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Under-the-Radar Booms/Busts - Week 10

Fantasy footballers are going to have to live without some things this upcoming week. Fantasy football owners will not get a 100-yard receiving game out of Minnesota’s Adam Thielen, a touchdown toss from Houston’s Deshaun Watson, or a sack out courtesy of Denver’s Von Miller this week.

That is because those fantasy superstars’ teams are on bye, along with the Baltimore Ravens. The under-the-radar booms and busts will have to come from other NFL squads, but don’t worry, there is still a solid supply of both!

Here are some under-the-radar booms and busts for the 10th week of NFL action to help you set a winning lineup. Good luck RotoBallers!

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Week 10 Under-the-Radar Booms

Baker Mayfield (QB, CLE) vs. ATL

The Cleveland Browns are a fiasco of an organization. Is it any wonder that Mayfield had one of his best showings of the season this past weekend after head coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley were given their pink slips? Mayfield has now had three consecutive two-TD games, so fantasy owners and Browns fans should have more confidence that Mayfield is not going to end up being the next Tim Couch or Brady Quinn.

Mayfield carries a low price tag in DFS leagues coming into this weekend, but fantasy players who invest in him could be in for big bucks. He will be slinging against Atlanta’s 29th-ranked pass defense that lost its two starting safeties early in the season and has been backpedaling since. How bad have the Falcons been? Eli Manning and Jameis Winston both threw for 390 yards against them. Mayfield should continue thriving this week and should be able to have his first three-TD game of the season.

Robby Anderson (WR, NYJ) vs. BUF

Anderson’s two-to-six good-game-to-bad-game ratio has not made him a fantasy favorite this season. In his six bad games, he did not reach the 45-yard mark once. Anderson has been slowed in recent weeks by a gimpy ankle and scattershot rookie quarterback, a tag team that would ruin the fantasy values of most wide receivers.

Anderson is facing a hapless Buffalo team whose only strength besides its winter weather for home games has been its pass defense, which is currently third in the NFL. But the Bills’ ranking is misleading as opponents rarely have to throw much in the second halves of games against them because the Bills are usually losing. Buffalo allowed Andrew Luck, Philip Rivers and Joe Flacco to throw 10 touchdown passes combined with no interceptions, and Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers each threw for over 290 yards against them. I think Anderson will break a long play or two against Buffalo’s overrated secondary and produce piles of points for fantasy owners, especially now that Josh McCown will be his QB and not Sam Darnold due to the latter’s foot injury. Robinson and McCown connected on a lot of long-range passes in 2017

Tre'Quan Smith (WR, NOR) at CIN

Just when you thought Smith’s 15 minutes of fantasy fame were up due to the surprise signing of Dez Bryant by the New Orleans this week, Dez goes and tears his Achilles. Now Smith, who has been a somewhat solid No. 2 WR behind target taker Michael Thomas, does not have to worry about Bryant and Thomas demanding all of Drew Brees’ attention and becoming an afterthought for fantasy purposes.

Smith will attempt to get open against a Cincinnati secondary that ranks last in the NFL in pass defense and has gotten frightfully worse over its past three games. The Bengals have bungled coverages and put no pressure on passers while allowing almost 1,200 passing yards against Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Tampa Bay. I am sure Cincy will double or triple-cover Thomas, giving Smith one-on-one opportunities that he should be able to cash in on towards a fantastic fantasy afternoon.


Week 10 Under-the-Radar Busts

Jack Doyle (TE, IND) vs. JAC

Doyle triumphantly returned from injury in Indy’s last game before the bye and corralled six Andrew Luck spirals and turned them into 70 yards and a touchdown. At least for that game it seemed that Doyle and Eric Ebron could both be worthwhile tight ends for fantasy owners even though they had to fight for Luck’s attention and targets.

Doyle will be running routes into the roadblock that is Jacksonville’s No. 1-ranked pass defense, the only unit that allows under 200 passing yards per game. Doyle has had little success in recent outings against the Jags, catching just 12 passes for only 76 yards and one TD over his last four games against Jalen Ramsey and Co. Do not expect fantasy miracles from Doyle in a must-win game that the Jaguars defense will be amped up to win to save their sorry season.

 Taylor Gabriel (WR, CHI) vs. DET

The fleet fox of Chicago’s passing attack is putting together a career year in his first season with the Bears. Gabriel will demolish his previous personal bests in receptions and receiving yards with the way he is going as he is on pace for 74 catches and 852 yards if he plays as well during the second half of the season as he did in the first half.

Detroit might be struggling in several areas on both sides of the ball, but one of its few strengths is its pass defense (4th in NFL). Another problem for Gabriel is that No. 1 WR Allen Robinson should return after missing two games with a groin injury. When Chicago’s offense is fully healthy, the passes get spread around evenly with tight end Trey Burton and running back Tarik Cohen needing their targets, so Gabriel looks like he could be a busteroo this Sunday.

Derrick Henry (RB, TEN) vs. NE

In theory, Henry would appear like an under-the-radar boom this week. I imagine Tennessee’s game plan will be to keep the ball away from Tom Brady and fourth-highest scoring offense in the NFL by keeping the ball on the ground by running Henry between the tackles early and often. The best defense against Brady is a ball-control offense that leaves him on the sidelines.

The issue I have with this theory is that Dion Lewis has been the better back on the Titans, especially over the last two games where he has accounted for 153 rushing yards, 124 receiving yards and a touchdown. Lewis will be dying to stick it to his former team for not paying him the multimillions the Titans did, and if Tennessee does fall behind and trail in the second half, Lewis will be the one in the backfield since he is the better pass catcher, not Henry. I see Henry rushing for 33 yards and then eventually conceding his spot to Lewis.


That’s it for another week!  Follow me on Twitter @craigrondinone!

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