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Under-the-Radar Booms/Busts: Week 5

I am entering Week 5 with a lot of confidence and motivation coming on the heels of my Week 4 predictions. I was right about almost everything in my last column! Chris Hogan, Quincy Enunwa and Javorius Allen were non-factors, while Sterling Shepard and Tyler Eifert (before his catastrophic ankle injury) had great games. Only the L.A. Chargers defense, a unit that made C.J. Beathard look like Joe Montana at times, was my only miss.

What can I do for an encore?  Hopefully not disappoint millions of fantasy players with many misfires that get me downgraded to the CFL booms and busts column next week.

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

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Week 5 Under-the-Radar Booms

Andy Dalton (QB, CIN) vs. MIA

Dalton is on pace for 4,800 passing yards and 44 touchdown tosses, which is pretty shocking considering he has thrown for 4,000 yards twice in seven seasons and for 30 touchdowns just once. In fantasy circles, though, he will still never be mentioned with the elite quarterbacks, no matter how many yards and touchdowns he racks up. Some fantasy players might be wary that this will be the week Dalton realizes he is Andy Dalton.

Even with his top tight end Eifert out for the season, Dalton should be able to put up another superb game for fantasy owners this week. Miami is ranked 26th against the pass despite playing two of its games against extremely weak pass offenses (Tennessee and New York Jets). A.J. Green is again playing like one of the best receivers in the NFL, and No. 2 WR Tyler Boyd is playing just as well as Green is. The loss of Eifert should not hurt Dalton as backup Tyler Kroft had seven touchdown receptions in 2017 and is a suitable replacement. 320 yards and three touchdown passes are definitely in the realm of possibility for Dalton. 

Marvin Jones (WR, DET) vs. GB

Jones has quickly plummeted from Detroit’s No. 1 receiver to third-best pass catcher in Matthew Stafford’s pecking order. Golden Tate and Kenny Golladay each have more receptions, yards and targets than Jones, even though Jones was the one who led the Lions in receiving yards and touchdown catches in 2017.

If there is a week for Jones to break out, it is this week against a Green Bay defense coming off a shutout. Jones has incinerated the Packers secondary the past two years, catching 22 passes for 460 yards and five touchdowns in four games against them. I believe the Lions will do everything to get their top target going and involved in the offense, and what better week to do it than against a defense he has owned? Look for Jones to light up the Packers in an NFL North shootout this weekend.


LeSean McCoy (RB, BUF) vs. TEN

“Shady” has had to contend with injured ribs, being the main man in a one-man offense that defenses can easily defend, and an ex-girlfriend accusing him of many heinous crimes. It has all added up to McCoy being a fantasy flop. He is currently 60th in rushing yards, trailing Aaron Jones (who has only played two games), Alfred Blue, Wendell Smallwood, and EIGHT quarterbacks.

I know Tennessee is 3-1 and just defeated Jacksonville and Philadelphia in back-to-back weeks. I also know the Titans have the league’s 24th-ranked run defense and have not faced a back as talented as McCoy. McCoy is as healthy as he has been all season and should be primed to have his most productive game of the early season. His price tag in DFS leagues is at a record-low level considering his track record, so he is definitely worth a long look.     


Week 5 Under-the-Radar Busts

Jay Ajayi (RB, PHI) vs. MIN

Philadelphia has had more injury problems at running back than President Trump has had cabinet problems this season. Corey Clement, Darren Sproles and Ajayi himself have all been dealing with injuries, so it’s has been a revolving door at the tailback position. With Clement and Sproles still dealing with injuries, Ajayi should be the go-to guy in Week 5.

Minnesota’s run defense has not been as staunch this season with Everson Griffen out because of his personal problems (2nd against the run in 2017, 13th in 2018), yet Los Angeles’ Todd Gurley is the only running back who has rushed for more than 60 yards against the Vikes this year. Ajayi will have a hard time ground-and-pounding his way for more than 60 yards against them this week, especially when he has a cracked back.

Isaiah Crowell (RB, NYJ) vs. DEN

Crowell is getting more pub for his vulgar touchdown celebrations than his touchdowns these days. Fantasy owners do not care how Crowell celebrates his scores, however. Whether he wipes his butt with fake toilet paper or borrows Joe Horn’s cell phone and pretends to call Cleveland, it does not matter. Fantasy leagues do not take away points from players whose touchdown dances are ridiculous or rude.

You would think Crowell should be able to find the end zone against a Denver defense that has allowed five rushing touchdowns so far, but the Broncos are eighth against the run and should be able to overpower an undertalented Jets offensive line. Crowell will also have less scoring opportunities with Bilal Powell touching the ball half the time, so Crowell is a good back to stay away from this weekend.

Kenny Golladay (WR, DET) vs. GB

Golladay has been a pleasant fantasy surprise this season, catching 23 passes for 330 yards and two touchdowns. Detroit’s 2017 third-round pick has finally come into his own and become a vital cog in the Lions passing offense. Golladay’s presence has taken some of the steam and anger out of Lions fans watching former tight end Eric Ebron play so well with Indianapolis.

Golladay’s target total has been trending downward this season, though (12-9-7-4), and as I said earlier in the column, I predict Marvin Jones will be targeted more this Sunday than he has all season this week. I do not think Golladay will get shut out as the Buffalo Bills did against Green Bay, but his numbers will pale in comparison to Jones and Golden Tate in this game. If you are aiming to use a Lions WR this week, choose Jones instead.

More Week 4 Lineup Prep