Spiller has had very little wiggle room this year. (USAT)
Each week the Noise highlights 10 somewhat un-obvious names who he believes are destined to
implode leave egg on his face. To qualify, each player must be started in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues. Speaking as an accountability advocate, I will post results, whether genius or moronic, the following week using the scoring system shown here. If you're a member of TEAM HUEVOS, reveal your Week 3 Lames in the comments section below.
Matchup: at Jax
From a cursory view, the Average Joe would instantly place Luck on a high pedestal. It's the Jaguars after all, a team that would likely struggle against WAC competition. Fair assessment, sure, but Pep Hamilton is a staunch conservative. The offensive coordinator will continue to ride his pair of thoroughbred rushers, Ahmad Bradshaw and Trent Richardson, from pole-to-pole, transforming the second-year passer into more of a game-manager type. Despite gifted 20-points by oddsmakers in Vegas, the Jags were thumped in Seattle last week, failing to cover the enormous spread. Russell Wilson finished with 204 passing yards and four touchdowns, undeniably his finest performance this season. However, don't expect Luck to match the fellow sophomore's success. Last week against San Francisco, the Ponies called 'pass' just 41.8 percent of the time, an imbalance that will likely be common moving forward. Given the retooled offense, early blowout potential and the Jags' vulnerabilities defending the run (5.05 YPC allowed to RBs), Luck will be more Alex Smith (173-2-0-23 vs. Jax Week 1) than Wilson in Jacksonville. The crystal ball says another sub-200 yard passing day.
Fearless Forecast: 20-25, 178 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 21 rushing yards, 19.0 fantasy points
Matchup: vs. Bal
Without a touchdown on the season and two dreadful performances in the books, C.J. officially stands for "Complete Junk." Limited by a thigh injury last week that hindered his explosiveness, Spiller was practically a non-factor against the Jets. Touching the pill 11 times he totaled an abysmal 10 yards. Thought to be a lock for at least top-10 RB numbers, he ranks outside the top-30 in per game average, wallowing in the same cesspool as Maurice Jones-Drew. Most worrisome, Fred Jackson actually isn't a rotting corpse. The veteran has out-snapped (119 vs. 102) and out-played (5.3 ypc vs. 3.6 ypc) his tag-team partner this season. A more accomplished downhill runner by comparison, Jackson, for now, appears to be the better fit behind a revamped offensive line that's under-performed thus far. So much for partying until C.J. pukes. Don't expect a rapid turnaround this week against the Ravens. Though Baltimore's secondary has had its issues this season, Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata have stuffed the run beautifully thus far, each ranking top-10 against the rush according to Pro Football Focus. Against the likes of Trent Richardson and Arian Foster, they've surrendered only 3.5 yards per carry, 65.3 total yards per game and zero touchdowns to RB1s. Expect the buy-low window to extend another week.
Fearless Forecast: 14 carries, 54 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 16 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 9.3 fantasy points
Matchup: vs. Sea
Speaking as a proud Foster supporter, the running back has kindly left a flaming bag of poo at my doorstep too many times this season. Though he's ran fluidly and steadily improved in yards per carry each week (3.2, 4.2, 4.5), he's failed to top double-digits in standard leagues in two of three games. Ben Tate's ongoing presence (11.7 touches/game) and Foster's relatively small role in the pass game are the primary culprits. Still, because the Texans offensive line has stood tall – it ranks No. 5 in run-blocking according to PFF – brighter days are ahead, however, owners may be forced to take one more lump with Seattle in town. From start to finish, the 'Hawks have routinely dominated opponents, particularly in the trenches. Against DeAngelo Williams, Frank Gore and Maurice Jones-Drew, they conceded a lowly 3.0 yards per carry and 60.7 total yards per game. Due to the strength of the Seattle secondary and Gary Kubiak's dedication to the run, a heavy one-two punch of Foster-Tate is likely. Unfortunately, the 'Hawks interior line, anchored by man-eaters Brandon Mebane and Tony McDaniel, could lead to a ton of three-yard carries. Temper expectations.
Fearless Forecast: 18 carries, 77 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 8 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 10.0 fantasy points
Matchup: at KC
In the Big Apple, it's the Giants, and shockingly not the Jets, who've blown goats thus far. The G-Men's once rigid offensive line has softened causing Eli Manning to crumble under pressure. Already this season, he's experienced duress on 53 drop-backs, the third-most in the league and nearly a third what he tallied in the category over 16 games last year. As a result, he's shriveled in those situations, indicative in his 47.5 completion rate. Without adequate pocket time for Eli, Nicks has struggled to gain footing. He's a big-play receiver who needs an upright QB to feed him the football. No surprise, the trickle-down impact on his numbers has been dramatic. On just 16 targets, he's averaged 3.0 receptions and 65.7 yards per game. Worse yet, he hasn't shown off his dance skills in the end-zone. That trend, sadly, will likely continue. KC's best cover-man Brandon Flowers is nowhere near 100-percent dealing with a nagging knee injury, but the Chiefs secondary is rather unyielding with or without him. Combined corner Sean Smith and safety Eric Berry have allowed a 42.8 catch percentage on 28 targets. Add that with KC's relentless pass rush spearheaded by sack-master Justin Houston, and Nicks isn't a trustworthy option in shallow formats.
Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 63 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 9.3 fantasy points
Matchup: vs. NE
When Gonzalez entered the league in 1997, Chuck Norris was still round-housing fools on "Walker: Texas Ranger." That was quite some time ago. It's possible Father Time is finally catching up to the future Hall of Famer in his swan song. Though he's still attracted a team-high four red-zone targets, his role has marginalized. Overall, his 11-93-1 line ranks outside the top-20 at his position. I'm firmly convinced the TDs will eventually come, but it seems unlikely he'll replicate the yardage total from last year. The Pats haven't faced a TE the caliber of Gonzo – so far they faced Scott Chandler, Kellen Winslow and Nate Byham – but better than advertised against the pass, particularly across the middle, his numbers may again suffer. Yes, he'll eventually rebound (A healthy Roddy White would help immensely) but this week Julius Thomas (vs. Phi), Martellus Bennett (at Det) and Jared Cook (vs. SF), players owners have previously sat for Gonzalez, are stronger plays.
Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 41 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 7.1 fantasy points
BONUS WEEK 4 LAMES
TEAM HUEVOS PICKS OF THE WEEK
Each week one fortunate guest prognosticator will have a chance to silence the Noise. Following the rules stated above, participants are asked to submit their "Lames" (1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 1 D/ST) by midnight PT Wednesdays via Twitter @YahooNoise. How large are your stones?
Reader Record: 9-11
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- American Football
- Andrew Luck
- Trent Richardson
- Ahmad Bradshaw
- Arian Foster
- Hakeem Nicks