Five Sly Starts In Week 15
Five Sly Starts consists of players who are only being started in 25% or lower of fantasy leagues for the current week. These are guys who flying under the radar with favorable matchups but can play a role in helping you pick up the W. How you manage your lineup during bye weeks and in the case of injuries is crucial to any owners success over the course of the season. Hopefully this list helps to make some critical decisions when options are slim.
Week 15 bye weeks: None
- Russell Wilson, QB, vs BUF (own%/start% in ESPN Leagues: 25.2/7.3)- So after five weeks of averaging 19.2 fantasy points per game, the rookie’s hot streak came to an end last week, scoring just eight total points in a blow-out victory against Arizona. However, consider this: Seattle is a run-first team; that’s what they like to do. In a game that was never even close, Seattle was able to run the ball an eye-popping 38 times. So Wilson never really had to even be a factor in this game, aside from moving the chains and a few play action passes to keep the defense on their heels. This week is a different story as their opponent’s, the Buffalo Bills, have really made a solid turnaround in regards to their run defense. After being gashed over the first half of the season, Buffalo has improved to be one of the most stingy run defenses over the second half of the season, allowing a high of just 68 yards over the past four games. This should leave more of the burden on Wilson this week, which is a good thing for fantasy owners. Look for Wilson to return to the kind of production he’s shown prior to last week. I like him for AT LEAST 200 yards passing and two touchdowns. Bank on it!
- David Wilson, RB, vs ATL (own%/start% in ESPN Leagues: 68.5/20.8) *Sly Start of the Week* - Wilson put the entire football world on notice last week after his 327 total yard performance against New Orleans. At this point, I think it’s safe to say it’s only a matter of time for this kid. Bradshaw or no Bradshaw, he’s made it pretty tough for Coughlin not to get him more involved. With news of Bradshaw coming out of last week’s game a little banged up, Wilson should have been your top priority this week not only because of his production in Week 14, but because of the possibility of him getting increased action because of Bradshaw’s injury. If you made the move, you’ve lucked out tremendously, because Bradshaw has now been ruled out and Wilson gets the green light for a full workload against an Atlanta defense that ranks 7th-worst against fantasy backs! Even better, Wilson is said to remain on kickoff return duty, as well! This is huge, and it may very well catapult a few owners into right into next week’s fantasy championship. If you’ve got him, you gotta play him! The Wilson era in New York may be starting now. . .
- Donnie Avery, WR, vs HOU (own%/start% in ESPN Leagues: 15.8/5.2)- Avery has seen 31 targets over the past three weeks. It’s clear that Avery is the guy behind Reggie Wayne. Avery has only seen less than six targets once this season which came in a game where he suffered a concussion against New England. So despite last week, where Luck and Avery were only able to connect three times on nine attempts, the work is almost a guarantee to be there. That’s a great thing this week as they’ll be taking on a Texans defense that has given up an average of 37 points to fantasy wide receivers in the last four weeks, and has quickly fell from the top five against the position, to the last five against the position. Against this injury-riddled Houston defense, Avery is certainly a solid No. 3 play in all formats this week.
- Tony Moeaki, TE, vs OAK (own%/start% in ESPN Leagues: 0.8/0.2)- This is an ulta-sly start here. But listen, this could be a PPR gem this week. Moeaki has quietly registered an average of nearly nine points in PPR leagues over the span of the last five weeks. With Dwayne Bowe out and Jamaal Charles likely being a workhorse against the weak run defense of Oakland, Moeaki could be the man that is moving the chains all day long. Oakland ranks 28th against fantasy tight ends this season and have given up a touchdown to the position in five of their last six games. If you’re in a deeper league and are low on options, I’d give Moeaki a serious look this week as the variables are in place for him to have a solid outing.
- Miami Dolphins, D/ST, vs JAC (own%/start% in ESPN Leagues: 34.3/24.7)- If this piece came out two days earlier, I would have told you to start the Bengals, as that was my recommendation to everyone on twitter during the week. But since that’s not the case, I’ll have to give you what I believe is the next best option. The Dolphins defense has been up and down all year-long but I think they can be relied upon for some decent total this week. It’s likely that Miami will contain the run game of Jacksonville, forcing the ball into the air which should open up the possibility for some turnovers here. Tennessee, Buffalo, and NYJ, the last three defenses to play the Jaguars’ offense, managed 12, 9, and 9 respectively. Neither of those defenses come close to the top of the boards. So while I don’t think there will be an explosion here, I do think they’re good for 7-12 points.