JoJo’s Sleepers are back! Year 2 should prove to be sleepier than ever. Last year I picked 64 out of 65 successful sleepers, and as long as none of you check that statistic you’ll rest easy in the knowledge that the Joj’ has your back. Here are my week 1 sleepers;
LESTAR JEAN – WR/HOU – vs MIA
In 2009, the Texans took a chance on an undrafted free agent named Arian Foster. The following year, the Texans did the same with WR Lestar Jean. If the outcome is anywhere in the ballpark for Jean as it was Foster, Jean could be the sleeper of the season. The 6’3″ WR has the No.3 spot locked, and could easily see more time if Andre Johnson goes down again or if No.2 Kevin Walters has any trouble. This week the Dolphins come to town, who’ve given up loads of yards this preseason. Keep an eye on this guy.
DONNIE AVERY – WR/INDY – @CHI
Offensively the Colts are going through a mini revolution with QB Andrew Luck under immense pressure to fill some very big shoes (Curtis Painter wore a size 22!). WR’s Wayne and Collie (who’s recovering from a concussion) are likely No.’s 1 and 2, but Donnie Avery has stepped up in the preseason with a good showing in the Colts 3rd game (catching 6 of 7 targets). Luck could breath new life into Avery’s game, as the star QB will be very pass heavy on a team with a poor running game.
KELLEN WINSLOW – TE/SEA – @ARZ
Winslow is a bit of cocky fellow. After having surgery to repair his knee, he’s going to need that cocksure attitude to thrive in Seattle. I’m confident he will. Winslow only averages about 4 or 5 td’s/year, but he does catch a ton of balls every single season. Rookie QB Russell Wilson will be relying heavily on his check downs, leaving Winslow with plenty of opportunity to get tons of targets. His competition, Zach Miller is recovering from a concussion (something he does a lot of). In week 1 Winslow will make his Seattle debut vs a fairly porous Cardinals defense. I like him for 7/80/1 td. (** update! Winslow has been cut from the Seahawks, making him this week’s DEEP SIX SLEEPER OF THE WEEK!)
RONNIE BROWN – RB/S.D. – @OAK
Starting running back Ryan Mathews is likely out for at least the first game in Oakland. He may even miss the next game as well. If and when he does return, Mathews will always be an injury risk. Entering week 1 Coach Norv Turner will probably turn to a 3 way attack, with Ronnie Brown getting the start. Brown never turned out to be the star he was pegged to be in Miami, but he did prove to be a reliable fill-in RB in PPR leagues as a good pass catcher out of the backfield. He’s got upside and could take advantage in week 1, with RB Mike Tolbert leaving in the offseason.
DEVIN HESTER – WR/CHI – vs INDY
Under Mike Martz’s offense, Hester was vastly underutilized and WR’s coach Darryl Drake says he’s the most improved player since the end of last season. Hester has never lined up across an elite WR like Brandon Marshall, and the new combo should give Hester more opportunity to get targets. Couple that with Hester’s big play ability on special teams and end-around running plays, he could have a great week 1 vs a notoriously bad Colts defense.