Sneaky Starts: Week 7
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 6's Sneaky Starts included Christian Ponder (QB11), Brandon Weeden (QB15), Shonn Greene (RB1), William Powell (RB26), Alex Green (RB27), James Jones (WR13), Randall Cobb (WR25), Josh Gordon (WR9), Stephen Hill (WR33), Mario Manningham (WR37), Chris Givens (WR31), Brandon Gibson (WR28) and Jermaine Gresham (TE2).
Note: These recommendations do not trump our weekly rankings, which are updated throughout the week and weekend.
Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman (vs. NO)
Freeman has averaged 223 yards and 1.6 TDs in five games this season, and this week he has a great matchup with the Saints, who are #26 in QB aFPA. This game has the second-highest over/under of the week, so it should be high-scoring and Freeman should get his share.
Titans QB Matt Hasselbeck (@ BUF)
Hasselbeck is averaging 228 yards passing and 1.3 TDs in almost three full games as Jake Locker's replacement. Kenny Britt is getting healthy and this week the Titans face the Bills, who are last in the league in QB aFPA.
Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (vs. TEN)
Fitzpatrick has not played well the last two weeks (279 yards total in two games), but in fairness he played two of the toughest pass defenses in the league (SF, ARI). He has had three good matchups this season (KC, CLE and NE) and has averaged 245 yards and 3.0 TDs in those games. This week he faces the Titans, who are #29 in QB aFPA.
Browns QB Brandon Weeden (@ IND)
Weeden has averaged 253 yards and 1.2 TDs on the season, but in good matchups (CIN twice, BUF) he is averaging 263 yards and 1.7 TDs per game. The Colts are #25 in aFPA, so they qualify as a good matchup.
Cowboys RBs Felix Jones & Phillip Tanner (@CAR)
The Panthers are #29 in RB aFPA, and DeMarco Murray is out with ligament damage in his foot. Last week, Jones carried the ball 18 times for 92 yards and a touchdown. Last year, in the five games where he carried the ball at least 14 times, he averaged 110 total yards and 0.2 TDs. If the Cowboys can get their running game going, Phillip Tanner has a chance to put up decent numbers as Jones' backup.
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