Because this is the first week of Boom Or Bust I will explain how this is different than Matthew Berry’s Love/Hate. The players who I think the “Boom” label will fit are either widely rostered as bench options are who you can find on your league’s waiver wire. These players are especially important during weeks like week like this one where 6 teams are on a bye. The players I peg to “Bust” are players who are either normal starters or who have had strong performances recently. Starting one of these players may not hurt you, but you may have someone else on the bench that will give you a stronger performance.
Josh McCown: Josh is basically playing for his job this week. The Bucs are 1-7 and are trying to figure out if the money they spent on McCown is going to be a short or long-term investment. I know McCown was held to only 58 yards passing in his first match against the Atlanta, but the Falcons have now allowed 3,300 yards passing this year as well as 7 passing scores over the last 4 games. The one thing you can count on is that McCown will get the opportunity to put up big numbers; Falcon opponents are averaging 34 pass attempts per game.
Cam Newton: Cam has not impressed of late, passing for only 353 yards and 2 touchdowns over his last 2 games. Fortunately, he will have a great opportunity to bounce back against the Eagles who have given up 2+ passing touchdowns and over 200 yards in 7 of their 8 games this year.
Russell Wilson: Another guy who hasn’t impressed as of late is Russell Wilson. Wilson has passed for over 202 yards just twice this year and has only 1 touchdown over Seattle’s last 2 games. The very talented Wilson should be able to get back to form this week facing a Giants’ defense that has surrendered 9 scores through the air over their last 3 and over 248 passing yards in 7 of their games.
Legarrette Blount: I am expecting the red-hot Steelers to put a beating on the Jets tomorrow at the Meadow Lands. With that being said, I see no reason why the Steelers will wear out Le’Veon Bell, which means Blount should see a fair amount of touches. Although the Jets have a stout front 7 they have given up over 110 yards on the ground in 3 of their last 5 games. The physical Blount should get ample opportunity to go toe to toe with the Jets’ big run stoppers.
Justin Forsett: Forsett has had a very solid year, racking up over 85 total yards in 7 of 8 games this season and has an ideal matchup this week against the Titans. Tennessee has allowed over 200 yards on the ground twice this year as well as over 95 yards in all but one game. Forsett has averaged 20 touches a game since week 7 and if he gets those touches against the Titans he should have a big day.
Darren Sproles: Sproles is notorious for being a boom or bust player, but I think he will bust out against the Panthers. The Panthers are 30th against running backs this year, surrendering 9 touchdowns to opposing backfields. Although Mark Sanchez looked good last week I believe Chip Kelly will try and relieve some of the pressure and rely heavily on the run game.
Davante Adams: In each of the last 4 games Adams has produced 7 standard fantasy points. This week Adams and the rest of the Packers’ receiving corps will be facing a Bears defense that allowed Aaron Rodgers to throw for 302 yards and 4 scores in their first matchup in Chicago.
Roddy White: This one is all about the matchup. Tampa Bay has allowed over 200 yards to opposing team’s receivers 4 times this year as well as 14 total touchdowns. The Bucs should try and keep Julio Jones in check after he went off for 161 yards and 2 touchdowns in their first meeting. Roddy, who did not play in the first matchup should benefit from single coverage all day.
John Brown: Although the Rams’ defense has been much improved over the last 5 games they have allowed over 150 yards and 7 touchdowns in 4 of those contests. The Rams’ pass rush has been especially good, meaning Carson Palmer will have to get rid of the ball quickly which bodes well for the speedy slot man.
Ryan Tannehill: Tannehill is one of the hottest names in the fantasy football world right now, but it should be noted that he has yet to throw for over 300 yards this year. Don’t expect him to break that mark this week against Lions who have held QBs to single digit fantasy performances 4 times and a league best 9 passing touchdowns this year.
Eli Manning: Don’t let Eli’s back-to-back solid fantasy weeks fool you. Last week he picked up the majority of his points in the 4th quarter when they were down 40-10 to the Colts. This week the Giants travel to Seattle to face a defense that hasn’t allowed a quarterback to pass for over 200 yards in any of the last 3 games.
Joique Bell: Bell hasn’t had more than 18 carries in any game and he shouldn’t break that threshold this week with a healthy Reggie Bush and an emerging Theo Riddick sharing the Lions’ backfield. To make matters worse the Dolphins have held teams to under 100 yards on the ground in 4 of their last 5 games.
Frank Gore: The ageless Gore hasn’t broken 50 rushing yards in any of the last 3 games and hasn’t scored since week 2. New Orleans hasn’t allowed 100 yards on the ground in any of last 4 games and the 49ers may have to abandon the run early if Drew Brees gets back his Superdome magic.
Brandin Cooks: Besides the Denver game the 49ers haven’t given up more than 11 standard fantasy points to receiving corps in any of their past 4 games. It’s also very hard to trust Cooks when Brees has Colston, Graham, and Stills to throw to as well as a strong running attack lead by Mark Ingram.
Michael Crabtree: Crabtree should draw the attention of the Saints’ Keenan Lewis all game. In the last two games where Lewis has followed a receiver he has held Kelvin Benjamin to 2 catches for 18 yards and Jordy Nelson to 3 catches for 25 yards. Crabtree has already had a mediocre year surpassing 50 yards in a game only twice. Expect his struggles to continue in week 10.
Mike Wallace: Mike Wallace’s fantasy value has become completely touchdown dependent. He has hauled in more than 5 balls only once this year and has a total of 5 catches over Miami’s last 2 games. This touchdown dependent receiver will have a tough day against the Lions who have allowed only 3 receivers to touch pay dirt in 2014.
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Payton is the newest fantasy football contributor to The Sports Script. Be on the lookout for more of his work in the coming weeks and follow him on Twitter @PaySand!