Sneaky Starts: Week 1

Sneaky Starts: Week 1

By John Paulsen (Director of Forecasting), last update Sep 11, 2016

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John was named the Most Accurate Fantasy Football Expert by FantasyPros for the 2010 and 2014 seasons, and has finished in the Top 6 in seven of the last eight years. Cumulatively, John has been the most accurate expert from 2010-17 while also winning the 2011 Fantasy Sports Trade Association award for the most accurate draft rankings. 

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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.

Let’s take a look at the Sneaky Starts for Week 1:



Tyrod Taylor, Bills (@ BAL)
Taylor owned the 7th-best per game average last year, and he’s playing his old team, so there is a revenge factor at play. The Ravens gave up 30 passing touchdowns last year and Sammy Watkins looks healthy. All systems go.

Dak Prescott, Cowboys (vs. NYG)
Prescott lit up the preseason, completing 78.0% of his passes for a 9.1 YPA and a 5-to-0 TD-to-INT ratio. The Giants gave up the most passing yards per game last year.

Brock Osweiler, Texans (vs. CHI)
The Bears yielded 31 passing touchdowns in 2015, 5th-most in the league. Last year, the Texans quarterbacks (Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett, T.J. Yates and Brandon Weeden) combined to post 4,079 yards, 29 touchdowns and just 12 interceptions, so I’m generally optimistic about Osweiler in 2016.

Robert Griffin III, Browns (@ PHI)
RG3 only completed 57.9% of his preseason passes, but managed a good 8.2 YPA and threw three touchdowns against just one interception. The Eagles gave up 36 passing touchdowns last year, 2nd-most in the league. I'm expecting the Browns to go run-heavy, but Hue Jackson will take a few shots downfield.

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