Sneaky Starts: Week 8

Sneaky Starts: Week 8

By John Paulsen (Senior Editor), last update Oct 30, 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 Derek Carr (QB5), Brian Hoyer (QB7), Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB8), Jameis Winston (QB9), Teddy Bridgewater (QB11), E.J. Manuel (QB13), Darren McFadden (RB4), Charcandrick West (RB7), Branden Oliver (RB27), Antonio Andrews (RB32), Matt Jones (RB35), Nate Washington (WR2), Stefon Diggs (WR6), Robert Woods (WR11), Rishard Matthews (WR13), Michael Floyd (WR18), Ted Ginn (WR24), Tavon Austin (WR37), Jordan Reed (TE1), Eric Ebron (TE3), Ladarius Green (TE4) and Ben Watson (TE15) all finished with starter- or flex-caliber numbers in Week 7.



Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jets (@ OAK)
#FitzMagic is the #15 QB in fantasy and has the #12 PPG average. That’s what happens when you give a competent quarterback two good receiving options and a strong running game. He has thrown two touchdowns in five of his six games and has added an average of 18 yards on the ground. Dial him up in a nice matchup with the Raiders (#20 in QB aFPA).

Jay Cutler, Bears (vs. MIN)
Over the past three games, Cutler has averaged 295 yards and 1.7 TD. Now that he has a healthy Alshon Jeffery and a healthy Eddie Royal to throw to, he should remain productive. The Vikings are a mediocre matchup (#16 in QB aFPA).

Joe Flacco, Ravens (vs. SD)
The Chargers aren’t a particularly good matchup for Flacco (#10 in QB aFPA), but the bookmakers expect the Ravens to score 26.5 points in this one, which is one of the highest totals of the week. Flacco always seems to produce decent fantasy numbers, and occasionally puts up a three-TD day like he did in Week 5 against the Browns.

Alex Smith, Chiefs (vs. DET)
Nobody believes me when I say that Smith is the #11 quarterback in fantasy football. That’s largely due to the fact that he hasn’t had his bye yet, but he’s also been really consistent. He has scored at least 13.3 fantasy points in six of his seven games. Jeremy Maclin should be back this week, which will help against a shaky Detroit secondary (#30 in QB aFPA).

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