Sneaky Starts: Week 9
As injuries and bye weeks pile up, all but the luckiest fantasy owners will at some point need to find the proverbial diamond in the rough -- a waiver wire or bench player who is capable of putting up some points in a pinch. This weekly feature is dedicated to that part of fantasy football. It's not pretty, but it's part of the game.
Week 8's Sneaky Starts included Jonathan Dwyer (RB11), Rashad Jennings (RB13), Alex Green (RB21), Titus Young (WR1), Chris Givens (WR12), Cecil Shorts (WR15), Ryan Broyles (WR20), Santana Moss (WR28), Donald Driver (WR31), Nate Washington (WR32), Dustin Keller (TE9) and Brandon Myers (TE14).
Note: These recommendations do not override our weekly rankings, which are updated throughout the week and weekend.
Raiders QB Carson Palmer (vs. TB)
The Buccaneers secondary is a mess with Aqib Talib traded to New England and Eric Wright facing a suspension and dealing with an Achilles issue. The Tampa Bay offense is good enough to keep the game close, so Palmer will need to throw the ball and has a good matchup to boot.
Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill (@ IND)
The Colts are #29 in QB aFPA and have given up eight passing touchdowns in the last four games. Tannehill should be able to take advantage if he's healthy enough to play. If he can't, Matt Moore would be a serviceable fallback option.
Seahawks QB Russell Wilson (vs. MIN)
The Vikings have struggled of late, giving up three touchdowns last week to Josh Freeman after yielding 262 yards and a touchdown to John Skelton. Wilson is coming off a nice game against the Lions (236 yards, 2 TDs), so he should be decent in this one.
Cardinals QB John Skelton (@ GB)
Assuming the Cardinals fall behind again, Skelton should be able to rack up some yards playing catch-up. The Packers are banged up and are mediocre (#19 in QB aFPA) against the pass.
Saints RBs Pierre Thomas & Mark Ingram (vs. PHI)
Darren Sproles is out indefinitely with a broken hand, so Thomas figures to pick up a good portion of Sproles' usage in the passing game, while Ingram may take on some of Pierre's work between the tackles. The Eagles have been mediocre against the run this season, and lately RBs have had some success. The Falcons, Lions and Steelers all enjoyed at least 108 yards from their top two running backs, so there is some opportunity here for Thomas and Ingram.