Sneaky Starts: Week 5

Sneaky Starts: Week 5

All but the luckiest fantasy owners need to find the proverbial diamond in the rough at some point – 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.

Dak Prescott, Brian Hoyer, Alex Smith, Isaiah Crowell, Jordan Howard, Orleans Darkwa, Terrelle Pryor, Phillip Dorsett, Steve L Smith, Michael Thomas, Sammie Coates, Terrance Williams, Brice Butler, Zach Miller and Hunter Henry were several of the standout Sneaky Starts in Week 4.

Let’s take a look at Week 5.

Note: As of Week 4, our Hot Spots (Strength of Schedule) Reports are now updated with 2016 data, so I’ll refer to adjusted fantasy points allowed as aFPA.

 

Quarterbacks

Derek Anderson, Panthers (vs. TB)
With Cam Newton officially out for Monday night, Anderson will draw the start against the Buccaneers. Coincidentally, Anderson’s last two starts (in 2014) were against Tampa. He completed 49 of 74 passes (66.2%) for 507 yards (for a 6.85 YPA), three touchdowns and zero interceptions. In a great matchup – the Bucs are yielding 8.3 YPA and have given up nine passing touchdowns in four games – QB streamers could do much worse.

Dak Prescott, Cowboys (vs. CIN)
Prescott is the #9 fantasy quarterback through four weeks and has posted #3 numbers over the last three games. The Bengals’ pass defense has struggled at times (yielding nine touchdowns to Trevor Siemian, Ben Roethlisberger and Ryan Fitzpatrick), but shut down the Dolphins last Thursday. Still, the Bengals are #26 in QB aFPA, so this is shaping up to be a good matchup for Prescott and the Dallas pass offense.

Jameis Winston, Buccaneers (@ CAR)
The Panthers’ pass defense is not what it once was. Matt Ryan torched this group for 503 yards and four touchdowns last week, and the unit gave up 243 yards and two scores to Blaine Gabbert in Week 2. Winston has fared well in solid-to-good matchups this year (281 yards and four touchdowns against Atlanta in Week 1, 405 yards and three touchdowns against the Rams in Week 3), and the defense is struggling to get stops, so this is shaping up to be another high-volume game for Winston.

Brian Hoyer, Bears (@ IND)
Hoyer has posted back-to-back 300+ yard, two-touchdown games against Dallas and Detroit. This week he faces the Colts, who just yielded three total touchdowns (two pass, one rush) to Blake Bortles. Maybe more importantly, the Colts declined the bye that usually follows a trip to London, so this may be a tired defense.

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