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Week 9 Fantasy Lames: Rodgers, Cobb slides to continue in Carolina

Brad Evans
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Each week the Noise highlights 10 somewhat un-obvious names whom 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 (Thresholds – QB: 18 fpts, RB: 13 fpts, WR: 11 fpts, TE: 10 fpts). If you're a member of TEAM HUEVOS, reveal your Week 9 Lames in the comments section below.

[Week 9 rankings: Quarterback | Running Back | Receiver | Flex | Tight End | All Positions]

See Also: Week 9 Flames

Aaron Rodgers, GB, QB (84 percent started, $43 in Yahoo DFS)

Matchup: at Car
No amount of canoodling Olivia Munn probably helped Rodgers erase the memories of last Sunday night in Denver. Though he could've consumed 'War and Peace' multiple times over given the generous amount of time provided in the pocket, he simply couldn't connect with his receivers. Whether it was WR separation issues, rusty targets (e.g. Davante Adams) or Denver's suffocating DBs, the All-Pro left vexed. His 77-pass yard, 0-TD line was the worst full four-quarter performance in his illustrious career, a spectacular showing by Denver's anaconda-like defense. Instead of attempting to rebound against a softball opponent at home, say Chicago, Rodgers is faced with another daunting road task, Josh Norman and the unblemished Panthers. Not as asphyxiating as Denver, Carolina is still one of the league's more pernicious pass Ds. Norman, a long, athletic corner, has developed into arguably the game's best cover man. On the season, he's surrendered 7.6 yards per catch, 25.0 QB rating and 44.7 catch percentage to his assignments. Not to be overlooked, Charles Tillman has also played terrific football, giving up a 52.5 catch rate and 63.0 QB rating. Collectively, the Panthers have conceded 5.63 pass yards per attempt, 242.7 pass yards and 1.0 pass TDs per game to signal callers. After last week, Rodgers has only one direction to go, but a final Week 9 ranking well outside the position's top-10 is entirely probable. Give me Andy Dalton (vs. Cle), Tyrod Taylor (vs. Mia) or Derek Carr (at Pit) instead. 

Fearless Forecast: 247 passing yards, 1 passing touchdown, 1 turnover, 18 rushing yards, 14.7 fantasy points

DeMarco Murray, Phi, RB (57 percent started, $28)

Matchup: at Dal
Revenge. It's a popular theme in books, film and, of course, fantasy football. As seen with Andre Johnson, among others, earlier this year, the narrative occasionally pans out. After all, over the NFL's 16-game grind players are always trying to stoke the motivational fires. Murray, presumably still bitter Jerry Jones moronically didn't reach into his deep pockets and reward the rusher after a pacesetting 2014, has plenty of bulletin board material. However, don't bank on his internal anger surfacing in Big D. Given Philly's struggles in the pass game, I suspect Rod Marinelli will overload the box and dare the Eagles to throw. The venerable DC, who witnessed Murray steamroll defenses last year from the sideline, knows the nuances of the RB's game. The reigning rush king displayed vintage form Week 7 against Carolina, but his unassertiveness in Chip Kelly's zone scheme and Philly's often transparent offensive line has led to an uncomfortable number of negative runs -- 21.6 percent of his attempts to be exact. Ryan Mathews, who the fantasy and Eagles communities have argued needs more work, could finally take on a larger role, especially if Murray stumbles early. Dallas has surrendered the 10th-most fantasy points to RBs this year, but it did a masterful job containing Marshawn Lynch last week and held Murray to a ball-busting 55 total yards on 18 touches Week 2. Expect an equally putrid result in the rematch. 

Fearless Forecast: 14 carries, 53 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 11 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 8.4 fantasy points

Lamar Miller, Mia, RB (84 percent started, $28)

Matchup: at Buf
Dan Campbell's fresh perspective has turned around the rusher's season. The Miller comeback tour rocked fantasy audiences with a pair of quality performances in the freshly minted head coach's first two games. He torched Tennessee for 118 combined yards and a score and followed up with a 35.6 fantasy point eruption in a lopsided win against Houston. Also, his 10-plus point effort last week in a decisive loss at New England was nothing to scoff at. Though he's on an impressive roll, I expect Miller to get stymied in Buffalo. Off their bye, the well-rested Bills should get back to their run-stuffing ways. RBs have netted a modest 4.0 yards per carry and 123.1 total yards per game versus Rex Ryan's bunch this year. In total, only five backs have earned their 'Flames' card against them. Miami will continue to establish the run early and often to prevent the first-quarter deficits that plagued it earlier this year, which means Miller is sure to register some 15-18 touches. But based on the difficult road environment and rigid opponent a middling final tally is in the forecast. Recall, the 'Fin totaled an uninspiring 65 yards without a score in his first tango with Buffalo back in Week 3. 

Fearless Forecast: 15 carries, 65 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 13 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 9.1 fantasy points 

T.Y. Hilton, Ind, WR (87 percent started, $28)

Matchup: vs. Den
At what point will the general football consensus come to the realization this year's Broncos defense is undeniably one of the best this century? What will it take? A string of shutouts? Eradicate the zombie herd headed for Alexandria? Impossibly silence Kanye? From a passing perspective, this is a historically stout unit. It's on pace to allow 171.9 vertical yards per game and the fourth-fewest pass TDs (11) since 2000, which is quite the accomplishment in a season set to obliterate the previous pass yards per team per game record ('15: 248.7, Previous high in '14: 236.8). Even the legendary 2013 Seahawks gave up 16 passing touchdowns. Getting down to the brass tacks, DBs Chris Harris Jr. and Aqib Talib have surrendered a combined 56.7 QB rating and 9.8 yards per catch to their assignments. For a prominent deep threat like Hilton, the face-off with Denver's secondary is unattractive, to say the least. Add Andrew Luck's inconsistencies, and benching him isn't an irresponsible suggestion. Yes, Mother Nature played a factor, but he caught only 1-of-7 targets with Norman draped all over him last week in Carolina. Better days are on the horizon for all Colts. Their post-bye schedule is quite comely and the OC change can only help. This week, however, Hilton needs to be avoided. 

Fearless Forecast: 3 receptions, 31 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 4.6 fantasy points

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Gary Barnidge, Cle, TE (76 percent started, $25)

Matchup: at Cin
Make no mistake, the Barn Yard Dawg has earned his Snausages. Out of nowhere the previously little-used tight end has totaled 36 catches, 512 yards and six touchdowns since Week 3. For fantasy purposes, that calculates to 14.5 points per game, an output which ranks No. 3 among WRs, ahead of such world-beaters as Julio Jones, A.J. Green and Odell Beckham. But Barnidge's dynamite run is about to abruptly halt. All indications suggest Johnny Manziel will be under center for Thursday night's game in Cincinnati as starter Josh McCown rests his ailing ribs and shoulder. In two games earlier this season in which Manziel saw most of the action, Barnidge was largely forgotten catching just four balls for 55 yards and no touchdowns. Cincy did yield profitable games to Charles Clay (9-62-0) and Heath Miller (10-105-0), but a TE has yet to cross the chalk against them. More concerning, because Mike Pettine and John DeFilippo will almost certainly install a conservative game-plan to help alleviate Manziel gaffes, Barnidge could vanish into the shadows. 

Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 39 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 5.9 fantasy points



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 "Flames" (1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 1 D/ST) by midnight PT Tuesdays via Twitter @YahooNoise. How large are your stones?

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Reader Record: 30-26

Want to bull rush Brad? Find him on Twitter. Also, check out the Yahoo! Fantasy and Rotoworld crew every Tuesday-Thursday on 'Fantasy Football Live' starting at 6:30 PM ET on NBC Sports Network (Find channel here).