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Under-the-Radar Booms/Busts: Week 15

If you are reading this column, you are either looking to make money in a one-day fantasy football contest, or you have successfully made the playoffs in your fantasy league.

The playoffs are either beginning or are well underway in fantasy football leagues across the country and around the world. Picking the right booms and staying away from the busts could be the difference between winning your league and being the playoff loser everyone talks about during the offseason.

Here are some under-the-radar booms and busts for the 15th week of NFL action to help you set a winning lineup. Good luck RotoBallers!

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association including Baseball Writer of the Year, Football Writers of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year and many more! Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!


Week 15 Under-the-Radar Booms

Nick Foles (QB, PHI) at NYG

Carson Wentz’s loss (a season-ending torn ACL) is going to be Foles’ gain this week against a Giants secondary that is ranked 31st against the pass and has been racking up more suspensions than interceptions this season. Over the past three games the Giants have allowed 861 passing yards and a half-dozen touchdown tosses, and with top cover corner Janoris Jenkins out for the year there are no signs that the Giants will suddenly start slowing down receivers anytime soon. Foles is no Wentz, but he is good enough to get the ball to Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor and the returning Zach Ertz this weekend. Look for Foles to have his best game in years in his first game as Philadelphia’s starting QB this season.

Jimmy Garoppolo (QB, SF) vs. TEN

The days of Colin Kaepernick ruining receivers’ fantasy values in between political stances are long gone, as are the times when Brian Hoyer and C.J. Beathard were better off handing off to Carlos Hyde than trying to accomplish anything through the air. Garoppolo is running the show and is already leaps and bounds better than any quarterback the 49ers have thrown under center the past several seasons. He has thrown for 627 yards in back-to-back road victories and now gets his first home start against Tennessee’s 22nd-ranked pass defense. Expect Garoppolo and favorite receiver Marquise Goodwin to have another great game together and for San Fran’s starting signal caller to have his first multi-touchdown outing this season.

Deonte Thompson (WR, BUF) vs. MIA

Thompson is no Andre Reed, but who else is gimpy Tyrod Taylor going to throw to this Sunday?  Kelvin Benjamin is questionable to play due to his 100th injury of the season. Jordan Matthews is on injured reserve. Charles Clay is non-existent. Zay Jones is Zay Jones. Thompson should see more targets than usual against a mediocre Miami pass defense that did an outstanding (and shockingly good) job against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots this past Monday night but may not have enough secondary talent to pull that off two weeks in a row as long as Buffalo’s line keeps Miami’s pass rush at bay. Thompson will be in the bargain bin in fantasy leagues and one-day contests and could provide big bang for your buck.


Week 15 Under-the-Radar Busts

Jermaine Kearse (WR, NYJ) at NO

Kearse had predictable problems last week at Denver, being held to one catch for four yards after racking up 16 receptions for 262 yards and a score over a two-game span coming into the contest. Those predictable problems should continue this week on the road against New Orleans’ 10th-ranked pass defense and with backup quarterback Bryce Petty directing the Jets offense. Kearse should easily eclipse his previous personal bests in all of the major receiving categories and has been a fantastic fantasy find, but he has a better chance of another one-catch game than he does of a 100-yard game this Sunday.

Cooper Kupp (WR, LAR) at SEA

The biggest game in the NFC West this season happens this weekend, and Kupp has been on a receiving roll with six receptions or more in each of his past five games while breaking the 100-yard barrier in two of his last three outings. He has been the benefactor of No. 1 receiver Robert Woods being sidelined with a shoulder injury, though, and with Woods coming back that means Kupp’s target total will slide. Seattle’s savaged secondary may be missing two prime “Legion of Boom” members, but the Seahawks will play their best with their division title hopes on the line, so Kupp will have trouble catching six passes and doing a lot with his targets.

Jesse James (TE, PIT)

James is coming off the best performance of his career after hauling in 10 Ben Roethlisberger passes for 97 yards against archrival Baltimore this past weekend. The burly tight end has not been the touchdown treasure trove many fantasy experts thought he would be entering the season, but last week’s effort probably has many thinking he is turning a corner and can be trusted against New England’s 29th-ranked pass defense. Well, throw that idea out with the bathwater. The one kind of pass catcher the Patriots have been able to cover has been the tight end. They have not allowed a tight end touchdown over their past seven games. Look for the Pats, especially coming off an embarrassing loss to Miami, to clamp down on James inside the red zone.


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