Every year on Week 1 there are a few players who went completely unnoticed in fantasy drafts that just go crazy and put up huge point totals. Much of this is due to sheer dumb luck or simply game-planning, getting the ball to the player who will be defended the least effectively. David Clowney of a few years ago pops instantly to mind. The trick to finding consistent sleepers is to identify good matchups where certain players will have a good opportunity to succeed. I have indentified a couple of these for this week from the 49ers and the Raiders.
San Francisco: RB Kendall Hunter. You may have him as a backup handcuff to Frank Gore, but he may be worth a closer look this week. Gore has been looking sharp and explosive, but Jim Harbaugh will want to keep him that way and that means limiting his touches. The Niners are going to try to control the clock and grind this one out, which entails multiple opportunities for Gore's backups, chief of which happens to be Kendall Hunter. I wouldn't be surprised to see fifty yards and a score from Hunter on Sunday.
Oakland: Defense. In the last few years, the Raider defense has been anathema to fantasy owners as they played a useless man scheme and had poor linebacker play. The sack totals weren't enough to offset giving up thirty points on a regular basis. But this year they have massive roster turnover and a brand new defensive scheme. In addition, they face a Charger offense whose key players are either hurt or terrible, and a QB in Philip Rivers who has more picks than a coal mine and appears mentally out of sorts. Their offensive line will not be able to hold up to the Raider pass rush especially with a healthy Matt Shaughnessy and their receivers will have a difficult time against new Raider cornerbacks Ron Bartel and Shawntae Spencer. Also, Norv Turner is still San Diego's head coach. The Raiders' main difficulty will be, as always, covering star TE Antonio Gates but his contributions will not be enough to negate what should be a banner night for the Raiders defensive unit. Feel free to start them with impunity.
For more on the San Francisco 49ers, join the discussion over at Niners Nation. You can also check out everything we have to offer at SB Nation's NFL hub.
For more on the Oakland Raiders, join the discussion over at Silver And Black Pride. You can also check out everything we have to offer at SB Nation's NFL hub.