Week 15 Fantasy Lames: Why benching Brady is a near necessity

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Demoting <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nfl/players/5228/" data-ylk="slk:Tom Brady">Tom Brady</a> may seem sacrilegious, but against Denver it’s smart. (Getty)
Demoting Tom Brady may seem sacrilegious, but against Denver it’s smart. (Getty)

Each week the Noise highlights 10 over-started 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. If you’re a member of TEAM HUEVOS, reveal your Week 15 Lames in the comments section below.

SEE WEEK 15 FLAMES HERE

Tom Brady, NE, QB (81 percent started, $34 in Yahoo DFS)
Matchup: at Den
After the Broncos’ “No Fly Zone,” along with Von Miller, stuffs Mr. UGGS Sunday, the likely exhausted and battered quarterback will have to log extensive Beautyrest time. And we can only assume he’ll drift off wearing a turtleneck sweater. Denver is as advertised, a clamp-down defense that rarely gives up chunk plays. Through 13 games, Drew Brees and Philip Rivers are the only passers to record multiple vertical scores against them. Smack talker Aqib Talib and Chris Harris, together, have surrendered a stifling 53.2 passer rating, 50.7 catch rate and 6.3 fantasy points per game on the season. Insanity. Brady is known for putting round pegs through square holes, but without Rob Gronkowski and possibly Danny Amendola for another week, he’s at an enormous disadvantage. Recall the last two games he faced the defensive Stallions at elevation, he totaled 280-3-0 and 310-1-2 with Gronk, who accounted for 14-232-2 in those contests. Against a secondary that’s conceded only 10 passing touchdowns in 13 games and 5.8 yards per attempt, duplicating that effort is equivalent to reindeer actually flying. To be fair, Brady has been nothing short of brilliant, posting a 22:2 TD:INT split in nine games and has several healthy weapons around him, but in a virtual game dependent on matchups, he should receive the same treatment Marcus Mariota did Week 14. Play it smart, ace, and pine Brady for the likes of Kirk Cousins (vs. Car), Philip Rivers (vs. Oak) or, dare I say, Trevor Siemian (vs. NE) in Week 15.

Fearless Forecast: 252 passing yards, 1 passing touchdown, 1 interception, 13.1 fantasy points 

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Doug Martin, TB, RB (61 percent started, $18 in Yahoo DFS)
Matchup: at Dal
Forget ‘Muscle Hamster,’ Martin should be nicknamed ‘Flaccid Ferret.’ Though Dirk Koetter threw support at his starting running back Tuesday remarking “he’s running hard … there’s nothing wrong with him,” the statement only raised more questions. Blame the offensive line until you’re blue in the face – they rank No. 32 in power run-blocking per Football Outsiders – but Martin isn’t absolved of wrongdoing. Sure lanes haven’t been there, but it’s not like the rusher has exhibited much creativity. According to Player Profiler, his 17.6 percent juke rate, ranks No. 59 among RBs. Koetter was quick to point out the RB has repeatedly dodged several tackles, but, again, the numbers don’t substantiate. His evaded tackles per game (3.6) and tackles avoided per attempt (0.16) rank outside the top-20. More hideous his 0.9 yards after contact per touch checks in at No. 65. Point blank, the back is running with the ‘swiftness’ of Jacob Marley, the heavily burdened apparition from ‘A Christmas Carol.’ His 2.9 yards per carry last week against the Saints is undebatable proof. This week slated to face a bend-don’t-break Dallas defense, he could rescue what will be an otherwise worthless afternoon with a touchdown, a tall task. The ‘Boys have given up 4.2 yards per carry, but just five RB rush scores. LB Sean Lee and S Barry Church have stuffed many gaps. His high volume is attractive, but Martin should be labeled a low-end RB2 at best.

Fearless Forecast: 21 carries, 72 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 10 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 9.7 fantasy points 

Lamar Miller, Hou, RB (81 percent started, $23 in Yahoo DFS)
Matchup: vs. Jax
The total fruitcakes – they are practically intolerable – Miller has gifted probably numbers in the thousands. Remove his pair of poundings against the Colts and he’s averaged 80.3 total yards per game, 3.7 yards per carry and tallied two touchdowns, a line barely RB2 worthy in 12-teamers. Hurl. Full disclosure, my adoration for the Texan was through the roof a mere three months ago. He was supposed to be the engine of the offense; why I fully anticipated a breakout campaign and boldly boasted in August he would finish with 2,000 combined yards and 15 TDs. Oops. More fantasy midget than monster, he’s frustrated investors with vanilla performances, despite a 1,442 total-yard pace. Another blah week is on tap. Defensive strides have been made in Jacksonville. The millions shelled out for Malik Jackson have paid dividends. He and linebacker Paul Posluzny have stonewalled many backs. Collectively, the Jags have surrendered 4.0 yards per carry to the position. Ten rushers found the end-zone against them, but eight RB1s failed to cross the 100-total yard mark, including Miller who scraped together 83 yards in their first tango Week 10. Throw in Brock Osweiler’s constant putridity and the rusher is sure to trigger more tears.

Fearless Forecast: 18 carries, 76 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 14 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 10.0 fantasy points 

Golden Tate, Det, WR (74 percent started, $23 in Yahoo DFS)
Matchup: at NYG
Just call the gloved Matthew Stafford the Derek Carr, or Luke Skywalker, of the NFC. He claims the finger ligament damage he suffered on his throwing hand is tolerable, a far cry from the broken digit he endured and played through in 2011. Still, grip and release issues will be amplified, especially in the elements. Preliminary forecasts in New Jersey call for temps around 50 degrees with a 60 percent chance of rain. If that comes to fruition, good luck, Matthew. Subsequently, all Lions receiving options, including Tate, need to be downgraded. Even if the game were played on Waikiki Beach, the matchup alone should deter fantasy owners. The Giants secondary is incredibly unforgiving. Witnessed against Dak Prescott and the Cowboys, Janoris Jenkins has developed into one of the best corners in the league. Player Profiler’s metrics rank him No. 3 among all DBs in pass coverage. On the year, he’s conceded a 47.3 passer rating to his assignments. Together, the Giants have allowed 6.6 pass yards per attempt and just seven 80-plus yard wide receivers. Tate, who is known for the occasional disappearing act, could very well bomb in the box score. He’s ‘achieved’ Lame status in nine of 13 games this season. Seek alternatives.

Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 35 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 5.5 fantasy points 

Larry Fitzgerald, Ari, WR (91 percent started, $31 in Yahoo DFS)
Matchup: vs. NO
Similar to another Larry, King, Fitzgerald has been around since the Big Bang occurred. Despite his advanced age, the hallowed wide receiver, an indisputable first-ballot Hall of Famer, has turned a sizable profit on his draft-day price tag (57.7 ADP). Ultra reliable underneath, he’s on the verge of tallying his sixth season of at least 90 receptions and 1,000 yards. His consistency and longevity are why he’ll eventually have a bust in Canton. However, in what’s become a common occurrence since 2010, his touchdowns have been only sporadic. It’s increasingly likely he’ll fall short of 10 TDs for the fifth time in seven years – the Andre Johnson Syndrome. In fact, he hasn’t celebrated in the end-zone since Week 5 in San Francisco. Think about that. So much has happened since then. Trump was elected President. Trump embarked on a ‘thank you’ tour. Trump rapped with Kanye (about how GREAT one another are we can only assume). HUGE events! At first glance, most would prognosticate Fitz’s TD drought is about to end. It’s the Saints after all, a ceaselessly transparent defense. But that’s far from the case. With Sheldon Rankins manning the trenches and Delvin Breaux the defensive backfield, New Orleans has turned the corner. Primary slot CB, Sterling Moore, who Fitz will face-off with most often, has also played commendably allowing 0.11 fantasy points per snap, the eighth-lowest mark among DBs. Mix in Carson Palmer’s wretched efforts and the veteran receiver will likely notch subpar numbers yet again.

Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 63 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 8.8 fantasy points 

BONUS WEEK 15 LAMES

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Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 4.25.35 PM

#TEAMHUEVOS 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 Tuesdays via Twitter @YahooNoise. How large are your stones?


Reader Record: 45-53

Noise Record: 76-61 (Week 14: 6-3; W: Ben Roethlisberger, Devonta Freeman, Jordan Howard, Brandin Cooks, Jay Ajayi, Seattle D/ST; L: Emmanuel Sanders, T.Y. Hilton, Kyle Rudolph; DNP: Julio Jones)

Follow Brad on Twitter (@YahooNoise) and check out his new TV show, ‘The Fantasy Football Hour,’ Wednesdays on Altitude TV (Channel 681 on DirecTV, 412 on DISH).

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