Sneaky Starts: Week 3

Sneaky Starts: Week 3

By John Paulsen (Senior Editor), last updated Sep 12, 2016

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John was named the Most Accurate Fantasy Football Expert by FantasyPros for the 2010 and 2014 seasons, finished as runner-up in 2011 and 4th in both 2012 and 2015 for a total of five Top 5 seasons in the last six years. Cumulatively, John was the most accurate expert from 2010-15 while also winning the 2011 Fantasy Sports Trade Association award for the most accurate draft rankings. 

Follow John on Twitter: @4for4_John.

All but the luckiest fantasy owners 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.

Last week’s Sneaky Starts featured Tyrod Taylor (QB5), Andy Dalton (QB10), Joe Flacco (QB11), Dion Lewis (RB3), David Johnson (RB14), Danny Woodhead (RB15), Karlos Williams (RB18), Shane Vereen (RB19), Bilal Powell (RB28 in PPR), Lance Dunbar (RB34 in PPR), Donte Moncrief (WR8), Terrance Williams (WR16), Kenny Britt (WR36), Heath Miller (TE13) and Vernon Davis (TE18), who all posted starter- or flex-caliber numbers in Week 2.

Let’s take a look at several Sneaky Starts for Week 3:



I currently have Tyrod Taylor (@ MIA) at #13, Marcus Mariota (vs. IND) at #14 and Andy Dalton (@ BAL) at #17, but if those options aren’t available on the waiver wire, the following passers should provide stopgap numbers for Week 3.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jets (vs. PHI)
FitzMagic has tossed two touchdowns in each of his first two games. The Eagles gave up 298 yards and two touchdowns to Matt Ryan and a combined 268 yards and one score from Tony Romo and Brandon Weeden. It sounds as if Eric Decker may play, which will help.

Nick Foles, Rams (vs. PIT)
Foles had a rough game against Washington (150 yards, TD), but the Redskins have been better than expected against the pass, holding Ryan Tannehill to just 226 yards and one score. Meanwhile, the Steelers have yielded 623 yards and six touchdowns to Tom Brady and Colin Kaepernick. The Steelers are putting up points, and the Rams will probably have to let Foles throw the ball. (He threw for 297 yards and a TD against Seattle in Week 1.)

Derek Carr, Raiders (@ CLE)
The Browns have given up 436 yards and four touchdowns combined to Marcus Mariota and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Carr is not a safe start, but he’s coming off of a 351-yard, 3-TD effort against a pretty good Baltimore defense.

Alex Smith, Packers (@ GB)
Speaking of “keeping up,” Smith may be in that situation if the Packers’ offense gets off to a good start. If the Chiefs get into catch-up mode, then Smith is capable of making plays with his feet as well.

Blake Bortles, Jaguars (@ NE)
The Patriots have given up a combined 593 yards and four touchdowns to Ben Roethlisberger and Tyrod Taylor. Bortles will probably attempt 40 passes this week as the Jaguars are likely to find themselves behind early in the game.

Brandon Weeden, Cowboys (vs. ATL)
Through two games, the Falcons have yielded 628 yards and three touchdowns to Eli Manning and Sam Bradford. Weeden may have to throw the ball to keep up with Atlanta.

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Filed Under: w3, 2015

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