Sneaky Starts: Week 1

Sep 09, 2020
Sneaky Starts: Week 1

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.

Let's take a look at the top Sneaky Starts for Week 1...


Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers (vs ARI)

In two matchups with the Cardinals last year, Garoppolo compiled 741 passing yards, eight touchdowns and two interceptions. Those were his two best fantasy games of the year, with 28.9+ in each.

Tyrod Taylor, Chargers (@ CIN)

Taylor is a proven fantasy commodity and will likely produce as long as he’s the starter. Taylor started for three years in Buffalo, but didn’t have much of a receiving corps in 2017, so looking just at 2015 and 2016, Taylor generated 18.5 fantasy points per game thanks in large part to his 40 yards rushing and 0.35 rushing touchdowns per game. He also limited negative plays (0.41 interceptions per game) while throwing for 1.28 touchdowns per game. He was the No. 15 fantasy quarterback in 2015 and No. 8 in 2016. The Bengals yielded the second-most yards per attempt last year. I’d feel better if Taylor had a healthy Mike Williams to throw to, but he should be able to make do with Keenan Allen, Hunter Henry and Austin Ekeler against the Bengals.

Gardner Minshew, Jaguars (vs. IND)

In his 12 starts as a rookie, Minshew averaged 237 yards, 1.5 touchdowns and 0.3 interceptions, while adding 28 yards rushing. This equates to 16.6 fantasy points per game, which would have been the 15th-highest per game average in 2019. The Colts aren’t a great matchup, but they gave up 1.81 passing touchdowns per game last season and yielded the second-highest completion percentage in the league.

Philip Rivers, Colts (@ JAX)

The Colts have an implied total of 26.5 points, one of the highest totals this week. Rivers may be a game-manager in 2020, but he has some weapons at receiver and this game is a sneaky bet to turn into a shootout.

Teddy Bridgewater, Panthers (vs. LV)

The Raiders gave up 2.06 passing touchdowns per game last season. Bridgewater is unlikely to set the world on fire, but he has a good set of weapons and should take a few shots deep to D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel and Robby Anderson.

Running Backs

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