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Andy Dalton and other fantasy sleepers worth starting in Week 1

Here are five under-the-radar fantasy options that could pay dividends coming off your bench or the waiver wive in Week 1.

Jay Asser 2018/09/08

Setting your lineup in Week 1 is relatively easy with few injuries and no bye weeks to deal with, but If you’re willing to get adventurous, here are five sleepers that could pay dividends off your bench or the waiver wire.

Andy Dalton

A popular streaming play this week, the Cincinnati Bengals quarterback has a favourable match-up against the Indianapolis Colts, who last year allowed the fifth-most passing yards per game (246.6) and the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. And between A.J. Green, Tyler Eifert, Joe Mixon and John Ross, Dalton has weapons to work with.

James White

Especially for those in PPR leagues, the New England Patriots running back could offer plenty of points with how much work he’s likely to get in the passing game. Rex Burkhead will likely start and get a significant workload, but with how thin the Patriots’ wide receiver group is, White should be lined up out wide or in the slot often. If Tom Brady sees a linebacker lined up against White, he’ll attack the mismatch over and over again.

Keelan Cole

If you have the fortitude to start a Jacksonville Jaguars receiver this week, make sure it’s Cole. The New York Giants allowed the second-most passing yards last year (252.4), and although they should be better defending the air game this season, they’ll also be without their top pass rusher, Olivier Vernon, in the opener. And who else is Blake Bortles going to throw to? Cole is a better option than Dede Westbrook or Donte Moncrief.

Antonio Gates

He may be old and well past his prime, but Gates can still help fantasy owners in the right situation, and this week against the Kansas City Chiefs is certainly that. The game should be a high-scoring affair with both defences dealing with key injuries and from Gates’ perspective, he’ll likely get a Chiefs unit missing Eric Berry. He should be able to do damage in the middle of the field and he’s also a favourite target of Philip Rivers near the end zone.

Detroit Lions

Streaming defences is one of the most common strategies in the fantasy community because it’s so predicated on match-ups. Defences facing the New York Jets this season will often be used, with the Detroit Lions getting the first crack at rookie quarterback Sam Darnold. While he does have immense talent, Darnold should make his fair share of mistakes as he gets his feet wet as a starter. The Jets’ skill players don’t exactly strike fear into hearts either.

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Andy Dalton Antonio Gates Cincinnati Bengals Detroit Lions James White Keelan Cole