Sneaky Starts: Week 13
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 (QB10), Spencer Ware (RB5), Javorius Allen (RB8), Alfred Blue (RB10), Thomas Rawls (RB12), Shaun Draughn (RB22), Duke Johnson (RB35), Travis Benjamin (WR13), DeSean Jackson (WR19), Golden Tate (WR27), Cecil Shorts (WR30), Brian Hartline (WR40), Julius Thomas (TE1), Gary Barnidge (TE11), Brent Celek (TE16) and Zachary Miller (TE17), who all posted starter- or flex-caliber numbers in Week 12.
Let’s take a look at this week’s Sneaky Starts:
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jets (@ NYG)
Fitzpatrick has accounted for at least two touchdowns in nine of his 11 games this year. He’s coming off a four-TD effort against the Dolphins and is facing the Giants, who are #27 in QB aFPA.
Alex Smith, Chiefs (@ OAK)
Smith is the #15 QB in fantasy, and is only four points behind the #11 QB, Drew Brees. He has thrown (or rushed) for six total touchdowns in his last four games, and has had success against the Raiders in recent years (averaging 273 yards and 3.0 TD in his last three games against Oakland). It doesn’t hurt that the Raiders are #26 in QB aFPA.
Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins (vs. BAL)
Tannehill finished with 351 yards and three touchdowns against the Jets. OC Bill Lazor was fired this week and Tannehill is excited about his new involvement in the game plan. He faces the Ravens, who are #31 in QB aFPA.
Marcus Mariota, Titans (vs. JAX)
Mariota has been a little hit or miss this season, but his overall numbers (249 yards, 1.9 total TD per game) are solid. Two weeks ago he managed 231 passing yards, 29 rushing yards and a rush TD against the Jaguars. He should be able to surpass those numbers this week.
Brock Osweiler, Broncos (@ SD)
The Chargers are #18 in QB aFPA, and Osweiler has two great weapons in the passing game (Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders). If Philip Rivers is on his game, this could turn into a shootout.
Matt Hasselbeck, Colts (@ PIT)
Hasselbeck has thrown two touchdowns in each of his last three starts and posted 315 yards and two scores against the Bucs last week. The Colts could find themselves trailing against the Steelers, so Hasselbeck may have to throw more than he’d like to.