Week 6 Fantasy Booms, Busts, and Breakouts: You can't keep Baker Mayfield down

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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 6 will come from ________.

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Brad — TYLER BOYD. An underneath favorite of Andy Dalton, Boyd has vexed defenses on slants, drags and cross routes. Currently a firm WR2 in .5 PPR leagues, he’s enticed 23.2 percent of the target share, averaging 6.0 receptions per game. He also ranks WR5 in total red zone receptions. In a likely shootout and matched against slot corner Mike Hilton — who’s surrendered 1.23 yards per snap this season — Boyd is a sound bet for a 7-70-1 output.

Scott — Sometimes it’s hard to point to a fantasy quarterback who can significantly improve your standing, given how bountiful the landscape is right now. Very few owners are stuck at this position. But I want you to try for some JAMEIS WINSTON shares going forward, starting with this week.

Winston’s shown signs of a breakout before. He was fantasy’s QB1 in December of last year. He crushed in the preseason (126.9 rating, 9.5 YPA) and seems comfortable in Todd Monken’s dynamic offense. The Bucs have a lousy defense, a sputtering rushing game, and a slew of dynamic pass catchers. And this week, it’s hello, Atlanta (the Falcons and Bucs might be the two worst defenses in football). The NFC South is the pinball division of football, with Tampa Bay in particular a team designed to tilt the machine and break the game. Winston’s upside could be needle-moving.

Matt — BAKER MAYFIELD. Since his dazzling Week 3 prime time comeback over the Jets, it hasn’t been perfectly smooth sailing for Baker Mayfield. He has yet to clear 18 fantasy points in either of his starts, despite going to overtime. Expected mistakes by the rookie and plenty of drops from his pass-catchers are haunting Mayfield. With that said, he is a solid streamer in Week 6. The Chargers secondary has been one of the most disappointing units in all of football through six games. All three of their top cornerbacks allow a passer rating in the triple digits and the team overall is bottom-four in passer rating and yards per completion allowed.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield could make anyone with him in their fantasy lineup happy in Week 6. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield could make anyone with him in their fantasy lineup happy in Week 6. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Conversely, the brand name set to be the biggest Week 6 BUST is ________.

Scott — I want KENYAN DRAKE to be a reliable fantasy contributor and I want to be excited about what he did in the passing game last week. That said, we can’t ignore that Drake’s usage has rarely been consistent over the last two years, and Frank Gore has 47 seasonal carries to just 39 for Drake. Yes, last week’s 11 targets were lovely, but will Adam Gase stay committed to Drake as a pass-catcher? Drake absorbed 11 targets in Week 15 last year, then saw just six targets (and a piddly 15 receiving yards) in the next two combined games.

There are very few 2018 defenses that force signifiant fantasy adjustments, but the Bears are one of those units. They’ve been the stingiest group in the league against opposing RBs, allowing a scant 3.4 YPC with zero rushing touchdowns. And opposing backs have just 89 collective receiving yards against Chicago. We’re looking at a “Hate the Drake” week.

Brad — ADRIAN PETERSON. Dealing with a tender knee and separated shoulder, Peterson is nowhere close to full strength. Yes, he’s a modern day Wolverine, a quick-healing freak of nature, but against a Carolina defense that ranks inside the top-third in fewest fantasy points yielded to the position, he’s largely unreliable. Expect under 80 combined yards without a score this week.

Matt — CHRIS THOMPSON. The Panthers defense doesn’t give up much production through the ground or the air to running backs this season. Despite plenty of appealing talent on offense, the Panthers don’t run many plays because they have a workhorse back and rushing quarterback who combine to bleed the clock. With so few plays on the opposing side, none of Washington’s pass-catchers have much of an appealing ceiling. 

Chuck a Hail Mary, one deeper player you believe BREAKS OUT in Week 6 is ______.

Brad — COURTLAND SUTTON. Like Royce Freeman, Sutton is another underutilized weapon in Denver’s discombobulated offense. He’s lured just 14.2 percent of the target share, finding the end-zone once. Still, his length, athleticism and field-stretching abilities are top-notch qualities. Against a Rams secondary featuring DB59 (Sam Shield) and DB106 (Marcus Peters) according to Pro Football Focus’ coverage ranks, the rookie has a realistic shot of finding the end zone for the second consecutive week.

Scott — The Bengals had an uncertain tight end situation after Tyler Eifert got hurt, but now Tyler Kroft is also injured. That leaves C.J. UZOMAH as the last man standing. Uzomah had an ordinary 2-43-0 line last week, but remember the Bengals scored twice on defense and threw just 30 passes. Let’s focus on Uzomah’s snap share (92 percent) and his growing importance in the offense. The Steelers are the second-worst defense when it comes to limiting tight end production, and even some non-stars (like Cameron Brate and Austin Hooper) have flashed against them. This could easily be an Uzomah week.

Matt —KYLE JUSZCZYK. The pass-catching H-back for the 49ers has already been involved in the passing game this year. Juszczyk has 19 targets on the year with an average depth of target figure of 5.4. His 103 air yards trails only James White among all running backs this season. San Francisco is a 9.5-point dog going into their Monday night showdown, which should lead to a pass-heavy game script. With Alfred Morris likely the only healthy relevant running back on the roster, Juszczyk could push for eight-plus looks in the passing game.

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Handicapping Lounge: If I had to go to the window to punch a Week 6 against-the-spread ticket, my jelly beans would be on  ______.

Matt — TITANS +2.5. It’s hard to say exactly who the Tennessee Titans are right now. However, they’re getting 2.5 points at home to a team in the Ravens who are also coming off a disappointing Week 5 showing. Tennessee has shown us enough to take the points here.

Scott — CHIEFS +3.5. Andy Reid finally has the offense he wants, and the Chiefs offense has considerably more team speed than the sluggish Patriots front seven. Maybe New England will play keep-away on offense and try to shorten the game, but I expect Kansas City to hit plenty of splash plays either way, as it did in the most recent meeting (a 42-27 romp in the 2017 opener).

Brad — SEAHAWKS -2.5. England. Oakland. Seattle. Antarctica. It doesn’t matter where this game is played — bet the house on the ‘Hawks. The Raiders cannot defend the run, giving up 5.1 yards per carry to RBs. With Seattle grounding and pounding opponents to death, they roll their way to an easy cover.

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