday Night Football.

Geno Smith (Seattle Seahawks) – Most fans believe Smith’s success last year was a fluke. Meanwhile, the Seahawks added Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Zach Charbonnet in the draft. Also, they will march out one of the most underrated offensive line groups. Smith went for a cool 367 and 3 TDS in his last matchup vs. the Rams.

Running Backs

Raheem Mostert (Miami Dolphins) – Rookie running back De’Von Achane was gaining a lot of steam in drafts prior to an injury. And since then, veteran Raheem Mostert has surged in drafts by sharp high-stakes players. Mostert looked spry in the final preseason game and knows the offense well. The week 1 matchup against the Chargers could be the shootout of Week 1. Also, Mostert could get the full allotment of touches.

Samaje Perine (Denver Broncos) – New Denver head coach Sean Peyton signed free-agent RB Samjae Perine on the first day of free agency. The Broncos are not going to give Javonte Williams a full run coming off ACL surgery in Week 1. Also, Perine has the chance to get tons of work vs. the Raiders. Perine is more than just a change-of-pace option. He can grind out tough yards and should be a viable red-zone threat in Payton’s scheme.

Jamaal Williams (New Orleans Saints) – Alvin Kamara is suspended and Kendre Miller has a hamstring injury. That puts Williams in line for a heavy workload in Week 1. New Orleans hosts a tough Tennessee run defense on Sunday. However, Williams is a volume play that could see upwards of 20 touches. Also, fantasy footballers are well aware of his nose for the end zone. Williams should contend from RB2 numbers. Well ahead of his tenth-round ADP.

Wide Receivers 

Josh Palmer (Los Angeles Chargers) – It’s Palmer, not Quentin Johnston who will open the season as LA’s WR3. Palmer has been ahead of the rookie all offseason. Also, this is a fantastic matchup for the entire Chargers’ offense. Miami’s secondary was already a mess and now they’ll be missing Jalen Ramsey for most of the season. At 49 points, this AFC battle has the highest over/under on Sunday’s slate. I love the Chargers overall and think Palmer was one of the most underrated wideouts on draft day. Subsequently, I think he gets off to a solid start in 2023.

Isaiah Hodgins (New York Giants) – Hodgins was the featured wide receiver down the stretch for the Giants in the 2022 season. But many fantasy players have ignored Hodgins in August drafts. Hodgins could continue to prosper with QB Daniel Jones and Brian Daboll’s innovative playcalling. Also, this Sunday night NFC East grudge match has all the makings of another slugfest. 

K.J. Osborn (Minnesota Vikings) – The Vikings will look to establish themselves as an elite passing team. Minnesota selected USC WR Jordan Addison with their first-round pick to help bolster the offense. It may take some time for Addison to reach his full workload and snap counts as he navigates the transition from college to the NFL. It wouldn’t be a surprise if veteran K.J. Osborn should take advantage of Week 1 playing time in another potential shootout.

Tight Ends

Isaiah Likely (Baltimore Ravens) – Given the injury status of Mark Andrews, Isiah Likely could be in line for a double-digit fantasy game with major upside. The Ravens will make a major effort to push the ball downfield under new offensive coordinator Todd Monken. Likely, a 2022 fantasy draft darling should definitely be in lineups in Week 1 if The Ravens play it safe with Andrews. In fact, Likely should be on fantasy radars even if Andrews is active. 

Gerald Everett (Los Angeles Chargers) – Reverting back to that Chargers/Dolphins game, Miami also struggled to defend tight ends. In fact, the Dolphins allowed the second-most receptions (100) and fourth-most touchdowns (10) to tight ends last season. Everett himself saw eight targets when these two teams squared off in Week 14. Everett will once again be in a good position to be utilized early and often on Sunday, making him a solid choice for our fantasy football sleepers: Week 1.


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About Jody Smith 491 Articles
With over a decade of winning experience, Jody is a well-known fixture in the fantasy football community. He was named Fantasy Pros’ **Most Accurate Ranker** previously and was the site’s Top NFL over/under totals picker with a record 65% accuracy in 2020, while also ranking 5th in the country with a 55% against-the-spread hit rate. Jody has written for many sites over the years including Pro Football Focus, FantasyPros, CBS Sportsline, FantasyData, and is a regular contributor to the Fantasy Index magazine expert’s poll, draft, and auction. Jody’s experience ranking and projecting player performance will help prepare the Fulltime Fam for their big draft days as well as answers they can trust on Sunday for those ever crucial Who Do I Start questions.