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Fantasy Football Booms, Busts - Corey Davis, Curtis Samuel, Mohamed Sanu

No Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, Mark Ingram and Lamar Jackson this week? No problem!

Fantasy football players might need to make do without one or more of their superstars this week due to the dreaded bye week putting the Baltimore Ravens and Dallas Cowboys on a one-week vacation. Daily fantasy contest players will also have to find other options as they attempt to win hundreds, thousands or millions. No worries, fantasy footballers! You came to the right place.

Here are my under-the-radar booms and busts for Week 8!  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 8 Lineup Booms

Corey Davis (TEN, WR) vs. TB

While Tampa Bay has had an extra week in which to attempt to figure out what’s wrong with their pathetic pass defense, the worst in the NFL, Davis has had another week to get comfortable with new starting signal-caller Ryan Tannehill. In Tannehill’s first start last week, Davis caught six passes for 80 yards and a touchdown. Look for the Tannehill-Davis combo to click even more productively this weekend against the Bucs’ bad secondary. Seven receptions for 100 yards and a TD is very possible for Davis.

Sony Michel (NE, RB) vs. CLE

Michel is coming off a three-touchdown bonanza against the New York Jets, but his price tag is still on the cheap side in DFS contests this week. That’s because his yards-per-carry is an abysmal 3.3, he has had two games where he rushed for less than 20 yards, and he has only contributed 51 receiving yards in total to the passing game. Michel is running against a Cleveland defense this weekend that is allowing 154 yards per game and has made Seattle’s Chris Carson and San Francisco’s Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida look like Jim Brown, Gale Sayers and Barry Sanders in recent games. 85 yards and two touchdowns sounds about right for Michel this Sunday.

Kenny Stills (HOU, WR) vs. OAK

A couple weeks ago when Stills was injured, I highlighted Will Fuller as a boom player in this column and he went off for 14 receptions, 217 yards and a trio of touchdowns. Now the roles are reversed. Stills is the healthy one ready for a big game with Fuller out with a hamstring pull. Stills will almost definitely be targeted more often with Fuller on the sidelines, and he will be running deep routes against Oakland’s 31st-ranked pass defense. A pass defense that got worse this week when the Raiders traded cornerback Gareon Conley TO HOUSTON! Stills had his first 100-yard-game of the year last week and should duplicate the feat this week considering the circumstances.

Kyle Rudolph (MIN, TE) vs. WAS

Minnesota invested plenty in Rudolph in the offseason, yet he has only been targeted three more times than rookie backup tight end Irv Smith Jr.. Rudolph has been virtually ignored during the first five games of the season managing just seven receptions for 36 yards. He finally had his first good fantasy game of the season last week when he had 58 yards and a TD. However, that likely only came about because of the hamstring injury suffered by top target Adam Thielen. With Thielen sidelined for this week's Thursday Night Football game against the woeful Washington Redskins, Rudolph should be Kirk Cousins’ No. 2 target and have another great game for fantasy players.


Week 8 Lineup Busts

Mohamed Sanu (NE, WR) vs. CLE

Sanu could not have landed in more of a perfect place when it comes to having a chance to make it to the Super Bowl this season. That does not mean being with the Patriots is best for his fantasy value, however. This week is going to be especially difficult as he gets a crash course in New England’s intricate offense, an offense that has befuddled other receivers, such as Joey Galloway and Chad Ochocinco, in the past. With the way Tom Brady spreads the ball around like he is Santa Claus handing out Christmas presents, and knowing Sanu will likely only play around half the snaps at most this week because he will not have time to learn all of the plays, it is hard to fathom Sanu having more than a couple of catches this Sunday.

Andy Dalton (CIN, QB) at LAR

Dalton has been hamstrung by his supporting cast (or lack thereof) in 2019. His offensive line has been ravaged by injuries and has probably been the worst o-line in the NFL. Additionally, he has been without No. 1 WR A.J. Green all season and is now without No. 3 WR John Ross because of another injury. Yet despite everything he is 10th in the league in passing yards and usable in deep leagues as well as two-QB leagues. I think Dalton is in for a rude awakening this Sunday, however. The Rams pass defense stifled Atlanta last Sunday, holding the explosive Falcons to 186 passing yards while keeping wideouts Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley in check. New acquisition Jalen Ramsey has already made a difference in the secondary and should have a bigger impact this week now that he has gotten more comfortable with his teammates and the system. I see Dalton having a multi-interception game that hurts fantasy players more than it helps.

Frank Gore (BUF, RB) vs. PHI

Gore keeps staving off Father Time as well as he staves off run stoppers. He has run for at least 55 yards in each of his past five games. Rookie speedburner Devin Singletary has returned to the fold, though, and that spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E for Gore’s fantasy value from here on out. And while Philadelphia has more weaknesses than a 200-year-old house with foundation issues, one thing the Eagles do well is defend the run (6th in NFL). Using a running back who is splitting touches against an above-average run defense is always the perfect way to be stuck with a bust.

Curtis Samuel (CAR, WR) at SF

I know Carolina QB Kyle Allen has not thrown an interception yet this season, is widely spoken about as the best thing since sliced bread and is about to drive Cam Newton to another organization. However, I also know that San Francisco has the top-rated pass defense in the NFL, and has held Cooper Kupp, Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, Terry McLaurin and Odell Beckham all under the 30-yard mark over the 49ers’ past three contests. If none of these guys can figure out how to find openings in San Francisco's secondary, how will Samuel? Two of Samuel’s three decent fantasy outings this year came against Tampa Bay, the worst pass defense in the league. There are about a thousand better options to choose from in DFS or standard leagues.  Samuel cannot be trusted in this spot.

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