I must admit, it's anything but normal to have "sneaky" starts for opening week in the NFL. Typically, we need a few weeks of carnage to use those deep value draft picks that you wisely made. You don't normally plan on benching guys you drafted in the six round for a guy you nabbed in the 11th round in week ONE?! But alas, here we are. Let's take a look at five starts that I love this week. Some of these may not seem sneaky after recent updates, but they are definitely examples of drafting for upside in the later rounds and being nimble on the waiver wire. Enjoy:
Spencer Ware, RB, Chiefs
If you didn't pay attention to the offseason, you may think Charcandrick West is the handcuff for Jamaal Charles.West had a great season last year, but ended up losing work to Ware by season's end. Ware is much bigger and more powerful, while West is more similar to Charles in build and running style, albeit not the transcendant talent that JC is. Charles won't play Sunday, and Ware should be the bellcow against a cupcake run defense of the Chargers. I'm starting him in multiple leagues, over guys like Arian Foster, Jeremy Hill, and Frank Gore.
Christine Michael, RB, Seahawks
Very similar to Ware, Michael is a powerful back with nimble feet. Thomas Rawls will play, but Michael gets the start against a Dolphins defense full of question marks.I expect Wilson to torch their secondary in the first half, and Michael to close out the game on the ground in the second half.
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Martellus Bennett, TE, Patriots
Gronk is out for Sunday, so this is more obvious than sneaky. Although I do envision the Patriots offense to struggle, I see double digit targets for the black unicorn as Jimmy Garropolo's binky in his first NFL start in Mr. Deflategate's stead.
Derek Carr, QB, Raiders
Many of you probably drafted Carr late as your QB2. But in week one, he gets the Saints historically bad defense of 2015, that may have gotten worse with personnel changes this offseason. Unless your QB1 is a shoe-in top 5 play, I'd start Carr over most this week. In my main Montauk league, I added Carr off waivers and am benching Rivers based on matchups.
Cleveland Browns DST
This is either the sneakiest or DUMBEST start of the week, but I still like it. Cleveland seems to be rallying this preseason around new coach Hue Jackson and QB RG3. They will no doubt have a bottom five defense at year end, but facing a rookie QB in Carson Wentz who hardly played in the preseason due to broken ribs, I like the Browns D to stand on their head and shock those you know whats up in Philly.