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Deeper PPR Lineup Sleepers for Week 1 (Less Than 20% Owned)

With Week 1 of the new NFL season already underway, it is probably unlikely that your fantasy football team is plagued by injuries, unless you drafted several players that got hurt this preseason. Your team should be healthy and at full strength going into Week 1.

Either way, there's always room to scour the waiver wire and I'm here to try and identify some deeper fantasy football PPR sleepers for Week 1. There are some interesting names still floating around on most waiver wires that may provide a solid start this week, if needed, especially for those playing in deeper PPR leagues. Let's take a look.

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Deeper PPR Sleepers & Sneaky Starts for Week 1

Benny Cunningham (RB, STL) – Owned in 10% of Fleaflicker leagues

To start the season, the St. Louis Rams are home against the punishing defense of the Seattle Seahawks. At first glance, this may not seem like a good matchup for Cunningham, going against one of the top defenses in the league. However, Cunningham is going to get plenty of snaps this week.

The team’s first-round pick, Todd Gurley, is still sidelined since he tore his ACL last season at the University of Georgia and second-string back Tre Mason has an injured hamstring. Coach Jeff Fisher has already announced that Mason is more than likely going to be a game-time decision, but if he doesn’t practice this week, he can almost be ruled out before Sunday, meaning Cunningham will get the start.

In 16 games last year, Cunningham ran for roughly 250 yards and caught 45 passes for another 350 yards. He also found the endzone four times. These numbers were almost strictly as a third-down and situational back. In a PPR league, there is no reason to believe that he is not going to bring in a minimum of four passes if he gets the start. New quarterback Nick Foles is known to throw the ball deep, but he may not have the opportunity to against the “Legion of Boom.” He may be forced to check the ball down a lot.

Prediction (if he starts): 35 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 5 receptions, 35 receiving yards


Allen Hurns (WR, JAC) – Owned in 18% of Fleaflicker leagues

Does anyone else remember how last season started for the Jacksonville Jaguars? They pushed the Philadelphia Eagles to the limit in the opener behind the play of Hurns. In his first career game, the former Miami Hurricane blew up for  110 yards and two TDs on four catches. This production came against Philadelphia, which is supposed to be one of the better defenses in the league

Fast forward to this season opener and the Jags are set to play the Carolina Panthers. If he was a running back, I would say bench him. But, since he's a wideout I say play him if you need him. Carolina’s secondary is questionable at times and Hurns’ speed may be able to do some damage.

Additionally, Hurns will benefit from both Marqise Lee and Julius Thomas being sidelined with injuries to start the season. Both of them would normally see a lot of targets, but with both out we can expect Hurns and Allen Robinson to do most of the work on the outside.

Prediction: 4 receptions, 75 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown


Benjamin Watson (TE, NO) – Owned in 15% of Fleaflicker leagues

Again, some people will call this move questionable, but I'll remind you this is only if your team is desperately in need of a spot start. Watson was once relevant in the passing game a long time ago, and had a somewhat valuable fantasy season in 2010 with the Cleveland Browns, finishing with 68 catches for 763 yards and three TDs.

This is not to say that he will finish this year with those numbers, but he may have a good game this week against the Arizona Cardinals, who gave up the fourth-most fantasy points to tight ends last season.

We have heard it all: Jimmy Graham, Kenny Stills and Pierre Thomas are all gone and the team is moving more towards running the ball. However, it is still uncertain if pass-catching specialist C.J. Spiller is going to play this week. If he misses the game, Watson could be in for a couple more targets, considering Mark Ingram is not much of a receiver out of the backfield.

It is hard to say if Watson will have the opportunity to score any touchdowns this week, or this season, since Josh Hill will more than likely come in and be the goal-line tight end. Regardless, Watson should see enough targets in this transition offense to make for a valuable spot start this week in PPR leagues

Prediction: 5 receptions, 40 receiving yards


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