2020 Season: Week 7 Boom/Bust (PPR)


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Charles Herrmann (@HermsNFL)
The Lateral Chief Editor

Malcolm McMillan (@McLateralFF)
The Lateral Writer

Boom/Bust (or Love/Hate if you are the Talented Mr. Roto) is a fantasy football classic, but in case you are new to the game, here is the gist:

Every week, we will look at the FantasyPros ECR projected points, and pick a player at each position that we think will outperform their projections (boom), or fall short of expectations (bust), during Sunday's games. [EDITOR'S NOTE: The FantasyPros ECR projected points listed are those at the time of writing and may change as the week progresses.]

That is really all there is to it. Largely, this is based on match-ups, but we could potentially see a projection that seems flawed and factor that in as well. No need to re-invent the wheel on this one.

Week 7 Boom/Bust (PPR)

Week 7 Booms

Quarterback (QB)

CH: Ben Roethlisberger (17.5 projected points)

Fairly simple logic for this one: despite only being QB20 on the year, Roethlisberger and the Steelers should have WR Diontae Johnson back thus giving Big Ben his full array of weapons. The Titans have been friendly to opposing WRs to date and the QB by default benefits some from that. I like Big Ben with Johnson, Chase Claypool, and JuJu Smith-Schuster at his disposal.

MM: Kyle Allen (13.8 projected points)

I have made Kyle Allen my boom pick two weeks in a row, and they always say three is a magic number. Is this sort of a free space given that nobody wants to give Allen a chance (not without reason, to be fair)? Maybe, but he has already boomed once, and against a terrible Dallas Cowboys defense he has a real good shot to do so again. I would rate him as a solid streaming option this week for those in need.

Running Back (RB)

CH: J.D. McKissic (9.7 projected points)

It's a strange backfield, but the Washington Football Team seems to trust both Antonio Gibson and McKissic in tandem over relying too much on the rookie who hasn't played much RB since community college. The Dallas defense has allowed the 7th-most fantasy points to opposing RBs this season and puts McKissic in a position to put up solid RB3/flex numbers (especially in PPR). I'm banking on over double digits here.

MM: Latavius Murray (8.6 projected points)

With Michael Thomas probably out, the New Orleans Saints were going to need to lean on the run a bit more regardless of their opponent. Luckily, they play the Carolina Panthers, who give up the 4th most PPG to RBs, and the most rushing TDs of any team in the league. Fellow RB Alvin Kamara will of course have an amazing game, but you already knew that. Still, I like Murray to make it into the end zone this week, which makes him a near lock to beat this projection. 12+ points would not shock me.

Wide Receiver (WR)

CH: Gabriel Davis (8.5 projected points) 

I referenced this pick in Fantasy Ice Fishing 2.0 and on Twitter. John Brown out, Gabriel Davis in.

MM: Cole Beasley (10.6 projected points)

I wanted to do Christian Kirk here, who I absolutely love this week, but with a ECR WR35, nobody is exactly sleeping on him. Still, smash that add button.

You know who people are sleeping on? Cole Beasley. The Bills WR has had a very quite, very safe floor season, and is WR27 through six weeks. Safe floor normally does not equal a "boom," but the New York Jets are currently less appealing than hot trash, and will likely focus on Stefon Diggs and John Brown/Gabe Davis, leaving Beasley open for a TD opportunity. Given the likely 5 catches and 50 yards, just adding a TD makes him a boom, so he is the easy choice for me here.

Tight End (TE)

CH: Ian Thomas (4.7 projected points)

I don't feel great about this but New Orleans has allowed 6 TDs and plenty of fantasy points to the tight end position. Maybe we'll see a TD for Thomas in a "revenge game" for former Saint/current Carolina Panthers QB Teddy Bridgewater.

MM: Drew Sample (7.0 projected points)

If we included Thursday games, Richard Rodgers would have been the easy choice, so hopefully you were able to benefit from his excellent performance last night. So I settled on Hooper, who has a nice match-up against the Bengals, but then he got bumped up to ECR TE11... and promptly got sick and is now out.

Luckily, the Cleveland at Cincinnati game is also an excellent match-up for Cincy TE Drew Sample, and he is my boom pick here. In Week 2 against Cleveland he was TE16 with 12.5 points, and that was after C.J. Uzomah went out after a TE12 performance with 14.2 points. This was before WR Tee Higgins exploded, but QB Joe Burrow also threw 61 passes in that game. I am by no means suggesting that Sample puts up (checks notes) 26.7 points against Cleveland, but given what the potential of this match-up is, he is an easy boom candidate.

Defense/Special Teams (DST)

CH: Washington Football Team (6.7 projected points)

Dallas has looked mediocre at best with QB Andy Dalton at the helm and who knows if we get a seventh fumble from RB Ezekiel Elliot tomorrow? Between those two things and the fact that the Cowboys' offensive line is decimated, the WFT squad has a great opportunity in front of them.

MM: San Francisco 49ers (6.6 projected points)

San Francisco looked good against the Rams in Week 6, and New England looked awful against the Broncos. Patriots QB Cam Newton has trended down since a Week 1 performance against Miami that had NFL GMs worried about their jobs. While this could be a bounce-back game, I think it is more likely that each team continues on their current trajectory, and that means San Francisco could exploit a struggling Cam en route to a boom performance.

Kicker (K)

CH: Ka'imi Fairbairn (7.5 projected points)

Over/unders and whatnot tells me that Texans K Ka'imi Fairbairn is a good call.

MM: Randy Bullock (7.5 projected points)

Read here for my take on Bullock. This one seems obvious to me.

Week 7 Busts

Quarterback (QB)

CH: Cam Newton (19.6 projected points)

Anyone's who watched the game against Denver last weekend saw that the Patriots WRs just aren't getting any separation. Newton was good relative to what he has to work with but that isn't saying much. I do believe he is a startable QB but expectations are to be tempered.

MM: Cam Newton (19.6 projected points)

As I mentioned earlier, Cam has really started to trend down. He also may still be recovering from COVID-19 which is no joke. San Francisco also limited Jared Goff to 15.92 points in Week 6, despite Goff scoring an average of 20.16 prior to Week 6. Yes, Cam adds serious value with his legs, but if he fails to score a rushing TD, a bust seems inevitable.

Running Back (RB)

CH: Josh Jacobs (15.9 projected points)

It's hard to run the ball if you don't have a good offensive line in front of you, and as far as we know now the Raiders o-linemen are dealing with COVID-19. The unpredictability of this situation + the matchup against a stingy Buccaneers defense = bad times for Jacobs. 

MM: Clyde Edwards-Helarie (16.8 projected points)

I do not know if you have heard, but the Chiefs signed Le'Veon Bell last week. Do I think this kills CEH's value? No. Do I think it makes it highly unlikely that CEH scores more than his current 15.9 PPG now that Bell is on the roster? Against a Denver team that only gives up 18.7 PPG to RBs? Absolutely.

Wide Receiver (WR)

CH: Mike Evans (15.7 projected points) 

I'm not seeing any projection that is particularly glaring so I'll take the free space. Mike Evans needs a TD to be relevant week-to-week. Roll the dice if you want but there are likely better options even in your free agent pool.

MM: Amari Cooper (15.9 projected points)

The Washington Football Team has given up a league-fewest 26.7 DraftKings (close to pure PPR) PPG to WRs through six weeks. Yet, Amari Cooper is projected to get 15.9, CeeDee Lamb is projected to get 14.4, and Michael Gallup is projected to get 12.0. Something has to give here. Cooper does occasionally get shut out in games, particularly when given attention from defenses (see Week 5 against the New York Football Giants), so he is the likely candidate to me. I am also not thrilled about Gallup.

Tight End (TE)

CH: Jared Cook (11.1 projected points)

I don't hate the idea of rolling out Cook if you have to but the Panthers don't really give up many points to TEs. This isn't a particularly great option for Week 7. 

MM: Darren Waller (14.7 projected points)

Tampa Bay is a pretty good defense, and their play against TEs is no exception. Through six weeks, they give up just 10.1 PPG to TE. Combine that with Waller likely drawing attention from the defense as the top receiver in Las Vegas, and that the offensive line may be out due to COVID-19, and Waller just seems a prime candidate to fall short in Week 7.

Defense/Special Teams (DST)

CH: Cleveland Browns (7.4 projected points)

Reference what happened in Week 2 on Thursday Night Football.

MM: Los Angeles Rams (7.6 projected points)

The Rams have been solid through six weeks, but this projection seems to be entirely based on Nick Foles making mistakes. To be fair, not a bad strategy, but I think we saw in Week 6 a formula to neutralizing the strengths of the Rams defense, and I am not sure it is impossible for Chicago to replicate the results using that formula. Another zero point performance seems unlikely, but I would not be shocked if they fall a couple points short of 7.6.

Kicker (K)

CH: Either Kicker in the Chiefs vs Broncos Game

It's probably going to snow. I'm not in love with the idea of playing kickers in the snow. 

MM: Jason Myers (7.9 projected points)

Hmm... this seems familiar. Picked Myers as a bust in Week 5 and hit that out of the park. Ignore the ECR here, it is just fundamentally wrong on Myers.

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