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Fantasy Football Booms, Busts - O.J. Howard, DeVante Parker, Cole Beasley


The fantasy football talent pool is a lot thinner this week than usual, as bye weeks take out nearly a fifth of the NFL teams from Week 10 play.

With those half-dozen teams getting a week off, fantasy footballers will have to do without Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins, Phillip Lindsay, Courtland Sutton, Zach Ertz, Leonard Fournette and Terry McLaurin. But while the number of candidates available to you has shrunk, there are still plenty of booms to use and busts to avoid.

Here are my under-the-radar booms and busts for Week 10!  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 10 Lineup Booms

O.J. Howard (TB, TE) vs. ARI

Howard and tight end teammate Cameron Brate have been totally ignored by head coach and offensive “mastermind” Bruce Arians this season. They have combined to average just 5.5 targets per game this year after averaging 7.9 per game in 2018. I doubt it is because Howard and Brate made a couple of crab legs cracks at quarterback Jameis Winston’s expense. If there was ever a week for Howard to have a big game it is this week against an Arizona defense who has been the worst at defending tight ends all season long, especially given Brate is banged-up and should not be much of a threat to Howard’s target total. Look for Howard to have his best game of the season, which is not saying much since he has not scored a touchdown or had a 70-yard game yet.

Vance McDonald (PIT, TE) vs. LAR

McDonald has had an up-and-down campaign between injuries, inconsistency and a quarterback carousel that at times has done none of the Steelers pass-catchers many favors. This week he will be running routes against a Rams Defense that has allowed opposing top tight ends to either score touchdowns and/or pick up plenty of yards in each of its past six games. L.A. let Cincinnati’s Tyler Eifert rack up 74 yards when the guy had not had a 30-yard game in the seven weeks prior. McDonald has failed to crack the 50-yard barrier in any game this year, but that will change this Sunday, and an end zone visit is in his near future as well.

Devante Parker (MIA, WR) at IND

I pick players to boom in back-to-back columns about as often as Justin Tucker misses back-to-back field goal attempts, so mentioning Parker two weeks in a row is special. Parker did well as a mini boom last week with his 57 yards and a touchdown, and I think he will do better this week in the wake of Preston Williams’ season-ending knee injury. With a depleted Dolphins receiving corps there is no doubt that Parker will be Ryan Fitzpatrick’s main man this Sunday. Parker should have scoring opportunities against an average Indy pass defense in a very winnable game if backup Brian Hoyer starts at QB for the Colts. Snagging Parker at a low price will turn out very nice for you in DFS contests.

Robby Anderson (NYJ, WR) vs NYG

Anderson is stuck with Sam Darnold as his quarterback and Adam Gase as his head coach now that the flashy wideout was not dealt at the trade deadline. Poor guy.  The good news is that with Darnold back under center at least Anderson has a QB who can find him downfield for chunk-yardage plays. Darnold might not always get Anderson the ball, but at least he can put it somewhere in the vicinity. The crosstown Giants are 25th against the pass and have had their cornerbacks burned more often than crust at a wood-fire pizza parlor. Do not be surprised to see Anderson break a couple of long gainers against a secondary who has been giving them up on a regular basis since Week 1.

 

Week 10 Lineup Busts

Kenyan Drake (ARI, RB) at TB

A change of scenery usually does goof for fantasy value, and that was definitely the case with Drake. After Arizona saved Drake from a pointless (literally and figuratively) season in Miami, he rewarded the Cardinals with 162 combined yards and a touchdown. Drake’s problems for Week 10 are twofold, though. First, he will be running into a Tampa Bay defense that is No. 1 against the run and has not allowed any back to rush for over 40 yards inside the Buccaneers’ building. Second, David Johnson should return from his ankle injury and cut severely into Drake’s workload. This all adds up to bad fantasy stats from Drake this Sunday afternoon.

Joe Mixon (CIN, RB) vs. BAL

Having a week off may have freshened Mixon up, but it did not make his offensive line any better at blocking. Mixon has struggled all season long thanks to a shoddy front that has opened fewer holes than a defective hole puncher. Complicating matters this weekend is that he has not had a lot of past success against division rival Baltimore. In three of his five career games against the Ravens, Mixon has rushed for less than 20 yards. There is no reason to think he will do better against Baltimore’s second-ranked run defense with the Ravens rolling.

Damien Williams (KC, TEN) at TEN

Fantasy players have shorter memories than Drew Barrymore had in 50 First Dates. Consequently, many will be clamoring to have Williams in their lineups this week coming on the heels of his 125 rushing yards and one TD against Minnesota’s above-average defense. His body of work this season makes me believe this was a fantasy fluke, however, since he had not rushed for over 30 yards in any game prior to Week 9. Williams also gained most of his yards last week on a scintillating 91-yard scoring scamper. Williams has to contend with LeSean McCoy cutting into his carries along with a Tennessee defense that has not allowed a rushing touchdown at home this season. Williams having a 30-yard day is more likely than a 100-yard day.   

Cole Beasley (BUF, WR) at CLE

Buffalo’s slot receiver has gotten in tune with quarterback Josh Allen over the past month, at least in the red zone and end zone. Beasley has scored touchdowns in three consecutive contests and has suddenly become Buffalo’s go-to-guy near the goal line, which is crazy considering he is 5’8”. But Allen and Beasley have only connected on eight of their past 15 attempted connections, and I trust Allen to pass well in a road game about as much as I trust a car salesman to give me his best offer right off the bat. I think Beasley will be lucky to gain 50 yards in this one, and he will be held scoreless

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