Sneaky Starts: Week 5

Sneaky Starts: Week 5

By John Paulsen (Director of Forecasting), last update Oct 4, 2013

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John was named the Most Accurate Fantasy Football Expert by FantasyPros for the 2010 and 2014 seasons, and has finished in the Top 6 in seven of the last eight years. Cumulatively, John has been the most accurate expert from 2010-17 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 4, our Sneaky Starts included Philip Rivers (QB3), Alex Smith (QB4), Brian Hoyer (QB9), Ben Roethlisberger (QB10), Danny Woodhead (RB6), LeVeon Bell (RB7), Bilal Powell (RB21), Jacquizz Rodgers (RB25), Nate Washington (WR2), Kenbrell Thompkins (WR9), Marlon Brown (WR26), Terrance Williams (WR35), Denarius Moore (WR37), Coby Fleener (TE5) and Charles Clay (TE9).

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

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

Raiders QB Terrelle Pryor (vs. SD)
Pryor is back from his concussion and ready to face the Chargers, who have been dreadful against the pass this season (#31 in QB aFPA).

Giants QB Eli Manning (vs. PHI)
Yes, the Giants have stunk so far, but after a couple of tough QB matchups (CAR & KC) on the road, they come home to face a far more generous Philadelphia secondary that is #19 in QB aFPA.

Rams QB Sam Bradford (vs. JAX)
After a hot start (5 TDs in his first two games), Bradford has cooled off considerably, but he has a terrific matchup with the Jaguars at home. Jacksonville is #28 in QB aFPA, so Bradford should be able to 'get right' in Week 5.

Jets RB Bilal Powell (@ ATL)
Granted, Powell isn't all that Sneaky anymore. He's the #13 RB in standard formats and is in line for another big workload with Chris Ivory nursing a hamstring pull and Mike Goodson fresh off of suspension. The Falcons are #24 in RB aFPA, but the Jets could abandon the run in this one. Fortunately, Powell can help in the passing game as well.

Raiders RB Rashad Jennings (vs. SD)
Darren McFadden is in all likelihood out for Week 5 with a hamstring injury, which means Jennings could see a big workload in relief. He turned 22 touches into 116 yards against the Redskins, but benefited from a number of dump-offs from Matt Flynn which may or may not be there with Terrelle Pryor under center. The Chargers aren't a good matchup (#5 in RB aFPA), but workload alone makes Jennings a Sneaky Start.

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