November 16, 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 11 Lames in the comments.
Michael Vick(notes), Phi, QB (Noise Week 11 QB Rank: 13, 72-percent started)
Matchup: at NYG
No pain-free game. No Jeremy Maclin(notes). No guarantee DeSean Jackson(notes) will wake up in time for kickoff. No thanks. The risk of playing a rib-cracked Vick against a nearly healed Giants defense is immense. Philly's offensive line, which couldn't protect its QB from a chubby preschooler earlier this year, has shown some improvement. The passer, for the most part, has had additional time in the pocket over the past couple weeks. Unfortunately, the opposite result has occurred. His rushing production remains as formidable as ever (63.7 ypg since Week 4), but downfield connections have been few and far between. Against a pair of average secondaries, Chicago and Arizona, Vick averaged a miserable 4.7 yards per attempt. Gut feeling says he'll cowboy up and play this week in a last-ditch effort to turn the Eagles' nightmare season around. However, the final tally likely won't be pretty. Recall in his first encounter with the G-Men in Week 3, he managed just 11.3 fantasy points in standard leagues (176-0-1, 31 ryds), his worst full-game performance as Philly's starter. He also was felled by a broken hand late. And, in that contest, Osi Umenyora was on the sidelines in street clothes. The rematch could be just as ugly. Collectively, the Giants, in particular Corey Webster(notes), have executed fairly well against the pass. Only Rex Grossman(notes) and Tom Brady(notes) have thrown for at least 250 yards and two scores against them. Because of his duality, No. 7 is always a threat for statistical explosions, but given the circumstances (Injury, matchup, Maclin's likely absence) he's one to avoid even if active. The Giants will have a cure for the Vickness.
Fearless Forecast: 17-29, 193 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions, 27 rushing yards, 14.4 fantasy points
Chris Johnson, Ten, RB (Noise Week 11 RB Rank: 18, 82-percent started)
Matchup: at Atl
Mired in a season-long slump, CJ2Lame finally returned to the land of the living last week, totaling 174 total yards and a touchdown, an effort that ranked third-best among Week 10 rushers. Post-game Mike Munchak gave credit to the offensive line opening up creases for Johnson. He also applauded the back's much improved patience and vision. Before everyone experiences an amnesic lapse and jumps back on the bandwagon, there are a couple of ideas to keep in mind: 1) It was Carolina, the league's 28th-ranked run defense. A morbidly obese dachshund could waddle it's way to 100 yards and a touch against the Panthers. 2) This was only Johnson's second 100-yard rushing output in nine games. Expect reality to set-in versus Atlanta. "Staunch" best describes the Falcons run defense. Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon(notes) leads his position in stops, many of those stands coming on the ground. According to Pro Football Focus, he, Corey Peters(notes) and Jonathan Babineaux(notes) are well-above the league average stuffing the run. Overall, the Falcons have held RBs to just 3.8 yards per carry. Matt Forte(notes) and LeSean McCoy(notes) are the only two rushers to surpass the century mark in total yardage against them this season. It's been a long, frustrating road for Johnson supporters. Sadly, though, his triumphant return to the top-five may have only been brief.
Fearless Forecast: 20 carries, 73 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 20 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 11.6 fantasy points
Ryan Mathews(notes), SD, RB (Noise Week 11 RB Rank: 22, 66-percent started)
Matchup: at Chi
Mathews' season, unsurprisingly, has taken more twists and runs than the Colossus at Magic Mountain. For the most part, when healthy, he's performed like a legitimate RB1. Only a nasty case of fumbilitis Halloween night in Kansas City raised concern. Even last week, operating at about 75-percent capacity, he looked good, showing considerable explosion on the edge. Mathews, expected to put in a full week's worth of practices, is functioning at full-strength for the first time in weeks. However, a date with the Monsters of the Midway awaits. The Bears bared their claws last week, dismantling Matthew Stafford(notes) and the Lions. Mixing up blitz schemes and even occasionally abandoning the Cover 2, Brian Urlacher(notes) and company socked Jim Schwartz's team in the mouth. If that attitude carries over into Week 11, it could be a long 60 minutes for the Bolts, especially given their injuries on the O-line. On the season, Chicago has yielded 5.2 yards per carry to RBs. But since Week 6, its allowed just 3.7 yards per carry and 77.5 total yards per game to RBs, including a mere 40 yards to Adrian Peterson. Considering the matchup, Mathews' expected split workload with Mike Tolbert(notes) and his knack for injuries, he's an enhanced risk as an RB2 in 12-teamers.
Fearless Forecast: 13 carries, 43 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 19 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 9.2 fantasy points
Dwayne Bowe(notes), KC, WR (Noise Week 11 WR Rank: 20, 90-percent started)
Matchup: at NE
When translated in Fantasy, "Palko" means "schmo." Seriously, his headshot says it all. Since entering the league three years ago, Larry Fitzgerald's(notes) former college roommate at Pitt has lived a vagabond existence, logging stints with New Orleans, Pittsburgh, the mighty Montreal Alouettes (CFL) and now Kansas City. Though Palko has proven effective in a spread system predicated on short slants and hooks, his below average arm strength and questionable second/third reads leave a lot to be desired. The drop-off from Matt Cassel(notes) is akin to when Van Halen hired that pansy who sung "More than Words" to replace Sammy Hagar/David Lee Roth. Sure, it's possible he could surprise, but Bill Belichick, despite his team's problems against the pass, is bound to bewilder and confuse the inexperienced quarterback. Not to mention, Bowe's likely shadow, Kyle Arrington(notes), who's played extremely well as a starter, isn't a slouch in coverage. QBs have completed just 44.7-percent of their passes to the corner's side. Bowe is a supreme talent with a great paper matchup, but the unknown doesn't make him a slam dunk WR1. Exercise caution.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 53 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 9.1 fantasy points
Roddy White(notes), Atl, WR (Noise Week 11 WR Rank: 22, 91-percent started)
Matchup: vs. Ten
Routinely lost in the shuffle, the popular early-round pick simply hasn't been himself this season. To explain hi sharp decline, analysts have tossed out theories ranging from a hidden injury to the impact of Julio Jones(notes). But, according to the not-so-Hot Roddy, "dropped balls" and a collective lack of "chemistry" on offense are to blame, a true bunch of Mularkey. Both assessments are accurate. White has one less botched pass through nine games than he did in 16 last year. And Mularkey has indeed struggled in the play-calling department. With the weapons Atlanta has, its an offense, which ranks 16th in the league in points per game, that should be in the upper-echelon alongside scoring giants Green Bay, New Orleans and New England. White, matched against Cortland Finnegan(notes) fresh off limiting Carolina's Steve Smith to just five catches for 33 yards, isn't likely to suddenly rebound. The CB's assignments have netted just 9.5 yards per catch and 32.8 yards per game against him. Overall, Mike Wallace(notes), Hines Ward(notes) and Jerome Simpson(notes) are the only WRs to tally double-digit points versus Tennessee all year. White may be the presence of all colors, but in fantasy it's devoid of points.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 48 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 8.6 fantasy points
BONUS WEEK 11 LAMES
Image courtesy of US Presswire