2020 Season: Week 12 Boom/Bust (PPR)


(Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Charles Herrmann (@HermsNFL)
The Lateral Chief Editor

Malcolm McMillan (@McLateralFF)
The Lateral Writer

I don't even know what to say for the introduction with all the crazy injury news and COVID-19 issues popping up left and right. Rather than leading with any of that, we at The Lateral would like to congratulate Vanderbilt kicker Sarah Fuller on her historic second-half kickoff against Missouri this afternoon. Football and its surrounding culture is rife with incredibly unnecessary amounts of machismo and all sorts of problematic old boys' club stuff, so to see a woman (also a two-time SEC soccer champion as a goalkeeper!) make history in a Power Five conference is truly remarkable. Kudos to her on this day.

All that said, Charles and Malcolm are here to bring your their customary boom/bust picks for Week 12 of the NFL season based on the expert consensus projections on FantasyPros.com.

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 12 Boom/Bust (PPR)

Week 12 Booms

Quarterback (QB)

CH: Philip Rivers (16.5 projected points)

His 2020 season has been a bit of a mixed bag, but ever since their Week 7 bye week, Rivers is the QB14 in fantasy. The emergence of rookie WR Michael Pittman Jr. has seemed to make a tremendous difference for Indianapolis and we saw Rivers and Co. do fairly well against this Titans team a couple weeks ago. Tennessee is ninth-worst against opposing QBs and while I'm not necessarily expecting much more than the 16.5 points he is projected for, you could do far worse than Rivers this week.

MM: Teddy Bridgewater (17.6 projected points)

Minnesota is a bad pass defense and Bridgewater should be able to feast on efficient throws to his talented WR group. The Panthers defense has a shot at being a good play this week against Kirk Cousins sans WR Adam Thielen, which could translate into more time on the field for the Panthers offense. More time = more opportunity. Plus P.J. Walker did not look bad last week aside from two bad interceptions, so Bridgewater may take this opportunity to remind everyone who is the clear number one in Carolina.

Running Back (RB)

CH: Brian Hill (10.9 projected points)

We've made a greater effort here at The Lateral not to go with the free space picks when it comes to a player we know will be getting the start in place of an injured teammate, but as of this moment FantasyPros ECR seems to have taken into account that Falcons RB Todd Gurley II will not be suiting up tomorrow and I think 10.9 points is too low of a projection for Brian Hill. The Raiders defense is poor against RBs in the running game and in the passing game and Hill has shown the ability at times to both run effectively and catch balls out of the backfield. Sure, this is a pretty easy call but projecting a starting running back against Las Vegas for barely over double-digits feels odd to me.

MM: Frank Gore (9.6 projected points)

La'Mical Perine is out, and while the Jets do not run the ball a lot, they run the ball enough to make Gore is a volume play this week. A trip into the end zone should be enough for Gore to score plenty of points in a surprisingly good matchup against the Dolphins. Basically, it would not unlikely for him to repeat his scoreline from last week.

Wide Receiver (WR)

CH: Malcolm Perry (5.0 projected points) 

I tweeted about this last night. I believe this is a better DFS play than anything else, but Perry has seen his opportunity grow recently and with QB Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm for the Dolphins offense going up against the lowly New York Jets (you don't need me to link to stats on this one), I think keeping with the spirit of another Fitzmagic start and going full-YOLO isn't the worst idea.

MM: Travis Fulgham (11.7 projected points)

Fulgham was still the Eagles most targeted receiver last week despite the poor showing. In fact, despite a combined 3.6 PPR points over the past two weeks, Fulgham remained the Eagles most targeted receiver. Expect Fulgham to capitalize on that target share against the NFL-worst Seahawks pass defense. Especially without TE Zach Ertz to worry about.

Tight End (TE)

CH: Kyle Rudolph (8.1 projected points)

I knew this was going to be my call since the very second it became evident that both Vikings WR Adam Thielen and TE Irv Smith Jr. are likely not playing tomorrow. Rudolph is a warm body and as far as Minnesota is concerned right now that's good enough. TE is always a complete sh*t show but sometimes we're given the gift of an easy decision. Rudolph is easily the best streamer of the week at the position.

MM: Jordan Reed
 (8.8 projected points)

Last week we saw a "healthy" Jordan Reed playing without George Kittle in the lineup. He scored 11.2 points. The Saints (last week's opponents) and the Rams (this week's opponents) are both middle-tier matchups, and the Niners are unlikely to change how they run their offense, which means plenty of targets to the TE. If Reed is playing, you should play him.

Defense/Special Teams (DST)

CH: Arizona Cardinals (6.1 projected points)

Yeah, I get that the DST has been nothing short of brutal lately, but I'm a believer in the Cardinals secondary. The best shot the Patriots have at beating them is on the ground. With Cam Newton at quarterback and a talented duo in Damien Harris and James White at running back, it's definitely doable but I'll take my chances here with Arizona. I don't imagine many yards being surrendered to New England so at the very least this is a decent floor play.

MM: Carolina Panthers (5.7 projected points)

As mentioned before Vikings WR Adam Thielen is out, which means the Panthers can focus on Vikings WR Justin Jefferson the entire time. Yes, Dalvin Cook will torch them, but the Panthers should be able to force Vikings QB Kirk Cousins to make enough bad throws to be a startable defense. Plus, Cousins has only thrown one interception since coming out of the Week 7 bye, so he has to be due for one, right?

Kicker (K)

CH: Brandon McManus (6.5 projected points)

Since I am the Chief Editor here at The Lateral, I'm going to go ahead and make my pick the same as Malcolm's now that we have the updated information as to who the Broncos QB is going to be and drop the ol' [EDITOR'S NOTE: Malcolm's contributions were written prior to learning of the great COVID-19 fiasco that is the Denver Broncos offense]. His logic largely still applies and honestly, how else will Denver score?

MM: Brandon McManus (6.5 projected points)

McManus has only missed two kicks all year, so in the talent + opportunity = fantasy points equation, the talent is certainly there. The Saints defense has played well of late and the Broncos have Drew Lock at QB, so the opportunity for a couple long field goals in that thin, Mile High air should be enough to put McManus into boom territory.

Week 12 Busts

Quarterback (QB)

CH: Kyler Murray (23.7 projected points)

Can't really argue Malcolm's logic. Murray is still a solid play but I don't envision much of his production coming from the passing game. Thankfully he's got Road Runner-like speed and can provide points on the ground, but any time a QB has a bum shoulder it's a bad sign.

MM: Kyler Murray (23.7 projected points)

An injured throwing shoulder seemed to limit Murray against the Seahawks last week, and as a result, he scored his lowest points total of the year. I know Murray has had an extended period to rest the shoulder, was not on the injury report, feels fine, etc., but I am seriously concerned that either that simply is not true or that he re-injures the shoulder. You obviously have to start Murray, but the risk is enough for him to be a bust candidate for me against the Patriots. It does not help that the Patriots are not exactly a great matchup either.

Running Back (RB)

CH: Clyde Edwards-Helaire (13.5 projected points)

MM: Alvin Kamara (19.6 projected points)

I know Atlanta was a tougher matchup than the Broncos will be this week, but 10.5 PPR points and one target for Alvin Kamara should have alarm bells ringing. This is what the Saints will look like under Taysom Hill at QB, and while Kamara's targets likely increase a little this week, the days of 10+ targets in a game are gone. You have to play him, but this looks like a looming disaster for fantasy managers, especially if the Saints keep winning.

Wide Receiver (WR)

CH: Allen Robinson II (16.1 projected points) 

This is a dig at QB Mitchell Trubisky more than anything else. The QB21 through the first three weeks of the NFL season didn't help Robinson II all that much as evidenced by his 15.6 PPR points per game in that time. Are you playing Robinson II? Yeah, most likely, but don't be surprised if this goes poorly. 

MM: Justin Jefferson (16.8 projected points)

There are basically two schools of thought on Jefferson this week. Either you think he booms with Adam Thielen not there to vulture targets, or you think that he busts because the Panthers pass defense can just swallow him up in coverage. If you have made it this far, you know I am the latter. Stay away if you can, but in three WR leagues or two FLEX leagues, you probably cannot.

Tight End (TE)

CH: Dallas Goedert (11.7 projected points)

There's still enough of a possibility that teammate Zack Ertz can suit up on Monday night and while Seattle is friendly as hell to opposing WRs, they're actually pretty solid against the tight end position. I'm not touching anyone who isn't RB Miles Sanders on the Eagles offense with a ten-foot pole. 

MM: Noah Fant (9.3 projected points)

[re: previous EDITOR'S NOTE for additional clarity] This is an okay matchup, but I cannot trust Fant on this offense. He has not seen the end zone since Week 2, and when you lead the team in red zone targets but still average less than one per game, it is not a surprise. I dropped him for Zach Ertz this week and am not looking back.

Defense/Special Teams (DST)

CH: Philadelphia Eagles (7.1 projected points)

A pretty generous projection considering their opponent is the Seattle Seahawks with RB Chris Carson likely back in action. I don't see that going well.

MM: Miami Dolphins (8.6 projected points)

Just going to leave this here. Seriously though, I know it is the Jets, but the Dolphins looked bad against Denver last week, and Denver is awful. Given the injuries on the offensive side of the ball for Miami, the QB situation (who is even starting this week?), and the fact that it is nearly impossible to go winless, I think this game could be a rough outing for what has been a surprisingly good DST this year.

Sorry, just... I have a bad feeling about this.

Kicker (K)

CH: Kai Forbath (9.2 projected points)

Pretty bold of the FantasyPros ECR to have a kicker who's still on IR projected as the top scorer at the position.

MM: Will Lutz (8.3 projected points)

Similar to Kamara, it has only been one game with Taysom Hill running the offense, but I am staying away from the Saints underperformers from last week. That includes Lutz, who only scored six points against the Falcons.

Follow The Lateral on Twitter (@TheLateralFF)