Week 1: Sleepers of the Week (Page 2)
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Football > Preseason > Week 1: Sleepers of the Week

Week 1: Sleepers of the Week

These lesser-known players deserve to start this week due to matchup or other circumstances. Profiled players include E.J. Manuel, Brandon Weeden, Kenjon Barner, Danny Woodhead, and Darrius Heyward-Bey.
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Recommending Stephen Hill is about as boom or bust as it gets. If you recall, Hill made a name for himself at the 2012 NFL Combine when he ran a 4.36 40-yard dash among some other impressive results. As a rookie, he produced modest results, catching 21 passes for 252 yards and three TDs. If you're not good at dividing numbers, that equals just 12.0 yards per catch. For a player who should be establishing himself as a serious deep-threat, that ypc average is not going to get it done. What's appealing here though is Geno Smith. The former West Virginia signal-caller showed he can be very accurate with short passes, completing 71.2-percent of his balls as a senior. He'll need to transition that accuracy beyond 20-plus yards to maximize Hill's talents. The Jets face Tampa Bay and their overhauled defensive secondary. While the Bucs defense figures to be improved (ranked 31st in fantasy points allowed to WRs), it is also possible guys like CB Darrelle Revis and FS Dashon Goldson need time to develop chemistry. With Revis covering Jets WR Jeremy Kerley, Hill should have CB Leonard Johnson covering him. Johnson is excellent in coverage and a name to remember for the future, but doesn't quite have the speed to keep up with Hill. Sounds like a good opportunity for the former Georgia Tech receiver.

Injury Status: Injured Reserve

It probably isn't enough commentary to say "Peyton Manning!" So let's elaborate on that. Julius Thomas is the new No. 1 tight end in the short-term at a minimum. TE Jacob Tamme is dealing with a quad injury and fell to No. 3 on the depth chart. TE Joel Dreessen is at the No. 2 spot, but has missed a lot of time with a knee injury, allowing Thomas to see a ton of first-team reps throughout camp and preseason. Thomas is a thickly-built receiver at 6'5" and 250 pounds. While he isn't Dallas Clark, it's well-established that Manning relies heavily on tight ends as a check-down option and on other short routes. The tight end position is a total crapshoot after the Top 12 guys with many different sleepers. If you can believe in a guy like Brent Celek or Marcedes Lewis, Thomas should be a breath of fresh air considering the Broncos' immense passing attack.

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Matt De Lima
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White Plains, MD
FFToolbox Fantasy Football Writer since 2010
Matt is a football field. He is a published sportswriter who contributes here at FFToolbox.com, 4for4.com and many other sports sites. His concise and straightforward fantasy expertise has been featured here since 2010. Follow him on Twitter (@mattkdelima) to talk sports and engage in some personalized fantasy discussion.
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