Will and Declan’s Booms and Busts: Week 8

Declan McDaniels and Will Baker

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


Week 8 Predictions:


Justin Herbert, QB – Los Angeles Chargers (vs. Denver Broncos)

Rookie Justin Herbert is poised to keep up his hot streak against a weak Denver pass rush. (Courtesy of the National Football League)

In his first NFL season, Justin Herbert’s talent has become apparent, as he has thrown for 12 touchdowns in just five games, with a 38.48 point performance last week. Against the Jaguars, Herbert attempted a massive 43 passes with 27 completions, which should continue against the Broncos defense that ranks 22nd against quarterbacks this season in terms of fantasy. Denver’s pass rush currently has a 39 percent win rate off the line of scrimmage, which is 20th in the NFL according to ESPN analytics. This should allow Herbert to move comfortably in the pocket, a key to success for rookie quarterbacks. Herbert’s momentum has a great chance of carrying over into Week 8, where Denver’s weak defense will allow Herbert to capitalize on big play opportunities, netting another high scoring fantasy week.

ESPN PPR Scoring Projection: 18.8

Our projection: 25.6


Travis Fulgham, WR – Philadelphia Eagles (vs. Dallas Cowboys)

Rising star Travis Fulgham looks to continue his impressive season and high production in a division game against the Cowboys. (Courtesy of the National Football League)

Travis Fulgham has emerged as the top receiving option on the Eagles’ offense after a wave of injuries to their receiving corps took down Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson and Jalen Reagor. Fulgham has had an impressive season, averaging over 19 fantasy points in his past four games. With over 10 targets in three straight games, Carson Wentz is constantly looking Fulgham’s way with minimal alternative receiving options. This week, the Eagles face up against their division rivals, the Cowboys, who have allowed the 8th most points to opposing wide receivers. Fulgham will likely be shadowed by rookie cornerback Trevon Diggs, who has allowed 96 fantasy points on 205 coverage snaps, the fifth most in the NFL according to Mike Clay of ESPN. Fulgham has also scored three touchdowns in his past four games, and the Cowboys are tied for the most touchdowns allowed in the league to opposing wide receivers (12). Fulgham’s high production and favorable matchup will lead to a big game against a weak Cowboys’ secondary. 

ESPN PPR Scoring Projection: 14.2

Our projection: 19.8


Brandon Aiyuk, WR – San Francisco 49ers (vs. Seattle Seahawks)

Playing against a struggling Seahawks secondary, rookie receiver Brandon Aiyuk is set up for a big game with teammate Deebo Samuel not playing. (Courtesy of the National Football League)

The 49ers’ 25th overall pick in the 2020 draft has seen a considerable role in an improving offense. Rookie Brandon Aiyuk has experienced major improvement since his first start in Week 2 and is emerging as a strong weapon and forceful receiving target for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. In their Week 7 win against the Patriots, Aiyuk had seven catches for 115 yards and five first downs, along with two forced missed tackles for arguably his best game so far. Pro Football Focus (PFF) gave his Week 7 performance an 89.0 overall grade, which was highest among rookie wide receivers and seventh among all NFL wide receivers during that week. Teammate Deebo Samual is inactive for this week’s game against the Seahawks, giving Aiyuk an ample opportunity to display his receiving and running skills against a weak Seattle defense. In his last game without Samuel, Aiyuk put up 21.2 fantasy points against a mediocre Giants secondary. The Seahawks secondary has allowed a surprising league high 60.2 fantasy points per game to wide receivers this season, and no wide receiver unit facing them has scored less than 39 points combined. This gives Aiyuk an extremely high ceiling on Sunday in this critical division game, so expect a big performance from him and the rest of the 49ers offense. 

ESPN PPR Scoring Projection: 12.4

Our Projection: 20.1



Daniel Jones, QB – New York Giants (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

Daniel Jones will likely continue his struggles, facing a tough Buccaneers defense that has allowed the third fewest points to opposing quarterbacks. (Courtesy of the National Football League)

Daniel Jones and the Giants’ offense have started off slow this season, struggling due to  an inadequate offensive line and the loss of star running back Saquon Barkley. This streak of lackluster offense will likely continue in Week 8, where they will play against a Tampa Bay defense that ranks third best in defending opposing quarterbacks. This includes an impressive Week 6 performance against MVP candidate Aaron Rodgers, forcing two interceptions and allowing no passing touchdowns in a big win against the Packers. The Buccaneers two star cornerbacks, Jamal Dean and Carlton Davis, both rank in the top 15 players in terms of PFF’s grades. Jones has only scored more than 11 fantasy points in two games this season, and is currently tied for third in the league among quarterbacks for most interceptions and most fumbles. This insufficient production will likely continue against an improving Tampa Bay defense, so Jones should stay on the bench this week in fantasy.

ESPN PPR Scoring Projection: 13.6

Our Projection: 9.1


Jarvis Landry, WR – Cleveland Browns (vs. Las Vegas Raiders)

Weakened by Odell Beckham Jr.’s injury, Jarvis Landry and the Browns passing attack will falter against the Las Vegas Raiders. (Courtesy of the National Football League)

With fellow Cleveland wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. expected to miss the rest of the season with an ACL injury, Jarvis Landry seems like an obvious immediate beneficiary of Beckham’s absence. However, Landry is likely to have limited production in Week 8 against the Raiders. Raiders’ cornerback, Trayvon Mullen, has received high praise this year as one of the most underrated defensive backs in football, and will look to shutdown Landry throughout the game. Fantasy managers are most drawn to Landry at the moment due to his expected target share increase, however, Landry is bound to attract more attention from defenses with a relatively weak receiving core around him now. Cleveland’s offensive game plan may also affect Landry’s output as the Raiders’ defense ranks 31st against opposing running backs according to ESPN, which may result in Cleveland leaning on talented running back Kareem Hunt instead of their battered passing attack. Landry is also dealing with a broken rib that could heavily impede his playing time. Landry has fallen short of solid fantasy production all year, and this week will be no different against an underrated Raiders secondary.

ESPN PPR Scoring Projection: 11.9

Our projection: 7.4


Melvin Gordon III – Denver Broncos (vs. Los Angeles Chargers)

Melvin Gordon will have little opportunity to produce in a matchup against the Chargers that will lend itself to a pass heavy game. (Courtesy of the National Football League)

Melvin Gordon has had a decent fantasy football year in 2020, averaging a respectable 15.5 fantasy points according to ESPN. Gordon’s points however, have been mainly touchdown dependent, as he has only rushed more than 78 yards once. Gordon will also likely receive less touches due to Phillip Lindsay’s efficient return from injury, as Lindsay dominated in Week 7 with 8.8 yards per carry. Lindsay’s recent production will help him to gouge touches away from Gordon as the Broncos face off against the Los Angeles Charges in what will be a catch-up type of game for the Broncos, benefitting the receiving nature of Lindsay’s game more. The Broncos are going to be forced to pass the football as the Chargers will look to continue their high level of offensive performance. The Chargers’ stellar defensive interior including the likes of Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram and Kenneth Murray will also limit Gordon’s ability to be productive this week.

ESPN PPR Scoring Projection: 12.8

Our projection: 8.3