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Fantasy Football Booms, Busts - Kenny Golladay, Kenyan Drake, James White


If there was ever a week to have more booms than busts in your fantasy football lineup, it’s this week.

The playoffs are either underway or about to start in fantasy football leagues across the nation and around the world. If you are lucky enough to be the proud owner of a playoff team, then you know your lineup decisions this week could cost you your season or lead you to advance to your league’s version of the Super Bowl. If you are not alive in a standard fantasy league and are instead looking to make a million in a DFS contest, time is running out on you with only three weeks left in the NFL’s regular season. Pick the right booms, avoid the catastrophic busts and you should win some money this weekend.

Here are my under-the-radar booms and busts for Week 15!  Good luck, RotoBallers!

Editor's Note: Get any rest-of-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive DFS Tools, Lineup Optimizer and Premium DFS Research through the Super Bowl. Sign Up Now!

Week 15 Lineup Booms

Kenny Golladay (DET, WR) vs. TB

Golladay has been trying his best to keep his fantasy value above water while living with backups Jeff Driskel and David Blough as his quarterbacks, while Matthew Stafford recovers from his back fractures. While Golladay has reached the end zone three times over his last five games with Driskel or Blough throwing to him, he has not broken the 65-yard barrier in four of those outings. The perfect tonic for Golladay’s ailing fantasy value is Tampa Bay’s 31st-ranked pass defense. No doubt he will be able to break a big play when two bumbling Bucs defenders bump into each other while trying to cover him. Look for Golladay to have one of the bigger games of the season despite not having Stafford around to throw flawless spirals to him, especially now that running mate Marvin Jones is out for the season and not around to steal his shine and targets.

Kenyan Drake (ARI, RB) vs. CLE

Drake has become Arizona’s top tailback since being sent to the Cardinals before the NFL trade deadline, easily out-touching the banged-up duo of David Johnson and Chase Edmonds. The problem is that Drake had his best game in his first game with the Cardinals (162 combined yards and a TD), and has come nowhere near that fantasy zip code in the month since (no touchdowns, 239 total yards in past four games). Cleveland’s run defense is non-existent, though. They are currently ranked 26th in the NFL, and it would be lower if three of their past four games were not against Miami and a James Conner-less Pittsburgh team, the Browns just allowed Cincinnati’s Joe Mixon to slash through them for 146 yards last week. Without Myles Garrett, the Browns Defense is more below-average than it was when he was on the field. Bank on Drake having 100 combined yards and a TD.

Dede Westbrook (JAC, WR) at OAK

Westbrook has had to live with the No. 2 WR role in Jacksonville while D.J. Chark has been a fantasy shark and is on the verge of a 1,000-yard year. Chark messed up his foot in last week’s Jaguars debacle, however, so Westbrook only has to battle Chris Conley and the usually-invisible Keelan Cole for targets this week. This is the week for Westbrook to have extra looks since Oakland has the league’s 28th-ranked pass defense and cannot keep its cornerbacks and safeties healthy. Plus they have allowed 116 points over its last three contests. Westbrook will get more opportunities downfield since he has been more of an underneath receiver this season, and that will do wonders for his fantasy worth this weekend.     

Anthony Miller (CHI, WR) at GB

Don’t look now, but Mitchell Trubisky is actually playing like an NFL quarterback! Chicago’s franchise QB has accounted for seven touchdowns over his past two starts. While Allen Robinson is still Trubisky’s top target, Miller has solidified himself as the No. 2 WR, with speedster Taylor Gabriel and Chicago’s tight end corps all suffering from injuries. Miller has 24 receptions for 313 yards and a touchdown over his last four contests, and is now ready for Green Bay’s 22nd-ranked pass defense. Do not be fooled by how the Packers' pass defense played against Washington and the New York Giants the past two weeks, as the secondary has struggled against stiffer competition. I think Miller will post a 7-95-1 line in this huge division battle, and I would not be surprised if he offered even more.

 

Week 15 Lineup Busts

Diontae Johnson (PIT, WR) vs. BUF (SUN NIGHT)

Johnson is coming off his best game of the season, as he torched Arizona for six receptions for 60 yards and a touchdown while adding a scintillating 85-yard punt return touchdown as an extra-added bonus to fantasy fans. So what will he do for an encore? Probably not much against a Buffalo secondary that is third in the league in pass defense and has only allowed one wideout (Miami’s Devante Parker) to have a 100-yard game against it this season. Do not bank on Johnson being the second receiver to turn the trick.

Terry McLaurin (WAS, WR) vs. PHI

McLaurin is a feast-or-famine option with scattershot quarterback Dwayne Haskins running the offense. You would have thought having the two promising Ohio State rookies together would have led to several connections on long pass plays, but McLaurin was more productive when veteran Case Keenum was the signal-caller. Philadelphia’s secondary has slumped thanks to injuries and occasional ineffectiveness, but after being embarrassed for a half by New York’s Darius Slayton on Monday night they righted their semi-sinking ship. McLaurin ripped the Eagles for 125 yards and a touchdown in Week 1, and Philly will not allow him to put on a repeat performance. Three catches for 40 yards sounds about right for Washington’s flashy rookie.

James White (NE, RB) at CIN

Cincinnati’s defense is not the reason why White is down in the “busts” section of this week’s column. The issue is that I think the game flow is not going to flow in White’s direction. There are times where Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels call 20 pass plays in a row and make Tom Brady’s elbow as sore as Justin Verlander’s after the latter’s 250th inning of the baseball season. This week will not be one of those weeks. I see the Patriots relying on the run and mixing in many Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead rushes with the receptions White gets to haul in. There is a better chance that White touches the ball five-to-seven times than there is of him totaling 22 touches as he did in Week 13 against Houston.

Andy Dalton (CIN, QB) vs. NE

I have no idea why the Patriots would need to cheat to beat the Bengals. They cannot be scared of Dalton. The guy is still averaging under seven yards per pass, same as he was before he was benched. Now Dalton has to face New England’s 2nd-ranked pass defense, a prideful unit that has been forced to deal with Houston’s Deshaun Watson and Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes in back-to-back weeks and is likely frothing at the chance to take on Dalton. Dalton has not thrown for multiple scores in a game since October 6 and has better odds of becoming Donald Trump’s running mate in the next election than tossing for two TDs against the Pats. Look for New England to bottle up Joe Mixon (the real reason they probably taped the Bengals) and hold Dalton down under the 250-yard mark with one lone touchdown.

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