- Jay Cutler took care of the ball last week, and gets a soft Jets defense in Week 3. Rashard Higgins is emerging as the Browns No. 1 receiver. They're just two of the sneaky starters fantasy football owners should be considering this week.
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.
The injuries are really piling up. In Week 1, we lost David Johnson, Danny Woodhead and Allen Robinson. In Week 2, Greg Olsen and Corey Coleman sustained multi-week injuries, while Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Jordan Reed, Tyler Eifert, Jimmy Graham, Jordan Howard, Terrance West, Corey Davis and Rob Kelley suffered more minor injuries that may impact their availability for Week 3.
With that in mind, let’s dive into a Sneaky Start at each position:
Jay Cutler, QB, Dolphins (at Jets)
In Week 2, Cutler posted a reasonable 230 yards and a touchdown against a pretty good Chargers pass defense. Armed with a strong running game and a good receiving corps, he has a chance for a very productive day against a Jets secondary that yielded five passing touchdowns to Derek Carr and Tyrod Taylor in the first two weeks. After the Jets, Cutler faces the Saints, Titans and the Falcons, before facing the Jets again in Week 7, so he could stick on your roster for the next month, even if you planned on just adding him for this start.
Jonathan Stewart, RB, Panthers (vs. Saints)
The Saints typically struggle against the run, and things are no different this year. They gave up 127 yards on 22 carries, good for 5.77 YPC, to Dalvin Cook in Week 1, and then yielded a combined 97 yards and a touchdown to the four-headed New England backfield committee. For his part, Stewart has 35 touches through the first two weeks, and he’s had historical success against New Orleans in recent years, averaging 16.7 carries for 75 yards and 0.83 touchdowns in their last six meetings.
Rashard Higgins, WR, Browns (at Colts)
It looks like Higgins is poised to take over the WR1 role in Cleveland. Corey Coleman is out indefinitely with a broken hand, and Kenny Britt seems generally disinterested in playing football. Coming out of college, Higgins’s torpedoed his own draft stock with a poor combine, but he’s primed to be the latest example that what a player does on the field is more important than what he does in shorts and a t-shirt. The former fifth-round pick earned praise for his route-running at Colorado State, and that was on display in Week 2 when he got open repeatedly in the middle of the field, catching seven passes for 95 yards against a good Baltimore defense.
Jack Doyle, TE, Colts vs. (Browns)
The Colts decision to give Jacoby Brissett the starting quarterback job seems to have helped Doyle. After seeing three targets in Week 1, he garnered eight against the Cardinals in Week 2, catching all of them for 79 yards. His matchup this week is positive, too. The Browns surrendered six grabs for 41 yards and two touchdowns to Jesse James in Week 1, and then watched as Ben Watson burned them for eight catches and 91 yards a week ago.