Week 4 fantasy predictions: Booms, busts and breakouts

Yahoo Sports Fantasy Minute

Each week our gaggle of Yahoo fanalysts 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 4 comes from ________. 

Andy – JARED COOK isn’t even owned in 50 percent of Yahoo leagues as of this writing, but I like his chances to find the end-zone for a second straight week. He’s facing an excellent Denver defense, but the Broncos have actually allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. Denver’s corners are so dangerous that opponents have chosen to rely heavily on the tight end position; Charles Clay scored last Sunday and Jason Witten broke the plane the previous week.

Brad  – BILAL POWELL. With Matt Forte likely out (toe), Powell should earn the workload lion’s share against Jacksonville. Yes, Jacksonville’s defense is much improved, but it’s still conceded 4.7 yards per carry to the RB position this season. Elijah McGuire will wrest away a few touches, but on roughly 14-17 grips, Powell has an excellent hot at 70-80 total yards with a score. FLEX him with confidence.

Scott — I’m going to punch up some PAUL RICHARDSON shares this week, with or without Doug Baldwin. The Colts are 30th in the league in pass yardage allowed, and 25th in YPA allowed — you can get what you need against these guys, in part because cover ace Vontae Davis has been out. Davis might be able to go Sunday night, but he won’t be 100 percent. Richardson is still trying to force his way into the Seattle rotation, but he’s scored a touchdown the last two weeks and he had a passable 5-49-0 line in the opener. Richardson more versatile and polished than Tyler Lockett, and his role should continue to grow.

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Conversely, among players started in over 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, the biggest Week 4 BUST will be  ______. 

Brad – MARTAVIS BRYANT. On board with Behrens’ assessment of Big Ben below, the trickle-down effect will greatly impact and marginalize Martavis. Add that to Baltimore’s trio of quality pass defenders – Jimmy Smith, Brandon Carr and LaDarius Webb each ranks inside the top-15 in passer rating allowed according to Pro Football Focus – along with the WR’s unappealing 16.4 percent targets share and it makes the decision to avoid Bryant even easier. A final line in range of 4-65-0 seems likely.

Scott — Just when we thought MICHAEL CRABTREE was set-and-forget, we’ve hit a bump in the road. He was invisible at Washington, like most of his mates; he’s dealing with a chest injury; and now the Broncos secondary comes calling. Crabtree’s last four games against Denver have gone nowhere — 15 catches, 147 yards, zero touchdowns. I’ll be proactively benching him Week 4.

Andy – As a multi-league BEN ROETHLISBERGER owner, I’m kind of petrified this week. He’s on the road at Baltimore on Sunday, and this trip has not gone well for him in recent seasons:

2016 – 264 pass yards, TD, INT, rush TD
2015 – 220 pass yards, 2 INTs
2014 – 217 pass yards, INT

Ben’s highest single-game passing total this year is just 263 yards, so it’s not as if he’s given us any reason to expect a breakout performance in Week 4.

Chuck a Hail Mary, the one deep player (under 15% started) you believe BREAKS OUT in Week 4 is ______. 

Scott – I’m trying to make sense of the STERLING SHEPARD starting tag (currently around 13 percent), and I got nothin’.  Shep came out of the box with a seven-catch in Week 1, and he was a 7-133-1 monster against Philly last week. With Odell Beckham finally healthy again, the Giants offense has a chance. And we know New York won’t run the ball much (or well), and we know there are leaks in this Tampa Bay secondary (Case Keenum found them last week).

Andy – KENNY STILLS had a relatively quiet fantasy week against the Jets, but we should note that he saw 10 targets, catching five. If he sees a similar workload against New Orleans in Week 4, I love his chances to find the end-zone at least once. Give him a look if you have a need.

Brad — DESHAUN WATSON. QB9 over the past two weeks completing 64.9 percent of his attempts while chipping in 54 rush yards per game, Watson has quickly become a rich man’s version of Cam Newton. In fact cutting Cam for the rookie isn’t at all a rash move. Already on record for calling Watson a top-10 QB rest of season, I’m confident he will again tuck inside the QB1 ranks in 12-team leagues, especially with speedster Will Fuller back.

Tennessee, carpet bombed by Russell Wilson last week, has given up a 7:2 TD:INT split over three games. Adoree Jackson and Logan Ryan combined have surrendered a 131.0 pass rating. Another 250-plus pass yards, 40-plus rush yards and 2-3 TDs are completely doable for Deshaun.

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