Each week our gaggle of Yahoo analysts show their hands and reveal their top booms, busts and breakouts. Gaze into the crystal ball and list your picks, using the strict rules set, in the comment section below.
Among players under 50 percent started in Yahoo leagues, the loudest BOOM from Week 13 comes from ________.
Liz – ISAIAH CROWELL. With the exception of a Week 11 outing against Jacksonville’s scary-good defense, Crowell has been solid since his Week 8 trip across the pond. Producing at least 95 yards in three of his last four games, and finding the end zone in two of his last four contests, the Crow has been a consistent top-seventeen fantasy play (and a top-six option two of those times). In Week 13, he’ll face a Chargers run-defense that, over the last four weeks, has allowed the second most fantasy points to opposing running backs. With Corey Coleman impressing, and Josh Gordon returning to stretch the field, the Crow will have room to fly. He’s a sneaky value play in Yahoo’s DFS game at just $16. FF: 91 total yards and 1 TD
Dalton – COOPER KUPP. He turned 11 targets into a career-high 116 yards last week and should continue to see plenty of volume with Robert Woods likely out again. Kupp lines up mostly in the slot, so he shouldn’t see a ton of Patrick Peterson. The setup is right for another productive game from the rookie wideout, who remains tied for second in the NFL in red-zone targets this season with 17.
Scott — It’s time to stop fearing the Patriots backfield and Ghosts of Belichick past. For one thing, this offense runs through Josh McDaniels and Tom Brady (Belichick is more big-picture than small-picture with the game plan), and for another, the New England backfield usage has tidied up nicely. Dion Lewis has double-digit carries in six straight games, and REX BURKHEAD has 37 touches and three touchdowns over his last three games. Meanwhile, Mike Gillislee is in the doghouse, and James White is on the back-burner. So long as Burkhead and Lewis don’t run into fumble-shaming problems down the road, they’re guys you can trust in these critical fantasy weeks, steady-usage backs tied to an offense that should score 30-plus against everyone. Buffalo’s horrible rushing defense will be your personal valet in Week 13. (Honorable mention: Hunter Henry. I beg you to play him against the Browns. The Chargers have seen the light.)
Conversely, among players started in over 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, the biggest Week 13 BUST will be ______.
Dalton – T.Y. HILTON. He’s actually on pace to put up nearly identical stats as he did two years ago without Andrew Luck throwing him a single pass, but Hilton is in a tough spot this week. He has just 14 catches over five road games this season and has a difficult matchup against strong cover corners Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye. Jacksonville has allowed the fewest fantasy points to wide receivers by a wide margin this year.
Liz – KYLE RUDOLPH. The Red Zone Reindeer has been targeted consistently in the final 20 yards, managing at least one red zone look in each game since Week 7, and scoring three times over the last four outings. However, three of his last four matchups have been ultra-plus, as he’s faced defenses allowing the third, fourth, and sixth most fantasy points to opposing tight ends (CLE, WAS, and DET). But the Falcons have been tough over the middle, allowing just 1 score to the position over the last four weeks. I expect Jerick McKinnon – who in the last month has notched just three fewer targets than Rudolph – to get more looks in this one… especially since Atlanta is giving up an average of 5 catches (the eighth most) per game to RBs.
Scott — I own DEVONTA FREEMAN on my most important team (along with Tevin Coleman), and I’m not sure how to approach Week 13. Coleman’s been a strong fantasy play without Freeman — heck, Coleman has outscored Freeman for the season — and the Vikings present a nasty challenge Sunday (second-hardest team for fantasy backs to score against). Many fantasy owners won’t have the freedom to bench Freeman this week, but it’s at least something to consider. (And that goes double for anyone suffering through the Dez Bryant experience.) I’d like to see a prove-it week from Freeman first, and I’m concerned that the usage could be spread more evenly than usual.
Chuck a Hail Mary, the one deep player (under 15% started) you believe BREAKS OUT in Week 13 is ______.
Dalton – SETH ROBERTS. He’s looking at a big opportunity with Michael Crabtree suspended and Amari Cooper injured and unlikely to play. Before this year, Roberts had racked up 10 touchdowns over the last two seasons (his first two in the league) on a modest 132 targets, and he gets a Giants defense this week that’s ceded 7.7 YPA and 22 passing touchdowns (tied for second most in the NFL). Janoris Jenkins was also recently placed on IR, and it helps that Oakland struggles running the ball and sports a DVOA that ranks last in the league in defense. Roberts should see a lot of work Sunday.
Scott – We normally have MARQUISE GOODWIN in the boom-or-bust bucket, but with 229 yards the last three weeks (and finally, a touchdown), he’s been more pleaser than teaser recently. I’m figuring Jimmy Garoppolo can’t be any worse than the Hoyer & Beathard Show, and even if you don’t like Goodwin at Chicago this week, pick him up for the Texans in Week 14. (I also like Dalton’s trek to Oakland, though I’d try Cordarrelle Patterson first.)
Liz — ADAM SHAHEEN. With Zach Miller out for the season, Shaheen has seen his role grow. On the field for over 70 percent of the team’s snaps in two of his last three games, the second-round pick has impressed, demonstrating chemistry with fellow rookie Mitch Trubisky and scoring in Week 10. The return of Dion Sims diminishes Shaheen’s appeal, but with the postseason out of reach, this team needs to see what they’re working with… which should keep Shaheen on the field. OC Dowell Loggains admitted as much a week ago, saying that he didn’t want to “slow” the rookie’s progress. Furthermore, the matchup is advantageous, as the 49ers have allowed 4 TDs to the position over the last 4 weeks.