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 5 Lames in the comments section below.
Matthew Stafford, Det, QB (57 percent started, $33)
Matchup: vs. Phi
In recent seasons, Stafford is the classic case of high-volume, low-output. Despite the generous workload, one that would likely cause a generally conservative QB’s are (e.g. Alex Smith’s) to self-destruct, he ranked only outside the top-9 in three of his past five years. And what was with arguably one of the most feared WRs in NFL history, Calvin Johnson. This fall, Country Jay Cutler is again on pace to exceed 600 attempts (624 to be exact) and finish as a borderline QB1. Hey, at least he’s predictable. Though he’s hurdled the 20 fantasy point line in three of four games, this Sunday he’s sure to come up short. The surprising Eagles own the staunchest pass defense in the league. Even without Leodis McKelvin’s services for a couple games, his battery mates locked down over the season’s first three weeks conceding a mere 6.9 yards per attempt, 227.3 pass yards per game and ZERO passing touchdowns. And one of those efforts was against Ben Roethlisberger with seventh-round rookie, Jalen Mills, starting at corner. Unreal. Superb safety and defensive line play combined with Nolan Carroll’s execution (75.9 passer rating allowed) explain the suffocation. In his last encounter with the Eagles, Stafford eviscerated them to the tune of 337 yards and five touchdowns. But unless Golden Tate awakes from his deep slumber, a marginal outcome appears likely.
Fearless Forecast: 269 passing yards, 1 passing touchdown, 2 interceptions, 12 rushing yards, 0 touchdowns, 13.9 fantasy points
Matt Forte, NYJ, RB (83 percent started, $28)
Matchup: at Pit
Unless your name is Halle Berry, who is still impeccable at 50, Father Time catches up to everyone. Whether he underwent x-rays, or not, for an unknown injury during last week’s stumble against Seattle, one thing is certain, Jets OC Chan Gailey has seen the light on a 30-year-old back who came to the franchise with thin treads. The old workhorse, who all indications suggest will be available this weekend, is inching his way to the glue factory. After grinding the first two weeks (29.5 tchs/g, 132 typg, RB2 output), the volume knob turned left. Against the Chiefs and Seahawks Forte amassed 16.5 touches and 53.5 total yards per game bottoming out at RB42 during that stretch. Bilal Powell’s snap share, meanwhile, climbed from 17-to-28-to-37 since Week 2, an upward trend that will only escalate. The backup, averaging 7.2 yards per touch, simply possesses more juice, particularly in the pass game. This week, game flow is another concern for the venerable rusher. The Steelers, at home, are an unstoppable offensive juggernaut. Andy Reid knows. Considering the Jets’ inadequacies in coverage (9.8 pass ypa allowed), Ben Roethlisberger will likely bury New York early, forcing Gailey to abandon the run and feature Powell more in the hurry up. If the case, Forte is sure to be the odd man out. Even if the contest is highly competitive, trepidation should be expressed. Anchored by Cameron Heyward, Pittsburgh’s interior line has coughed up just 3.6 yards per carry to RBs. Put it together and the Jet will resemble a rickety Cessna.
Fearless Forecast: 14 carries, 45 rushing yards 3 receptions, 19 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 7.9 fantasy points
Eddie Lacy, GB, RB (50 percent started, $25)
Matchup: vs. NYG
Off the bye week, one can only hope Lacy didn’t attack multiple, calorie-blowing Wisconsin smorgasbords. Though trimmer compared to this time last year, the rusher’s exterior numbers again lack heft. In three games he averaged 77.7 total yards per game and failed to find the end-zone. Yes, his RB35 points per game standing is unacceptable, but his 5.0 ypc, 75 percent opportunity share, top-16 juke rate and 2.9 yards after contact imply a reversal of fortune is bound to occur. However, the turnaround likely won’t happen until Week 6. Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata found creases in the Giants defense Monday night, but, for the most part, Damon Harrison and Co. have offered considerable resistance in the trenches. Zeke Elliott, Mark Ingram and Matt Jones totaled a terrible 3.2 yards per carry against the them. Even including the backwards step in Minnesota, New York ranks top-10 in fewest fantasy points surrendered to RBs. Better days are certainly on the horizon for Lacy, but anticipate his buy-low window to remain open for another week. Give me McKinnon (vs. Hou), Jordan Howard (at Ind) and Terrance West (vs. Was) instead.
Fearless Forecast: 17 carries, 66 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 13 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 8.9 fantasy points
DeAndre Hopkins, Hou, WR (98 percent started, $31)
Matchup: at Min
On offense, Houston has 99 problems and Hopkins most certainly is one. The supposed WR1 is in the running for biggest fantasy flop of 2016. Badgered by double teams, Will Fuller’s emergence and Brock Osweiler’s unsteady play, he’s experienced a dramatic decrease in several secondary categories, most notably catch percentage (’15: 57.8, ’16: 51.5), targets share (31.3, 22.9), red-zone targets share (36.7, 18.8) and yards per target (7.9, 6.9). Currently slotted at WR29 in points per game, he’s a far cry from the top-seven overall pick most pegged him to be. This week, his doubters will only increase in population. Randall Cobb, Kelvin Benjamin, sourpuss Odell Beckham … the Vikings have bludgeoned the opposition defensively, especially at home. According to Player Profiler, Xavier Rhodes and a revitalized Terrance Newman have given up a combined 18.2 passer rating and 45.9 catch percentage to their assignments this season. Collectively, the Norsemen are allowing a lowly 6.4 pass yards per attempt and the second-fewest fantasy points to WRs. Unless Osweiler suddenly shakes off the tunnel vision for Fuller, another ghastly performance is on deck for the rapidly falling receiver.
Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 47 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 6.7 fantasy points
Rob Gronkowski, NE, TE (86 percent started, $27)
Matchup: at Cle
With a well-rested and bronzed Tom Brady back in uniform, almost everyone expects Gronk to snap out of his early season funk. But the revered party-goer/TD spiker (65 TDs in 82 career games) isn’t quite ready physically to reenter the limelight. Nearly absent from the box score last week, he recorded just one catch for 11 yards. More alarming, on his 39 snaps played he ran a pass route only 13 times. Tossing napalm on the fire, Gronk remarked Tuesday, “When I can get rolling, I’ll get rolling,” a vague admission that implies he’s nowhere close to 100 percent. Inevitably, he’ll rediscover his mauling ways, but, for now, owners need to ignore the name brand and focus on rationality. Despite a stupendous matchup – Cleveland has yielded 8.0 receptions and 81.3 yards per game to TEs – Gronk may again work exclusively as a blocker, a development that splashes cold water on ideas of a bounce-back performance. People, this is why the ‘Always Start your Studs’ theory is a common held belief, not an indisputable fact. Narratives in fantasy change constantly. Just ask those who invested a first-round pick in Hopkins or Odell Beckham. Ultimately, it’s conceivable Mr. Mobile Strike won’t return to normal until after New England’s Week 9 bye. If that occurs, Martellus Bennett stands to benefit greatly over the near term. The self-proclaimed ‘Black Unicorn’ along with Zach Ertz (at Det), Zach Miller (at Ind) and Cameron Brate (at Car) are more trustworthy options.
Fearless Forecast: 2 receptions, 18 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 2.8 fantasy points
BONUS WEEK 5 LAMES
#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?
@YahooNoise Rivers, Melvin Gordon, LeVeon, Kelvin Benjamin, Alshon, Gronk, LA Rams D
— B-Mad (@brianm731) October 5, 2016
Reader Record: 13-15
Noise Record: 19-21 (Week 4 (5-4) — W: Odell Beckham, Latavius Murray, Todd Gurley, Delanie Walker, KC D/ST; L: Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman, Frank Gore, Michael Crabtree)