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 high-priced stud with favorable conditions to hit 3x value, or a lower priced player with favorable conditions to hit 4x value. A bust is any player with unfavorable conditions to hit 3x value, regardless of salary.
(Prices and advice based on DraftKings salaries)
Cousins underwhelmed through the team’s first four games as there were apparent chemistry issues with Terrelle Pryor while injuries plagued Jamison Crowder and Jordan Reed. Washington had a much-needed bye to address passing-game woes and get healthy. Reed is playing this week and coach Jay Gruden has also said the team will focus on getting Crowder more involved. They are welcomed back from their bye by a 49ers team, which is a near-lock to allow him to cross the ever-important 300-yard passing mark. Washington also has one of the week’s highest implied team totals. From a GPP strategy standpoint, Cousins also makes for an appealing pivot from Deshaun Watson, who is $100 cheaper; many will scroll past Cousins’ name without even giving him a thought.
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Gurley will be one of my primary exposures in Week 6, as I expect Rams coach Sean McVay to devise a run-heavy attack against one of the league’s worst run defenses. I also expect him to minimize what he asks Jared Goff to do against the most frightening secondary in the NFL after watching them reduce Ben Roethlisberger to questioning his ability in a five-INT performance last week. The Jaguars run defense is ranked 31st in yards from scrimmage allowed to opposing running backs at an almost unbelievable 165 yards per game. Gurley leads all running backs in actual opportunity through five weeks and only Kareem Hunt is scoring more points per game. Gurley comes at a $500 discount compared to the Chiefs star and has a much better matchup.
Arizona has a respectable run defense this season and has consistently contained opposing WR1s, but they have struggled mightily with opposing WR2s. The dropoff from Patrick Peterson to Justin Bethel makes for obvious play-calling opportunities and I expect Dirk Koetter and Jameis Winston to focus on exploiting the Jackson-Bethel matchup early and often. Jackson should have no trouble torching the corner who has allowed 343 yards and four touchdowns in coverage through five games.
Njoku is suddenly the Browns most dangerous passing game weapon and draws a Texans defense that ranks eighth-worst in fantasy points allowed to opposing tight ends. The Browns are making the switch to the unheralded Kevin Hogan as the Week 6 starter. Hogan seems to have eyes for Njoku and the two have connected for two touchdowns in their limited snaps together this season. The Browns are double-digit road underdogs, so garbage time snaps should be plentiful. At a salary of just $3000, Njoku doesn’t have to do much to crush value this week, and rostering him opens up intriguing high-dollar opportunities at other positions.
Smith is the 2017 overall QB2 through five weeks, but I don’t love this spot for him against a Steelers defense that is much easier to beat on the ground than through the air. Smith will be the best quarterback the Steelers have faced this season (by far) so it’s possible I’ll regret this bust pick, but nonetheless the Steelers are ranked second in the NFL in fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks this season, surrendering an eye-popping low 8.8 points per game. They are one of only six defenses that has yet to allow 1,000 total passing yards and they have only allowed three passing touchdowns. Returning value is a best-case scenario for Smith this week.
On the surface, Miller might seem like an attractive play as the lead back in a home game as a double-digit favorite. However, Cleveland is getting absolutely fileted by opposing quarterbacks to the tune of 13 total touchdowns and over 20 fantasy points per game and nobody is hotter than Deshaun Watson. Only five teams have allowed fewer rushing yards than the Browns.
Tyreek Hill ($6400, WR14) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Nobody has allowed fewer fantasy points to opposing wide receivers than the Steelers and it actually isn’t even close. At just 18.6 points allowed per game, the Steelers are 2.7 PPR points clear of the next best defense in this category. Hill is always a good bet to score a touchdown, but the yardage upside doesn’t appear to be there this week against a defense which has only allowed 417 yards to the position. To frame this, seven NFL defenses have allowed more than double this yardage to opposing wide receivers.
Travis Kelce ($6100, TE2) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Yep, I’m going with a full fade on the Kansas City passing attack against the Steelers this week. I do like Kelce’s chances better than Hill’s — this one is more about price. You can pay up $700 for Rob Gronkowski in a much better matchup for ceiling, or save well over $1k and drop to attractive options such as Jordan Reed and Austin Seferian-Jenkins, both of whom have better matchups than Kelce and open up other roster options with the savings. The Steelers are one of only seven teams yet to allow a touchdown to a tight end and have allowed the sixth-fewest receptions to the position.