Sneaky Starts: Week 5

Sneaky Starts: Week 5

By John Paulsen (Senior Editor), last update Oct 9, 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.

Last week’s Sneaky Starts featured Blake Bortles (QB6), Andy Dalton (QB8) Devonta Freeman (RB1), Karlos Williams (RB17), Chris Johnson (R26), Allen Hurns (WR3), Ted Ginn (WR9), Cecil Shorts (WR14), James Jones (WR23), Rueben Randle (WR27), Coby Fleener (TE2), Gary Barnidge (TE3) and Richard Rodgers (TE6), who all posted starter- or flex-caliber numbers in Week 4.

Let’s take a look at the Sneaky Starts for Week 5:



Sam Bradford, Eagles (vs. NO)
The Saints have given up an average of 269 yards and 1.8 pass TD to Carson Palmer, Jameis Winston, Cam Newton and Brandon Weeden.  Bradford has not been sharp (6.5 YPA), but he’s coming off of a 270-yard, three-TD effort against Washington last week.

Marcus Mariota, Titans (vs. BUF)
The rookie is averaging 278 yards and 2.7 TD through three games. Meanwhile, the Bills haven’t been as good as advertised on defense. They’ve given up an average of 305 yards and 2.5 TD to Eli Manning, Ryan Tannehill, Tom Brady and Andrew Luck.

Alex Smith, Chiefs (vs. CHI)
Smith has a chance to break his career-high YPA this year. He’s currently averaging 7.8 YPA, which is close to his career mark of 8.0 that he set in his last year with the 49ers. He only has one touchdown since his three-TD Week 1 despite the fact that he’s thrown for 867 yards in the last three weeks. He should be able to break through for a touchdown or two against the Bears and he’s always a threat for 20-30 rushing yards as well.

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