Sneaky Starts: Week 5

Sneaky Starts: Week 5

By John Paulsen (Senior Editor), last update Oct 5, 2012

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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 Paulsen on Twitter: @4for4_John.

As injuries and bye weeks pile up, all but the luckiest fantasy owners will 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.

Week 4's Sneaky Starts included Kevin Kolb, Kendall Wright, Leonard Hankerson and Scott Chandler.
Now that we have four weeks of data, we're able to use Adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed (aFPA) by position. For more detail, click here.
Note: These recommendations do not trump our weekly rankings, which are updated throughout the week and weekend.
Vikings QB Christian Ponder (vs. TEN) 
Ponder is dealing with a hip issue, but should be fine for a good matchup against the Titans on Sunday. He has been a little up and down this season with two-touchdown games against the Colts and the 49ers while being shut out in the TD department against the Jaguars and Lions. The Titans have given up the fourth-most points to QBs this season.
Hasselbeck is filling in for the injured Jake Locker. He is capable of putting up good numbers; he averaged 1.2 TDs and 235 yards passing in the 15 games where he attempted at least 20 passes last season. The Vikings are mediocre against opposing QBs (#17 in aFPA).
Tannehill threw for 431 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions against the Cardinals in Week 4. This week, he faces a Bengals defense that is #27 in QB aFPA. He has shown a nice rapport with Brian Hartline and Davone Bess, and the trio should be able to take advantage of a beat up Bengals secondary.
I don't really know what Battle's role will be for the rest of the season. I do know that he has carried the ball 32 times for 163 yards (5.1 YPC) and three touchdowns, and has even caught four passes for 42 yards and another touchdown. Ryan Mathews is by all accounts a very talented RB, but the fact of the matter is Battle is seeing significant playing time and has largely taken over goal line duties for the Chargers. He seems to be taking over Mike Tolbert's role from 2011. So he looks to be a good start against the Saints, who have given up the most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.

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