St. Nick has delivered few presents this fantasy season (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 5 Lames in the comments section below.
Matchup: vs. Hou
Seemingly ubiquitous, the QB's face, bulging biceps and artistic ink are everywhere. Whether pitching Mighty Wings, video games or Yahoo fantasy, it's impossible to escape his presence. For those who invested an early-round pick in his services, the spots also serve as unwelcome reminder. Kaepernick, expected to take a step forward in his first full season as the starter, has largely disappointed. After his thrashing of Green Bay in Week 1, he's compiled a meager 187.3 combined yards per game and posted a 2:4 TD:INT split. Worst of all, he completed just 52.5 percent of his attempts during that stretch. His subsequent 14.0 points per game since Week 2 ranks No. 29 among passers. Puke. Without a reliable third option and with Vernon Davis limited by a hamstring injury, defenses have bracketed Anquan Boldin and keyed on the read-option. Until Kyle Williams or, when back in the mix Mario Manningham/Michael Crabtree, step up, disappointing efforts for Kap are sure to continue, particularly this week. The Texans have yet to surrender a 200-yard passer and are giving up just 6.0 yards per attempt. With Ed Reed healthy and Jonathan Joseph playing at a high level (63.5 QB rating, 44.4 catch rate allowed), Houston has grounded its opponents. Considering the situation, Kaepernick owners should weigh alternatives.
Fearless Forecast: 15-29, 186 passing yards, 1 passing touchdown, 1 interception, 27 rushing yards, 15.0 fantasy points
Matchup: vs. Sea
Mess with Sasquatch (BREAKING: He's real!). That's what I would rather do than count a standout effort from Mr. Mediocre this week against Seattle. It hasn't been all champagne and roses for the rusher since coming over from Cleveland two weeks ago. Granted he's still adjusting to a new scheme, but his ghastly 2.8 yards per carry and minimal usage in the pass game have been masked by a pair of touchdowns. Chuck Pagano told the Indy Star Thursday he's "not concerned" about the RB's lack of production noting was "a shoelace here or there" away from busting a long run last week. Even if Ahmad Bradshaw (neck) isn't available Sunday – he didn't practice Wednesday and could be headed for surgery – T-Pain isn't a slam-dunk RB1. The 'Hawks were gashed by Arian Foster and the Texans last week, but remain one of the more rigid units against the run. On the season, they've surrendered a mere 3.4 yards per carry to RBs. Nose tackle Brandon Menbane, second only to Damon Harrison in defending the run, should stonewall Richardson early and often. Keep in mind the Indy O-line grades below average according to Pro Football Focus. Gio Bernard (vs. NE), Bilal Powell (at Atl) and Joique Bell (at GB) are stronger options.
Matchup: at Chi
Fired from a cannon last week against Miami, the fleet-footed Minion had a game to remember. Attacking the 'Fins by air and land, he totaled 142 yards and two touchdowns, an output that set the pace among RBs in Week 4. Sproles' low center of gravity, ankle-breaking shiftiness and open-field jets make him a matchup nightmare for most defenses, especially those lacking speed at linebacker. The Bears had difficulties keeping Reggie Bush under wraps on the fast-track in Detroit last week, but back at home, they should tighten the screws against Sproles. RBs are averaging just 28.5 receiving yards per game against them. Linebacker James Anderson ranks No. 1 at his position in pass coverage per Pro Football Focus. Battery-mate D.J. Williams has also scored positive marks. Overall, the Bears have not allowed a RB to exceed 50 receiving yards in 16 straight games. If there's a Saints RB poised for a big day, it's Pierre Thomas. The Chicago native has averaged 142.4 total yards per game in three career clashes with the Bears. Expect Sproles to take a backseat.
Fearless Forecast: 5 carries, 21 rushing yards, 5 receptions, 34 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 9.3 fantasy points
Matchup: at Mia
After only making a cameo in the first-half of last week's contest at Buffalo, Smith put on a show post-intermission as Joe Flacco and company frantically tried to dig themselves out of a hole. Overall, he finished with five receptions for a career-high 166 yards and a touchdown, an effort that pushed him inside the WR top-10 in per game average on the season. Smith has developed into a well-rounded receiver this year. Not deployed exclusively on 'go' routes, he's run more slants and sideline outs, becoming Flacco's main man. Still, he remains an elite downfield weapon. His 18 targets of 20-plus yards ranks No. 1 among all WRs. Miami's secondary isn't nearly as bad as it portrayed on Bourbon Street. Drew Brees typically humiliates defenses at home. On the season, Dolphins corners Brent Grimes and Nolan Carroll have yielded a combined 53.2 catch rate and 65.9 QB rating to their assignments. With that in mind and considering Smith has NEVER notched consecutive 100-yard games in his career, a lackluster performance is in the offing.
Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 74 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 10.4 fantasy points
Matchup: at Ten
Bowe's sluggish start has been a hot-button topic in Fantasyland. Some believe his inconsistency is only temporary. Others, however, believe it will continue to be the norm. Put me in the latter class. Alex Smith is the Bronson Arroyo of quarterbacks, a steady, durable soft-tosser who manages a game effectively. And therein lies the problem. Jamaal Charles is the centerpiece of Andy Reid's offense, operating as a runner/receiver. The rusher has averaged 23.3 touches per game. Because of Smith's downfield hindrances – he's attempted only five passes beyond 20 yards this season, the same number Matt Flynn chucked last week against Washington – Bowe has yet to surpass 60 receiving yards in a game. That streak will continue against one of the stiffest secondaries in the league. DeAndre Hopkins is the only wideout to exceed the 10-point threshold versus Tennessee in standard formats. Alterraun Verner and Jason McCourty have executed remarkably well, ranking No. 1 and No. 8 respectively among corners in pass coverage according to PFF. Off an encouraging Week 4, look for Rain-Bowe Brite to make an appearance in the follow-up.
Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 46 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 7.6 fantasy points
BONUS WEEK 5 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?
— DanielPelayo (@Daniel_Pelayo) October 2, 2013
Reader Record: 12-15
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