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BOOM vs. BUST: Top NFL Daily Fantasy Picks to Roster & Avoid for Week 12

Eric Lindquist



Just like the extremely popular NBA Boom/Bust Tool, the NFL Boom/Bust Tool is one of the best and easiest-to-use tools at Developed with the help of Alex Baker himself, the Boom/Bust Tool makes it simple to identify under-utilized plays for Sunday’s main slate — as well highlight which plays are most likely to fail. By grouping players based on their probability of putting up a massive score (boom) or the odds of them failing to reach salary-based expectations (bust), it is easy to compare every play on the main slate to their likelihood of making the optimal lineup. With that process in mind, let’s cover the top player to boom and the most relevant player to bust at the quarterback, running back and wide receiver positions for Week 12 NFL daily fantasy contests on DraftKings and FanDuel. Using this tool is imperative when constructing DFS NFL lineups today.

Week 12 NFL Daily Fantasy: Boom/Bust Top Plays

Top Quarterback to Boom: Matt Ryan

Despite being outscored 68-3 in their past two games, the Falcons draw one of football’s friendliest matchups in the Jaguars for Week 12. That bodes well for Ryan, especially considering the Falcons have a nearly non-existent ground game, with just 78.6 yards rushing per outing (30th in the NFL). And while the floor of Ryan is still ever present based on his 26.7% bust potential, his slate-leading 13.9% boom rate shows that the ceiling is still there against a Jaguars defense averaging north of 250 yards passing per game.

Top Quarterback to Bust: Ryan Tannehill

The Titans offense has been dealt a brutal hand in 2021, with devastating injuries to superstars Derrick Henry and Julio Jones, as well as lingering issues with A.J. Brown that has suppressed his production. However, the Titans still ran off six wins-in-a-row until that train came to a screeching halt in a Week 11 loss to the Texans. Some might see 52 pass attempts for Tannehill in that game last week and roster a share or two on presumptive volume, but with his massive 57.6% bust score for Sunday, it would be wise not to be one of those people.

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Top Running Back to Boom: Miles Sanders

Will this be the week that Nick Sirianni unleashes Sanders? If so, Sanders and his 5 yards per rushing attempt have slate-breaking potential against a Giants front that ranks bottom 10 in yards rushing given up per game (119.7). In fact, the upside is so immense for Sanders in this spot that his 18.4% boom score on DraftKings leads the running back position by 3.5 points. That makes Sanders a can’t-miss GPP option according to the Awesemo tools for Week 12’s main slate, especially with Jordan Howard officially ruled out for Sunday.

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Top Running Back to Bust: Najee Harris

The Steelers backfield consisted of Harris and Harris alone through the first 11 weeks of the NFL season. But the minuscule decline down to 75% of the running back snaps in Week 12 from the 85% he has averaged on the year is enough to take the shine off Harris and his $8,200 tag on DraftKings. The Boom/Bust Tool echoes that sentiment, as his 50% bust potential leads the slate among any relevant play at the position. He still carries a 6.9% optimal lineup rate, but at his current 7.2% ownership, there is not a ton of leverage to be gained by rostering Harris on Sunday.

Top Wide Receiver to Boom: Brandin Cooks

Tyrod Taylor’s return in Week 11 led to a competent Texans offense for the first time in months, leading to a 22-13 upset victory over the Titans. Cooks was relatively uninvolved in the win, with just three targets for two catches and 18 yards, but Week 12 could lead to a drastic increase in production. That is because the Texans draw a Jets defense ranked dead last in the NFL against the pass, giving up 282.2 yards per game through the air. The Boom/Bust Tool did not overlook that fact, giving Cooks the top chance to boom at the position (18.6%).

Cooks caught the eye of Awesemo NFL writer Billy Ward when sifting through the Awesemo tools and data and he wrote about why Cooks is one of the best bargains on the slate in his Week 12 Low-Priced Value Plays & NFL DFS Picks.

Top Wide Receiver to Bust: DeVonta Smith

Smith has made an immediate impact as the only reliable pass catcher in Philadelphia this season. He has three 20-DraftKings-point games in his past seven and can surely take the top off a defense with his 14.4 yards per catch this season. But if the Awesemo tools like the prospects of Sanders in this spot against the Giants, it will be to the detriment of the Eagles passing attack. That makes a $6,400 Smith and his 59% chance to bust too severe a price to pay for just a 1.7% boom potential, making him one of the most unappealing wide receiver rosters of the week.

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We also have NFL showdown projections and showdown ownership projections. Take a look at our depth charts, inactives list and NFL lineups. If you’re interested in other NFL DFS picks for multiple game slates, head over to NFL ownership projections, Awesemo's NFL Data Central, NFL rankings, and NFL stacks. View our DraftKings DFS NFL ownership rankings and our FanDuel NFL ownership rankings.
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