2020 Season: Week 13 Boom/Bust (PPR)


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Charles Herrmann (@HermsNFL)
The Lateral Chief Editor

Malcolm McMillan (@McLateralFF)
The Lateral Writer

For many people, this is the last week of the fantasy football regular season. Whether or not you are bound for the playoffs is neither here nor there. Play through the end of the season. Winning is fun obviously but hey, so is simply playing the game of fantasy football. Presumably you're playing in a league with friends, family, or coworkers you know well. Keep things interesting! Make little side bets, do whatever. Plus you never know which players will go off at the end of the year that can matter for next year. You'll miss them completely if you check out.

Oh, speaking of players going off, it's time for the Week 13 boom/bust picks. You pretty much know how this works. We look at the expert consensus projected points on FantasyPros and we make our boom/bust picks based on that projected number. Cool? Cool. Cool cool cool.

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EDITOR'S NOTE: The FantasyPros ECR projected points listed are those at the time of writing and may change as the week progresses as they are dynamic in nature.]


Week 13 Boom/Bust (PPR)

Week 13 Booms

Quarterback (QB)

CH: Mitchell Trubisky (16.1 projected points)

The homie Marco Enriquez of the 14 Personnel Podcast laid it out the case for this pick. Follow Marco (@Marco_14P) and give him credit. There's where I got my information from one this one.

MM: Mike Glennon (12.9 projected points)

The Browns and the Vikings are nearly identical pass defenses in terms of measurables, and they allow nearly the same amount of fantasy points to QBs. With 18 points against the Browns last week despite being down two starting WRs, I see no reason Glennon should not do the same against the Vikings, who are not as good at pressuring the QB as the Browns. That is an easy boom performance based on the low projection.

Running Back (RB)

CH: Jonathan Taylor (12.8 projected points)

Damnit, I just really need this to happen. Not for any personal reasons either. I just reaaally like Jonathan Taylor and I believe a lot in his talent. I want the Colts to keep letting the man run, and run, and run. This matchup against Houston couldn't be any better. Yes, I'm aware of the RBBC in Indianapolis. I also am aware of the presence of his teammate Nyheim Hines. I think you can play 'em both and enjoy the points.

MM: Joshua Kelley (5.0 projected points)/Kalen Ballage (1.7 projected points)

Whichever Chargers RB gets the nod from head coach Anthony Lynn to be Robin to Ekeler's Batman is going to dabble with fantasy relevance. Especially since the Patriots are easier to exploit on the ground than through the air. Ballage seems to be trending towards being healthy, and Kelley looked better on the box score than the gridiron, but I think that Anthony Lynn is going to go with the RB he drafted now that Ekeler is back.

Wide Receiver (WR)

CH: Denzel Mims (12.6 projected points) 

I dunno, man. I tried tellin' ya earlier. I really did. Just do it. 

MM: Denzel Mims (12.6 projected points)

Since debuting in Week 7, Denzel Mims has been the most targeted of the three fantasy-relevant WRs. In fact, it is not even close. We have been saying all week that the rookie from Baylor should be on every fantasy manager's roster, and a TD in Week 13 makes him an easy boom pick given his 10 point floor in PPR. Should be doable in a favorable matchup against the Raiders.

Tight End (TE)

CH: Anthony Firkser (7.8 projected points)

#GARAGETIME HERMS ALREADY TOLD YOU ABOUT THIS PICK. GET LEARNIN'!

MM: Trey Burton
 (7.4 projected points)

Despite being in a TE trio (really a TE duo with Doyle clearly falling to the wayside), Trey Burton has been the target leader since the Colts came out of their Week 7 bye. I talked about Burton in this week's Heat Check, and for me, the matchup against Houston should be one that Burton can exploit. This is a true boom or bust pick, but a line of 3/30/1 would net Burton 12 points, and would not be out of the realm of possibility given his performance in 2020. Anything above that makes Burton a boom this week at his current projection. 

Defense/Special Teams (DST)

CH: Atlanta Falcons (6.2 projected points)

While this is based in absolutely zero statistical research, I think the Falcons do a decent job here. They've already faced the Taysom Hill-led Saints once a couple weeks ago and Atlanta did just thrash the not terrible Raiders offense last week. It stands to reason that the familiarity with facing Hill and the recency of that game and newfound success could result in a good week for the DST. Makes sense to me at least.

MM: San Francisco 49ers (6.4 projected points)

The Bills offense runs through QB Josh Allen, and the Niners do a good job of keeping the QB in check. The Niners have also quietly been a top-10 DST in the second half of the season so far. If they can keep hurrying the QB, they can pressure Allen into making mistakes. Those mistakes turn into fantasy points awfully quick.

Kicker (K)

CH: Nope

Not trying to be difficult, just really didn't put the time in to pick one in an informed manner. I won't recommend something I am unsure of. While I think I could muster up a good guess, that would be a bad thing to do for these purposes. If I have something good then I'll tell you. If not, I ain't gonna lie to the readers.

MM: Matt Gay (7.0 projected points)

I talked about Gay as my waiver recommendation this week, and I think he is a lock for 10+ points this week against a struggling Cardinals team. Some experts seem to agree, as FantasyPros rates it as a four-star matchup, so the projection of K21 seems baffling to me. 12 points equal a boom performance here, and that seems plenty doable this week. 

Week 13 Busts

Quarterback (QB)

CH: Deshaun Watson (20.5 projected points)

You're certainly rolling out Watson if he is your QB. He leads the charge for my dynasty team and I'm totally fine doing so. The reason this is my pick is because a.) we still don't know what the passing game will be like without WR Will Fuller V and b.) it's the Colts defense. Play him and hope he can overcome, but if you're a DFS player you can do better than Watson for this week.

MM: Kyler Murray (19.1 projected points)

If you listened to us last week, you would have seen Murray's QB26 performance coming. You would not have been able to do anything but watch your hopes of winning fade away, as I did, but this week is different. Leave Murray on the bench unless you have no other choice. You know the shoulder is bad, no matter what the Cardinals say about it. Stay away.

Running Back (RB)

CH: Devontae Booker (14.3 projected points)

I absolutely think you can play Booker for your fantasy squad, but the Jets are sorta weirdly not the worst against the run? It's a good matchup but I wouldn't get your hopes up too much. I'm sure the Raiders can't do much worse than they did last week against the Falcons but if they do, it's far more likely to happen through the air against that awful secondary. More of a flex play than a strong RB2.

MM: Antonio Gibson (15.0 projected points)

The real choice is Alvin Kamara, but I am not picking him three weeks in a row. You should know by now why Kamara cannot be trusted in the new-look Saints offense.

Instead, I think Gibson is the most likely starter to fall short this week. Pittsburgh is a terrible matchup and last week the Ravens RBs combined for just 13 PPR points against the Steelers. Plus injuries to the Steelers defense hurt their ability to defend the pass, so if Washington is smart they will exploit that instead of futilely leaning on the rushing attack. Add in the likelihood of a negative game script for Washington, and it is pretty easy to see why the talented Gibson falls short this week.

Wide Receiver (WR)

CH: D.K. Metcalf (18.9 projected points) 

Save it, I don't really want to hear it. You're starting Metcalf and you likely do not have two or three better options, I get it. But hey, James Bradberry is a solid shadow corner. Plus, check out this little nugget that I 100% did not find out on my own and purely know just through listening to podcasts: Bradberry shadowed Metcalf last year in Week 15 as a Carolina Panther. How'd Metcalf do? Check the game logs. Just be aware of the possibility of that situation repeating itself and take him out of your DFS lineup. 

MM: JuJu Smith-Schuster (15.1 projected points)

The Washington Football team is one of only four teams expected to add points with their passing defense. This translates into fantasy, as through 12 weeks they remain one of the toughest matchups for opposing WRs. The Pittsburgh WR trio is insanely talented, but something has to give here, and Smith-Schuster and Chase Claypool are the likely candidates. I give the edge here to Smith-Schuster being the more likely bust due to Claypool seeing more targets since Week 8, and Smith-Schuster facing a tougher matchup with Washington CB Jimmy Moreland covering him in the slot. Moreland has allowed zero TDs so far this season.

Tight End (TE)

CH: Trey Burton (7.4 projected points)

Yeah, dunking on a streamer doesn't feel great to me either. This is purely a matter of the fact that the Houston Texans defense present a fabulous matchup across the board position-by-position. It's unlikely they ALL boom and I'm going to go ahead and say the most fickle position is the likeliest to bust. Sometimes just thinking about things plainly isn't the worst thing to do. These types of situations are huge traps in fantasy football. I could be very right or very wrong here and let this serve as an early reminder for 2021 why having a solid and consistent TE is important. Not having a good one is a dangerous game.

MM: Hayden Hurst (10.1 projected points)

New Orleans is a mediocre matchup for Hurst, and they shut him out in Week 11, so that is a major red flag. but also important is WR Julio Jones' injury. Last week with Julio out, the whole offense seemed to be out of sync, and Hurst saw his lowest catch rate in weeks (excluding the Week 11 matchup against New Orleans [again, red flag]) with the Raiders defense focused on one less receiving threat. There is no combination of factors that causes me to like Hurst's prospects for Week 13.

Defense/Special Teams (DST)

CH: New Orleans Saints (7.0 projected points)

I'm just going to keep with the revenge narrative. I absolutely hate myself for leaning on something like intangible bullshit but sometimes the gut tells you what it needs to say. I think the Falcons win and I think it's by a decent margin. Not talking 3 TDs or anything but still. I got a vibe and I'm sticking to it. #analysis

MM: Minnesota Vikings (7.2 projected points)

As I mentioned when talking about Glennon, both earlier and in the Heat Check this week, there is nothing special about this Minnesota defense, especially against the pass, where they are comparable to the Cleveland Browns. Cleveland finished with zero points last week against the Jags. Just screaming in all-caps "TRANSITIVE PROPERTY" would be reductive here given the other factors involved (e.g. Minnesota's WR corps is better than Cleveland's, so they end up exploiting the Jags defense through the air, causing the Jags offense to stay on the field longer and Glennon to throw the ball more, which creates more opportunities for Glennon to make a mistake), but it does feel like it applies here.

Kicker (K)

CH: Nope

Like I said before, I'm not going to give you half-assed advice. If it isn't quality then it isn't worth presenting. 

MM: Will Lutz (8.1 projected points)

Much like with Kamara, new QB Taysom Hill has negatively impacted the fantasy output of the Saints kicker. He will not be a major bust, but he is going to fall short of 8.1 points just like when he played Atlanta in Week 11 with Hill under center.

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