Sneaky Starts: Week 14
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.
A good way to identify a potential spot start is to leverage 4for4’s signature strength-of-schedule metric, adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA). Many sites publish raw fantasy points allowed by position, but 4for4 goes a step further and adjusts those numbers for a defense’s relative year-to-date schedule strength. So if a defense has seen a murderer’s row of running backs, it will be reflected in the defense’s aFPA. As a ranker, I use this metric weekly when putting together our award-winning projections.
I got good feedback regarding the shorter format last week, so I’m going to use bullet points again this week to stay as concise as possible.
Let’s take a look at the top Sneaky Starts for Week 14...
Sam Darnold, Jets (vs. MIA, 29) - He was dreadful last week in a good spot against the Bengals but I feel comfortable enough with his ability, weapons and the matchup to run it back again. The Dolphins have given up 310/3 to Carson Wentz, 327/3 to Baker Mayfield and 256/3 to Josh Allen in the last three weeks.
Ryan Tannehill, Titans (@ OAK, 30) - His volume (26.7 pass attempts per game since Week 7) is a little worrisome, but he’s averaging 2.5 total touchdowns per game (12 pass, 3 rush) in the same span and has scored at least 18.9 fantasy points in five of his last six games. The Raiders have been bad against the pass all year.
Jared Goff, Rams (vs. SEA, 14) - Since last season, Goff has averaged 18.1 fantasy points at home and just 15.9 fantasy points in away games, and he busted out of his slump with 424/2 against the Cardinals last week. The Seahawks have the third-worst adjusted sack rate (per Football Outsiders) so the Rams should be able to keep Goff’s pocket clean this week.
Kyle Allen, Panthers (@ ATL, 28) - What Allen lacks in consistency, he makes up for this week in conditions (in the dome) and matchup with the Falcons. He threw four picks against the Falcons in Week 11, but has a 5:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio in the last two games and added a rushing touchdown last week.
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