Grossman, Orton among fantasy sleepers for Week 1

Looking for a sleeper to fill out your starting lineup? These 10 under-the-radar players could be on the verge of solid stat lines this week based on the matchups. For more lineup help, check out Start 'Em & Sit 'Em and our player rankings.

Kyle Orton, QB, Broncos: If you're looking to replace Peyton Manning, take a look at Orton's matchup against the Raiders. Their defense allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to quarterbacks last season, and that was with CB Nnamdi Asomugha in the mix. Without him, Orton could have a solid stat line for the Broncos and fantasy leaguers.

Rex Grossman, QB, Redskins: Don't laugh, because Grossman is a viable fantasy option if you're in need at signal-caller. Remember, he averaged 280 yards and threw seven touchdowns in three starts last season. One of those games came against this week's opponent, the Giants, who surrendered 336 yards and two scores to the veteran.

Mark Sanchez, QB, Jets: Most of us don't get fantasy points for starting a player who's on the cover of GQ, but Sanchez is still worth a look in Week 1 against the Cowboys. The team will be without CB Terence Newman, and fellow CB Mike Jenkins has a bum knee. The Pokes were awful against the pass in 2010, so Sanchez has a chance to put up some nice totals.

Tim Hightower, RB, Redskins: The Giants defense is riddled with injuries, as CBs Terrell Thomas, Prince Amukamara and DE Osi Umenyiora (among others) are out of action. That will mean good things for Hightower, who looked phenomenal in the preseason and has earned the featured role for coach Mike Shanahan. He's well worth starting as a No. 2 or 3 fantasy runner.

Beanie Wells, RB, Cardinals: If Wells is ever going to have a breakout season, it will be 2011. He's the true featured back for the Cardinals, and this week's matchup against the Panthers is extremely favorable. In fact, Carolina's defense allowed an average of better than 22 fantasy points per game to opposing runners last season.

Danny Amendola, WR, Rams: A matchup against the "Dream Team" might be bad on paper. But if the Rams split ends have to contend with CBs Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and CB Asante Samuel has to play out of position in the slot, who will Sam Bradford throw to? I think it will be Amendola, who has value in PPR formats.

Plaxico Burress, WR, Jets: Remember when I mentioned the Cowboys defensive backfield injuries? That will benefit Burress as well. In his first regular-season game since being released from prison, the veteran out of Michigan State finds himself in a terrific position to produce. He's well worth a look as a No. 3 fantasy wideout or flex starter against the 'Boys.

Mario Manningham, WR, Giants: A sleeper on NFL.com, Manningham should open with a solid line against the Redskins. Their pass defense was dreadful in 2010, allowing an average of close to 24 fantasy points per game to wide receivers. With Steve Smith out of the mix, Manningham should see more than his share of opportunities to shine.

Browns defense: No one would argue that the Browns are an elite fantasy defense, but it's hard to look past this week's home matchup against the rookie Dalton and a Bengals offense that lacks teeth. If you're in need of a defense, I'd roll the dice on the Browns -- they're available in over 95 percent of NFL.com fantasy leagues at this point.

Cardinals defense: The Browns aren't the lone defense with a solid matchup this week. In fact, I like the Cardinals even more as a starting option. Also facing a rookie quarterback in Cam Newton and on their home field, the Red Birds should be considered off the waiver wire. This underrated unit is still available in over 70 percent of NFL.com leagues.

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com. Have a burning question for Michael on anything fantasy football related? Send it to AskFabiano@nfl.com or tweet it at Michael_Fabiano!

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Earl "Curly" Lambeau, 37, coach of Green Bay Packers of National Football League, poses in 1931, location unknown. (AP Photo)

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