Week 1 Fantasy Football Sneaky Starts

Week 1 Fantasy Football Sneaky Starts

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.

It’s only Week 1, but with Hurricane Irma barreling towards South Florida, along with the NFL’s resulting decision to move the Tampa Bay Buccaneers/Miami Dolphins game to Week 11, there are more than a few owners left scrambling to fill holes in their respective rosters.

Let’s see if I can help. Below are a few Sneaky Starts at each skill position for Week 1.

Quarterbacks

Carson Palmer, Cardinals (@ DET)

Last year, the Lions defense yielded the second-most passing touchdowns (33) and the highest completion percentage (72.7%) in the league. In his last nine games, once the Cardinals figured out how to manage his tired arm, Palmer was the No. 10 fantasy quarterback. With all of his weapons fully healthy, he should be able to post good numbers against Detroit.

Sam Bradford, Vikings (vs. NO)

In the nine games after Pat Shurmur took over as offensive coordinator, the Vikings offense opened up, and Bradford was a primary beneficiary. He completed 74.5% of his passes for an average of 271 yards and 1.33 touchdowns per game. That equates to 16.0 fantasy points per game, or a bit more than what Jameis Winston scored as the No. 16 quarterback last year. Meanwhile, the Saints gave up the most passing yardage in 2016, yielded the 10th-most passing touchdowns and picked off the 6th-fewest passes. Despite the defensive additions in New Orleans, the Saints still look like a defense to target.

Carson Wentz, Eagles (@ WAS)

The Eagles added Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith in the offseason, and indications are the team is going to take a pass-heavy approach in 2017. And the matchup isn’t bad—the Redskins gave up the 8th-most passing yards while yielding the 4th-highest completion percentage.

Alex Smith, Chiefs (@ NE)

Smith will likely have to throw more than usual against the Patriots on Thursday night. He has faced New England twice since 2014, completing 64.4% of his passes for an average of 247 yards and 2.0 touchdowns per game.

Jared Goff, Rams (vs. IND)

This is not for the faint of heart! The Colts gave up the sixth-most passing yards and the 10th-most passing touchdowns last year and Goff looked decent in the preseason, completing 75.0% of his passes for 250 yards (7.81 yards per attempt) with one touchdown and one interception. With Sean McVay running the offense and both Sammy Watkins and Cooper Kupp in tow, there is some optimism surrounding the Rams offense this year.

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