Sunday - Jan 17, 2021

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Sneaky Starts

The normal weekly start or sit options are difficult enough without all the bye week issues and injuries that are facing us right now.   Here is a rundown of players who may help your team through this week and steal a win!



With weekly starters like Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan on bye this week along with other second tier options and several teams working in new QBs there are a very limited number of reliable quarterbacks to start this week.   While he likely will not become a weekly starter, I believe a good spot starter this week is John Beck.   Beck had a solid showing in his first start in week seven against the Panthers. Beck and the Redskins face off with the high powered Buffalo Bills. The Skins will likely be forced to put up a good deal of points to stay in the game this week.  


Beck tallied 279 yards passing with a TD and added a rushing TD for good measure in his debut. The Bills have given up over 290 yards in five of six games thus far. The Redskins offense is not without question marks with season ending injuries to Chris Cooley and Tim Hightower compounded by Santana Moss missing time with an injury. Fred Davis and Jabar Gaffney will be Beck’s primary targets. Beck is currently owned in only 28% of leagues but expecting a 250 yard, 2 TD day is not out of the question.  


Running back

If you play in a league where the owners all have a pulse you know there is no more difficult position to find a hidden gem than running back. With hot commodities like DeMarco Murray gobbled up off the waiver wire the options here may be especially slim and you may have to lower your expectations a bit, but there are still a few guys who may be able to contribute for your team this week.  


With Cedric Benson slated to serve his one game suspension this week Bernard Scott will get the start for the Bengals this week. Scott is only owned in 48% of leagues and if you are dealing with bye weeks and injury questions you could do far worst than to snatch up a starting running back for the week. Scott will be facing a stingy Seahawks’ run defense and will likely share some carries but I project him to perform better than other potential fill-ins like Daniel Thomas or Maurice Morris.  


The Texans are coming off a week where they allowed over 100 yards rushing and will square off with the Colts this week. While the Colts offense is certainly not the same without Peyton Manning they should look to slow the game down and establish more ball control with their running game versus the Texans. Delone Carter is currently owned in 68% of leagues as he seems positioned to claim the job as the primary back and goal line option and could pile up decent yardage and a score this week.  



Wide Receiver

Antonio Brown finally broke through in week seven hauling in seven passes for over 100 yards and a score. With an injury to Hines Ward that has him listed as questionable for the week Brown should have the opportunity to put up solid numbers again this week against a susceptible Patriots pass defense. Brown is only owned in a little more than half of leagues currently. If you have a hole to fill this week, grab Brown and hope he continues his climb up the Steelers’ depth chart.

Greg Little is only owned in 68% of leagues, but if you subscribe to the idea that “someone has to catch the ball,” he just may be your guy.   With
Mohamed Massaquoi, and Benjamin Watson possibly out with a concussion Little figures to be more involved this week against a very average 49ers’ fantasy pass defense.  


Tight End

After having their defense stripped down by season ending injuries to linebackers Jon Beason and Thomas Davis the Panthers defense finds itself prone to giving up the occasional big game to tight ends. With rookie Christian Ponder slated to get his second start Visanthe Shiancoe makes a good safety blanket and target in the middle of the field. Shiancoe is only owned in 38% of leagues despite registering decent numbers the last two weeks. He doesn’t have the kind of talent to carry your team, but he should make a nice fill-in for you this week.  


League ownership percentages based on stats compiled by

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