Bye weeks have officially started in the 2013 NFL season with Carolina and Green Bay off this week (view this year’s entire bye week schedule). If you have any players from these teams, you might be having a more difficult time than usual setting your lineups. If you don’t have a strong bench, or just feel like rolling the dice, our featured pros for this week have chosen a few positional players who can be “sneaky” starts for your fantasy squads, and outperform their current consensus ranking.
Q1: What RB outside of our top top 36 RB consensus is a good “sneaky start” in week 4?
Danny Woodhead (SD vs. DAL): “The Chargers have decided to get Woodhead more involved. The past 2 weeks, Woodhead is averaging 6.5 rushes for 29 yards and 7.5 receptions for 46 yards (a total of 29 touches in 2 weeks). Woodhead is a strong PPR/Flex play this week as he has moved his way up the depth chart.”
“Now in San Diego, Danny Woodhead is reprising the role he used to play in New England, catching a lot of balls out of the backfield and getting a handful of carries every week. He’s had 29 touches over his last two games, including 15 catches on 17 targets. He makes a nice high-floor RB option for fantasy owners in any given week.”
Bryce Brown (PHI @ DEN): “This week, Philadelphia’s fast paced offense finally meets it’s match (in tempo terms only) in the Denver Broncos. With both offenses moving at breakneck speed, and an over/under of a whopping 58 points, there will be an insane amount of plays run in this game. What does this mean for fantasy football purposes? It means that this is finally the week that Bryce Brown gets his turn to spell LeSean McCoy in the Philadelphia backfield. With an even higher paced game than the Eagles have seen thus far in 2013, Brown will get plenty of chances to carry the ball, making him a sneaky Week 4 start.”
Andre Ellington (ARI @ TB): “Cardinals RB Rashard Mendenhall (toe) is expected to start against the Bucs. But we should all remember how quickly a toe injury can end an afternoon, like how Rams RB Daryl Richardson came out in Week 3 after one snap. Ellington has a ton of speed, and he’s very active in the passing game – which is where I think he takes advantage of the Bucs defense. I especially like him as a super cheapie in weekly tournaments this week as a flex.”
Q2: What WR outside of our top top 36 WR consensus is a “sneaky start” this week?
Rod Streater (OAK vs. WAS): “Rod Streater has disappointed after the first week, especially now that Terrelle Pryor (concussion) and Denarious Moore have built a rapport. The sophomore receiver could have a new quarterback under center, however, if Matt Flynn ends up starting against the Redskins. The Redskins have allowed the most fantasy points to wide receivers this season, with an NFL-high 801 receiving yards allowed to them.”
Mohamed Sanu (CIN @ CLE): “Listed at 6’2″ / 210 lbs, Sanu will match up Sunday vs. Cleveland Browns CB Buster Skrine – a 5’9″ / 185 lb. CB that the City of Cleveland loves to hate. With Haden guarding A.J. Green all-day, Sanu should see plenty of opportunities.”
Stephen Hill (NYJ @ TEN): “We might be talking about this guy as a top-10 wide receiver within the next year or two. Hill is 6-4 and has blazing speed, and he seems to be developing a nice rapport with rookie QB Geno Smith. Forget about Santonio Holmes; this is the Jets’ No. 1 receiver.”
Terrance Williams (DAL @ SD): “As Miles Austin is sidelined for the 417th time with a bad hamstring, an opportunity has been created for a very sneaky Week 4 play. Not only will Austin likely sit out Dallas’ Week 4 game (he hasn’t practiced all week), but the Cowboys face the San Diego Chargers, who are coughing up 340.7 yards per game through the air. This perfect storm has given young Terrance Williams a prime opportunity to produce in Week 4 alongside Dez Bryant and Jason Witten in the Dallas air attack as Miles Austin watches from the sideline.”
Q3: What TE outside of our top 15 TE consensus is a “sneaky start” this week?
Kyle Rudolph (MIN vs. PIT): “I’m not terribly enthusiastic about any of the TEs outside the top 15, but maybe Matt Cassel leans on the Vikings’ big tight end a little more heavily than Christian Ponder has. Not a lot of yardage potential here, but Rudolph is always a reasonable bet to find the end zone.”
“Rudolph is a potential end-zone threat this week as Minnesota looks to bounce back after an embarrassing loss to Cleveland. Minnesota doesn’t have electric options in the receiving game and Rudolph should emerge as the end-zone favorite with Cassel starting over an injured Ponder. Cassel doesn’t go down field much and Rudolph should be a beneficiary to this style of play.”
Scott Chandler (BUF vs. BAL): “At tight end this week, Scott Chandler has a good shot to build on his strong Week 3 performance (5 catches, 79 yards and a score). Buffalo hosts Baltimore, who has given up the sixth most points to fantasy tight ends through the first three weeks of the season. Add that to the fact that Buffalo’s defense will be handing out points like Smarties on Halloween, and the Bills should have plenty of reason to throw on Sunday.”
Rob Housler (ARI @ TB): “The Bucs have had trouble with opposing tight ends for over a decade now, and Rob Housler could do some damage over the middle. Tampa Bay’s secondary is still new (just three games played together), and safety Dashon Goldson has already been admonished and fined for illegal hits. Housler finally came back from an ankle injury last week, and the only defense that has allowed more yardage to tight ends is Housler’s team.”
That will do it for this week’s Featured Pros article. A big thanks to the experts for sharing their thoughts with us. If you’d like to read more of the experts’ advice, please be sure to check out their sites and follow them on Twitter. Best of luck this weekend!