Fantasy football sleepers Week 1: Alex Smith, Josh Freeman worth starting at quarterback

Justin K. Aller

Did you wait too long to draft a quarterback? Looking for the streaming option of the week? Here are a few to consider.

In the first week of the fantasy football season, owners aren't usually looking for sleepers. But owners who waited until the final rounds to draft a quarterback, subscribing to the theory that quarterbacks are overvalued, may need to look deeper for a solid Week 1 matchup.

Luckily, the depth at quarterback is such that there are a handful of quarterbacks that went undrafted in some leagues that could make for solid Week 1 starters if need be.

Maybe you're in a two-quarterback league, maybe you were relying on E.J. Manuel, or maybe you just neglected the position on draft day.

Whatever it was that lead you to this list, here are a few quarterbacks that should fill in nicely in the opening week.

Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs, Matchup: at Jacksonville Jaguars

Andy Reid loves to air it out, and Alex Smith will his trigger man in 2013. Smith isn't the most talented quarterback in the NFL, but volume is a big part of fantasy football, and the Chiefs' passing offense figures to be one of the highest volume attacks in the league. The Week 1 matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars' revamped secondary should help Smith produce a starter-worthy stat line to open the season.

Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Matchup: at New York Jets

The New York Jets can't hide from their warts. Rex Ryan's squad gets more media coverage in a down year than most teams get in a good year. That highlighted the Jets' flaws during the preseason, one of which was the passing defense. Josh Freeman is entering a make-or-break season for the Buccaneers. He has plenty of weapons around him and should start the season with a bang.

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Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers, Matchup: vs. Tennessee Titans

How quickly we forget about Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers' oversized signal caller was battered and bruised throughout 2012, making it tough to gauge his fantasy value from week to week. His offensive line play should improve in 2013, and while he lost his top receiver Mike Wallace, that shouldn't be a problem against the lowly Titans. He may not be worth starting every week, but Roethlisberger is a decent bet to produce for fantasy owners in Week 1.

Brandon Weeden, Cleveland Brown, Matchup: vs. Miami Dolphins

Don't look now, but the Cleveland Browns will be much improved in 2013, and that includes quarterback Brandon Weeden. He'll be without Josh Gordon for the first two weeks of the season, but the Browns should still be able to move the ball against the Dolphins. Miami spent a lot of money in free agency, but that doesn't always translate to success on the field.

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