Sneaky Starts: Week 11

Sneaky Starts: Week 11

By John Paulsen (Senior Editor), last update Nov 20, 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 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.

Last week’s Sneaky Starts featured Kirk Cousins (QB1), Jay Cutler (QB3), Joe Flacco (QB7), Jeremy Langford (RB1), Matt Jones (RB4), Karlos Williams (RB15), Ryan Mathews (RB18), James Starks (RB20), Travis Benjamin (WR16), Rishard Matthews (WR17), Chris Givens (WR18), Davante Adams (WR24), Kamar Aiken (WR28), Brandon LaFell (WR31), Crockett Gillmore (TE7) and Richard Rodgers (TE9) all scored starter- or flex-caliber numbers in Week 10.

Let’s take a look at the sneakiest of starts in Week 11:



I don’t think Derek Carr (@ DET) or Blake Bortles (vs. TEN) qualify as sneaky anymore since they’re both in the top 10 on the season, but I have them both ranked in the top 6 this week.

Alex Smith, Chiefs (@ SD)
Smith is the #11 QB on the season and owns the #16 PPG average at his position. This may not sound that impressive, but as a streaming option, it doesn’t get a whole lot better. He has a nice matchup with the Chargers, who are #19 in QB aFPA and Smith always seems to add a few points in the running game.

Tyrod Taylor, Bills (@ NE)
Taylor is a classic risk/reward play this week. On paper he has a nice matchup with the Patriots (#23 in QB aFPA), but the Patriots have a tendency of chewing up young/inexperienced quarterbacks. Taylor did fine in Week 2, however, throwing for 242 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 5-43-1 in the ground game. Don’t forget that he threw three picks and that this game is in Foxboro, not Buffalo.

Mark Sanchez, Eagles (vs. TB)
In eight starts last year, Sanchez completed 63.8% of his passes for an average of 277 yards, 1.50 TD and 1.13 INT. That equates to 16.6 FP, or about what Joe Flacco averaged as the #13 QB last year. He has a nice matchup with the Buccaneers, who are #24 in QB aFPA.

Brock Osweiler, Broncos (@ CHI)
Osweiler completed 14/24 passes for 146 yards, a touchdown and a pick in a quarter and a half of catch-up mode against the Chiefs. He also showed some legs, rushing three times for 18 yards. The Bears are #20 in QB aFPA, so Osweiler will have a chance to produce in Week 11.

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