Each week the Noise highlights under-started names who he believes are destined to torch the competition. To qualify, each player must be started in fewer than 60 percent of Yahoo!leagues. Speaking as an accountability advocate, I will post results, whether genius or moronic, the following week (Scoring thresholds – QB: 18 fpts, RB: 12 fpts, WR: 11 fpts: TE: 10 fpts; .5 PPR). If you’re a member of TEAM HUEVOS, reveal your Week 11 Flames in the comments section below.
Lamar Jackson, Bal, QB (1 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $20)
Matchup: vs. Cin
Vegas line/total: N/A
Through 10 weeks, owners waiting with anticipation to consume Jackson have grazed on appetizers. The Ravens, much like New Orleans with Taysom Hill, have utilized the rookie in a gadget role — passer, runner, receiver. His sporadic red-zone appearances tickled the taste buds. With Joe Flacco a 50/50 proposition to play in Week 11 (hip), the main course, simmering in a red-wine brine for months, is about to be served. Pull up a chair. Grab a fork. Strap on a bib. And dig in. Your patience is about to be rewarded. Jackson is physical freak on the same athletic plane as fantasy legend Michael Vick. He’s an unpolished passer, but his ability to react, explode upfield and juke defenders in space as a runner can turn heads.
The former Heisman winner may not mimic Deshaun Watson’s nuclear detonation from 2017, but he possesses the tools to deliver Mitchell Trubisky-level results right away. Remember, fantasy is a numbers game. Attractive looks aren’t necessary to deliver meaningful results. Assuming Flacco sits, Jackson is a viable QB1 in 12-team leagues against Cincinnati. The Bengals, declawed last week by New Orleans, haven’t earned their Friskies on defense. They’ve given up 7.9 yards per attempt, 323.4 pass yards per game, 2.3 passing touchdowns per game and THE most fantasy points to signal callers this year.
More specifically, DBs Dre Kirkpatrick, Darqueze Dennard and William Jackson have allowed a combined 100-plus passer rating. You may shield your eyes at times, but the end result will almost certainly be pleasing. Push the chips in. Sunday could be the first of many spectacular performances for Jackson rest of season.
Fearless Forecast: 188 passing yards, 1 passing touchdown, 1 interception, 76 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 24.1 fantasy points
Peyton Barber, TB, RB (19 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $14)
Matchup: at NYG
Vegas line/total: NYG -1, 52
Reflecting on August-takes is always a masochistic exercise. So many swings. So many misses. My stockpiled Royce Freeman and Corey Davis shares are indisputable proof. This is why fantasy is a double-edged sword. It’s wildly entertaining due to the unpredictability, but it can shave years from one’s life. Industry pundits state cases backed with data and sound reasoning, but often whiff. Take Ronald Jones, for instance. This bumbling dolt wasn’t on the rookie’s bandwagon, but many were. Rojo’s value, however, dragged with summer’s dog days. Outplayed in every category by Barber, Jones became an afterthought. Nothing has changed since.
Though fixed in the captain’s seat, Barber hasn’t commanded much owner attention, at least on the surface. He’s RB51 in fantasy points per game (5 PPR), but his underlying stats paint a picture of efficiency. His 2.8 yards after contact per attempt, 22 missed tackle percentage and yards created per carry rank top-20 at the position. The veteran is also dominating the workload, netting 65.7 percent of the opportunity share. With six teams on siesta, including marquee backs Nick Chubb, Sony Michel and James White, he’s a highly employable one-week stopgap.
His matchup, the New York Giants, is a scrumptious one. With Damon Harrison now manning the trenches in Detroit, the basement dwellers have, unsurprisingly, proven more vulnerable against the run. Over the past four weeks, they’ve given up 4.74 yards per carry, 158.7 total yards per game and five touchdowns to RBs. Bank on Barber buzzing through the competition.
Fearless Forecast: 14 attempts, 70 rush yards, 1 reception, 6 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 14.1 fantasy points
Rashaad Penny, Sea, RB (9 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $15)
Matchup: vs. GB
Vegas line/total: Sea -2.5, 49
Rotten cabbage. Leftover Tootsie Rolls. Sort through my Twitter feed and chances are, someone is slinging something in my general direction. When you put your neck out there for public consumption, a few heads are bound to roll. Penny, relentlessly hyped over the summer by yours truly, is one such example of vitriol received. Through nine weeks, the ‘Hawks’ controversial first-round pick failed to meet my expectations. After he posted video game numbers at San Diego State, racking the FBS level’s highest elusive rating at RB, a broken index finger combined with a sharp learning curve buried the rookie on the depth chart. Falling behind Chris Carson and journeyman Mike Davis, Penny quickly conjured “bust” descriptions from the fantasy masses. Late week against the Rams, though, he finally turned a corner.
He racked 146 yards on 12 carries with a TD, notching an impressive 5.6 yards after contact per attempt while forcing a missed tackle 17 percent of the time. He set up runs beautifully, convinced defenders to bite and routinely raced past them. His blend of power and speed was exactly what defensive coordinators in the Mountain West feared. No surprise that Pete Carroll, a tireless promoter in the Dana White vein, sung his praises. Given the draft equity invested, Carson’s ailing hip, and Seattle’s negative direction, Penny’s role is set to expand rest of season. On short rest, his fresh legs will be utilized upwards of 15-18 times in Green Bay. The Packers rank middle of the pack in fantasy points allowed to RBs, but they have surrendered 4.65 yards per carry to the position. In the final phase of brutal bye weeks, a Penny saved will be valuable fantasy points earned.
Fearless Forecast: 14 carries, 61 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 14 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 14.5 fantasy points
Cole Beasley, Dal, WR (11 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $17)
Matchup: at Atl
Vegas line/total: Atl -3, 48
Short, spirited, and owning rhymes that would outduel Le’Veon Bell in an 8 Mile-styled rap battle, Beasley is an interesting player on and off the field. Yes, outside of his unforeseen Week 6 blowup against Jacksonville, he’s failed to chart. On the year, he ranks WR59 in fantasy points per game, generating a 19.4 percent of the target share (WR36), 7.9 yards per target (WR71) and 2.5 run after the catch (WR107). With Amari Cooper on roster and Michael Gallup rapidly developing, he’s the clear No. 3. If you include Ezekiel Elliott in the conversation, No. 4 for Dak Prescott.
However, this week sets up nicely for Dallas’ MC. Working primarily in the slot (89/6 percent of the time), Beasley is slated to confront Brian Poole often. The Atlanta DB, one of the league’s friendliest defenders, has surrendered a 68.2 catch rate, 1.05 yards per snap and 109.3 passer rating to his assignments. In fact, the Falcons as a collective have allowed the third-most fantasy points to wide receivers this season. Chancy? Undoubtedly. But this week Beasley plays his enemies like a game of chess. Weigh the risks at WR3 or FLEX, particularly in points per reception leagues.
Fearless Forecast: 6 receptions, 63 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 15.3 fantasy points
Sammy Watkins, KC, WR (29 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $20)
Matchup: at LAR (Mexico?)
Vegas line/total: LAR -2.5, 63
EDITOR’S NOTE: This spin was written before the NFL announced the game will be moved to Los Angeles due to poor field conditions in Mexico City. Carry on.
Guacamole. Beautiful weather. Vibrant culture. Tequila. Mexico owns many redeeming qualities. Though traditional futbol remains the preferred sport, the American version has grown measurably in popularity. When the NFL started playing regular season games in Mexico City a few years back, it was a genius marketing move. The nation’s capital, after all, is the largest city in North America. On the ancient grounds of Tenochtitlan, a matchup between a pair of godlike franchises is only fitting. In a contest with a score possibly higher than the listed elevation, assuming the current dangerous field conditions are remedied, Watkins is near must-start material.
He’s battled a nagging foot injury seemingly for years, but well rested after sitting out last week’s triumph over Arizona, he’s expected to suit up Monday night. Mostly inconsistent when on the field this season, Watkins has tallied the 33rd-best output in .5 PPR formats. He’s enticed 17.7 percent of the target share, ranking top-20 in yards per target separation, catch rate (72.7%) and average run after catch (5.9 yds). Creatively deployed working outside, in the slot and in motion, he’s a matchup problem for an encumbered Rams secondary that’s conceded 7.7 pass yards per attempt and 14 touchdowns to WRs. Drilling down, LA corners Marcus Peters, Troy Hill and Sam Shields have yielded a combined 13 touchdowns, 134.4 passer rating and 1.83 yards per snap to their assignments. In a contest with a whopping 63 over/under — DIOS MIO! — Watkins finishes well inside the WR top-20.
Fearless Forecast: 6 receptions, 80 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 17.0 fantasy points
WEEK 11 SHOCKER SPECIAL (Under 10 percent started)
Josh Adams, Phi, RB (2 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $10)
Matchup: at NO
Vegas line/total: NO -7.5, 54
Next to a waitress inquiring, “Would you like more chips and salsa?” an NFL coach spouting “We need to give Player X more carries” about a running back you’re rather enamored with ranks up there on the excitement scale. Adams is indeed in line for more work, according to Eagles head honcho Doug Pederson. The bruising youngster, who reminds me of Brandon Jacobs, has certainly earned an expanded role. Over his past 20 rush attempts, he’s accumulated a standout 155 yards, averaging 3.8 yards after contact per attempt while forcing a missed tackle an otherworldly 35 percent of the time. His bulky frame, downhill style and elusiveness mesh perfectly for an early down role. Much like Jay Ajayi last year, he could become a snowplow for the Eagles down the homestretch.
With Ronald Darby done and others in the Philly secondary hurting (Jalen Mills and Sidney Jones), Adams is sure to be a game-plan centerpiece in New Orleans. Long, clock-draining drives are a necessity for Philly to compete. If not, the Saints run the Eagles out of the building. Yes, New Orleans ranks No. 4 in fewest fantasy points allowed to RBs. On the year, it’s surrendered a league-low 3.28 yards per carry, 54.2 rush yards per game and five ground scores to rushers. However, given the Saints’ shortcomings in pass defense, odds are favorable Adams is handed a goal-line crack or three. For those in TD-heavy leagues, he’s definitely worth a flier.
Fearless Forecast: 12 carries, 55 rush yards, 1 reception, 4 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 12.4 fantasy points
BONUS WEEK 11 FLAMES (Under 50 percent started)
RB: Doug Martin, Oak ($18; at Ari) – A 30-minute hot shower may be needed to wash the filth off backing any Oakland Raider offensive player. That said, Martin is worth your consideration in Week 11. It’s Arizona after all: a group of Tweety Birds who refuse to contain the run. On the year, the Cards have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points, 4.46 yards per carry, 168.3 total yards per game and 13 total TDs to RBs. Despite all of the disparaging remarks made about the “Swole Mongoose” and his zero touchdowns, he’s ran with a noticeable spring in his step. He’s amassed 4.7 yards per carry and 2.9 yards after contact per attempt since Week 8. Lightning strikes. Martin finishes as an RB2. (FF: 15 atts, 66 yds, 3 recs, 17 yds, td, 15.8 fpts)
RB: Kerryon Johnson, Det ($20; vs. Car) – Benched by several owners last week, the roaring rookie surprised in Chicago, using his multidimensional skill set to cage Bears. Totaling at least 14 touches for the fourth-consecutive week, he found the end zone twice and tallied 89 yards. He joined James White as the only RBs to score 15 fantasy points in .5 PPR leagues against Chicago this season. Thrust into a more favorable tilt against Carolina, he’s easily a top-15 option. The Panthers haven’t snapped against the run, ranking No. 5 in fewest fantasy points allowed to RBs. However, they’ve proven flexible, conceding 4.47 yards per carry to the position. At home, Johnson rises to the occasion. (FF: 14 atts, 53 yds, 4 recs, 22 yds, td, 15.5 fpts)
WR: Josh Reynolds, LAR ($10; vs. KC) – Cooper Kupp’s shredded knee left his owners scrambling for replacements. Though there are many suitable options available on waivers, Reynolds shouldn’t be bypassed. Recall in Week 8 with Kupp sidelined, he posted a 3-42-2 line against Green Bay. With ample slot experience under his belt, he’s a viable WR3 or FLEX plug ‘n play in a matchup against the Chiefs that’s muy bueno. KC has improved greatly in pass defense, but remain vulnerable to slot targets. Kendall Fuller, the club’s primary slot corner, has given up a 101.5 passer rating to his assignments. Reynolds may not provide a yardage jolt, but he’s more than suitable in a contest with an enormous projected total. (FF: 4 recs, 47 yards, td, 12.7 fpts)
TE: Jeff Heuerman, Den ($12; at LAC) – Everyone and this mother pegged Courtland Sutton to be the primary beneficiary of Demaryius Thomas’ dismissal to Houston. But it was the tight end who filled the void. Against Thomas’ Texans in Week 8, Heuerman lured 11 targets, catching 10 passes for 83 yards and a score. With at least a handful of targets in four of his past five contests, he’s a highly employable TE for those who play in challenging formats, or simply don’t trust an underachiever like Kyle Rudolph. The Chargers have yielded a modest 4.6 receptions per game, 46.5 yards per game and four scores to TEs, but it’s impossible to ignore the Bronco’s rising target share. (FF: 5 recs, 44 yds, td, 12.9 fpts)
DST: Baltimore Ravens ($13; vs. Cin) – Not exactly the subject of a horror story, the Ravens are a far cry from their once-dominating roots. Rotisserie chickens in their past three matchups, they’ve slipped to No. 28 in overall fantasy worth. The Bengals, though, can repair any reputation. Likely sans A.J. Green (toe) once again, Cincy is a despondent bunch. It seems they would struggle mustering any semblance of an offense against the Montreal Alouettes. Andy Dalton, kept clean just 67.7 percent of the time this season (QB17), crumbles under the pressure. (FF: 13 PA, 299 YDSA, 3 SCK, 2 TO, 10.0 fpts)
#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 “Flames” (1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 1 D/ST) by midnight PT Tuesdays via Twitter @YahooNoise. How large are your stones?
Josh Rosen, Derrick Henry, Doug Martin, Tyrell Williams, Christian Kirk, Jeff Heuerman, New Orleans
— Joe Goetz (@JGoetz2point0) November 13, 2018
Reader record: 27-45
Brad record: 48-63 (WK10: 4-7; W – Aaron Jones, Spencer Ware, John Ross, Duke Johnson; L – Nick Mullens, Tyrell Williams, Tre’Quan Smith, Ito Smith, D.J. Moore, Vernon Davis, SF D/ST)
Want to bull rush Brad? Follow him on Twitter @YahooNoise. Also check out his TV show, “The Fantasy Football Hour,” now available in 91 million households on various regional sports networks, and his award-nominated podcast, “The Fantasy Record.”