Will and Declan’s Booms and Busts: Week 4

Declan McDaniels and Will Baker


Will and Declan’s Booms and Busts is a weekly fantasy football column. We focus on helping you decide who to start and sit in your lineup, and we base our projections on ESPN standard scoring.


Week 3 Prediction Results:


DK Metcalf, WR –  Projected:14.8 & Actual: 19.0

Hayden Hurst, TE – Projected: 11.1 & Actual: 7.1

Austin Ekeler, RB – Projected: 16.8 & Actual: 31.3



Devonta Freeman, RB – Projected: 5.1 & Actual: 1.0

Deshaun Watson, QB – Projected: 19.3 & Actual: 17.06

A.J. Green, WR – Projected: 12.7 & Actual: 6.1



Dalvin Cook (RB) – Minnesota Vikings (vs. Houston Texans)

Dalvin Cook looks to continue a strong season against a weak Texans’ rushing defense.
(Courtesy of the National Football League)

Following a strong game against the Titans, Cook has a favorable matchup in Week 4 against the Houston Texans. In terms of ESPN fantasy, the Texans’ defense ranks 27th in defending the run game, allowing big games for players Clyde Edwards-Helaire and James Conner. The Vikings’ offense rushes on 46 percent of plays, with Cook on the field on 71 percent of snaps in 2020, the third most among running backs this year. According to Next Gen Stats, Cook gained +105 yards over what was expected in Week 3, which is the second most among any running back in a game over the last two seasons. When healthy, Cook has been one of the most consistent rushers in the league, and is awaiting a tremendous fantasy game on Sunday.

ESPN PPR Scoring Projection: 20.4 points


CeeDee Lamb (WR) – Dallas Cowboys (vs. Cleveland Browns)

CeeDee Lamb is poised for his first touchdown in the NFL against a Browns team that has given up big games to wideouts every week this year.
(Courtesy of the National Football League)

Rookie CeeDee Lamb comes into his Week 4 matchup with the Cleveland Browns ranking 17th in receptions. First among all rookies, he was paired with a relatively high 21 total targets across his first three NFL games according to ESPN. Lamb has performed well in fantasy as a result of the targets and receptions seen in the Cowboys’ offense, and his fantasy numbers and relevance are even more impressive considering how he has failed to score a touchdown this season. This is expected to change in what should be a dominating performance for the Cowboys’ passing offense. ESPN projects Lamb to land just 10.4 fantasy points against a Cleveland team that ranks 27th against receivers. Notable receivers that have done well against the Browns this season are Marquise Brown (101 yards on five receptions), Tyler Boyd (72 yards and a touchdown on seven receptions), and Dontrelle Inman, who beat up the Browns last week with seven receptions for 76 yards and two touchdowns. These three receivers who have dominated the Browns’ defense are all considerably less talented than Lamb, but all share a knack for finding holes in defenses through route running and speed. Lamb’s ability to run routes, extend plays at such a high level and dominate one-on-one from the slot will be difficult for a Browns receiving coverage unit that has been bullied by teams far less adept than the Cowboys in the past. Overall, it is a great opportunity for Lamb to cash in on his targets and garner a massive week for fantasy managers.

ESPN PPR Scoring Projection: 10.5 points 


T.J. Hockenson (TE) – Detroit Lions (vs. New Orleans Saints)

T.J. Hockenson will play a Saints’ defense that has been walked on by tight ends this season.
(Courtesy of the National Football League)

T.J. Hockenson has had a solid year so far, averaging 4.3 receptions and 57 yards, coming in at TE9 in ESPN fantasy. This week, Hockenson will face the Saints’ defense, who are the worst in fantasy points allowed to tight ends. Raiders’ tight end Darren Waller had an exceptional game against the Saints in Week 2, racking up 12 receptions, 105 yards and a touchdown. The Saints have also allowed the most touchdowns to tight ends and the sixth most points to opposing teams. In addition, Lions’ wide receiver Kenny Golladay has a tough matchup against Marshon Lattimore, who is only targeted on six percent of coverage snaps. This will force Lions’ quarterback Matthew Stafford to throw over the middle to Hockenson, which will lead to a massive week from the second year tight end.

ESPN PPR Scoring Projection: 11.0 points



Julian Edelman (WR) – New England Patriots (at Kansas City Chiefs)

Julian Edelman will have a hard time putting up fantasy points against the Chiefs’ starting secondary that limited Ravens’ receivers to 10 yards Week 3.
(Courtesy of the National Football League)

The Patriots-Chiefs game has been postponed from this Sunday to later in the week due to players on both teams testing positive for COVID-19. This includes quarterback Cam Newton, leaving Brian Hoyer or Jarrett Stidham as his replacement options. Newton’s potential absence severely lowers wide receiver Julian Edelman’s fantasy value as both Patriots’ backups have shown the passing capabilities needed for Edleman to have a decent game. Having Newton out of the game day lineup will also completely alter the Patriots’ game plan to a more run and tight end centric offense that favors the weaknesses of Stidham or Hoyer. Aside from the quarterback situation in New England, Edelman will have trouble getting open against a surprisingly strong Chiefs defense. According to Next Gen Stats the Chiefs’ primary cornerbacks, when targeted as the nearest defender against the Ravens in Week 3, allowed a total of 10 receiving yards. Edelman’s poor matchup will be exacerbated by quarterback play that will limit Edelman’s upside.

ESPN PPR Scoring Projection: 13.2 points


Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt (RB) – Cleveland Browns (vs. Dallas Cowboys)

Browns’ running backs Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb are likely to see a big slide in production in a game that is projected to be high scoring and leave the Cleveland rushing attack with little volume to work with.
(Courtesy of the National Football League)

The Cleveland Browns travel to Dallas to take on one of the highest scoring teams in football this year. Cleveland running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt have been playing impressively this year, but Sunday’s game may be the end to this fantasy production streak. It can be anticipated that this week’s game will be no different than the Cowboys’ last two high scoring affairs. The Browns will look to keep up with the Dallas offense by taking advantage of a Cowboy’s secondary that has given up big games to Calvin Ridley, Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf. The Cowboys’ defensive line is one of the most athletic in the NFL, with Demarcus Lawerence and Aldon Smith containing Todd Gurley, who only managed 61 yards, and keeping Chris Carson contained as he struggled with only 10.6 fantasy points before leaving in the fourth quarter with an injury. The Cowboys and Browns game is going to be high scoring, which should dampen the chances of any real volume going to Cleveland’s star studded backfield, and what fantasy points do come the way of Chubb and Hunt will have been hard to come by against a really solid Cowboys front four.

ESPN PPR Scoring Projection: 14.1 (Hunt), 14.2 (Chubb)


Terry McLaurin (WR) – Washington Football Team (vs. Baltimore Ravens)

Second year receiver Terry McLaurin has a tough matchup against one of the best secondaries in the league.
(Courtesy of the National Football League)

In a young Washington offense, McLaurin has emerged as a top receiver in the league, averaging the most fantasy points per game among rookie receivers last season. McLaurin has elite wide receiver potential this year, but his Week 4 matchup will make it hard for him to display his talent. The Ravens generally have a top defense in the league despite the struggles last week against the unstoppable Chiefs’ offense. The Chiefs had success against the Ravens’ defense because of their infinite amount of skilled weapons in their offense, making it hard for the Ravens to contain quarterback Mahomes and company. This is not similar to the Washington offense, where McLaurin is the main receiver and they do not have nearly as many weapons that need major focus from the defense. According to Mike Clay of ESPN, McLaurin has aligned on the outside on 78 percent of his routes this season, and the Ravens have allowed the eighth fewest fantasy points to outside receivers. Between being guarded by Marcus Peters, Marlon Humphrey and Jimmy Smith, McLaurin will have a tough time getting open, and will likely see a decrease in fantasy points this week.

ESPN PPR Scoring Projection: 13.6 points