Each week the Noise highlights 10 somewhat un-obvious names whom he believes will 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 11 Lames in the comments section below.
Denver to hush Cousins MVP chatter
Kirk Cousins, Min, QB (51 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $28)
Matchup: vs. Den
Vegas Line/Total: Min -10.5, 39.5
Cousins in the MVP conversation?! Stop it. He’s played sensational football over the past several weeks, vaulting the Vikings into playoff contention, but if he belongs in the same hardware hunt as Lamar Jackson, Russell Wilson and Christian McCaffrey, my selections in this space are infallible. His QB2 standing in adjusted completion percentage is applaudable, but outside the top-20 in other various efficiency stats — most notably red-zone execution (QB22 in RZ completion%) — he isn’t MVP caliber. Not even close.
His Week 11 matchup is a classic case of something has to give. Cousins has tossed multiple touchdowns in five his past six contests. However, Gardner Minshew, back in Week 4, is the only signal-caller to throw for two scores versus Denver all season. Vic Fangio’s defense, on the year, has allowed 6.5 pass yards per attempt, the fourth-lowest average depth of target (7.1), 212.6 pass yards per game, seven touchdowns and the third-fewest fantasy points to QBs.
Sorry, Kirkland fans. There aren’t enough watermelon White Claws to drown your sorrows.
Fearless Forecast: 248 passing yards, 1 passing touchdown, 1 interception, 12.9 fantasy points
Pittsburgh to deny Chubb club access
Nick Chubb, Cle, RB (97% started; Yahoo DFS: $27)
Matchup: vs. Pit
Vegas Line/Total: Cle -2.5, 40
One of the biggest fantasy questions was finally answered in Week 10. No, it wasn’t “What can Kalen Ballage do with 20-plus touches?” Anyone with functional eyes knew he possessed the evasiveness of a parked car when he entered the league from Arizona State last year.
The correct question that was answered: How will Kareem Hunt work in tandem with Chubb?
Freddie Kitchens probably couldn’t beat your kid sister in a game of tick-tack-toe, but you have to give credit where credit is due. His “pony personnel” (2 RBs) installation, used on 43% of Cleveland’s snaps in Week 10, worked brilliantly. Due to the defensive attention Hunt drew, Chubb sprinted through creases, gaining 113 of his 116 yards in the formation. Suffice it to say, the former Chief’s presence was more helpful than a hindrance. Buffalo’s doughy front, which has given up 4.6 yards per carry to RBs, also provided some assistance.
With the blueprint out, Mike Tomlin will devise a successful game plan to combat it. His club, nearly impregnable over the past several weeks, has rediscovered its Steel Curtain roots. Over the past six weeks, no team has allowed fewer fantasy points to RBs. During that stretch, they gave up 3.5 yards per carry, 55.3 rush yards per game and one TD. That’s it. Also top-15 in run-stuff percentage according to Football Outsiders, Pittsburgh is sure to kennel the Brown.
Fearless Forecast: 18 carries, 76 rushing yards, 1 reception, 7 receiving yards, 8.8 fantasy points
Damaged DJ no longer reliable
David Johnson, Ari, RB (65% started; Yahoo DFS: $16)
Matchup: at SF
Vegas Line/Total: SF -13.5, 45.5
Moving with the nimbleness and dexterity of an octogenarian engaged in a rollicking game of pickleball, Johnson, a month away from his 28th birthday, looked one step closer to retirement last week in Tampa. On 29 snaps he managed 10 total yards on six touches, losing a costly fumble before Kliff Kingsbury pulled the plug. For gamers who waited patiently for the DJ of old to resurface, it was an unanticipated blow that rocked the psyche. Is he done done? That’s anyone’s best guess, but until he shows signs of life, the once-lusted-for top-five overall pick is completely untrustworthy.
Kenyan Drake and potentially Chase Edmonds may have leapfrogged him, until further notice.
No two games are ever the same. When the Cards and Niners last clashed on Halloween night, it was Drake who earned a king-sized PayDay. He was elusive as a rusher/receiver, busted through initial contact and largely resembled the RB who burned box scores at the end of 2017. In other words, he was everything DJ, who incredibly ranks lower than Mr. 2.15 Yards Per Carry Ballage in elusive rating according to Pro Football Football, was not last week.
Yes, San Francisco has become more inadequate defending the run (5.3 YPC to RBs the last three games), but can you honestly place faith behind Johnson based on recent events? Only the naive would.
Fearless Forecast: 7 carries, 22 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 13 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 4.5 fantasy points
Change of country won’t revive Keenan
Keenan Allen, LAC, WR (97% started; Yahoo DFS: $21)
Matchup: vs. KC (Mexico City)
Vegas Line/Total: KC -4, 52.5
Over the first three weeks of the regular season, Allen’s statistical pace and subsequent height of established expectations rivaled Mexico City’s elevation. On an obscene 42 targets, he reeled in 29 passes for 404 yards and three touchdowns. In the catbird seat among fantasy wide receivers, it seemed a career year was in store. Huevos gigantes.
However, since then, Allen has tumbled down the mountainside. The workload remains vigorous (8.5 targets/gm), but netting 0.19 fantasy points per snap (WR26), he’s posted a WR3-worthy 5.8 receptions and 65.8 yards per game. Most damaging, he failed to score a touchdown and netted just 7.4 yards per target during that span. Huevos pequeños.
Given the astronomical total and fond memories of Rams/Chiefs last year, many believe Allen will recapture his early season dominance. You can pile up the points on KC, but it has contained opposing wide receivers at an above-average clip. Only four WRs have reached the 70-yard mark against them this year. Overall, they’ve yielded 7.2 pass yards per attempt and the eighth-fewest points to the position. Allen’s primary on-field foe, Bashaud Breeland, has given up a 67.6 passer rating and 0.88 yards per snap to his assignments.
Sadly, Allen will generate few pesos south of the border.
Fearless Forecast: 6 receptions, 67 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 9.7 fantasy points
Sans Stafford, Golladay to struggle against Dallas
Kenny Golladay, Det, WR (90% started; Yahoo DFS: $22)
Matchup: vs. Dal
Vegas Line/Total: Dal -3, 51.5
Netflix. Hulu. Amazon Prime. Apple TV. Disney+. In this golden age of television, the array of entertainment streaming options is overwhelming. Try to consume it all while having any semblance of a life outside the confines of your living room requires sleep deprivation, a steady income, and a blubbery existence.
Every week in fantasy, people grappling with difficult wide receiver dilemmas can empathize. Even with four teams on bye, there are numerous players to choose from, ranging from all skillset levels, one-on-one matchups and projected volumes. Sometimes you choose wisely. Other times you subject yourself to four seasons of Fuller House, all 57 painfully cheesy episodes ... err ... start Mike Williams while thinking this is the week he finally finds the end zone.
With Matthew Stafford nursing broken bones in his back, Golladay isn’t worth a one-week free trial. Yes, he scraped together a useful 2-55-1 line last week in Chicago with Jeff Driskel at the helm, but can lightning strike twice? It appears unlikely. The promoted backup did tally the 11th-best adjusted completion percentage of Week 10 but his 5.8 pass yards per attempt and 7.4 aDOT don’t inspire much confidence in future gains. Neither does the opponent. Dallas has allowed 6.7 pass yards per attempt and the second-fewest fantasy points to WRs. Worse, Golladay should line up most often against Byron Jones, who’s conceded a 57.8 catch percentage and 0.82 yards per snap. No thanks.
Fearless Forecast: 3 receptions, 55 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 7.0 fantasy points
BONUS LAMES (Over 50% started)
RB: Mark Ingram, Bal (Bal -4.5; $22) – When J.J. Watt succumbed to a gnarly torn pectoral a couple weeks back, most believed Houston’s front would come unglued. Benardrick McKinney, Zach Cunningham and D.J. Reader, however, had other designs. Each ranks inside the top-15 in run-stop percentage according to Pro Football Focus. All told, Houston ranks inside the top-eight in fewest fantasy points allowed to RBs, coughing up 70.0 rush yards per game, four total TDs and 4.1 yards per carry. Lamar Jackson’s duel-threat abilities have greatly benefited Ingram. The rusher, a red-zone staple, has bulled his way to 3.20 yards after contact per attempt. Still, the matchup and the rusher’s sporadic pass-catching role say to exercise caution. (FF: 14-56-0, 2-14-0, 8.0 fpts)
RB: Ronald Jones, TB (NO -5.5; $14) – Once encased in carbonite, a recently thawed RoJo is starting to deliver on his once immense promise. Over the past two weeks, he’s taken command of the Bucs backfield, totaling 188 yards on 39 touches while scoring two times. However, an embarrassing fumble last week against Arizona may have eroded Bruce Arians’ trust. Benched after the turnover, BA turned back to Peyton Barber to finish off the Cardinals. The sophomore should earn another 15-plus touches against New Orleans, but that’s far from a guarantee. His paper matchup also isn’t the most accommodating. The Saints have allowed 3.8 yards per carry, 98.0 total yards per game, four total TDs and the second-fewest fantasy points to RBs. Lineman David Onyemata trails only Kevin Minter in run-stop percentage. (FF: 13-44-4-24-0, 8.8 fpts)
WR: Allen Robinson, Chi (LAR -6.5; $19) – Poor Robinson. If only he had a competent QB. Heck, if only Chase Daniel were thrust into the lineup. Mitchell Trubisky is a nagging cold that simply won’t disappear. His inability to execute high-school-level throws has sapped all fantasy energy tied to Robinson. Thanks to the receiver’s monumental individual efforts he’s WR28 in per game average, but imagine for a second if he were tied to a semi-competent passer. Blissful, right? This week, slated to square off against Jalen Ramsey, another suboptimal output is very likely. The DB has given up a 116.2 passer rating as a Ram, but it’s tough arguing the wideout is anything more than a WR3 in 12-team leagues. (FF: 5-61-0, 7.6 fpts)
TE: Zach Ertz, Phi (NE -3.5; $20) – He took my rings. He took my Rolex. I looked up at the brother and said, “Damn, what’s next?” For those who sank a Round 3 pick into Ertz, that’s probably how you feel. Warren G would agree. Ertz, who’s currently TE10 in .5 PPR points per game, has robbed his investors blind. Reverting to his 2015-2016 ways, he’s a between-the-20s attraction, minimally targeted near the goal line. Unbelievably, only three of his 46 receptions have come inside the red zone. Dallas Goedert is a deeply embedded thorn who will only cause more pain and discomfort. His Week 11 matchup, too, isn’t exactly congenial. The Pats have coughed up just 2.9 receptions per game, 32.0 yards per game and two TDs to tight ends. Ertz reached new 2019 heights against Chicago before the break (9-103-1), but this week he’ll be a flightless bird. (FF: 4-38-0, 5.8 fpts)
DST: New England Patriots (NE -3.5; $20) – Before the bye, Cleveland and Baltimore pulled back the curtain on New England’s vaudevillian act. Choosing not to attack Stephon Gilmore and Jason McCourty, both teams pounded the rock, generating the necessary push to create wide running lanes. Philadelphia, behind its No. 1 run-blocking line will adhere to a similar strategy, barreling Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders downhill. As long as Carson Wentz, who owns one of the lowest sack percentages in the league (16.5), is well-protected and judicious with the football, New England will enter Phase 2 of its regression. (FF: 20 PA, 339 YDSA, 2 SCKs, 1 TO, 5.0 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 “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: 28-35
Brad’s record: 57-41 (WK10: 6-2; W - Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman, Odell Beckham, Tyler Lockett, Todd Gurley, Chicago DST; L - Melvin Gordon, Le’Veon Bell; DNP: Evan Engram, A.J. Green)
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, along with his work on the “Yahoo Sports Fantasy Podcast” and his award-nominated podcast, “The Fantasy Record.”