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 1 comes from ________.
Dalton – CARSON PALMER. He faces a Detroit secondary that allowed the fifth-most fantasy points, the second-most touchdowns, and the highest Passer Rating (106.5) to opposing quarterbacks last season in a game with an over/under of 48 points that’s indoors. Arizona is sure to feature David Johnson, but this matchup doesn’t get any more favorable, yet Palmer is being started in just 11 percent of leagues. He should be treated as a top-10 quarterback in Week 1.
Brad – STEFON DIGGS. It’s absurd 55 percent of the Yahoo universe doesn’t view Diggs as must-start material. Unless divine powers intervene, the friendly corner combo of Ken Crawley and Marshon Lattimore are sure to carry on the Saints’ vertical incompetency on D. Diggs’ shift from the slot to outside will unlock his big play potential this season. Look for Sam Bradford (105.4 passer rating on 20-plus yard passes in ’16) to locate the wideout early and often. A final line around 8-90-1 is very possible. Sound the horn.
Liz – PIERRE GARCON. If wideouts had walk-up music, Garcon’s would be Aretha Franklin’s biggest hit. In Kyle Shanahan’s second year as the offensive coordinator in Washington, when healthy for a full 16-game slate, Garcon produced a 113-1,346-5 stat line, placing him just outside of the top-twelve fantasy producers at the WR position. For the past two seasons he’s managed WR3 stats, averaging between 11 and 12 fantasy points per contest.
Noting the vet’s familiarity with Shanahan, the lack of depth behind him, Brian Hoyer’s good-enough-ness, and the 49er’s bottom-ranked defense, there’s no reason to believe that he won’t produce early. Opening the season at home against a Panthers’ secondary that struggled mightily last year – allowing the third most receptions (409) and the fourth most receiving yards per game (285.1) – Garcon is a top-thirty fantasy asset, well worth a flex play.
Flip side, among players started in over 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, the biggest Week 1 BUST will be ______.
Brad – LEONARD FOURNETTE. Arguably the most talented rusher in this year’s draft class, Fournette will likely tumble against arguably the league’s nastiest defensive front. The Texans surrendered 3.8 yards per carry to RBs last year and should improve in the category. D.J. Reader has enormous overalls to fill (Vince Wilfork), but he’s a promising interior defender who I believe stuffs the run. Throw in the emotional atmosphere post-Harvey and Jacksonville’s suspect offensive line, and the rookie may be hard-pressed to top 85 yards or find the end-zone this week.
Liz – BRANDIN COOKS. The Patriots are one of the most prescient teams in the league, consistently nabbing ascending talents to replace guys just before they bottom out. Cooks was chosen to fill Julien Edelman’s role, but it’s going to take a minute for him to fully acclimate to the Patriot Way. With three of Tom Brady’s most trusted weapons – Rob Gronkowski, Danny Amendola, and Chris Hogan – all healthy and ready to do battle, Cooks figures to disappoint… for now.
Dalton – TY MONTGOMERY. He’s never going to be a huge volume back (career high rushing attempts in a game is 16) and is up against a Seattle defense that yielded an NFL-low 3.4 YPC last season (and were one of only two teams not to allow a receiving touchdown to a running back, which is a big part of Montgomery’s game). He’s going to be a huge letdown to fantasy owners in Week 1.
Chuck a Hail Mary, the one deep player (under 15% started) you believe BREAKS OUT is ______.
Liz – PAUL RICHARDSON. An athletic specimen with 4.4 speed, Richardson flashed down the stretch last year. In the Seahawks last four games (Weeks 16 – 19) of the 2016 season he averaged 3.75 catches per contest and scored 2 TDs. With Jermaine Kearse now in New York and Tyler Lockett listed with the second team, Richardson is the team’s No. 2 WR and figures to line up opposite Doug Baldwin. Facing a Packers secondary that allowed the third most receiving scores (32) last year in what’s expected to be a shoot-out, Richardson has deep sleeper appeal. FF: 4-52-1
Brad – COOPER KUPP. The strong bond Jared Goff and Kupp linked this Preseason could be a precursor to numerous check downs to come. Due to the ultra-soft matchup a minimum of five receptions are on tap for the rookie. Presumably matched against fellow newbie, corner Nate Hairston, he could sprint off the blocks to open his NFL career. For those in deeper formats (12-plus teams) featuring multiple FLEX spots, Kupp will likely be a key cog to a Week 1 triumph.
Dalton – COREY COLEMAN. The sophomore wideout isn’t up against a weak secondary, but the game script is favorable, as being near double-digit underdogs should result in plenty of pass attempts. Coleman showed good rapport with DeShone Kizer in the preseason, and he has plenty of talent. Coleman is looking at 8-10 targets this week and is ready to bust out during his second year in the league.