October 26, 2011
Each week the Noise highlights 10 bold names who he believes are destined to torpedo your team. For those playing the Lames home edition, each player must be started in at least 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues to qualify. As an accountability advocate, results, whether genius or moronic, will post the following week using the revamped scoring system shown here . If you're a member of TEAM HUEVOS, post your Week 8 Lames in the comments.
Matt Schaub(notes), Hou, QB (Week 8 Noise QB Rank: 14, 63-percent started)
Matchup: vs. Jac
It's taken many denizens of Fantasyland seven weeks, one-half of the fantasy regular season, to realize the Jaguars defense is legit. Monday's declawing of the Ravens affirmed it. Disguising blitzes, shooting gaps and harassing receivers downfield, the Jags played masterful, all-around defense in the stunning upset. A road matchup against a Texans team coming off a 34-point drubbing of Tennessee presents a daunting task, but expect Jack Del Rio's crew to take the bull by the horns. Outside Rashean Mathis(notes), every member of the Jacksonville secondary has blanketed receivers like tweens on Bieber. William Middleton(notes), Derek Cox(notes), Dawan Landry(notes) and Dwight Lowery(notes) each rank inside the top-30 in coverage according to Pro Football Focus. Unsurprisingly, the group has allowed just one multi-TD passer in their last five games, containing the likes of Cam Newton(notes), Drew Brees(notes) and Ben Roethlisberger(notes). Overall, opposing passers are averaging a measly 6.3 yards per attempt against them. Schaub has played remarkably well without Andre Johnson(notes), eclipsing 22 fantasy points in two of his past three games. However, even with his top target potentially back, bank on the signal caller slumbering through Sunday.
Fearless Forecast: 20-35, 241 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions, 14.1 fantasy points
Ahmad Bradshaw(notes), NYG, RB (Week 8 Noise RB Rank: 16, 61-percent started)
Matchup: vs. Mia
Many will question the Noise's sobriety for tabbing a running back, fresh off the bye facing a defeated Miami team a "lame," but Bradshaw has reasonable odds of failing. Bend don't break has been the tagline of the Dolphins run defense this season. Despite yielding 148 total yards per game to backs, the unit has allowed only two rushing touchdowns. Cameron Wake(notes) and friends have also limited RBs to a mediocre 4.1 yards per carry. Prior to his TD hat-trick Week 6 against Buffalo, Bradshaw had logged a number of hollow performances, averaging just 3.5 yards per carry. Giants running back coach Jerald Ingram noted recently, the rusher's impatience is the leading cause for his rather unexciting per rush output. Because of his overt aggressiveness, Miami's respectable run defense and with Brandon Jacobs(notes) likely back, Bradshaw could bust in Week 8.
Fearless Forecast: 15 carries, 63 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 26 receiving yards, 0 tds, 11.9 fantasy points
Maurice Jones-Drew(notes), Jac, RB (Week 8 Noise RB Rank: 18, 92-percent started)
Matchup: at Hou
Apparently, the Oompah Loompah secretes butter from his hands naturally. Sure that phenomenon may help in the candy-making process, but it's certainly a burden when it comes to toting a football. Though he lost just one fumble last week against the Ravens, MJD coughed it up three times, doubling his total in that category. His six fumbles this season are two more than he compiled in 30 games from 2009-2010. Yes, he's a sure-fire bet for 80-100 total yards every week. The man's floor is higher than most. But his ceiling is limited. Despite giving up 4.7 yards per carry to RBs this year, the Texans have stonewalled many marquee backs, including Rashard Mendenhall(notes), Darren McFadden(notes) and Chris Johnson. Only Ray Rice(notes) and Daniel Thomas(notes) have broken the 90 total-yard mark against them. Unless Blaine Gabbert(notes) suddenly morphs into Mark Brunell(notes) '96, MJD is destined for another boring line. His turnover downside only enhance his lame chances.
Fearless Forecast: 21 carries, 92 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 5 receiving yards, 0 tds, 11.2 fantasy points
Larry Fitzgerald(notes), Ari, WR (Week 8 Noise WR Rank: 18, 98-percent started)
Matchup: at Bal
Fitzgerald backers must feel like Linus in "The Great Pumpkin." Every week they expect the five-time Pro Bowler to rise up, convinced he will bear toys and statistical gifts. But every week they are dealt a whole lot of nothing. Sally, too, feels Fitz is a blockhead. It wasn't supposed to be this way. After a year in which he earned a Purple Heart for posting solid numbers despite a string of horrors at quarterback, Fitz was bound to benefit from the acquisition of Kevin Kolb(notes). But the passer, under constant duress, has taken few shots downfield this season, limiting Fitz's chances for banner fantasy totals. Not having a true "Goose" has also stymied his production. As the vexed receiver told the Arizona Republic recently, he yearns for the days when wingmen Steve Breaston(notes) and Anquan Boldin(notes) helped ease coverage off him. Without a touchdown since Week 3 and only two 80-plus yard games on the season, Fitz's frustration is understandable. That feeling likely won't go away in Week 8. Assuming Lardarius Webb(notes) draws No. 11, it could be rough day. Webb's assignments have averaged just 10.9 yards per catch this year. Include the intense pressure Kolb will likely be under, particularly minus Beanie Wells(notes), and it's clear, Fitz will be more WR2/3 than WR1 material.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions 67 receiving yards, 0 tds, 10.5 fantasy points
Dez Bryant(notes), Dal, WR (Week 8 Noise WR Rank: 21, 90-percent started)
Matchup: at Phi
For owners banking on top-flight numbers from Dallas' rising star, a Dezaster awaits in Philly. Aided by the return of Miles Austin(notes), Bryant has played exceptionally well of late, catching nine passes for 168 yards and a touchdown over the past two weeks against soft opponents New England and St. Louis. Communication issues with Tony Romo(notes) experienced during Austin's absence are no longer a problem. However, a matchup with Philly's vaunted secondary could be. Given his plus size, athleticism and combative nature — he ranks seventh in yards after catch (7.7) among WRs that have seen at least 200 snaps — Dez is quite the handful. But Asante Samuel(notes) and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie(notes) have done a better than average job in coverage this season, holding No. 2s to just 55.0 yards per game. Because of the Eagles' shortcomings in run defense, Dallas' second-coming of Herschel Walker, DeMarco Murray(notes), could be the point of emphasis this week. It's rare Dez completely disappears, but based on the circumstances, a subpar effort is likely in the offing.
Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 65 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 8.0 fantasy points
BONUS WEEK 8 LAMES
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