Sneaky Starts: Week 3

Sneaky Starts: Week 3

By John Paulsen (Senior Editor), last update Sep 19, 2014

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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.

How did our Sneaky Starts do last week? There were some duds, but Darren Sproles (RB1), Ahmad Bradshaw (RB5), Mark Ingram (RB9), Jeremy Hill (RB12), Terrance West (RB13), Matt Asiata (RB14), Jonathan Stewart (RB19), Chris Ivory (RB22), Mohamed Sanu (WR5), DeAndre Hopkins (WR22), Andrew Hawkins (WR28), Delanie Walker (TE3), Niles Paul (TE4), Larry Donnell (TE10) and Travis Kelce (TE11) all provided starter-caliber numbers at their respective positions.

Note: Both Bobby Rainey (105 total yards, 7 catches, 2 fumbles) and Harry Douglas (2-14-1 prior to suffering a foot injury) would have qualified as Sneaky Starts heading into the Thursday Night Game.

Let’s take a look at the Sneaky Starts for Week 3:



Kirk Cousins, Redskins (@ PHI)
In four career starts, Cousins has averaged 269 yards, 1.5 TD and 1.5 INT, or QB17-type numbers. If DeSean Jackson is able to play, Cousins will have a nice group of receivers to throw to.

Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins (vs. KC)
The Chiefs have yielded the 2nd-most YPA in the passing game. Tannehill has been up and down throughout his career, but after a tough loss against the Bills last week, I’d expect him to bounce back against the Chiefs.

Geno Smith, Jets (vs. CHI)
Smith is currently the #13 QB in fantasy, and he looked sharp and confident in the first half of the game against the Packers in Week 2. The Bears have been mediocre against the pass on a per attempt basis, so Smith should be able to move the ball.

E.J. Manuel, Bills (vs. SD)
The Chargers are giving up a healthy 8.2 YPA through the air and Manuel’s YPA has increased from 6.4 in his rookie season to 7.8 this year, thanks in part to the addition of WR Sammy Watkins.

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