2020 Season: Week 10 Boom/Bust (PPR)


(Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Charles Herrmann (@HermsNFL)
The Lateral Chief Editor

Malcolm McMillan (@McLateralFF)
The Lateral Writer

Just because we're making some changes around here doesn't mean we're changing everything. Our weekly boom/bust picks are here once again. If you haven't read this weekly installment before, both Charles and Malcolm will be using information from the FantasyPros ECR projected points to determine which players they believe will either outperform or miss the mark on their projected total. Nothing out of the ordinary. This is a pretty common exercise but it is a good test of #analysis.

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 10 Boom/Bust (PPR)

Week 10 Booms

Quarterback (QB)

CH: Tua Tagovailoa (16.7 projected points)

This is one I'm pretty excited about. His first start against the Rams was not ideal (5.72 points in 4 PPTD scoring) in what was a very difficult matchup, but last week against the Cardinals we really saw Tagovailoa take a leap. The 21.42 point showing from the former University of Alabama lefty instills a level of confidence within me to reciprocate the feeling. Despite being an objectively good defensive unit, the Chargers allow the fifth-most points to opposing quarterbacks. With the running back unit being in flux and the run game unable to be counted on given the absence of Myles Gaskin, this game against Los Angeles is likely going to be another exhibition of Tagovailoa's passing acumen. This one feels like a good pick to me, but don't forget that Miami's next two opponents are Denver and the Jets followed by Cincinnati in Week 13. There's a good chance this rookie can be counted on to help carry your team to a playoff berth.

MM: Drew Lock (17.0 projected points)

I went with Lock in a good matchup last week, and if it ain't broke don't fix it. The Las Vegas Raiders are not quite in the same tier of juicy matchups as the Falcons were last week, but they are firmly in the tier below the Falcons and the Seahawks. While Lock still throws the ball to the wrong team, even in his good games, I am frankly more concerned about the game script than Lock making mistakes and needing garbage time to bail him out. The Raiders are awful against the run, and a career day from Phillip Lindsay is more likely to derail another great fantasy performance from the Broncos QB than the Raiders' pass defense.

Running Back (RB)

CH: Phillip Lindsay (7.8 projected points)

A small part of me wants to go back to the JaMycal Hasty well considering Niners RB Jerick McKinnon is reportedly in line for a big workload this Sunday and HC Kyle Shanahan is a lying liar who lies, but I expended way too much energy discussing Hasty already in the past.

Instead, let's talk about Phillip Lindsay. While he is still significantly behind teammate Melvin Gordon III in total touches over the last month, you'll find Lindsay has still found a way to be effective with his limited work as evidenced by his rushing yardage and 5.8 YPC in that span. The Las Vegas Raiders are not a defense to be feared and it would not shock me at all if both Denver RBs contribute fantasy value on Sunday. I have Lindsay down as a steady RB3/flex play.

MM: Wayne Gallman (9.1 projected points)

The second it was announced that Giants RB Devonta Freeman would go on IR, Gallman became the lock for a boom performance at RB. Yes, the Eagles are a bad matchup on paper, but Gallman put up 16.4 points on them just three weeks ago! I made sure that this was not a projection impacted by Freeman being expected to play before selecting him, as otherwise it is more of a free space than a lock, but Freeman was nowhere to be found in the Week 10 ECR. Ignore the ECR and at least flex Gallman with confidence. He is a volume play that can still be found in most free agent pools this week. I am personally starting him in at least one of my four leagues this week.

Wide Receiver (WR)

CH: Jalen Reagor (10.8 projected points) 

I will let myself from Nov. 7th do the talking on this one. 

MM: Darnell Mooney (11.7 projected points)

Did Mooney have an excellent matchup in Week 9? Yes. Did he exceed expectations? Well... not exactly. However, the rookie did see 11 targets in Week 9, and it is always a good sign when your WR gets enough targets that you do not have to resort to AP style. The Vikings are an even better matchup than the Titans, so I fully expect a better catch rate on a similar target share this week. Mooney should hit his projection without scoring a TD, and a TD catch would make a boom performance a certainty.

Tight End (TE)

CH: Austin Hooper (11.4 projected points)

While this isn't exactly a profound call to make, I have to go with a guy I think has a shot to be a top 5 TE the rest of the season. Look at the type of target load Hooper was seeing prior to his injury and tell me that this guy isn't primed to do well. The Texans are fairly beatable when funneling through the tight end and volume is more important than anything else at this position. Scoop Hooper is he's still available to you.

MM: Jimmy Graham 
(9.5 projected points)

Were you worried that the Vikings were only a good matchup for WRs? Well do not worry, they suck against TEs too! So then why is the Bears TE projected to have a below-average game? Especially considering that Graham sees more red zone looks than anyone on the Bears. Let us recap: Graham averages double-digits, is on a team that passes more than just about anyone, and is the favored red zone target. He is going to beat this projection like... well like it's the Minnesota pass defense.

Defense/Special Teams (DST)

CH: Miami Dolphins (6.2 projected points)

I spoke about this Dolphins defensive unit extensively on Monday as did Malcolm on Tuesday. This is a set it and forget it squad.

MM: Cleveland Browns (6.0 projected points)

The Browns have been solid in fantasy this season, ranking DST15 overall and DST14 in PPG. They have been decently stingy against the run, and with their former RB Duke Johnson now filling in for the Texans, they may be able to force Texans QB Deshaun Watson to pass early and often. This presents opportunities for takeaways, especially if the awful Houston defense keeps Watson on the field.

Kicker (K)

CH: Cairo Santos (7.2 projected points)

The Vikings defense and Bears QB Nick Foles are juuust bad enough for this to be a big opportunity for field goals in my eyes.

MM: Randy Bullock (7.0 projected points)

Bullock is better through eight games than Justin Tucker. He does not miss often, and QB Joe Burrow moving the Bengals offense gives Bullock plenty of opportunity. This projection is based on the Bengals at Ravens game in Week 5, and as good as the Steelers DST is, that humiliation is not happening twice to this Bengals team.

Week 10 Busts

Quarterback (QB)

CH: Russell Wilson (22 projected points)

No, do not bench Russell Wilson. That would be an obscenely ridiculous thing to do. I did, however, take a look back at Wilson's career game logs and found that the Rams likely are not his favorite team to face. He's done well against them in the past as he has against basically everyone, but it's a mixed bag of results nonetheless and the NFC Los Angeles franchise is the second-toughest matchup for QBs in 2020. While not actually calling Wilson a bust, I am not of the mindset we see a game where he pushes 40 points.

MM: Lamar Jackson (21.1 projected points)

It is tough to go against a guy getting the rushing volume that Colts RB Jonathan Taylor can only dream of, but QBs have to pass the ball too, and Jackson has struggled with that of late. The Patriots have been a tough matchup for QBs in 2020, despite Joe Flacco looking shockingly decent against them last week. Plus if anyone's defense is going to know how to call out the opponent's plays, it will be Bill Belichick's. I am staying away until Lamar Jackson looks comfortable passing the ball.

Running Back (RB)

CH: Mike Davis (16.4 projected points)

Another "of course you're playing him guy" with a tough draw. The Tampa Bay run defense is fairly stout and I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of whatever fury the Bucs are going to unleash after being embarrassed on national television last Sunday night against New Orleans. It feels like a bad time is on the horizon. With RB Christian McCaffrey sidelined once again, Davis' volume will warrant fantasy usage but I'm not anticipating anything great.

MM: Josh Jacobs (16.4 projected points)

Another RB who looks good because of expected volume with a bad matchup? Sounds like a bust to me. I am still playing Jacobs this week in every league where I have him on my roster, but I am basically praying he can keep scoring 12-13 points. Devontae Booker's usage from Week 9 is still giving me nightmares.

Wide Receiver (WR)

CH: Travis Fulgham (15.5 projected points) 

Something about the return of teammate Alshon Jeffrey and a potential shadow from Giants CB James Bradberry (something the Giants unwisely did not do in their previous meeting) gives me pause on Fulgham. What I said about him in The Lateral's Mid-Season Crystal Ball still applies to his rest of season outlook but maybe not so much this weekend.

MM: Tyler Lockett (17.9 projected points)

When you consider recommending benching the current WR5, they automatically are your bust pick. They cover it on page five of the Fantasy Analysts Guidebook (the first four pages are just stolen from coloring books). Seriously though, as I mentioned when covering David Moore earlier this week, the Seahawks cannot feed all their receivers in most games. I recommended benching Moore, but I do not think this is a Lockett game either. I think they both hover around FLEX territory and it is another D.K. Metcalf game for Seattle.

Tight End (TE)

CH: Mark Andrews (11.5 projected points)

What has the Baltimore TE done recently that makes you feel any good about using him? I'll let Malcolm take it from here.

MM: Mark Andrews (11.5 projected points)

Was hoping Charles would do the heavy lifting here, but I guess that is on me now [EDITOR'S NOTE: my bad, dawg]. Andrews has been mostly awful this year, with five games with less than seven points. He has played well against three teams, all of whom are excellent matchups, and that is only because he caught at least one TD pass in each of those games. The Patriots are the worst matchup in the entire league and have given up only one TD to the TE position this season to date. This projection has no basis in #analysis, and you should honestly bench Andrews. 

Defense/Special Teams (DST)

CH: Green Bay Packers (8.1 projected points)

Yeah, sure, going up against a rookie QB and all that. Jacksonville ain't great but I'm not sure I love this defense as much without CB Jaire Alexander. This feels like a trap. 

MM: Philadelphia Eagles (8.1 projected points)

The Eagles were good, but not great, against the Giants in Week 7. Honestly, ECR felt pretty spot on this week at DST, but I feel like the Giants play better this week against a team they should have beaten if it was not for this.

Okay, so they scored four plays later and lost because QB Daniel Jones fumbled it to end the game. Sue me. Either way, I think the Giants play better with Gallman, TE Evan Engram, and WR Sterling Shepard all starting to click. This will not be a massive bust, but the Eagles are not going to be DST3 at the end of the week like they are currently projected.

Kicker (K)

CH: Matt Prater (7.9 projected points)

I don't see much of a reason to disagree with any of the higher projections for the kickers this week, but the Washington defense doesn't surrender a lot of yards. Maybe this is a case where the Lions offense is stymied just often enough to not be in field goal range often. That potential game script tracks in my head.

MM: Chris Boswell (7.8 projected points)

Boswell is great, but so is his team. I sense this being a game where he is only kicking extra points. You should not be starting a kicker that has not had a 10+ game yet anyway.

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