Rank's 11 Sleepers: Lock in Jake Locker

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I knew in the back of my mind Philip Rivers had a bad early stretch when I was doing one of my drafts this summer. I know because I had mentioned it on one of our August shows. But I didn't really mind too much because I needed a solid quarterback and I didn't want to entrust two of my teams to Tony Romo. Looking back on it, I feel kind of (expletive) about having one team tied to Romo.

But it wasn't until the moments before Week 1 started that I really had to second-guess myself for having Rivers guide my team. (And in my defense, this particular league manager loves to give us just 30 seconds between picks because of his busy schedule, so I might have had a little bit of the yips, similar to what Eddie Royal had on Monday night.)

I like having Rivers and he's in no danger of losing a spot on my team. But I feel like I dodged a bullet once with Rivers and his 12.52 points on Monday night. I'm not taking that risk again this week against the Seahawks. You might wonder if the Seahawks are as great on the road as they are at home. Well let me answer you. The Seahawks allowed 7.51 PPG at home to quarterbacks. They allowed 10.72 on the road. Both totals were fewest in the league.

So we'll lead off Rank's 11 with a few quarterbacks who can help you win the week.

A big hand to stats mavens Bill "Sudsy" Sudell and Careen Falcone for dropping the knowledge.

And without further ado ...

Jake Locker, QB, Tennessee Titans
Hey, it's not like you're going to build your franchise around the guy. He's just a one-week option to help you get past the Seahawks. But you can't ask for a better matchup. The Cowboys defense really wasn't exposed against the 49ers. But in fairness, Colin Kaepernick wasn't asked to do much other than manage the game because the 49ers jumped ahead so quickly.

Carson Palmer, QB, Arizona Cardinals
Palmer had more than 20 fantasy points on Monday night, which was good. But he didn't throw an interception. You know what that means, right? He's got a four-interception game lurking in him. Or maybe it's a new Palmer who won't turn the ball over. But again, you're going to play the matchup on this one.

Geno Smith, QB, New York Jets
We've gone super deep here. Some might even call it the #DangerZone. Smith was a fine fantasy quarterback at the end of last season. He was decent against the Raiders in Week 1. I like the matchup against the Packers defense who looked terrible against the Seahawks. Maybe the Packers will show some pride this week. But hey, if you need a quarterback, take a look at Geno.

Knowshon Moreno, RB, Miami Dolphins
Don't listen to the noise from the team's coaching staff, because Moreno is the best running back on the team. Sure, you would like to wedge Lamar Miller in there. Much like how I would like to get through a Tuesday evening without people trying to send me "Sons of Anarchy" spoilers on social media. But we can't always have everything. But don't be afraid to get Moreno in your lineups. He's at least a flex. I have such great receiver depth on my team, I'm going to move him into the RB2 spot and not even sweat it.

Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints
I would hope that I wouldn't have to mention Ingram's name in this space, either. But here we are. There are going to be those who will continue to dismiss Ingram because of his alma mater or his past history in the league. But that would just be ignoring all of the real evidence we have had this preseason and in Week 1. And who knows, maybe Sean Payton will someday bleed the clock when his team is holding a lead and feed the rock to Ingram. Dare to dream, I know.

Terrance West, RB, Cleveland Browns
He's been the darling of Rank's 11 for most of the summer, and there is no reason for the hype-train to settle down now. West is at least a flex option right now because he's going to be a big part of the mix. The only person who will end up challenging West is Isaiah Crowell, who also looked good. But West is the guy to go with right now.

Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions
No quarterback was burned more by drops last season than Matthew Stafford. Everybody knows this. But did you know Tate didn't drop a single pass on Monday night. Like not even in warmups (probably). It's not a particularly great matchup against the Panthers this week, but the Lions will move the ball in the air.

Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles
Sssh! Nobody knows about him. I'm just kidding. I just wanted to give a little confirmation about Ertz because some of you still have questions. But he's good to go this week.

Dwayne Allen, TE, Indianapolis Colts
We've all wanted Coby Fleener to be the man in Indy, mostly because he was teammates with Andy Luck at Stafford and this was supposed to mean something. But Allen has been the guy whenever he's been healthy and on the field. Start Allen at tight end if you've been burned an injury at the position.

Tennessee Titans D/ST
Don't be afraid to go against the Cowboys if you are looking to shuffle defenses this week. Tony Romo has turned the ball over a lot. And while he'll probably get you a few garbage-time scores to really hurt your overall score, you can do some damage with this team.

Forward thinking sleepers

Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB, Baltimore Ravens
Coach John Harbaugh talked about his running back rotation on Tuesday, and mentioned the Coastal Carolina rookie, as he said "[Taliaferro] will be a big part of it, too." And while he's not somebody to crack your lineup on Thursday night, he certainly is somebody to keep an eye on. Bernard Pierce fumbled in Week 1 and has had his fair-share of opportunities. Taliaferro will end up as the lead by mid-season.

Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons
Four running backs saw action for the Falcons on Sunday. Steven Jackson looked like the worst of the four. Maybe it's the lack of preseason action, but all three runners looked stronger than SJax. And really, I get Antone Smith had that long catch. But the long-term play is going to be Freeman. Maybe not this week, but at some point.

#DangerZone Pick

Hakeem Nicks, WR, Indianapolis Colts
I know it's going to be weird to say, hey, remember that guy who played so well in the Super Bowl a few years ago? He's a crazy sleeper this week. But come on, you're all wondering if you should play him this week. I certainly will.

Follow Adam Rank on Twitter @adamrank. He surprisingly answers a lot of questions.

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