Sneaky fantasy pickups entering Week 1

Updated: September 7, 2012, 3:36 PM ET
By Eric Karabell

You've read our rankings and blog entries and chats and other good stuff and presumably are all ready for the rest of Week 1 in this sure-to-be fine 2012 fantasy football season. But have you begun to prepare for the rest of September? What about October, when the bye weeks get awfully annoying, or your December playoffs? In this Friday blog entry staple, we're not looking to the immediate Sunday like everyone else, but future Sundays with sneaky pickups to secure before everyone else knows about them.

Consider this scenario: Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, hardly known as the Cal Ripken Jr. of his sport when it comes to durability, injures something in the first half of Sunday's game at Cleveland. Perhaps you planned properly with a strong backup quarterback option, perhaps not. Chances are pretty good that Philly's backup is available in your league, and while I'm hardly touting a rookie passer -- there are already five others scheduled to start this weekend! -- or handcuffing a quarterback, the fact is Nick Foles will start looking pretty good by next Tuesday, when every team in your league will know his name.

The practice of sneaky pickups works best not at quarterback, where most fantasy teams have strong enough starting options and the usual capable backups such as Ryan Fitzpatrick and Matt Cassel, but when paying particular attention to -- you guessed it -- the running backs and wide receivers. Over the past month, I was often asked about deeper sleepers, but in reality it depends how one defines the term. Detroit Lions wide receiver Titus Young is a sleeper, but he became popular and owned in nearly all leagues. Sneaky pickups aren't popular. Not yet.