SSSQ is a weekly look at under-the-radar fantasy players to consider starting and potential busts you should leave on your bench. We also identify breakout candidates to stash on your roster and players you can safely cut.
Though Tannehill hasn't thrown for more than 260 yards since Week 6, his efficiency - especially in the red zone - has made him a viable fantasy starter more weeks than not.
With defenses forced to grapple with Derrick Henry's rushing dominance, Tannehill has racked up multiple touchdowns in nine of his 11 appearances this season. He now faces a Cleveland unit that ranks 23rd in Football Outsiders' pass DVOA, and the Browns have allowed a struggling Carson Wentz and career backup Mike Glennon to produce solid fantasy days over the past two weeks.
Tannehill can be deployed as a top-10 option against the Browns in Week 13.
Boone's projection: 264 passing yards, two TDs, 31 rushing yards
Other QBs to start
Montgomery has largely been a fantasy disappointment in 2020 while failing to eclipse 90 rushing yards in his first nine games, and only scoring twice during that span.
However, when the sophomore back returned from the concussion protocol last week, he was able to capitalize on a favorable matchup against a weak Packers run defense, rushing for 103 yards while adding five catches for 40 yards and a touchdown. He finished as the Week 12 RB6 in PPR formats.
Montgomery shouldn't struggle to build on that performance, likely cracking the top 10 once again versus a Lions team giving up the most fantasy points to running backs this season.
Boone's projection: 88 rushing yards, TD, 36 receiving yards
Other RBs to start
Samuel has dealt with foot and hamstring injuries, causing him to miss six of the 49ers' 10 games before their bye.
But in his Week 12 return, Samuel reminded everyone why he's the top wideout in San Francisco with an 11-catch, 133-yard effort during a win over the Rams. Kyle Shanahan's willingness to move Samuel around the formation and find creative ways to get him the ball makes the 24-year-old matchup proof.
Don't worry about him being held out of practice on Thursday, as that was done as a precaution to get him as healthy as possible for Monday's battle with the Bills.
Regardless of the opponent, Samuel should be treated as a WR2 in fantasy moving forward.
Boone's projection: 93 receiving yards, TD
Other WRs to start
Tonyan is far from a locked-in TE1, but he's shown a decent floor recently while posting stat lines of 5-44-1 and 5-67-1 over his previous two contests. Meanwhile, the Eagles have often struggled to contain tight ends this season.
When in doubt, attaching yourself to the Packers' passing attack isn't a bad idea given the way Aaron Rodgers is playing, so Tonyan can be used as a mid- to low-end fantasy starter.
Boone's projection: 60 receiving yards, TD
Other TEs to start
We still don't know whether Julio Jones will suit up this week, and his downgrade to not practicing on Thursday isn't a good sign.
Ryan's weekly fantasy finishes during games Jones either missed or barely played this year are QB27, QB23, QB26, QB27, and QB18.
His worst fantasy output of the season (232 yards, zero TDs, two INTs) came two weeks ago against this same surging Saints defense, so start him at your own risk.
Boone's projection: 267 passing yards, TD, 2 INTs, fumble
Other QBs to sit
Elliott showed signs of fantasy life when the Cowboys came off their bye week with a restructured offensive line and a healthy Andy Dalton under center. Unfortunately, that line didn't last long, as Zack Martin and Cam Erving were lost to multi-week injuries on Thanksgiving.
With a limited receiving role and a set of blockers made up of second- and third-string linemen, it's hard to envision Elliott posting a big game against Baltimore on Tuesday.
The Ravens' run defense should begin to regain its form as more players return from the COVID-19 list. That will increase the degree of difficultly for Elliott, who's more of a low-end RB2/flex option than the RB1 we're accustomed to seeing.
Boone's projection: 42 rushing yards, 13 receiving yards
Other RBs to sit
After posting yardage totals of 77, 62, 125, 71, 78, and 115 with Burrow healthy from Week 4 to Week 10, Higgins has managed just 26 and 44 yards the last two weeks without him.
As he prepares for one of his toughest challenges yet this season against a fierce Dolphins secondary, Higgins is best left on fantasy benches.
Boone's projection: 45 receiving yards
Other WRs to sit
As fun as it was to see Thomas used as a pass-catcher, runner, and even a quarterback during Washington's Thanksgiving Day win, he's been held under 30 receiving yards in three of his last four contests.
The Steelers aren't going to make life easier since they've been the worst matchup for fantasy tight ends in 2020. This isn't the week to stream Thomas.
Boone's projection: 27 receiving yards
Other TEs to sit
That means it's worth taking a shot on Coutee (3% rostered), Coulter (0% rostered), and even tight end Jordan Akins (4% rostered) to see if any of them can step up to fill the void Fuller leaves behind.
Duvernay (1% rostered) is an explosive rookie who's flashed on limited touches this season.
He should get a chance at an expanded role this week with veteran slot receiver Willie Snead on the COVID-19 list. Now is the time to grab him before a potential blow-up game against the Cowboys.
Newton (75% rostered) has been inconsistent with the Patriots, and now his remaining schedule during the fantasy playoffs is daunting.
The Patriots face the Rams in Week 14 and the Dolphins in Week 15. Both teams rank among the five worst matchups for fantasy quarterbacks. If you've been counting on Newton as your starter, it's time to look at streaming options.
Cook (73% rostered) hasn't played more than 38% of the Saints' snaps in a game over the last month.
The veteran tight end has recorded just three catches during that time, which includes two outings when he was kept off the stat sheet.
With Taysom Hill limiting New Orleans' passing attack even further, it's safe to drop Cook.