It’s my favorite time of year: small sample size season. It makes for extraordinarily easy (but potentially wrong) kneejerk decisions about players and matchups. Like a bold young buck, going up to a lady at a bar, I am filled with undue optimism and vigor. That’s why I bring you three flawless fantasy football quarterback sleepers for your consideration. Before checking out these guys, check out Waleed Ismail’s Waiver Wire Week 2 Cheat Sheet to see if anyone slipped through the cracks. To qualify for this article, a player must have below 50% ownership in Yahoo! leagues. One of these fantasy football sleeper QB clocks in at below 10% ownership for you deep divers.
Josh Allen at New York Giants (34% Owned)
Alright, here’s one for all the Josh Allen Truthers out there, like myself. Allen had a disastrous first half last week against the Jets, posting two interceptions and two fumbles before half-time. Then, like a phoenix from the ashes, Allen posted two touchdowns (one rushing) and 113 yards in the second half, while protecting the football. He ended up giving us an end-of-2018 Josh Allen Experience in the third and fourth quarters Sunday. I chalk almost all of his struggles up to playing what looked like one of the best defenses in the NFL. This week? It should be a little bit easier as the Bills stay in the Meadowlands and take on the Giants.
This week, Josh Allen gets a Giants squad that is still trying to get to Dak Prescott from week one. Dak had no turnovers, no sacks, took just two hits and threw four touchdowns. He also chipped in 405 passing yards for good measure. He chewed up the Giants defense and spit them out. While Josh Allen is not Dak Prescott, he likely will destroy this below-average Giants defense on the road. He’s available in just one-third of fantasy football leagues, and I have a feeling he will be a staple in this article until people wise up.
Derek Carr versus Kansas City (30% Owned)
You can’t glean a ton of meaningful data from week one of the NFL season, but you can cock your head to the side and go, “huh… that was weird.” One such performance was by Derek Carr in week one. Carr and the Raiders, in their last Monday Night Football tilt in the Big Toilet (Oakland Coliseum), dismantled the Broncos in the first half and cruised to victory. That wasn’t supposed to happen, especially given that defensive guru Vic Fangio now leads a defense that features Von Miller and Bradley Chubb screaming off the edges. Carr easily absorbed the Denver pass rush, taking zero sacks and throwing for 259 yards and a score. What’s most encouraging about his Carr’s performance is cutting his bad throw % from 11.9% in 2018 to 3.8% against Denver. That’s likely because he had one hurry and zero hits. Huge kudos to the Oakland O-Line for that performance.
Well, what does that mean for Carr and the Kansas City Chiefs this week? Nick Foles looked good against them last week before getting knocked out for the game (5/8, 75 yards, and a beautiful touchdown to D.J. Chark). Then, something called a Gardner Minshew II absolutely tore the Chiefs apart, going 22-for-25, for 275 yards, two touchdowns, and a score. The Chiefs supposedly bolstered their pass defense by adding Tyrann Mathieu and swapping Dee Ford for Frank Clark. However, that was not on display last Sunday. If Derek Carr makes it two-for-two in the post-Antonio Brown Era, then the Raiders can truly say they dodged a bullet. And you can say you got sweet, sweet fantasy football points off the waiver wire.
Case Keenum versus Dallas (7% Owned)
I really, really wanted this to be Gardner Minshew II. I did. Minshew is a sixth-round pick and the talk of the NFL. However, I couldn’t do it… you know what? I can. LET’S GO BABY DON’T BASH THAT STACHE.
Gardner Minshew II at Houston (3% Owned)
Sometimes, when you make a fantasy football decision, you make it with your mind. In fact, most of the time you should do that. Barring a mental check on your decisions, you should go with your gut. What you should never do, is make a fantasy football decision with your heart. And that’s what I’m doing here.
The Gardner Snake redefined overperforming expectations, posting 275 yards, two scores and a pick against a Jaguars defense that murdered Nick Foles to get to Minshew. Per Pro-Football-Reference, he made just one bad throw (though he only threw the ball 5.4 in the air, on average). Gardner Minshew crushed the Pac-12 last year, throwing for 4,779 yards, 38 touchdowns, and nine interceptions in thirteen games last year. So far, so good with Minshew.
This week, he doesn’t get the best opponent in the world. However, the Texans had no Jadeveon Clowney week (he’s a Seahawk now), and no J.J. Watt (well, no J.J. Watt on the stat sheet). While Minshew has a long way to go to be Drew Brees, Brees carved up the Texans for 370/2/1. The traditionally stout defense looked a mess on Monday Night Football. The Texans suffered a defensive beating so bad that Bill O’Brien cut Aaron Colvin, and $10.5 million in dead money, after the performance. Colvin allowed eight catches, 117 yards, and a touchdown on Monday Night Football. And the Texans are going to his backup.
Ultimately, the Minshew play is a meme fantasy football play. It would be fun for the glory, but he could also completely goose egg you. You’re likely here because your week one quarterback disappointed you (cough, Jameis, cough). You’re better off sticking with that QB.
Or are you?
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