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Under-The-Radar Booms/Busts: Week 5

One month of the NFL regular season is in the books! I hope for your sake you have been using more booms than busts in your fantasy football lineups.

The best news for fantasy players this week is that the lowly Miami Dolphins are on bye. If you have been using Josh Rosen, Kenyan Drake, Davante Parker or any other offensive player in any form of a fantasy league, you should probably turn your attention to fantasy hockey and/or get a CAT scan to make sure your brain is working properly. So if you are looking to load up on boom players facing the god-awful Dolphins, you will have to look elsewhere. The good news is I have some under-the-radar booms (and busts) that should help you out this week!

Here are my under-the-radar booms and busts for Week 5!  Good luck, RotoBallers!

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!


Week 5 Under-the-Radar Booms

Tyler Boyd (CIN, WR) vs. ARI

Boyd is overdue for a big-time breakout after not scoring a touchdown during the first four weeks of the season. His volume of targets has not been the problem (39 in four games). The emergence of John Ross on the opposite side (16-328-3) and an offensive line that gives quarterback Andy Dalton no time to throw deep downfield have been the culprits. Expect Boyd to bounce back against an Arizona secondary who has looked lost without suspended cover corner Patrick Peterson and is ranked 23rd against the pass this year. Boyd was passionate about Pittsburgh pasted Cincinnati this past Monday night, so look for him to make a major impact this Sunday, especially now that Ross is out two months with a shoulder injury.


Jared Cook (NOR, TE) vs TB

If you followed me in the offseason, you know that I believed Cook was in for a comedown this season with New Orleans, and that was before Drew Brees banged his hand against a helmet. I never thought he would be this bad, though. Eight catches for 90 yards in four games? There are some No. 4 WRs on teams with better numbers than that. I predict Cook turns things around this week at home against Tampa Bay’s 31st-ranked pass defense. Cook has a month under his belt, so he should know New Orleans’ playbook and must have built some chemistry with Teddy Bridgewater by now. I believe he will easily have his biggest game of the season in the Superdome on Sunday, and if he fails to he should be benched by fantasy owners until Brees comes back.


Chris Thompson (RB, WAS) vs. NE

New England will likely destroy Washington this week. The game could be out of hand by the middle of the second quarter. Therefore, Washington will be doing a lot of throwing during the second half of the game, and many of those passes could be of the short variety and head Mr. Thompson’s direction. Thompson leads the Redskins in targets and has had at least four receptions and 48 receiving yards in each of their contests. No matter who Washington’s QB is (Case Keenum, Colt McCoy, Dwayne Haskins, Joe Theismann), Thompson is going to see more balls than a customer at Sports Authority, especially if banged-up Vernon Davis and Terry McLaurin questionable to play.  Look for him to clean up during garbage time and pile up a ton of meaningless catches and yardage.


Tennessee Titans Defense vs BUF

I am shocked that the price tag for Tennessee’s defense is not higher in DFS leagues coming into this weekend. Tennessee’s bend-but-don’t-break strategy worked against the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday --- allowed over 400 yards, but only 10 points --- and the Titans have been doing well all season long keeping points off the scoreboard (no team has scored more than 20 points on them this year). Tennessee has also racked up 13 sacks and six turnovers so far, so there is some playmaking ability on that side of the ball. They would be one of my favorite plays if Josh Allen suits up, but if his concussion forces Matt Barkley to be Buffalo’s starting signal caller than Tennessee should be a Top 3 fantasy D this week.


Week 5 Under-the-Radar Busts

Corey Davis (TEN, WR) vs. BUF

Davis has slowly ratcheted his weekly output up in every game this season, with his first four yardage totals going 0-38-44-91. That said, this week is not the spot to be believing that Davis will surpass the 100-yard mark for the first time in 2019. Buffalo has the fourth-ranked pass defense in the NFL and has held Josh Gordon, Julian Edelman, Tyler Boyd and Evan Engram all under 70 yards and did not allow any of them to reach the end zone. Do not bank on Davis being the first pass catcher to break the 100-yard barrier against the Bills. He will be lucky to find enough room in the secondary to have 50 yards.


Frank Gore (BUF, RB) at TEN

Give the 97-year-old Gore credit for finding a way to run for over 100 yards against New England’s stiff front seven last week. Father Time is having a hard time tackling this man. With 273 rushing yards and two scores during the first month, he has been a major fantasy surprise. But I see Tennessee loading up the box against Gore with Buffalo having issues throwing the ball downfield, and scintillating youngster Devin Singletary should return to spell Gore enough that he only gets 10-15 touches instead of 15-20. It is best to shy away from his senior citizen this week and go back to him Week 7 when the Bills host the pathetic Dolphins.


Peyton Barber (TB, RB) at NOR

New Orleans is not ranked among the league’s elite against the run, but the Saints held Dallas’ Ezekiel Elliott to 35 rushing yards and Seattle’s Chris Carson to only 52 the past two weeks. New Orleans’ numbers are skewed by Russell Wilson scrambling for 51 yards against its defense and the Saints having a dreadful showing Week 1 against Houston’s running attack. With the Saints shored up against the run, the sledding will be tough for Barber. Even though Barber has two touchdowns in his past three games, he has not ran as well as understudy Ronald Jones, who is on the verge of making Barber a fantasy non-entity. I have Barber penciled in for eight carries for 27 yards and one lone catch for five yards. If Tampa Bay is going to win, it will be on the strength of Jameis Winston’s arm and not Barber’s legs.


Mason Rudolph (PIT, QB) vs. BAL

Rudolph dinked and dunked the Cincinnati Bengals to death this past Monday night, putting on a short-pass clinic as he completed 24 of 28 passes for 229 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, Baltimore has allowed three straight quarterbacks to throw for over 340 yards against its dilapidated defense. Sounds like a match made in fantasy heaven for Rudolph, right? I would not be fooled into thinking he is poised for a 275-yard, three-TD explosion. All Pittsburgh-Baltimore games are low-scoring cage matches. This Sunday’s should be no exception. Baltimore has a bully defense that beats up on weaker quarterbacks and offenses, so do not be shocked to see Rudolph struggle. Baltimore is no Cincinnati.



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