News & Analysis

Boom/bust report: Which Week 14 DFS options could pop?

Dec 3, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Trent Taylor (81) runs with the ball during the second half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. San Francisco won 15-14. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Boom – to flourish vigorously
Bust – a worthless thing

Daily fantasy sports is a hyper-nuanced game. Theory can inform personal ownership stakes, or desirable plays can be identified and then analyzed for fit. I prefer the latter method. Which players do I want to be heavier on than the field, and which players do I want to be light on, or avoid entirely? The boom/bust report will feature players that fit the following descriptions: a boom is a player priced at $6000 or above who I’m projecting to return at least 3x DraftKings salary value, or a player priced at $5900 or less with favorable conditions to hit 4x salary value. A bust is any player with unfavorable conditions to hit 3x value, regardless of salary.

It’s late in the year, but it’s never too late to start having a process for reporting accountability. With that in mind, here’s a review of how boom/bust picks performed last week:

My boom stack of Brett Hundley and Davante Adams didn’t pan out as I had hoped. The Packers couldn’t move the ball through the air at all. Although the offense scored 26 points, it was due to a dominant performance in running game. Alex Collins smashed and turned in a 5x-plus performance. Hunter Henry returned reasonable value and certainly didn’t hurt rosters, but he fell a little short of a boom performance. We’re aiming for 4x with players who have DraftKings salaries under $6000.

If you faded my bust picks, you dodged some major landmines.

I’ll continue to refine the format of this accountability summary over the next few weeks. Now, on to Week 14.

(Prices and advice based on DraftKings salaries)

Booms

Quarterback

Russell Wilson ($6200, QB8) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Wilson has returned at least 3x salary in eight of his past 10 games, regardless of his salary. This week he’s discounted $900 from his Week 13 salary due to a matchup against the league’s best passing defense in terms of fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks. Wilson’s floor is attainable through rushing production, as he’s turned in at least 30 yards or a touchdown on the ground in six consecutive games, twice breaking the 75-yard barrier in that time frame. While their defensive performances have been strong year-to-date, I contend that it’s in part due to their favorable schedule. The Jaguars haven’t faced a fantasy quarterback ranking high than ninth this year (Josh McCown). Jalen Ramsey has also been sitting out of practice all week with an ankle injury. He was expected to practice Thursday, but sat out once again. Even if he plays, he’ll likely be less than 100 percent for Sunday. This boom pick isn’t without risk, but ownership should be low despite the discount.

Running back

Giovani Bernard ($3100, RB74) vs. Chicago Bears

Bernard filled in admirably in Week 13 after Joe Mixon exited due to concussion, posting 77 yards on the ground to go with two receptions for 19 yards. This game is not typically one I would target, as it will likely have among the fewest total plays of any on the slate. However, with a price point of RB74 and a salary of just $3100, Bernard only needs 12.4 DraftKings points to hit 4x. Ownership will likely be significant, but boom street is a very easy to find when combining his projected workload with such a low salary. The Bears have also allowed four 100-yard rushing games in their past five.

Wide receiver

Trent Taylor ($3300, WR66) vs. Houston Texans

I will have heavy exposure to the 49ers rookie slot man this week. He showed instant rapport with new starting QB Jimmy Garoppolo, turning his six targets into six receptions for 92 yards last week. The Texans are a bottom-10 defense in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers, and Taylor has a juicy matchup against Kareem Jackson, the 13th-worst cornerback in PFF grade projected to have major snaps this week.

Tight end

Hunter Henry ($4600, TE10) vs. Washington Redskins

After scoring 18.7 DraftKings points last week, Henry saw a $100 salary decrease this week despite a favorable matchup again the Redskins. Washington allows the fifth-most points to tight ends this season and has given up a touchdown to the position in seven out of the past ten games. Henry has been a major part of the offense in the past two games, posting totals of 12 receptions, 157 yards, and one touchdown on 14 targets.

Busts

Quarterback

Kirk Cousins ($5900, QB13) vs. Los Angeles Chargers

It might be tempting to buy Cousins at a discount this week, but don’t give in. He’s in a mini-slump, averaging just 16 DraftKings points per game over the past two contests and faces a Chargers team who only allows 205 passing yards per game in week 14. The Chargers also boast a 13:15 touchdown-to-interception ratio this season and haven’t allowed a multi-touchdown quarterback performance since Week 5.

Running back

Leonard Fournette ($7000, RB4) vs. Seattle Seahawks

This price is much too high for a player who hasn’t hit 3x since Week 6. The Seahawks are a top-five defense in fantasy points allowed to running backs.

Wide receiver

Jamison Crowder ($5900, WR17) vs. Los Angeles Chargers

For the second straight week, I’m fading a player stack. Crowder matches up against Desmond King, who owns the 11th-highest PFF grade at the position this season. The Chargers have only allowed one touchdown to a wide receiver in the past six games.

Tight end

Zach Ertz ($6800, TE2) vs. Los Angeles Rams

The Rams have only allowed two boom performances to tight ends all season, and Ertz has only returned 3x salary one time since Week 3. The Rams have only allowed one touchdown to a tight end in the past seven games. The defense is ranked sixth overall in points allowed to the position and profile as a negative matchup for any tight end.

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