October 7, 2023, 2:55 pm
We’re a quarter into the season, so it is a perfect time to look at the hits we had coming into the season and at the very start of the season. Below, I am looking at my Boom/Busts picks made for the draft guide and the week 1 waiver wire recommendations. Many of these picks were talked about on Twitter as well, follow me there and hit me up for any questions you have for the rest of the season: SMcCormick_FF
D.J. Moore – Chicago Bears
Here was my reasoning in the draft guide write-up: D.J. Moore runs a complete route tree and can be lined up all over the field. This team didn’t throw a lot last year but I think they can get to 30/game this year. As the team WR1, playing on a team who will be behind and throwing a lot, I expect Moore’s catches to jump from 63 to in the 80s, and his yards to go from 888 to 1,000 plus.
WR1 for the year
Devon Achane – Miami Dolphins
Here was my reasoning in the draft guide write-up: Devon Achane is going to be picked in the 100s of your draft right now. Yes, he has two RBs Jeff Wilson and Raheem Mostert in front of him, but neither or both are likely to stay healthy for any long periods of stretch. Despite his small stature, he showed last year he could handle those double-digit carries, averaging almost 20 carries a game (including a 38-carry game vs. LSU)
RB1 and RB5 the last two weeks
Anthony Richardson – Indianapolis Colts
Here was my reasoning in the draft guide write-up: I feel more likely that Richardson will be the starting QB in week 1. There is a strong history of highly ranked weekly QBs who get 125+ carries in a season, a number Richardson should surpass. Richardson doesn’t have to be explosive passing to be a top-10 QB.
QB4 and QB2 in the only games he has fully played
Justin Herbert – LA Chargers
Here was my reasoning in the draft guide write-up: Many drafted Herbert last year expecting another top-five QB finish like 2021. Don’t be afraid to draft Herbert this year with those same expectations. Last year’s fall can be explained in one word: Injuries. Herbert suffered an early season rib cartilage fracture that he had to deal with all year. This is most likely the reason he was limited to 147 rushing yards and zero touchdowns. Keenan Allen was limited him to 10 games and Mike Williams appeared in 13 games but dealt with back and ankle injuries throughout the year.
QB2 for the year (was QB1 before Justin Fields Week 5 game/ Herbert bye week)
Tony Pollard – Dallas Cowboys
Here was my reasoning in the draft guide write-up: With the release of Elliott, Pollard should easily eclipse 200+ carries. All reports from the Cowboys say Pollard will be 100% even by training camp. And the ankle injury doesn’t really affect explosiveness the first year back like an ACL injury does. I am expecting a 1,500-rushing season with 40+ catches and 12-15 total TDs which should put him in the top five RBs.
RB10 for the year
D’Andre Swift – Philadelphia Eagles
Here was my reasoning in the draft guide write-up: Swift was not used a large amount in Detroit last year, just getting over the 40% snap share mark. But he was great when he was used, averaging over 6 yards per touch. Swift does not need the majority of touches in Philadelphia to produce. This is the best offensive line according to PFF. Don’t overlook the fact that Swift is in a motivated contract year, just like Josh Jacobs last season.
RB9 for the year
Amon-Ra St. Brown- Detroit Lions
Here was my reasoning in the draft guide write-up: Amon-Ra St. Brown had a 32% target rate per route run mark last year, which only trailed Tyreek Hill. St. Brown opens with the Chiefs, Seahawks, Falcons, Packers, Panthers, and Buccaneers as the WR1 target on a vastly improving offensive team. I still see 90 catches for him this year but can see his TDs go from 5 to 10 plus.
WR12 for the year
Bijan Robinson- Atlanta Falcons
Here was my reasoning in the draft guide write-up: I feel so strong in the huge season Bijan Robinson will have, I am taking him over the likes of Austin Ekeler and Saquon Barkley. Being featured in Arthur Smith’s offense, I don’t see why he can’t produce similar numbers produced by Barkley’s rookie year (1,307 yards rushing, 11 TDs / 721 yards receiving, 4 TDs) and Ezekiel Elliott ( 1,631 yards rushing, 15 TDs / 363 yards receiving, 1 TD).
RB11 for the year
Brandon Aiyuk- San Franciso 49ers
Here was my reasoning in the draft guide write-up: Brandon Aiyuk took over the WR1 role, yet is still being drafted behind Samuel. Here is a guy who set career highs in targets, receiving yards, and TDs in route to a top 20 WR finish but is still being drafted as WR33.
WR11 for the year
Cooper Kupp – LA Rams
Here was my reasoning in the draft guide write-up: Cooper Kupp is being ranked in the top 10 overall and WR3. This seems a bit rich for me for a WR who will be 30 years old this year, has had two major injuries over the past five years, and is reliant on a QB who is a major injury risk himself.
Has yet to play a game
Kyle Pitts – LA Rams
Here was my reasoning in the draft guide write-up: This call isn’t about talent, which Pitts has an enormous amount of for a TE. It’s more about the situation. The Falcons had one of the lowest pass volume percentages in the league last year at just under 25%.
TE31 for the year.
Saquon Barkley- New York Giants
Here was my reasoning in the draft guide write-up: He accumulated 57 catches last year, a number I expect to come down with the receiving options the team has added. Last year was also the first year since his rookie season he was able to play a full year without injuries. So, are we really expecting a second straight year being injury-free for him?
Played two out of four games, RB28 for the year.
Austin Ekeler- LA Chargers
Here was my reasoning in the draft guide write-up: Austin Ekeler is coming off 326 touches. I have even more concern about Ekeler replicating his success than Josh Jacobs given his age and the accumulative touches he has. I also expect some of those touches, especially catches, to come down as I don’t expect Mike Williams and Keenan Allen to miss 13 games again. Over 30% of his fantasy production in the last two years is tied to touchdowns.
Played in just one game.
Javonte Williams- Denver Broncos
Here was my reasoning in the draft guide write-up: As we saw with J.K. Dobbins last season, you can’t just assume every player will meet the most optimistic timetable, or even be fully ready to go once they are “cleared.” I am not expecting much production until later in the season for Javonte Williams. Williams had a significant, multi-ligament knee injury in 2022.
RB33 for the year.
Breece Hall- New York Jets
Here was my reasoning in the draft guide write-up: Breece Hall was a top-10 RB in fantasy before his ACL injury in October. This is an injury that can take anywhere from nine to 12 months. But as we saw with JK Dobbins and Chris Godwin, even if you are cleared to play, you might not see peak performance. At an ADP of a top 30 overall pick, there is too much history with these injuries and too much risk for me to take as an RB1 or RB2.
RB39 through four weeks.
JuJu Smith-Schuster- New England Patriots
Here was my reasoning in the draft guide write-up: There might be some owners thinking they could still get some value out of New England’s No. 1 WR, JuJu Smith-Schuster, who did have three top-5 WR finishes last year. New England was in the bottom 10 for WR targets last year and despite the upgrade of offensive coordinators, I don’t expect that number to increase dramatically.
WR54, WR63, WR112, WR102 through four weeks.
Kadarius Toney- Kansas City Chiefs
Here was my reasoning in the draft guide write-up: There are already plenty of summer hype reports and breakout predictions for Kadarius Toney. Yes, there are 135 targets and 103 receptions available after the departure of two of the team’s WRs. But Toney has missed 45% of his games due to injury.
WR89 through four weeks.
Week 1 Waiver Wire Recommendations
Jordan Love Green Bay Packers
My thoughts then: Jordan Love threw for 245 yards and three TDs Sunday against the Bears, good for QB3 before the Monday night game. He did this without his top wide receiver, Christian Watson, who missed the game with a hamstring injury. Love gets two favorable matchups out of the next three weeks as he faces the Falcons, Saints, and Lions.
Present: QB4 for the year.
Kyren Williams Los Angeles Rams
My thoughts then: Cam Akers got 22 carries Sunday against the Seahawks, turning that into 29 yards. That is an abysmal 1.3 yards per carry. Coming into Week 1, there were reports that Williams would take over more of the passing game role, which he did by getting almost 90% of the passing game usage. But Williams also got 15 carries (and two TDs), and had a 78% snap percentage in Week 1, ranking only behind Christian McCaffrey, James Connor, Travis Etienne, and Rachaad White heading into Monday night. He has the passing game role locked down but could eat away at the early down role as well for the Rams.
Present: RB3 for the year.
Nico Collins Houston Texans
My thoughts then: Heading into Monday night, Nico Collins was in the top five for WR target share percentage and air yard leaders. Sunday against a good Ravens secondary, Collins turned 11 targets into six catches for 80 yards. He gets two nice matchups coming up in the Colts and Jaguars.
Present: WR8 for the year.
Romeo Doubs Green Bay Packers
My thoughts then: In the absence of Christian Watson (hamstring), Romeo Doubs stepped up to the No. 1 WR role Sunday against the Bears with two touchdowns to finish as the WR8 (pending MNF). This was with a limited week of practice and being on a snap count for this week as well. I think we will see Watson sit at least one more week, which opens up Doubs to get near that 20% or more target share next week.
Present: WR17 for the year.
Puka Nacua Los Angeles Rams
My thoughts then: We all saw a 10-115 line coming for Puka Nacua in Week 1 with the absence of Cooper Kupp right? The main thing to focus on here is the target share. Nacua was first in WR target percentage for the week (pending MNF) with over 40%. Some might call his game a fluke, but it’s hard to fall into 15 targets.
Present: WR5 for the year.
Sam LaPorta Detroit Lions
My thoughts then: Don’t forget about Sam LaPorta and his Week 1 showing from last Thursday night. Against the Chiefs, LaPorta played 83% of the snaps and had five catches for 39 yards. He was second on the team in catches, behind only Amon-Ra St. Brown.
Present: TE3 for the year.