Sneaky Starts: Week 1

Sneaky Starts: Week 1

By John Paulsen (Senior Editor), last update Sep 11, 2015

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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.

Due to increased opportunity or a good matchup, these are players that are ranked higher than normal this week.



Andy Dalton, Bengals (@ OAK)
Let’s play the Andy Dalton Splits Game! In 14 games over the past two seasons where he has faced a bottom-half pass defense, he has averaged 263 passing yards and 2.4 TD. Splitting further, he has averaged 241 yards and 2.0 TD on the road against poor pass defenses. He should produce against Oakland in Week 1.

Jameis Winston, Buccaneers (vs. TEN)
He may be without his best receiver, Mike Evans, and that gives me pause. But he should be serviceable with Vincent Jackson, Louis Murphy and Austin Seferian-Jenkins as his main weapons.

Marcus Mariota, Titans (@ TB)
Mariota was sharp in the preseason and his running ability makes him an interesting fantasy play in his first start as an NFL quarterback.

Blake Bortles, Panthers (CAR)
Will Bortles fine play in games that don’t matter translate to the regular season? We’ll find out on Sunday. Bortles is missing Julius Thomas (and probably Marqise Lee), but Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns and Marcedes Lewis should be good enough to challenge the Panthers. Bortles rushes for around 30 yards per game, which equates to three-quarters of a touchdown. So we have that going for us, which is nice.

Tyrod Taylor, Bills (vs. IND)
If you’re playing DFS this weekend, you’re likely staring at Taylor, wondering if he’s trustworthy enough for your hard-earned money. I’m here to tell you that yes, he probably is. Assuming he finishes the game, he should put up enough fantasy points against a loose Colts defense to make it worth your while. Taylor can run the ball, and that should help.

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