Week 2 fantasy busts: Concerns over Todd Gurley set to ramp up

Yahoo Sports Fantasy Minute
Week 2 Fantasy Lames: DeMarco Murray to inch closer to 50-50 timeshare

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: 12 fpts, WR: 11 fpts, TE: 10 fpts). If you’re a member of TEAM HUEVOS, reveal your Week 2 Lames in the comments section below.

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Kirk Cousins, Was, QB (72 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $33)
Matchup: at LAR

The zombified state of Washington’s offense witnessed during the Preseason foot-dragged its way into Week 1. Placed under heavy duress (42.5 percent of the time) behind what should be a fairly rigid offensive line, Cousins crumbled against the Eagles’ pressure. If not for his opportunistic running (30 yards), which helped alleviate a pair of fumbles lost, Cousins’ 240-1-1 line would’ve finished well outside the position’s top-20. He was largely bewildered, inaccurate and ineffective. Better days are on the horizon, but a road tussle with the Rams implies pine time for fantasy purposes. L.A. completely dismantled Scott Tolzein and the My Little Ponies in Week 1. Corners Trumaine Johnson and Nickell Robey-Coleman turned Colts receivers into Kibbles ‘n Bits. In total they yielded just three receptions for 23 yards and conceded an 18.7 passer rating. With Aaron Donald unlikely to return this week, the Rams pass rush isn’t as frightening. Still, if Washington’s hogs return to the slaughterhouse, Cousins is sure to be cooked. For those that heed the warning, Carson Palmer (at Ind), Sam Bradford (at Pit) and Philip Rivers (vs. Mia) are recommended alternatives.

Fearless Forecast: 256 passing yards, 1 passing touchdown, 2 turnovers, 12.2 fantasy points 

DeMarco Murray, Ten, RB (97 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $27)
Matchup: at Jax

Mud. Molasses. Quicksand. Whatever Murray ran through last weekend against Oakland, it certainly inhibited his ability to gain yardage. Outside of one fleeting moment in which he ripped off a 21-yard scamper, the veteran rusher produced marginally. On 14 touches he barely registered a blip totaling 60 yards. Blame the inordinate number of stacked boxes he faced (41.6%), but his 1.7 yards after contact per attempt ranked only ahead of Isaiah Crowell on the week. Equally abysmal, he failed to evade a single tackler. His running mate Derrick Henry, meanwhile, bested him convincingly in efficiency notching a 2.8 YAC/att while averaging 4.2 yards per carry. Murray, however, still owned the timeshare’s upper hand (14-to-6 touch disparity). If the incumbent doesn’t pick up the pace, a full-blown 50-50 split could develop. Regardless what his workload is in Week 2, DeMarco is sure to join the fantasy damned. Fresh off their shellacking of Houston, the unyielding Jaguars return home brimming with confidence. Myles Jack and Malik Jackson crashed holes, wrapped up and suffocated Lamar Miller last Sunday limiting the Texans ground attack to only 3.6 yards per carry. Jacksonville’s team-wide defensive balance combined with Tennessee’s unexpected run-blocking struggles against Oakland suggest another lumbering performance for Murray. Be wary.

Fearless Forecast: 13 carries, 49 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 20 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 8.4 fantasy points  

Todd Gurley, LAR, RB (96 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $26)
Matchup: vs. Was

Hollywood is known for its gory horror films. “It” and its demonic clown, Pennywise, is the latest fright fest to jolt moviegoers. Sadly, Gurley, another Tinsel Town bone-chiller, is sure to leave fantasy audiences shivering. The once revered back picked up where he left off, undermining his own worldly talents with excessive three-yard plods. Against a pack of quarter horses, Indy, he cranked out a top-10 Week 1 effort, but upon closer inspection his performance left much to be desired. He netted a very familiar 2.1 yards per carry, totaled the third-worst YAC per attempt of the week and evaded a measly two tackles on 19 attempts. And that was with Sean McVay placing him in situations to succeed. Pitiful. Excuse makers will scream “But the stacked boxes!!!,” however the RB saw eight or more defenders crowd the line only 10.5 percent of the time. At some point, the finger has to point at the rusher. His receiving contributions were a positive development, but his increased tentativeness and eroding vision only amplify concern. The Rams’ offensive line also remains pathetic, which is problematic against a solid Washington front. Its defenders, Zach Brown and Jonathan Allen, gobbled up Eagles RBs last Sunday holding them to 2.6 yards per carry. Gurley, who’s rushed for 878 yards on his last 280 carries (3.1 ypc), extends his streak of futility.

Fearless Forecast: 17 carries, 55 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 22 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 9.7 fantasy points 

A.J. Green, Cin, WR (99 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $32)
Matchup: vs. Hou

For all intents and purposes, Andy Dalton pulled a Sergio Dipp in Week 1, hilariously imploding on camera for the sake of everyone’s amusement. His five-turnover, zero-touchdown tumble was his worst fantasy effort since Week 10 2014. So much for the “undervalued” hype. Though his quarterback redefined “putrid,” Green at least salvaged a top-30 performance in an otherwise universally down fantasy week. Looked at 10 times, he caught five passes for 74 yards. Though the Bengals offense only has one direction to go, its ineptitude will likely extend another week. Houston, despite the mauling it suffered against the Jaguars last week, remains an elite defense, especially against the pass. Targeted seven times, the tandem of Kevin Johnson and Jonathan Joesph allowed a mere three catches for 46 yards. Yes, the low output generated against the duo was primarily due to Allen Robinson’s early exit and Doug Marrone’s commitment to the run, but Johnson and Joseph were outstanding in coverage when on the field in 2016. After Chris Harris and Aqib Talib, they’re in the conversation for stingiest fantasy matchup. Another targets peppering is in store for Green, but expectations should be tempered. It’s unlikely the Texans, even down Brian Cushing (AKA Lattimer from “The Program”), will be embarrassed again.

Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 67 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 9.2 fantasy points 

Alshon Jeffery, Phi, WR (87 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $23)
Matchup: at KC

Carson Wentz to Alshon could eventually be the greatest Eagles hookup since Rocky and Adrian, but not over the regular season’s first two weeks. The sophomore passer stimulated the senses last week against rival Washington spreading the ball around, attacking with more ferocity downfield (’16 YPA: 6.2; WK1: 7.9) while generally making sound decisions. Undoubtedly, he’s Philly’s QB of the present and future. Jeffery, unsurprisingly, was badgered by Josh Norman much of last Sunday. Targeted a healthy seven times he hauled in only three passes for 38 yards. Zach Ertz, who caught all eight of his intended looks, led the way for the Eagles. With Marcus Peters slated to drape Jeffery and Eric Berry, who masterfully clamped down on Rob Gronkowski last Thursday, on IR, an eerily similar outcome is likely. In a stunning upending of New England, Peters proved to be white on rice. His 2.1 passer rating allowed was the finest mark by a corner with a 40-snap minimum in Week 1. Jeffery will lure his customary 7-9 targets, but another effort shy of 50 yards is in the cards.

Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 41 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 6.1 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 “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 Week 1 Results: 4-3
My Week 1 Results: 8-2 (W: Drew Brees, Marshawn Lynch, Joe Mixon, Dez Bryant, Demaryius Thomas, T.Y. Hilton, Seattle D/ST, Tyler Eifert; L: Kareem Hunt, Golden Tate)

Want to bull rush Brad? Follow him on Twitter @YahooNoise. Also check out his TV show, “The Fantasy Football Hour,” now available in 75 million households on Fox Sports Regional networks and his new podcast, “The Fantasy Spin.” 

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