2021 Season: Week 5 Boom/Bust (PPR)


Herms (@HermsNFL)
The Lateral Chief Editor

Malcolm McMillan (@McLateralFF)
The Lateral Editor

[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 5 Boom/Bust (PPR)

Week 5 Booms

Quarterback (QB)

Herms: Trey Lance (San Francisco 49ers) [17.0 projected points]

I do not love the matchup versus Arizona, but two things are true that make me like this:

a.) The Cardinals defense averages giving up 17.6 to QBs this year already

b.) Lance hit 20.38 points en route to his QB13 finish last week in essentially one half of football in relief of the injured QB Jimmy Garoppolo

Give me a full week of HC Kyle Shanahan scheming the offense around the skill set of the rushing threat of Lance? Sure, I'll take my chances there even with a tough in-division opponent. 

McLateral: Zach Wilson (New York Jets) [15.9 projected points]

Zach Wilson was my pick as a waiver pickup in my "A Week Too Early Waiver Wire" column that focused on Week 5, and I am sticking with the New York Jets quarterback here. Is he going to suddenly be an elite quarterback? No. However, against the Atlanta Falcons defense, he should be able to put up a top-12 fantasy football performance in an elite matchup. 20+ fantasy football points should be in reach for the rookie quarterback.

Running Back (RB)

Herms: Zack Moss (Buffalo Bills) [11.0 projected points]

Wait, that Zack Moss? Yep. "RB10 since Week 2 of the season" Zack Moss. Say what you want about the guy's ability, but the strength of schedule has given him a cake walk of defenses. I am not one to penalize a guy for having a good stretch of matchups and his opponent, the Kansas City Chiefs, are a bottom-five fantasy defense against RBs. Debate the merits of the player some other time and just go with it.

McLateral: Kenneth Gainwell (Philadelphia Eagles) [9.0 projected points]

The Carolina Panthers are a terrible fantasy football matchup this season for opposing running backs. Or are they? Maybe the reason that the Panthers have allowed so few fantasy points to the position is simply that most teams have not used their running backs against the Panthers. When the Panthers' opponents have used their running backs though, those running backs have seen 4.11 yards per opportunity (target or rushing attempt). Kenneth Gainwell is currently seeing 9.25 opportunities per game, of which just under half have been targets. If he sees similar usage against Carolina, he will be in line for around seven points in point-per-reception fantasy football leagues. All he needs to have a boom performance is a touchdown, and given his red-zone usage, that is entirely in the realm of possibility.

Wide Receiver (WR)

Herms: Olamide Zaccheaus (Atlanta Falcons) [9.7 projected points]


He's the top WR the Falcons have this week due to injury. This is lazy but no one said I could not be lazy.

McLateral: Randall Cobb (Green Bay Packers) [9.5 projected points]

As I wrote on Wednesday, Week 4 may have been the rekindling of something beautiful in Green Bay. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and wide receiver Randall Cobb finally reconnected against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and as long as Marquez Valdes-Scantling remains out, that connection should stay alive. The Cincinnati Bengals defense is just an average fantasy football matchup for opposing wide receivers right now, but they get thrown on plenty and allow a lot of receptions. Expect Rodgers to attack the Bengals early and often, and Cobb to reap some of the benefits.

Tight End (TE)

Herms: Cameron Brate (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) [8.1 projected points]

I hate trying to figure out who to stream at TE as much as the rest of you, but Mr. Brate did receive six targets in TE Rob Gronkowski's absence last week. Granted, he did nothing with that opportunity and finished TE28 in Week 4, but out here in these streets we cannot be picky and choosey with who does or does not get quality opportunity at the position. Just go with it.

McLateral: Tyler Conklin
 (Minnesota Vikings) [8.6 projected points]

Tyler Conklin may have put up a dud last week against the Cleveland Browns, but the fact that he still saw six targets is encouraging. The Detroit Lions do not give up a ton of fantasy football points to opposing tight ends, but they do give up a ton of receiving yards. Conklin should be able to take advantage of that as long as Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins continues to target him. A touchdown would have Conklin easily exceed his projected point total.

Defense/Special Teams (DST)

Herms: Los Angeles Chargers [5.6 projected points]

If this unit can get after Baker Mayfield and company anything like they did against the Raiders last week on Monday Night Football I'm here for this journey.

McLateral: Chicago Bears [6.4 projected points]

The Chicago Bears are a tough matchup for opposing quarterbacks. If they can get Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr to make some mistakes in this game, those mistakes could translate into fantasy football points. That is exactly what the Los Angeles Chargers did last week en route to a top-eight fantasy football finish at the defense/special teams position.

Kicker (K)

Herms: Rodrigo Blankenship (Indianapolis Colts) [7.1 projected points]

Pretty much what is said below, the dude's gone out there and put up double digits three weeks in a row. 

McLateral: Rodrigo Blankenship (Indianapolis Colts) [7.1 projected points]

Rodrigo Blankenship has been averaging 11 fantasy football points per game over the past three weeks. His Week 5 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens may not be as enticing as the Week 6 matchup he has against the Houston Texans, but he should still get plenty of opportunities to put points on the board. Projecting the Indianapolis Colts kicker to score only seven fantasy football points feels a bit slanderous to be perfectly honest. This was an easy pick.

Week 5 Busts

Quarterback (QB)

Herms: Daniel Jones (New York Giants) [19.9 projected points]

As we discussed on The Lateral Show podcast (linked below), the Cowboys defense might actually be good? I was a little lukewarm on it at the time of recording but the more I think about it, I'm takin' McLateral's perspective from the show.

McLateral: Justin Herbert (Los Angeles Chargers) [20.0 projected points]

Justin Herbert may be hot right now, but he started the season fairly slow. Against the Washington Football Team in Week 1 and the Dallas Cowboys in Week 2 he averaged just 15.5 fantasy football points. Neither of those teams is nearly as tough a matchup as the Cleveland Browns defense that Herbert has to face in Week 6. There is a reason FantasyPros expert consensus ranking (ECR) only has the Los Angeles Chargers quarterback as a borderline starter.

Running Back (RB)

Herms: Chuba Hubbard (Carolina Panthers) [11.9 projected points]

I kinda like the top 12 at RB this week, don't see a flaw, but I appreciate/agree with the logic below.

McLateral: Chuba Hubbard (Carolina Panthers) [11.9 projected points]

Chuba Hubbard was only just inside the top-24 running backs per FantasyPros Week 5 ECR as of this writing, and this pick is assuming that Hubbard is the starter and not Christian McCaffrey. If McCaffrey ends up as the starting running back for the Carolina Panthers, this can obviously be disregarded. However, it merits mentioning that Hubbard as the starter is not a lock for relevant fantasy football performance. He was the starter in Week 4 and finished RB36 with just 9.1 PPR fantasy football points. It really seems that other than being fast, there is not a whole lot else there with the rookie running back.

Wide Receiver (WR)

Herms: CeeDee Lamb (Dallas Cowboys) [17.4 projected points]

Lamb's targets have taken a massive dip since Week 2 (eight combined over the last two games), and frankly I do not know why. Additionally, the Giants secondary has been surprisingly stingy in the WR production department to date. It's puzzling, you'll probably have to play him in some lineups like I do, but 17.4 feels lofty given the lack of involvement Lamb has seen recently. 

McLateral: Brandin Cooks (Houston Texans) [13.5 projected points]

It pains me to do this, but as long as Davis Mills is the starting quarterback of the Houston Texans, I cannot trust the walking a thousand-yard season that is Brandin Cooks. Listen to this week's The Lateral Show Week 5 P-P-P-Preview for more of my take on the situation in Houston.

Tight End (TE)

Herms: None? 

Honestly, all top 12 TEs on FantasyPros projections make sense to me. Odds are one will bust but I'm not finding anything I feel good enough about to state something definitively. My guess would perhaps be New England Patriots TE Hunter Henry since who knows whether it's his week of teammate Jonnu Smith's week, but they both did fine last week. That's as comfortable as I'll be giving advice here.

McLateral: Darren Waller (Las Vegas Raiders) [17.0 projected points]

Well, this was going to be Atlanta Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts. However, with Falcons wide receivers Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage both out for Week 5, Pitts is now Atlanta's number two target. Darren Waller has a less than ideal matchup against the Chicago Bears and has seen some lower fantasy football scoring in recent weeks despite decent targets. Plus this is a positive matchup for the Las Vegas wide receivers. Waller will still hit double-digit fantasy football points but will fall short of his projection enough to be a bust.

Defense/Special Teams (DST)

Herms: Arizona Cardinals [7.0 projected points]

Perhaps I am overly confident in a rookie QB, but everything I said about Trey Lance before applies here. I'm not comfortable starting the Cardinals DST this week given that they frankly have no idea what type of offense is about to come at them. That unknown gives me the heebie jeebies. Maybe even the creeps. 

McLateral: Atlanta Falcons [6.6 projected points]

Last week everyone wanted to pick the Tennessee Titans defense as the streaming defense to start because of their matchup against the New York Jets. I vehemently disagreed. End result? Sometimes a bad defense is just bad, and the Titans were DST17 in Week 4. What is the only fantasy football defense/special teams unit worse than the Titans? The Atlanta Falcons. Stay away.

Kicker (K)

Herms: Younghoe Koo (Atlanta Falcons) [8.1 projected points]

Look, the dude was a stud last year but the inconsistencies of the Falcons' offense makes it so that the team either gets stymied before they hit field goal range or find some way to punch it in with Cordarrelle Patterson and relegate Koo to extra point duty. No in between. It's weird and I hate it. Don't do it. Also jet lag may be a factor. Planes are scary.

McLateral: Greg Zuerlein (Dallas Cowboys) [8.7 projected points]

Greg Zuerlein has been disappointing through four weeks so far. Yes, the New York Giants are a team that the Dallas Cowboys offense could eviscerate, giving their kicker plenty of opportunities. However, the Cowboys scored a combined 77 points over the past two weeks and Zuerlein only averaged 5.5 fantasy football points per game over that period. They may ultimately be too high-powered for their kicker to be relevant.

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