Week 6 Fantasy Lames: Zeke Elliott to take path of most resistance

Brad Evans

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 6 Lames in the comments section below.

SEE WEEK 6 FLAMES HERE

[Week 6 rankings: Overall | FLEX | QB | RB | WR | TE | DEF | K]

Andrew Luck, Ind, QB (86 percent started, $35 in Yahoo DFS)
Matchup: at Hou
On pace for an insane 65 sacks, Luck has morphed into a modern day David Carr. Bruised and beaten continuously by the oncoming rush, he’s fortunate another major bodily organ hasn’t suffered a laceration. Though outwardly portrayed as a QB1 (No. 6 in fantasy points per game), worrisome inefficiencies are masked. The ceaseless duress he’s been placed under working behind the league’s second-worst offensive line has pushed Luck outside the position’s top-15 in several critical categories including pressure completion percentage (No. 20) and yards per attempt (7.2, No. 19). If not for his smooth execution inside the red zone, the fantasy community would likely be tabbing the Colt as one of the virtual game’s biggest busts, yet again. Anticipate another uneven performance Sunday night. Even down J.J. Watt, Houston continues to collapse pockets. As a unit, the Texans rank No. 7 in sacks. Equally impressive, Kareem Jackson and Kevin Johnson have grounded pass attacks. On the season, the DB duo has surrendered 6.4 fantasy points per game to their assignments. Collectively, the Texans have allowed 11.8 fantasy points per game, 6.8 yards per attempt and the fourth-fewest fantasy points to signal callers. Yes, they haven’t faced the stiffest competition (Jay Cutler, Alex Smith, Jacoby Brissett, Marcus Mariota and Sam Bradford), but Indy’s protection issues are tough to ignore. This week, Dak Prescott (at GB), Blake Bortles (at Chi) and Mariota (vs. Cle) possess more upside by comparison.

Fearless Forecast: 241 passing yards, 1 passing touchdown, 1 interception, 11 rushing yards, 13.8 fantasy points

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Ezekiel Elliott, Dal, RB (98 percent started, $34 in Yahoo DFS)
Matchup: at GB
Throughout much of the summer, a certain boisterous, hair-challenged fantasy writer fought tooth and nail with Elliott doubters. Nonbelievers considered him untrustworthy for the mere fact he was an unproven rookie. His visit to a wacky tobacky dispensary in Seattle back in August only increased their willingness to avoid. But, for once, Baldy McNoise was right. Running behind Dallas’ impenetrable offensive line, the No. 4 overall pick in April’s NFL Draft is living up to the hype. He’s displayed the traits every ‘all-timer’ showed previously – endurance, power, burst, useful hands, plus blitz pick-up. It’s no wonder why he leads the NFL in rushing, has totaled 3.2 yards after contact and trails only David Johnson and DeMarco Murray in fantasy points per game. Hoss. So why on earth is he on this list? His matchup with the Green Bay Packers is akin to a Batman vs. Superman clash, strength on strength. Thanks to RB munchers Mike Daniels, Jake Ryan and Nick Perry, the Cheeseheads are the most unforgiving run defense in the league, allowing 2.1 yards per carry and 42.5 rush yards per game. To be be fair, that was achieved against the Jags, Vikes, Lions and Giants, but this is a defense that understands gap integrity. Its worst game? T.J. Yeldon tallied 12.9 fantasy points Week 1, but it took him 25 touches to get there. Prescott’s read-option capabilities has enhanced Zeke’s rushing performance, but it’s entirely plausible the ROY lock, who’s topped 100 rush yards in three straight, suffers his worst output of the season. Fade in DFS.

Fearless Forecast: 20 attempts, 63 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 18 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 9.6 fantasy points

Few holes are in the forecast for NFL rushing leader, Ezekiel Elliott. (Getty)
Few holes are in the forecast for NFL rushing leader, Ezekiel Elliott. (Getty)

Melvin Gordon, SD, RB (89 percent started, $28 in Yahoo DFS)
Matchup: vs. Den
There are three subjects that currently fuel my nightmares: 1) Killer clowns, 2) A world without tacos and 3) Gordon’s hideous 3.2 yards per carry. The object of my affection throughout draft season, the Chargers running back has delivered on his promise. His fruitful 71.8 percent opportunity share, increased pass-catch role post-Danny Woodhead and routine end-zone plunges have made him a RB1 fixture in any sized league. But it’s hard to shake his inefficiency. Part of the reason for his underwhelming YPC stems from facing a base or stacked front 79.4 percent of the time. Still, his strong contributions in YAC (No. 9 among RBs) and evaded tackles (No. 7) imply he’s run well despite fantasy expert screams to “SELL HIGH!” His recent case of fumble-itis is a concern, but the Chargers don’t have another Natrone Means waiting in the wings. However, I’m hesitant to rubber stamp him as a must-start in Week 6. At some point, the TDs will become less frequent, which could start Thursday night. Denver, surprisingly, ranks inside the top-10 in fantasy points rendered to RBs. Offensive coordinators have resorted to pounding the ball in an attempt to avoid the ‘No Fly Zone.’ Evidenced by accomplishments registered by Cincinnati and Atlanta RBs, it’s occasionally worked. Still, the Broncos are only allowing 3.8 yards per carry to plowshares and will make a concerted effort to right last week’s wrongs. After posting a donut in the TD category last season, Gordon has scored more than Wilt Chamberlain this year, finding the end zone at least once in all five games. This week, though, the streak ceases.

Fearless Forecast: 18 attempts, 58 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 21 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 9.9 fantasy points

Alshon Jeffery, Chi, WR (87 percent started, $30 in Yahoo DFS)
Matchup: vs. Jax
Han Solo encased in carbonite. That’s what Jeffery has resembled through five weeks. Though reportedly healthy, the wide receiver’s targets share has inexplicably plummeted. Last year he enticed 31.3 percent of the looks. This season that number has dipped to 17.3 percent. More concerning, he ranks No. 91 in red-zone target percentage. Astonishing. No longer the workhorse, he’s essentially morphed into DeSean Jackson, a wildly erratic and mostly unreliable streak wideout. The most logical reason for the downfall is Chicago’s change at quarterback. Jay Cutler and Jeffery were symbiotic. Brian Hoyer, however, shockingly more effective than his predecessor, has spread the ball around, focusing his attention on Zach Miller, Eddie Royal and Cameron Meredith/Kevin White. Because of Hoyer’s efficiency, Alshon no longer needs to be the featured option, a development that should sound emergency sirens in owner heads. From a distance, Jacksonville presents a favorable matchup. The Jags check in at No. 4 in most fantasy points allowed to WRs. But under the magnifying glass, they’ve yielded only 6.1 pass yards per attempt and only two receivers (Travis Benjamin and Steve Smith) have crossed the 65-yard mark against them. Jeffery will have his moments, but it’s time to start labeling him more of a WR2/WR3 than a weekly WR1 lock.

Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 68 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 9.3 fantasy points

Randall Cobb, GB, WR (63 percent started, $17 in Yahoo DFS)
Matchup: vs. Dal
Well … Look who showed up to the fantasy football party? Last Sunday night, with what we can only assume is a twelve pack of Lienenkugel in hand, Cobb knocked on the door, caught a season-best nine passes for 108 yards versus New York and FINALLY arrived on the scene. But don’t believe for one nanosecond he’s completely buried his sinister side. His performance against the Giants was largely due to the New York’s inadequacies in underneath coverage, an area, as Jamison Crowder and Cole Beasley owners can attest, the team has struggled in this season. Dallas, more formidable in the short-field, won’t exhibit similar deficiencies. Yes, Jeremy Kerley burned the ‘Boys to the tune of 6-88-1 a couple weeks back and Dallas slot corner Anthony Brown has conceded a 73.7 catch rate this year, but the Niner is the only wideout to eclipse 75 yards against Dallas this year. Due to the stellar play of Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr (combined 47.6 passer rating allowed), many perceived high-flying pass attacks have crashed and burned against Big D. Just look at what Odell Beckham, D-Jax, Alshon and A.J. Green grossed against it. Cobb will likely haul in his customary 5-7 receptions, but bank on a modest return.

Fearless Forecast: 6 receptions, 63 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 9.3 fantasy points

BONUS WEEK 6 LAMES

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#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: 14-21

Noise Record: 25-24 (Week 5 – 6-3, W: Matt Forte, Eddie Lacy, Matt Ryan, Lamar Miller, Dennis Pitta, Carolina D/ST; L: Matthew Stafford, DeAndre Hopkins, Rob Gronkowski; Charles Sims DNP)

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).