2021 Season: Herms' Week 8 Boom/Bust (PPR)

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Herms (@HermsNFL)
The Lateral Chief Editor

Introductions are for suckers and people who have ample free time. As someone who fits in neither category, let's get this ball rollin'.

Week 8 Boom/Bust (PPR)

Week 8 Booms

Quarterback (QB)

Jameis Winston (New Orleans Saints) [17.0 projected points]

No fancy numbers here. The Tampa Bay secondary is exploitable as hell, and even though the Saints passing game has been conservative to date that is the way you beat the Bucs. That goes without mentioning the hunch I feel about a Winston revenge game going up against the team that took him 1st overall in 2015. I'm not worried about starting this piece with zero analysis of any kind. I'll make up for this lazy call below.

Running Back (RB)

Devontae Booker (New York Giants) [11.6 projected points]

I don't particularly understand why Booker isn't considered a better play per FantasyPros ECR. RB23 in PPR feels remarkably low for a player who essentially has a backfield to himself in the absence of RB Saquon Barkley since Week 5 and faces the second-worst DVOA run defense per Football Outsiders. It is understandable that the game script is likely to be a pass-heavy one for the Giants as keeping up with the Kansas City Chiefs requires as much past a certain point, but I see no reason why Booker cannot smash the over on this projection. Already boasting an average of 17 touches per game over the last three game according to 4for4, you have to play Booker with confidence. A near-20 touch performance and a high-end RB2/low-end RB1 performance would not shock me at all.

Wide Receiver (WR)

Jamal Agnew (Jacksonville Jaguars) [7.6 projected points]

Over the past couple weeks, both he and WR Laviska Shenault Jr. have been significantly involved as the secondary options beyond WR Marvin Jones Jr. in the Jaguars offense and frankly both have been effective. I understand starting Agnew in redraft is a bit of a gamble, but I really think you need to at least roster him before kickoff and also consider him as a cheap DFS play if you're looking to spend up at other positions. I get why Shenault Jr. is ranked higher as WR32 in PPR on the week but now would be a good time to entertain the possibility Agnew is on the precipice of something interesting. Objectively speaking, Agnew has been more effective with his opportunities than Shenault Jr. lately and today's game against Seattle is the big test for me as a "give me a strong sample size" type of guy. If you scoop Agnew and this game hits, you've successfully beaten the waiver wire. 

Tight End (TE)

Pat Freiermuth (Pittsburgh Steelers) [6.3 projected points]

Simple call here. I get that the matchup is less than ideal, but with WR JuJu Smith-Schuster out of the equation (not exactly new information) and positional counterpart Eric Ebron already ruled out for this divisional game, the Steelers fan in me sees an opportunity for the rookie out of Penn State as a short area weapon. The significant disparity in involvement between the two is something that has already been stark, but the thing really holding Freiermuth back was the simple presence of Ebron alone. I'm looking for QB Ben Roethlisberger to lean on the young tight end today. 

Week 8 Busts

Quarterback (QB)

Uhhh, I Don't Know

I will leave you with this though: if QB Dak Prescott does not suit up tonight, you lack a pivot move. Both Giants QB Daniel Jones and Vikings QB Kirk Cousins are rostered in 46.7% and 63% of ESPN leagues respectively and unless Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes II can be acquired (unlikely), you're left with Cooper Rush, Prescott's backup, as your only option at the position. Plus, let's be honest. The Lateral is not exactly a mainstream source of information. If you're reading this, you are likely in leagues where Jones and Cousins are not available on waivers.

This is my incredibly long-winded way of saying I am not of the mindset that you should chance it at the quarterback position. Take Prescott out of your lineups in 1QB formats and pick up someone else who you know is guaranteed to play. Whatever part of you thinks "eh, I'll leave it to chance" is not giving you good advice. 

Running Back (RB)

Leonard Fournette (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) [11.7 projected points]

It is extremely difficult to run on the New Orleans Saints. Per Football Outsiders, the Saints are basically the exact opposite of the Kansas City Chiefs run defense I mentioned before. I predict a heavy-passing game script for both the Saints and Buccaneers in this matchup. Fournette already finds himself facing the ninth-highest stacked box rate amongst runnings back this season per FantasyData. Should the Saints wisely stack the box against him, Fournette is looking at trouble. What has supplemented his fantasy value this season is the involvement in the passing game and at best he factors in as the fourth option should we see an active TE Rob Gronkowski. 

Wide Receiver (WR)

CeeDee Lamb (Dallas Cowboys) [17.1 projected points]

See above about QB Dak Prescott. But, I won't leave you empty-handed. Saints WR Marquez Callaway (42.6% rostered on ESPN) feels like a good pivot move if you're worried about Prescott being out affecting the Cowboys offense. I think I've supported the argument for this just fine in this piece already.

That does it for me, folks. Hopefully this information serves you well. Best of luck to your fantasy football teams this week.

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