September 13, 2023, 11:44 pm
In fantasy football, there are oftentimes players that go overlooked heading into a week of games. Sleepers are left on benches every single week, but sometimes that “big game from out of nowhere” could have been easily predicted and utilized in starting lineups. In this piece, I’ll be tiering and listing some of the sleepers I’ve identified ahead of Week 2 of the 2023 fantasy football season. If they’re on your bench, feel comfortable playing them over a starter with a worse outlook for Week 2. There’s also a chance they could be on the waiver wire, so snatch them up if you’re in need of a spot start this week.
I’ll be looking at all players rostered in at least 50% of ESPN leagues and tier them in descending order of their percentage started on fantasy teams, in other words: the further down the list, the deeper the sleeper for Week 2’s matchups. If you’re looking for this week’s top waiver wire adds, check out this essential piece from us by clicking the link below!
Tier One: Started in 20-50% of fantasy leagues
RB Jamaal Williams – New Orleans Saints (86.3% rostered / 41.4% started)
Jamaal Williams saw a ton of snaps and a ton of carries in Week 1 vs. the Titans. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, the Saints faced Tennessee’s stout run defense and Williams was held to just 45 yards on 18 carries. Williams draws a much more inviting matchup in Week 2 vs. the Carolina Panthers, who allowed the most fantasy points to RBs in Week 1 vs. the Falcons. Williams should be much more efficient in Week 2, and if he draws a similar workload that he had in Week,1 he should be a good start this week for those in need of a fantasy RB. Rookie RB Kendre Miller could return this week, however, we are uncertain because the Saints have not practiced yet this week since they play on Monday night. Even with Miller entering the fold, I still trust that Williams will produce in Week 2.
WR Michael Pittman Jr. – Indianapolis Colts (90.8% rostered / 37.8% started)
Michael Pittman Jr. was far and away the favorite target of rookie QB Anthony Richardson. Pittman Jr. caught 8-of-11 targets for 97 yards and a touchdown in his 2023 debut vs. the Jaguars. A lot of Pittman’s work came in the final drive of the game, further indicating the trust that Richardson has in Pittman Jr. as the alpha receiver of the offense. Also notable, he was on the field for all but two snaps in Week 1. In Week 2, he faces the Texans’ underrated defense, and while they could give him fits, the sheer volume that Pittman Jr. will receive is enough to make him a fine start this week, especially in PPR leagues.
TE Cole Kmet – Chicago Bears (82.7% rostered / 34.2% started)
Cole Kmet isn’t the best tight end option out there, but I think his involvement in Week 1 was promising for his fantasy outlook this year after signing a big contract extension this summer. Kmet reeled in 5-of-7 targets for 44 yards and a touchdown last week vs. the Packers. He also gets a Week 2 matchup vs. the Buccaneers, who allowed the second-most PPR fantasy points to the tight end position in Week 1. Still, though, almost 50% of fantasy football players roster Kmet but don’t find him worthy of a start this week, which I believe to be a big mistake. Kmet will be a top tight end option once again this week.
WR Zay Flowers – Baltimore Ravens (85.1% rostered / 25.8% started)
Zay Flowers’ impressive debut was no surprise to those familiar with the talents that the rookie wideout possessed. With tight end Mark Andrews (quad) sidelined, Flowers had a clear shot as the top target of the Ravens’ offense in Week 1, and made the most of the opportunity. He racked up 9 catches on 10 targets for 78 yards. Even when Andrews returns, Flowers should still produce, as he has cemented himself as a valuable weapon in this offense. The Ravens face the Bengals in Week 2, and while the Browns didn’t produce much through the air vs. Cincinnati, they leaned heavily on the run as they led comfortably for most of the game. Fantasy managers that roster Flowers should definitely consider plugging Flowers into their lineups if their starting wideouts are underwhelming.
WR Jahan Dotson – Washington Commanders (86.1% rostered / 20.3% started)
Jahan Dotson is verging on overtaking Terry McLaurin as the top target of the Commanders’ offense, and at the very least should be considered the 1B to McLaurin’s 1A. Dotson led the team with seven targets and was on the field for 87.3% of snaps in Week 1, and the total was just one snap shy of matching McLaurin. The Commanders also play the Broncos in Week 2, who allowed the 7th-most PPR fantasy points to wideouts in Week 1 vs. the Raiders. Dotson’s ability to play inside and outside and great route-running means he should have his moments to rack up points in Week 2.
Tier Two: Started in 10-20% of fantasy leagues
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