2020 Season: Week 8 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 8 Boom/Bust (PPR)

Week 8 Booms

Quarterback (QB)

CH: Derek Carr (18.2 projected points)

I'm going to fall back on my waiver wire QB I've spoken about the last two weeks. The Cleveland Browns are a very fantasy-friendly defense and the table is set in front of Carr to feast. He's only QB19 on the year having played six games, but don't overthink this one if you're in need of a QB for this week's actions.

MM: Jimmy Garoppolo (15.5 projected points)

Guess you cannot pick Kyle Allen if he is not on bye? Seems unfair.

However, you can pick a QB playing the Seahawks, which has seemed to be a good strategy so far. I only picked Panthers QB Teddy Bridgewater ahead of Garoppolo for waivers this week because Bridgewater has an even better match-up against the Atlanta Falcons, who are the only team to give up more fantasy points to QBs than the Seahawks. ECR seems to have appropriately boosted Bridgewater's expectations, and has him at QB11, but Garoppolo is sitting at QB20 despite a good match-up and a two week run that has seen him go QB14 with 16.50 PPG. That run was against tough match-ups (Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots), so I expect a boom this week against the much softer Seahawks. Especially with the RB corps so injured in San Francisco and the emergence of WR Brandon Aiyuk providing passing TD upside.

Running Back (RB)

CH: James White (10.1 projected points)

Who the hell else is QB Cam Newton going to throw the ball to with his top two receivers out? I think it's really a matter of the circumstances surrounding the New England offense dictating White getting in some receiving work and adding some serious PPR value to a lineup. The Bills aren't exactly the toughest matchup for running backs either.

MM: Cam Akers (4.5 projected points)

Much like with Lions RB D'Andre Swift, who I chose as a FLEX play in Week 8 Start/Flex/Bench, this is a case that may seem like a contradiction. I would absolutely leave Akers on the bench, given he has 0 combined touches over the past two weeks. However, he is a prime candidate for a boom performance. The Dolphins give up a lot of points to RBs, particularly on rushing attempts, which is Darrell Henderson Jr. and Cam Akers territory on the Rams given that Malcolm Brown has largely handled the passing down work so far. We also know that theoretically, Rams head coach Sean McVay wants to get Akers involved, and this would be as good a week as any to do that.

Wide Receiver (WR)

CH: Nelson Agholor (10.1 projected points) 

I'm riding the Raiders offense hard this week against the Browns and I'll take the WR17 since Week 4 to outperform 10 points.

MM: Greg Ward (8.7 projected points)

Despite the emergence of Travis Fulgham (who is definitely for real, at least for the rest of 2020), and the return of DeSean Jackson, the WR1 on the Eagles in Week 7 was Greg Ward. Yes, Ward is clearly the number two option in Philadelphia behind Fulgham, the WR1 overall since coming into the season at Week 4, but Ward has still put up a respectable 10.4 PPG at WR44, showing that the Eagles can have two viable WRs (to the surprise of everyone). Given how appealing the match-up is against Dallas, I fully expect Ward to hit double digits, and lapping his current projection is not an impossibility.

Tight End (TE)

CH: Dallas Goedert (5.6 projected points)

I'd rather not pick any tight end considering how bleak the position is after the top options this week, but since I have to I guess I'll go with the free space option and take Goedert in his return from injury against the porous Cowboys defense. 

If forced to make an actual suggestion, Broncos TE Albert Okwuegbunam (6.0 projected points) has a decent chance to do well in tandem with Noah Fant against the Chargers if WR Tim Patrick doesn't play.

MM: Cole Kmet (4.2 projected points)

I recommended streaming Kmet in this week's Start/Flex/Bench article and he is a lock for a boom performance against the Saints, a team that leaks points against TEs. Is part of why he is a lock for a boom performance the absurdly low projection? Sure. Could it be Jimmy Graham that is the main beneficiary of this match-up? Of course. But I think that the trend of Chicago becoming a two-TE team is going to hold the ROS, especially with Foles under center. The past two weeks Kmet and Graham have scored exactly the same PPG (8.3 PPR PPG), and I think Kmet breaks the 10 point barrier this week.

Defense/Special Teams (DST)

CH: Los Angeles Chargers (6.3 projected points)

Speaking of the Chargers, they're facing the only offense that comes close to Jets in terms of being garbage. I pegged them as my top waiver defense for a reason. 

MM: Miami Dolphins (5.6 projected points)

The Los Angeles Rams has played really well, but even playing well they can still allow defenses to be fantasy relevant. Chicago finished DST6 last week in a bad 24-10 loss to the Rams, and Miami has been a better DST in terms of PPG than the Bears in 2020. Do I think Miami greatly exceeds this point projection? Eh. However, they are projected as DST21, and I think they finish as a Top-12 DST. So call this one a relative boom.

Kicker (K)

CH: Jason Myers (7.4 projected points)

My thoughts on Myers are highlighted in the previously highlighted Week 8 waiver wire article. The San Francisco 49ers defense is getting healthier and should be able to slow down Seattle's obscenely efficient red zone offense

MM: Randy Bullock (7.4 projected points)

Quarterback (QB)

CH: Lamar Jackson (20.4 projected points)

Jackson was held to 11.44 points last season against Pittsburgh in Week 5 (peep the game logs), easily his worst performance in his MVP campaign. Not having linebacker Devin Bush doesn't help the Steelers defense, but I do not anticipate Jackson nor Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger avoiding turnovers in this game. In the paraphrased words of Steelers HC Mike Tomlin that I can't find a link to him saying, tomorrow will be a bloodbath. 

MM: Josh Allen (19.2 projected points)

What if I told you that Josh Allen was not even the best fantasy QB with the last name Allen in Week 7? Shocking, no? Well even more shocking is the split between Weeks 1-4 and Weeks 5-7; Allen was QB3 with 30.09 PPG through Week 4, and QB15 with 16.93 PPG since then. The quality of the match-up has not seemed to matter, and even if it did, playing the Patriots has been a tough match-up so far in 2020.

Running Back (RB)

CH: Ezekiel Elliott (16.9 projected points)

Look, you're probably playing Zeke anyway and that's fine. It's pretty difficult to justify benching him and I'm not going to take that stance, but we know how awful the Dallas offense is right now with so many injuries to the QBs and the o-line. Volume alone is what Elliott has going for him but the lack of ceiling leads me to recommending careful consideration about lineup decisions you have to make around Zeke in anticipation of not putting up gaudy numbers against the Eagles.

MM: D'Andre Swift (13.4 projected points)

Yes, I picked the Lions RB as a FLEX in this week's Start/Flex/Bench, but that has more to do with the potential upside for the rookie in what will be a tough match-up for the Lions against Indianapolis. I would leave him on the bench if I could get away with it, since the Colts are top-5 in limiting opposing rushers in terms of fantasy points. That does not even take into account the Adrian Peterson sized weight around Swift's neck, which seems to be getting lighter, but always has the potential to drag the rookie RB back down to Earth.

Wide Receiver (WR)

CH: Cooper Kupp/Robert Woods (15.6 and 15.7 projected points) 

The Dolphins secondary is pretty solid against WRs and I'm not particularly interested in either Rams receiver. Miami is, however, friendly to opposing running backs so feel good about RB Darrell Henderson Jr. for whatever that's worth.

MM: Allen Robinson II (16.0 projected points)

Literally wrote two paragraphs on Atlanta Falcons WR Calvin Ridley before I remembered that they play Thursday night and we do not include the Thursday games in this article. Whoops!

So give me another super-talented WR! Allen Robinson II is good at football. His QB Nick Foles? Maybe not so much. Robinson was WR1 from Weeks 3-5, during which Chicago's QBs were a combined 18.77 PPG. Since then Chicago's QB (Foles) has scored 5.89 points per game less than in Weeks 3-5, and it has really hurt Robinson, who has fallen to WR36 over that time. Add to this steep decline the fact that the Rams are a terrible match-up for WRs, and that Robinson is recovering from a head injury, and I would genuinely bench him this week. 

Tight End (TE)

CH: T.J. Hockenson (10.2 projected points)

The Colts are the toughest TE matchup in fantasy football so far in 2020 and that's all you need to know. 

MM: Rob Gronkowski (11.6 projected points)

This was an easy choice. I do not like the match-up, since the New York Football Giants are one of the better defenses against TEs, and because the Giants are overall better against receivers than RBs, I think that Tampa leans on its RB corps for this game.

Defense/Special Teams (DST)

CH: San Francisco 49ers (6.6 projected points)

I mean, they play the Seahawks.

MM: Pittsburgh Steelers (6.8 projected points)

Did the absence of Devin Bush turn what had been DST4 through six weeks into a dud in Week 7? Maybe, but I do not think that we have the sample size to say that, especially since Tennessee was a very good, undefeated team until their 27-24 loss to the Steelers. Unfortunately for the Steelers, the Ravens are also really good, and while this rivalry game should be close, it would not shock me if either defense was a bust this week, particularly the Steelers.

Kicker (K)

CH: Mason Crosby (7.9 projected points)

He's kind of hurt and also 36 years old. That's not a great recipe for success.

MM: Jake Elliott (7.7 projected points)

I said to bench Jake Elliott this week and I stand by that 100%. Elliott has not looked good so far this season, and Week 8 against Dallas feels like a game heavy in extra points and light on field goal attempts. Hard pass.

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