Sneaky Starts: Week 7
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. As of Week 4, the aFPA Hot Spots reports that you see on the site are now using 2019 data, so we can now pay more attention to positional strength of schedule.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the top Sneaky Starts for Week 7...
Josh Allen, Bills (vs. MIA, 30th in QB aFPA)
Allen is averaging 16.1 fantasy points per game, which is the 13th-highest average at his position. His matchup against the Dolphins is fantastic. Case Keenum (166/2), Philip Rivers (310/2) and Dak Prescott (246/2) all threw for two scores in recent weeks.
Daniel Jones, Giants (vs. ARI, 29)
Jones threw for 336/2 against the Bucs and added 28 yards and two touchdowns as a runner in Week 3. Since then, he has averaged 189 yards and 1.0 touchdowns (versus 2.0 interceptions) over the last three weeks, but he’s been dealing with several injuries to his receiving corps. If he’s able to get Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard and/or Evan Engram back this week, he should post a nice fantasy line against the Cardinals. Arizona has given up an average of 280 yards and 2.8 touchdowns to Matt Ryan, Andy Dalton, Russell Wilson and Kyle Allen over the last four weeks.
Jacoby Brissett, Colts (vs. HOU, 21)
Brissett had a nice four-game run (16.3 to 22.5 points per game) prior to a disappointing finish (10.9 fantasy points) against the Chiefs in Week 5. This week he has the Texans, who have yielded 273/3 to Patrick Mahomes, 330/3 to Matt Ryan and 318/2 to Philip Rivers in the last few weeks.
Gardner Minshew, Jaguars (@ CIN, 24)
The Bengals will be without CBs Dre Kirkpatrick and William Jackson for the next few weeks, so Minshew should be able to bounce back from a poor outing versus the Saints. Prior to that, he threw two touchdowns in four of his first five games.
Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers (@ WAS, 28)
In recent weeks, Tom Brady (348/3) and Mitch Trubisky (231/3) have posted good fantasy lines against Washington. Garoppolo plays in a run-heavy offense, so maybe he doesn’t have the upside as some of the other passers ranked in the same range, but the matchup is great and the 49ers have an implied total of 25.8 points, so he has a good chance for a nice day.
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