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, using the strict rules set, in the comment section below.
Among players under 50 percent started in Yahoo leagues, the loudest BOOM from Week 10 comes from ________.
Andy – DEVONTAE BOOKER played exactly one less snap and handled one less touch than an ineffective C.J. Anderson in Week 9, out-gaining Denver’s starting RB. He’s carried 12 times for 61 yards and caught five passes for 23 over the past two weeks. With Anderson banged up (ankle), there’s no reason to think Booker’s role will be diminished in the upcoming matchup with New England. The Pats defense, of course, has been bad at most things; they’ve allowed a whopping 5.1 YPC. If Booker sees 9-12 touches on Sunday night, he’ll make plenty of fantasy noise.
Brad – ORLEANS DARKWA. His name evokes thoughts of a Marvel supervillian and this week Darkwa could indeed resemble Juggernaut. No matchup is more favorable (at SF). The Niners have allowed the most fantasy points, 182.6 total yards per game and 10 TDs to the RB position. Darkwa, who’s averaged 17.3 touches per game over the past three weeks and has totaled a very appealing 3.3 YAC per attempt on the year, is a strong candidate to eclipse the century mark in total yardage with a TD.
Scott – We’ve been giving you a steady stream of Josh McCown and Robby Anderson in this space; know they’re still with us in spirit, even as they graduate to the higher echelons of fantasy ownership. It’s not easy to trust the Giants after last week’s embarrassing no-show against the Rams, but STERLING SHEPARD doesn’t deserve any red ink. He finished with a reasonable 5-70-0 line, and Eli Manning missed him on what should have been an easy distance touchdown. Teams have been running all over the Niners in recent weeks, but the pass defense doesn’t have much to recommend, either: 95.2 rating against, 7.6 YPA allowed, just 17 sacks. The Giants passing tree is especially narrow these days — it’s Shepard or it’s Evan Engram — and I expect both of them to do something fantasy fruitful on west coast time.
Conversely, among players started in over 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, the biggest Week 10 BUST will be ______.
Brad – DOUG MARTIN. His appearance on this list has little to do with Ryan Fitzpatrick manning the controls. It’s not like Jamies Winston was lighting the world on fire pre-injury. Still, he may see a slight uptick in stacked boxes. Also netting 3.9 yards per touch and ranking No. 92 in fantasy points per opportunity, the Muscle Hamster should stay on your bench. The Jets, a rising defense, have allowed only 3.57 yards per carry and one rushing TD to RBs since Week 4. Bottom line, he’ll be lucky to surpass 70 combined yards.
Andy — OK, I’ll take the obvious bust: JORDY NELSON doesn’t need to find his way into fantasy lineups while Brett Hundley is behind center for Green Bay. Hundley has completed just 58.8 percent of his throws this season, averaging a miserable 5.0 Y/A. Nelson has caught only five balls for 48 yards over his last two games. This week, the Packers travel to Soldier Field to face a quality Bears defense that’s coming off a bye. Chicago has allowed just eight TD passes so far this year and 6.9 Y/A. There’s little chance Hundley or Nelson finds success this week.
Scott – STEFON DIGGS can be a wonderful player when healthy, and hopefully he’s close to 100 percent after a bye week to rest his hamstring injury. But he hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 3, and now he’s up against a Washington defense that excels in outside coverage but struggles to defend the slot (h/t, Scott Barrett). Fantasy owners might be forced to use Adam Thielen and Diggs on standard-league rosters — the wideout board has been that chaotic this year — but if you’re looking for DFS angles or dealing with a roster that is unusually fortified at WR, Diggs isn’t an automatic start. Look for slot-machine Thielen to be the featured target player in DC.
Chuck a Hail Mary, the one deep player (under 15% started) you believe BREAKS OUT in Week 10 is ______.
Scott – MARQUISE GOODWIN can be a frustrating player to promote or to play; he’s still looking for his first touchdown, and the Niners haven’t found a trustable quarterback. But the slumping Giants secondary comes to town — its compete and communication levels were shameful last week — and Goodwin no longer has to battle Pierre Garcon for targets. Goodwin has solid yardage counts in three of his last five games, and the timing is right for him to finally show us an end-zone celebration. If the Niners switch to QB Jimmy Garoppolo this week, which might be on the table, Goodwin gets an additional nudge forward.
Andy – DAMIEN WILLIAMS is in line for something close to a half-share of the backfield touches for Miami, and the man is capable of plays like this. This week’s matchup against Carolina’s run defense is less than ideal, but it’s worth noting the Panthers have already allowed 50 receptions to opposing backs, and Williams just snagged six catches against Oakland. He’s a preferred option for the Dolphins in goal-to-go situations, too.
Brad — COREY DAVIS. Shaking off the rust after a prolonged absence, Davis enticed five targets catching two passes for 28 yards last week against Baltimore. At first glance, his Week 10 matchup isn’t the friendliest as the Bengals have surrendered a league-low 49.6 catch percentage to wide receivers. But Marqise Lee gashed Cincy underneath last week. Davis, who excels in the short-to-intermediate field, could reach a similar level of success. At a minimum, the rookie should haul in five passes for 50 yards.