Fantasy Booms, Busts and Breakouts: Receiver trio ready to cut loose in Week 10
Each week our gaggle of Yahoo analysts show their hands and reveal their top booms, busts and breakouts. Gaze into the crystal ball and list your picks in the comment section below.
Among non-obvious starts in Yahoo leagues, the loudest BOOM in Week 10 will come from ________.
Brad — JOSH GORDON. After Harmon campaigned for Gordon last week, it’s this loudmouth’s turn to follow suit. For the first time this season, the controversial WR’s hamstring is 100 percent. Stretching Tennessee’s defense shouldn’t be an issue. Burnt toast DB, Malcolm Butler, is one of the NFL’s worst in multiple categories, including catch percentage (72.2), passer rating (141.8) and yards per snap (2.31) allowed. Firmly inside my WR top-15 this week, Gordon finds the end zone and records his third 100-yard game in his past four.
Matt — TYLER LOCKETT. We knew his torrid touchdown pace was not sustainable and a crash back to earth was in the cards. That happened last week with a three-catch, 22-yard dud against the Chargers. He’s a volatile play every week, as he hasn’t cleared seven targets at any point this year in Seattle’s low-volume pass attack. However, we have a strong bounce-back spot for Lockett this week in a high-scoring game against the Rams. Marcus Peters has been getting rocked all year, allowing a 145.2 passer rating in coverage. Lockett is still far from a safe bet but he makes sense as a ceiling play.
Scott — I do cartwheels when any rookie wideout can hold his own, let alone tap into fantasy value. CHRISTIAN KIRK is more than holding his own, with two scores and 261 yards over his last four games. The new regime funneled seven targets to Kirk in Arizona’s last game, and there should be plenty of Arizona throwing at Kansas City, where the Chiefs are about 17-point favorites. Garbage Time Production isn’t always a reliable source — often times it’s a misleading siren, destined to bury you in a ditch. But all Kirk has done this year is improve, and at least former OC Mike McCoy is long gone.
Conversely, the brand name set to be the biggest Week 10 BUST is ________.
Scott — I want you to fade DEZ BRYANT, this week, next week, and all weeks (especially since he’s slated to sit this week). He’s joining a new team in the middle of the year, and that’s generally a recipe for fantasy disaster. Even the Saints concede he’s not in game-shape yet. And if it all clicks for Bryant in the final few weeks, I don’t see more than a WR3 return. Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara are the primary players in this offense. Big names are fun to own in fantasy, but I just want the numbers. Bryant’s decline in Dallas is still fresh in my mind.
Matt — ALSHON JEFFERY. It’s hard to find any logical reason to straight up bench Jeffery. That said, the Cowboys’ top corner, Byron Jones, has been tough on perimeter wide receivers this season. He’s allowed fewer than 50 percent of the targets thrown into his coverage to be completed. Overall, Dallas has allowed the second-fewest catches (84) and yards (1,149) to wide receivers this season. The Eagles will likely focus on getting the ball out of Carson Wentz’s hands quickly against a tough Dallas pass rush. They can do this by zeroing-in on new addition Golden Tate in the slot along with their tight end duo. While he’s usually a locked-in play, Jeffery might be more touchdown-or-bust this week.
Brad — EZEKIEL ELLIOTT. Some will say this is a “Look at me” ghost pepper-level hot take, but it’s entirely realistic the workhorse is left in the barn this week in Philadelphia. The Eagles have surrendered the fifth-fewest fantasy points to RBs this season, giving up 3.75 yards per carry, 50.7 rush yards per game and two total touchdowns. Stacked fronts, likely in excess of 35 percent, are entirely possible. It’s hard to ignore the volume, but a sub-100 combined yard game without a score is in my fearless forecast.
Chuck a Hail Mary, one deeper player you believe BREAKS OUT in Week 10 is ______.
Matt — JOSH MCCOWN. The veteran passer doesn’t have a tasty ceiling but is a cheap DFS dart throw and 2QB streaming play. McCown ranked top-15 in completion rate, passer rating and yards per attempt last season. The Jets offense is no safe vessel for passing success but McCown is more than good enough to produce for a one-week flier. I’d prefer Nick Mullens over him but if you need a quarterback play in Week 10, McCown can thrive.
Brad — JOHN ROSS. With 26.2 percent of the target share up for games in A.J. Green’s absence, someone has to step up in Cincinnati. Ross is the Bengals’ best shot. Practicing in consecutive days this week after missing extensive time with a groin injury, the NFL’s fastest rookie from two years ago is in line to attract at least 6-8 targets. His larger-than-advertised route tree, quicks and RAC abilities could inflict serious damage on a Saints secondary which has yielded the most fantasy points to WRs this season. Slated to tango most often with Eli Apple (136.8 passer rating, 2.36 yds/snap allowed), Ross could eclipse 70 yards and a score without blinking an eye.
Scott — I’m going to cheat a little bit, because MAURICE HARRIS had a breakout game last week (10-124-0 on 12 targets). But seeing him owned in just 20 percent of Yahoo leagues and started in a mere 12 percent, there’s still a story to tell here. The Washington offensive line is in tatters and Tampa stops the run anyway. Alex Smith probably throws the ball 40-plus times on Sunday. Not to mention, Harris is the first Washington wideout Smith has clicked with this year. Every opposing QB turns into peak Aaron Rodgers against the Bucs. They’ve allowed a 124.3 rating to the world, which is comical even in the 2018 version of football.
Handicapping Lounge: If I had to go to the window to punch a Week 10 against-the-spread ticket, my jelly beans would be on ______.
Matt — Green Bay -10. The Packers are licking their wounds after a tough late-game thumping by the Patriots. New England similarly got out of their slump when they destroyed Miami earlier in the season. Green Bay’s defense ranks top-three in sack rate and could easily force Brock Osweiler on the road into multiple mistakes. The Packers are at home and even with a massive spread, they could really smash in this game.
Brad — San Francisco -3. Mullens mania will lure new believers after the rookie dismantles New York. The Giants, an empty vessel, are barreling toward a top pick. Selling off two key defenders in Eli Apple and Damon Harrison and without an offensive line to properly protect Eli Manning, they will be up against it versus a reinvigorated 49ers club.
Scott — I’ll go head-to-head with the Noise, backing the Giants +3. The Mullens debut was against a clueless Oakland team that basically checked out somewhere in the second quarter. The Giants are certainly no juggernaut, but they’re off a bye, and I’ll take Pat Shurmur over Jon Gruden any day of the week. New York gets a week and a half of study time on Mullens, a small, weak-armed quarterback who went undrafted for a reason. Start spreading the news, G-Men win outright.
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