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Booms and Busts: Week 14 Fantasy Football Studs and Duds, Including: D'Andre Swift, Garrett Wilson, Najee Harris, Stefon Diggs, Dak Prescott

Garrett Wilson - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups - icon rotoballer

Last week was full of big swings and unfortunate misses. From my Boom players of Jimmy Garoppolo and Aaron Jones both getting injured to my bust picks of Saquon Barkley and Justin Jefferson saving their sub 3.5 yards per carry and sub-50-yard performance with touchdowns. It was just one of those weeks.

Either way, we move forward. This week, we have six games with six or more point favorites. That means potential game scripts will play a key role in this week’s picks.

It’s wild to think there is only a week or two until the fantasy playoffs. So let’s heat up down the stretch with your Week 14 Boom and Bust players at each position. If articles aren't your jam, check out my shorter version of this article on TikTok @FiresideFantasy_FFL.

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Laying the Boom

Justin Herbert (QB, LAC)

Honestly, you can easily make the case for either QB in this matchup between the Dolphins and Chargers, as both are primed for huge bouncebacks. However, I decided to go with Justin Herbert since his down week came at the expense of one of the league’s worst defenses.

This has been a very interesting year for the young star. Another potential losing season, and another season full of play-making injuries. Seriously, how much better would Herbert be if he had Keenan Allen and Mike Williams all season? Compared to Brampton, Ontario’s Joshua Palmer and DeAndre Carter, probably a lot better. 

In fact, his recent struggles have brought up the discussion that he has a losing record as a starter in the NFL. When you have sprouting stars such as Joe Burrow, Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, and Josh Allen who all seem to will their team to victories, doubt has crept into the minds of some Herbert fans.

Have no fear, the Miami defense is here. Over the last five games, Miami has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to the position. Heck, we even saw Brock Purdy look more than functional last week. I’m expecting a big bounce back from the handsome gunslinger, and have him in my top-five this week.

Jeff Wilson Jr. (RB, MIA)

Let’s stay in this heater of a matchup. Jeff Wilson Jr. was stifled by a suffocating 49ers defense last week. Plus, he left the game for a bit due to an injury. Thankfully, he’s expected to be good to go this week.

Although Raheem Mostert is also in play for this game, Wilson is their lead back. Since joining Miami, he has been on fire, with three games in the top 25 at the position, and two of them in the top 10. This week, he faces a Chargers team that has picked up their run defense recently but still finds themselves in the bottom 10 of most metrics. On the season, they are allowing the fourth-most fantasy points and the second-most rushing yards to backs. This should be a high-scoring affair and both backs should be in the top 24, with Wilson Jr. highlighting the top 15. 

D’Andre Swift (RB, DET)

I couldn’t help myself, I couldn’t decide between Wilson Jr. and Swift, so I’m doing both. After falling off the face of the flat fantasy earth, Swift is quietly gaining steam heading into the fantasy playoffs. If you’ve managed to make the playoffs despite his mediocrity, you’re in luck. Last week, he saw his season’s second-highest, carries, rushing yards, and targets.

Despite Jamaal Williams being all the rage with his one-yard touchdowns, it’s gone under the radar that he has yet to be targeted in five straight games. Unfortunately, Swift doesn’t own the goal line, but he’s taking back everything else. 

The Vikings are allowing the fourth-most receptions and third-most receiving yards to the position over the last five weeks. This game is huge for the NFC North, and I think offensive sparks will be flying all game. As a result, give me the electric young star to be a top-10 option this week.

Garrett Wilson (WR, NYJ)

Calling for one of the hottest young WRs to be a Boom play this week seems obvious. However, I wanted to highlight Wilson because of his matchup. The Jets are taking on the Buffalo Bills this week, who have a general perception that they are "shut down" on defense. Although this was the case at the start of the season, they haven’t been the same recently.

Over the last five weeks, the Bills are allowing the fifth-most touchdowns, ninth-most yards, and ninth-most receptions to the position. Although we need to rely on the unseasoned arm of Mike White heading into a very hostile environment, I think Wilson will continue his success. The team has yet to show any hesitancy toward Mike White airing it out, and in the likely situation where Buffalo scores a lot of points, this might be necessary.

T.J. Hockenson (TE, MIN)

Revenge game! This week, Hockenson heads into his old stomping grounds to take on the team that drafted him eighth overall in 2019. Since joining the Vikings, he has had six or more targets in each game. For a TE, that’s elite involvement. 

His old team ironically is terrible at stopping the position (you can argue they are terrible at stopping any position). I expect Hockenson to feast in this matchup, especially if he maintains his large target share. I’m buying into this revenge game, and expect a top-three performance from the guy. Plus, let's go all in, the Pie Shop* is open for the revenger.

*Pie Shop: An Australian term (often used in Rugby League) to describe who will score a Try (or in this case touchdown) this week. (Season Calls: 10-7)

 

Bust Picks

Dak Prescott (QB, DAL)

This is a terrifying call. After dropping 33 points in the fourth quarter last week, the Cowboys now take on a notoriously bad defense in Houston. So why is Dak Prescott a player I’m worried about? Honestly, I think Lovie Smith and this Houston defense deserve more credit. Last week, they were able to shut down Cleveland’s passing game, and did a remarkable job against the run. I’m talking they didn’t allow an offensive TD in that game. 

Often the narrative of why Houston is good against the pass is because they can’t stop the run. Although that’s probably a reason, you don’t magically average the fewest fantasy points and passing yards against over the last five games. But if you want to buy into that narrative, Dallas has the run game to lean on. Prescott is still a must-start, but I’m calling for him to finish outside of the top 10 this week.

Najee Harris (RB, PIT)

Despite being the RB20 on the season, it has seemed like a brutal season for the highly drafted second-year back. With only two weeks in the top 20 at the position, the only thing keeping him afloat is usage. However, he is currently projected to be the RB13 this week, which I strongly disagree with.

This week, he takes on the Lamar-less Baltimore Ravens, who have been great on defense lately. Over their last five weeks, they are allowing the second-fewest rushing yards per game (42.8) and the fewest rushing TDs to the position. The only bright side is that backs can succeed in the receiving game against them. However, since Harris has three of his last four games with a single target, it’s a risky bet to take. I have him firmly outside of my top 20 at the position this week.

Stefon Diggs (WR, BUF)

I’m going back to the well on this one. Last week, I called Justin Jefferson a bust because he was facing the Jets, and they held him to 45 receiving yards. Although he did score, he was one play away from having a brutal fantasy day. His low yardage makes me want to double down as the Jets take on another star wideout.

Diggs has been amazing all season. He is THE WR1 in PPR formats, is second in receptions, third in targets, and third in receiving touchdowns. You play Diggs no matter what, and no matchup is too scary for Josh Allen. However, if there was ever a game to slow down Diggs, it would be a divisional opponent that is allowing the fewest fantasy points and yards to the position over the last five weeks.

Greg Dulcich (TE, DEN)

Considering Courtland Sutton is likely out, and the fact that these Broncos have to somehow keep up with an angry Patrick Mahomes, it means Dulcich should be in play. However, the Chiefs have been very impressive against TEs this season. Especially over their last five games where they haven't allowed a TE touchdown and only 29.4 yards per game. I don’t expect Russell Wilson to figure out any defense, especially one that seems to be shutting down the position. As a result, I would temper my expectations for the young TE with great hair.

Thanks again for starting your week with my analysis! Below is a recap of the results from last week’s article. 

Week 13 Boom and Bust Summary:

Boom

  • Jimmy Garoppolo (QB, SF); *injured in the first quarter” 56 yards, 2.2 fpts
  • Aaron Jones (RB, GBP): *injured* 26 yards, five receptions, 24 rec yds, 7.5 fpts
  • Ja’Marr Chase (WR, CIN): Seven receptions, 97 yds, 13.2 fpts
  • Tee Higgins (WR, CIN): Three receptions, 31 yds, one TD, 11.1 fpts
  • Evan Engram (TE, JAX): Five receptions, 30 yds, one TD, 11.5 fpts

Bust

  • Tua Tagovailoa (QB, MIA): 295 yds, two TDs, two INTs, 13.8 fpts
  • Saquon Barkley (RB, NYG): 63 yds, five receptions, 18 yds, one TD, 16.6 fpts
  • Justin Jefferson (WR, MIN): Seven receptions, 45 yds, one TD, 15.1 fpts
  • Pat Friermuth (TE, PIT): Three receptions, 76 yards, 9.1 fpts



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