Sneaky Starts: Week 3
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. We have last year’s aFPA up on the website now, but it will start updating for 2019 data after Week 3.
For now, let's take a look at the top Sneaky Starts for Week 3...
Kyler Murray, Cardinals (vs. CAR, 15th in QB aFPA last year)
Murray has gotten off to a decent start fantasy-wise, finishing with 308 yards and two scores in Week 1 and 349 yards in a tough Week 2 matchup against the Ravens. He still hasn’t broken a run yet, but that’s going to happen eventually given his elite speed. The Cardinals’ pass-happy ways and fast pace allow Murray to be productive even if he isn’t efficient. The Panthers have been decent against the pass this year, but Cam Newton is banged up, so they may have trouble sustaining drives. This should play into Arizona’s hands.
Jacoby Brissett, Colts (vs. ATL, 27)
Brissett has been solid in his first two starts. He has five touchdowns and one interception and has added 34 yards on the ground, scoring 16+ fantasy points in each game. The Falcons have actually been pretty good against the pass this year. They limited the Eagles to 255 yards and a touchdown, and picked off Carson Wentz twice. Minnesota didn’t need to throw the ball to beat the Falcons, so those numbers are misleading. Atlanta is capable of putting up points, so the Colts may need to throw the ball more than they’d like.
Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers (vs. PIT, 12)
In 10 starts for Kyle Shanahan, Garoppolo has averaged 272 yards and 1.5 touchdowns. Last week, he had 297/3 against the Bengals. This week’s matchup against the Steelers looks great. Pittsburgh gave up 341/3 to Tom Brady in Week 1 before giving up 300/3 to Russell Wilson in Week 2.
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