Sneaky Starts: Week 15

Sneaky Starts: Week 15

By John Paulsen (Senior Editor), last update Dec 18, 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 Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB4), Tim Hightower (RB7), Bilal Powell (RB11), James White (RB21), Matt Jones (RB24), Charles Sims (RB28), Theo Riddick (RB36), Ronnie Hillman (RB37), Tyler Lockett (WR4), Allen Hurns (WR9), Brian Hartline (WR21), Jermaine Kearse (WR32), Zachary Miller (TE3) and Will Tye (TE8), who all posted starter- or flex-caliber numbers in Week 14.

Let’s take a look at the Sneaky Starts for Week 15:



Note: Most of the quarterbacks ranked in the 13-20 range probably qualify as “sneaky” this week, including Marcus Mariota, Ryan Tannehill, Philip Rivers and Matt Ryan, but I want to focus on the players below:

Matthew Stafford, Lions (@ NO)
Jameis Winston was unable to take advantage of the Saints defense last week, but Stafford should be able to fare better due to his recent play (8 touchdowns in his last three games) and overall experience.

Alex Smith, Chiefs (@ BAL)
The Ravens are #31 in QB aFPA, and they’re pretty stout against the run. This should result in a few extra pass attempts for Smith – the #13 QB on the year – who has been a good streaming option all year.

Derek Carr, Raiders (vs. GB)
Carr only managed 135 yards against the Broncos last week, but he threw two touchdowns and should find the going easier against the Packers, who are #18 in QB aFPA over the past 10 weeks.

Jay Cutler, Bears (@ MIN)
Cutler broke out of a recent swoon with 315 yards and two touchdowns against the Redskins. He has a good matchup with the Vikings (#19 in QB aFPA) and as long as Alshon Jeffery’s calf injury isn’t serious, Cutler should post good numbers in Minnesota.

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