Sneaky Starts: Week 14

Sneaky Starts: Week 14

By John Paulsen (Senior Editor), last update Dec 7, 2013

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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.

All but the luckiest fantasy owners 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.

In Week 13, our Sneaky Starts included Josh McCown (QB8), Ryan Tannehill (QB9), Carson Palmer (QB11), Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB13), E.J. Manuel (QB16), Donald Brown (RB20), Rashard Mendenhall (RB32), Doug Baldwin (WR12), Brandon LaFell (WR26), Kendall Wright (WR34), Ladarius Green (TE6), Charles Clay (TE17) and John Carlson (TE19).

At 4for4, we use Adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed (aFPA) by position heavily in our rankings and analyses.

Note: These recommendations do not override our weekly rankings, which are updated throughout the week and weekend.

Let's take a look at some of the best Sneaky Starts for Week 14:

Ravens QB Joe Flacco (vs. MIN)
Flacco hasn’t been that great this season (#19 QB), but when he’s had good matchups he has produced. When playing teams outside of the top 20 in QB aFPA (DEN, PIT x2, NYJ), Flacco has averaged 275 yards and 1.3 TDs. He should be able to post those types of numbers against a Vikings defense that is last in the league in QB aFPA.

Titans QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (@ DEN)
Since taking over (for a second time) for Jake Locker in Week 10, Fitzpatrick has been the #4 QB in fantasy. It isn’t always pretty (like last week’s three-INT debacle against the Colts), but Fitzy does enough with his legs to make up for a bad passing day. He has averaged 33 yards in his last six starts and has rushed for three TDs in that span. He’ll likely be in catch up mode early against the Broncos and their #31 QB aFPA.

Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill (@ PIT)
Tannehill has quietly posted top 15 QB numbers this season. He’s averaging 284 yards and 1.5 TDs in his last four games, and can run the ball a bit as well. The Steelers are #24 in QB aFPA in the last 10 games.

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