Sneaky Starts: Week 10
All but the luckiest fantasy owners at some point need to find the proverbial diamond in the rough—a waiver wire or bench player 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.
A good way to identify a potential spot start is to leverage 4for4’s signature strength-of-schedule metric, adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA). Many sites publish raw fantasy points allowed by position, but 4for4 goes a step further and adjusts those numbers for a defense’s relative year-to-date schedule strength. So if a defense has seen a murderer’s row of running backs, it will be reflected in the defense’s aFPA. As a ranker, I use this metric weekly when putting together our award-winning projections.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the top Sneaky Starts for Week 10...
There are quite a few good streaming options this week. Philip Rivers is fairly obvious since he faces the Raiders, who are last in the league in QB aFPA. Jimmy Garoppolo is coming off a huge game against the Cardinals and he has a good matchup with the Seahawks (No. 20 in QB aFPA). Derek Carr (vs. LAC, No. 6 in QB aFPA) has at least two touchdowns and 285 yards in three straight games.
Brian Hoyer, Colts (vs. MIA, 29)
Hoyer may draw the start if Jacoby Brissett (MCL sprain) is unable to go, and if so, he’ll have a fantastic matchup with the Dolphins, who have yielded seven touchdowns in the last four games to the likes of Sam Darnold, Mason Rudolph, Josh Allen and Case Keenum. Playing 79% of the snaps last week in relief of Brissett, Hoyer threw for 168 yards and three touchdowns against a good Steelers’ defense.
Daniel Jones, Giants (@ NYJ, 19)
Jones has had an up-and-down rookie season, but there’s a lot to like about the matchup against the Jets, who have yielded 567 combined passing yards and six combined touchdowns to Ryan Fitzpatrick and Gardner Minshew over the last two weeks. Jones has averaged 18.7 fantasy points in his five neutral-to-good matchups this season, though his scores have swung wildly from week to week. He has a high ceiling and a low floor this week.
Ryan Tannehill, Titans (vs. KC, 18)
Tannehill has turned in three solid fantasy performances, posting 312/2 against the Chargers, 193/3 against the Bucs and 331/1 (and a rushing touchdown) against the Panthers, scoring a minimum of 19.2 fantasy points in all three games. The Chiefs have yielded 220/3 to Kirk Cousins and 305/3 to Aaron Rodgers in the last two weeks.
Kyle Allen, Panthers, (@ GB, 7)
I witnessed first hand the ineptitude of the Packer pass defense against the Chargers. Philip Rivers didn’t throw a touchdown but he had 294 yards and 10.5 yards per attempt. In Week 8, the Packers gave up 267/2 to Matt Moore and in Week 7, Derek Carr and Mike Glennon combined for 329/3. Allen has two two-touchdown games and a four-touchdown game back in Week 3. He has just one touchdown in his three other starts, so he has a pretty good ceiling but a scary-low floor. This game could turn into a shootout if the Packer offense can get back on track.
Sam Darnold, Jets (vs. NYG, 23)
This is more of a matchup play than any high level of confidence in Darnold’s game right now. The Giants have yielded 257/3 to Dak Prescott and 342/3 to Matthew Stafford in the last two weeks. Darnold threw for two touchdowns against the Jaguars in Week 8 and had 260/1 against the Dolphins last week, though he had another touchdown called back.
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