Spin’s Fantasy Football Factory: Booms & Busts for Week 5

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Houston Texans’ Anthony Miller (3) celebrates with Andre Roberts (19) and Brandin Cooks (13) after making a touchdown catch against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of an NFL football game Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

Week four of the NFL season has wrapped up – but fantasy football never stops. Whether you won or lost your week four fantasy matchup, it’s always a good idea to look forward to next week’s games. As a fan of the NFL (and a guy that really likes to win fantasy football games), I’m here to help you to determine which players you should be optimistic about starting in week five… and which players you should taper your expectations for. Without further ado, here are my boom or bust predictions for week five of the NFL season: 

Boom WR – Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills vs. KC 

Since their week one loss to the Steelers, the Bills have steamrolled through every team they have played since. That won’t be the case when the Chiefs host the Bills for Sunday Night Football in Kansas City. This game has a shootout written all over it, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see quarterbacks Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes take turns exchanging blows to each other. Diggs enters Sunday with at least eight targets in every game that he’s played this year, recording solid numbers, but he has yet to put up a truly extraordinary stat line. With that kind of volume, and the real possibility that the ball will be in the air often, Allen will be targeting his number one wideout thoroughly in this one. Diggs will have no trouble burning a shaky Kansas City secondary. Double digit catches and at least one score seems like the minimum to expect from him in this contest. 

Bust WR – Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans vs. NE 

Fantasy managers that took a flyer on drafting Cooks have been more than happy with the production that he has been able to garner up to this point in the season. In PPR formats, Cooks’ play has made him the WR9 in all of fantasy football. It’ll be hard to turn away from a top-10 receiver, but fantasy managers have to consider sitting Cooks when he takes on a Patriots defense that ranks fourth best in total fantasy points allowed to wide receivers this season. This isn’t as much of a knock on Cooks as it is a knock on Texans QB Davis Mills, who will again be under center as Tyrod Taylor remains on the injured reserve list. Bill Belichick loves to beat up on rookie QBs (look at Zach Wilson’s stats against the Pats in week two), and he’ll do the same to Mills in this matchup. Without good QB play, you’ll have to taper your expectations for Cooks in this one. 

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) looks to pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Boom RB – Nick Chubb/Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns vs. LAC 

Is it cheating to have two players here? Probably. Nonetheless, if you roster Chubb or Hunt in one of your fantasy leagues, roll them out with confidence on Sunday against the Chargers. A few weeks ago, Dallas RBs Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard tore through the Chargers’ defense and combined to record 237 total yards and two rushing touchdowns in a game where Dak Prescott attempted only 27 passes. This game figures to be much of the same game plan for the Browns, as QB Baker Mayfield’s season high in pass attempts is a lowly 33. In other words: there will be a lot of traffic on the ground for Chubb and Hunt to do work. Chubb will operate as the early down back, while Hunt is the feature back, who has been hogging the targets left behind by WR Jarvis Landry after he got injured earlier this year. We’ve seen either of them go off time and time again, but when they both put up big yardage and a couple of scores, you heard it here first. 

Bust RB – Myles Gaskin, Miami Dolphins vs. TB 

Coming into this season, I was a real believer in Myles Gaskin and thought that he would eventually claim an every-down role in this Miami offense. He’s still the most skilled RB on his team, but it seems that even the Dolphins forgot that he’s a part of their RB room; he ran only twice for a measly three yards against the Colts last week, and his 29 total rush attempts place him at 45th among all RBs in the NFL. Add his lacking volume to the fact that the Dolphins will be taking on the Buccaneers and their league leading run defense, and you have a recipe for disaster. The Bucs have not allowed a single RB to top 67 rush yards in a single game, and just came off of holding Patriots’ lead back Damien Harris to a statistical line of four attempts for negative four yards last week. Glue Gaskin to your bench for the foreseeable future. 

Boom TE – Dalton Schultz, Dallas Cowboys vs. NYG 

There are a couple of reasons why you shouldn’t be surprised if Dalton Schulz finishes this week among the weekly leaders in TE points: for one, the Cowboys have a very potent offense with many mouths to feed. While that probably doesn’t sound like a selling point to expect major numbers from Schultz, what it really means is that while opposing defenses are preoccupied with containing the likes of Ezekiel Elliott, CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper, more looks will open up for Schultz and fellow TE Blake Jarwin. In addition, QB Dak Prescott has already been looking to get the ball to Schultz more often, as evident by his 15 targets over the last two games (in which he is averaging 21.9 PPR points per game), and he has multiple targets inside of the red zone over those games. That trend will continue and he’ll put up similar stats against a mediocre Giants defense this week. 

Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt (27) scores on a 1-yard touchdown run ahead of Minnesota Vikings free safety Xavier Woods (23) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

Bust TE – Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens vs. IND 

While he’s not the same tight end that could drop over 25 fantasy points on any given day a couple of years ago as Lamar Jackson’s favorite weapon, Andrews’ average of six targets per game this year make him a serviceable starting TE in fantasy football. Unfortunately, as his volume has dropped, he has become a much more touchdown-dependent fantasy asset, which isn’t exactly ideal for a team that prioritizes rushing more than passing. His team will take on the Colts in week five, a team that has disappointed going into their date with Baltimore mainly because of a secondary that has performed below expectations. Despite their lackluster secondary, the Colts still wield one of the best linebacker corps in the NFL, and they’ll be the ones that will likely shadow Andrews in this game. After allowing Mike Gesicki to post 57 yards and a score in week four, the Colts will clean up how they defend against the TE position for this game, and that scares me. There aren’t many respectable TE replacements to utilize in fantasy football, so you can start Andrews, just don’t be surprised if his final output only yields you a couple of points. 

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