Week 12 Fantasy Football Busts: Spoonfuls of stuffing on menu for Coleman, Peterson

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

Aaron Rodgers, GB, QB (81 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $34)

Matchup: at Min
Vegas line/total: Min -3.5, 47.5

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Relationships are complicated. Some coaches and quarterbacks establish unbreakable bonds that last for years. Sean Payton and Drew Brees are a prime example. However, others crumble. Right now, the temperature between Rodgers and Mike McCarthy has reached a melting point. Contentious and seemingly irreparable, the pair are barreling toward an ugly divorce. McCarthy’s questionable play calling combined with Rodgers’ outward malcontent for it has the Packers in an uncomfortable position. Not only is Green Bay on the outside looking in for the playoffs, the negativity has impacted the box score.

Since Week 8, the revered passer has waded in mediocrity. During that span, he’s averaged 269 passing yards per game and totaled seven touchdowns. His resulting per game output ranks QB15 over that stretch. Mitchell Trubisky, Baker Mayfield and Ryan Fitzpatrick — despite his interception woes — have outpaced him. This week, the future HOFer draws rival Minnesota, a team he tallied his second-worst fantasy performance of the season against (281-1-0 in Week 2).

Clamping down over their past five games, the Vikes have given up a lowly 5.9 pass yards per attempt, 194.8 pass yards per game and a 3:7 TD:INT split. Trae Waynes, in particular, has really elevated his game, allowing a 59.3 passer rating and 0.70 yards per snap since Week 6. Rodgers usually owns primetime. This week, though, the bright light will shine on the home team.

Fearless Forecast: 257 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 0 turnovers, 9 rushing yards, 19.2 fantasy points

Adrian Peterson, Was, RB (67 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $24)

Matchup: at Dal
Vegas line/total: Dal -7.5, 40.5

When the camera cut to an agonizing Alex Smith lying on the turf, an immediate eye-shielding reaction took hold. His shattered leg, broken in two places, was a reminder of how gruesome and barbarous football can be. It was a moment not for the faint of heart. In an instant, a career path changed. In an instant, an entire team reeled. The unfortunate incident thrusts Colt McCoy into the spotlight, a journeyman backup who’s posted 6.6 pass yards per attempt and a 79.1 passer rating in 37 games (25 as a starter). Smith wasn’t lighting the world on fire, but his managerial style, ball protection and judicious decision making was instrumental in assisting the outlook of Adrian Peterson.

The rusher witnessed a stacked front only 16.9 percent of the time. Now expected to encounter more overloaded boxes, he’s no longer a slam dunk must start. This is taking into account his encouraging numbers in YAC per attempt (2.84) and given his certified workhorse role (18.5 touches/game). Washington’s emaciated offensive line only complicates matters. On Turkey Day, Peterson is a tough-to-stomach option given the circumstances. Dallas, surely chomping at the bit in light of recent events, is a difficult opponent in optimal conditions.

On the season, the Cowboys have allowed the ninth-fewest fantasy points, 72.7 rush yards per game, 3.65 yards per carry and four rushing TDs to RBs. DeMarcus Lawrence and Leighton Vander Esch both rank inside the top-10 in run-stop percentage according to Pro Football Focus. Another 100 yard effort seems unlikely against Big D.

Fearless Forecast: 17 carries, 66 rushing yards, 1 reception, 7 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 7.8 fantasy points

Tevin Coleman, Atl, RB (75 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $18)

Matchup: at NO
Vegas line/total: NO -13, 60

Last week, while aimlessly wandering the French Quarter after about a half dozen Sazeracs, I stumbled into Pirate Alley, a narrow corridor across from Jackson Square. It was there, legend says, famed pirate Jean Lafitte and his fellow Baratarians met and exchanged stolen goods during the early 19th century. Nearby on Thanksgiving night, New Orleans’ modern day plunderers, the Saints, will purloin Coleman’s fantasy value.

Running against the Black and Gold this season has been an arduous process. On the year, they’ve surrendered 96.6 total yards per game, 3.45 yards per carry, eight total touchdowns and the sixth-fewest fantasy points to the RB position. Fantasy standouts Todd Gurley, Joe Mixon and Saquon Barkley each finished under 70 ground yards against them. Coleman did tally double-digit fantasy points Week 2 against the division rival, but he only amassed 47 total yards.

Tevin Coleman barely topped 10 fantasy points in the first matchup against the Saints. It’s doubtful he repeats that level of success Week 12. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Tevin Coleman barely topped 10 fantasy points in the first matchup against the Saints. It’s doubtful he repeats that level of success Week 12. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Given the difficult matchup, presumed negative game script and Ito Smith’s red-zone presence, he’s an avoidable commodity. It’s also worth noting, he ranks RB45 in elusive rating per Pro Football Focus, totaling a rather vanilla 2.62 yards after contact per attempt. Find a crutch to lean on.

Fearless Forecast: 10 carries, 38 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 16 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 6.9 fantasy points

Corey Davis, Ten, WR (60 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $19)

Matchup: at Hou
Vegas line/total: N/A

Listening to Jason Witten spout unintelligent “witticisms” on loop. That’s the equivalent pain Davis backers endure when Marcus Mariota isn’t 100 percent. The Titans QB reportedly suffered a stinger in his tender throwing elbow — a positive outcome, but his prior lack of productivity with a similar setback sound alarms. Most of Davis’ early season struggles were largely due to Mariota’s physical limitations. Though he’s enticed 29.3 percent of the Titans target share, the receiver has consistently wallowed in mediocrity. Eight times this season, he fell short of 65 yards in a game. Many in the fantasy community, me included, still anxiously await a breakout string. It won’t begin this week.

Aside from Mariota’s complications, Tennessee’s matchup is rather unappealing. Houston’s Kareem Jackson bottled up Davis in the first battle, holding him to 55 yards on five receptions. On the year, the DB has conceded a 58.9 catch percentage, 64.3 passer rating, 0.91 yards per snap and zero touchdowns to his assignments. As a whole, the Texans have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to WRs. Total it up and employing someone else is recommended. Sterling Shepard (at Phi), Tyler Lockett (at Car) or Tre’Quan Smith (vs. Atl) are suggested alternatives.

Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 48 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 7.3 fantasy points

T.Y. Hilton, Ind, WR (89 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $22)

Matchup: vs. Mia
Vegas line/total: Ind -10, 51

One of my favorite fantasy adages to live by is “No two weeks are ever the same.” Ok, that may not apply to Patrick Mahomes, but for the remaining 99.9999 percent of the league it most certainly does. Last week, Hilton, predictably against Adoree’ Jackson and Malcolm Butler, went bananas. Finishing off his routes with the energy of 10 grandmothers at a Hobby Lobby Black Friday sale, he grabbed all nine of his intended targets, totaling 155 yards and a touchdown. His resulting 36.5 PPR points obliterated his previous single game season-high and elevated his overall per game average into the WR1 class in 12-team leagues (WR12). For the wildly inconsistent receiver, however, a strong dose of reality is about to be served.

Miami is positively dreadful defending the run, but it’s polar opposite versus the pass. On the year, the Dolphins have yielded the 10th-fewest fantasy points to WRs. Just six receivers recorded 65 yards against them. Slated to square dance with Xavien Howard (55.6 catch%, 88.7 passer rating, 1.18 yards/snap allowed) most often in coverage, Hilton finishes outside the WR top-24.

Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 67 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 8.7 fantasy points

BONUS WEEK 12 LAMES (Over 50 percent started)

RB: Alex Collins, Bal ($21; vs. Oak) – What you’re thinking is completely responsible and acceptable: “It’s Oakland — it’s imperative I find a way to play Collins.” The Raiders, after all, have coughed up 4.89 yards per carry and the eight-most fantasy points to the RB position. And, to his credit. Collins has scored in three consecutive games. But his dwindling role in the offense and Gus Edwards’ ascension say pump the brakes. His TD streak may extend to four, but his shrunken usage cast him as a rich man’s LeGarrette Blount. There are far better people to insert into your starting lineup, including Edwards. (FF: 9 atts, 37 yds, 1 rec, 6 yds, 0 tds, 4.8 fpts)

RB: Phillip Lindsay, Den ($22; vs. Pit) – Though the Denver offensive line is littered with replacements, it continues to open holes for Lindsay. It ranks top-three in run-blocking efficiency per PFF. Despite the rusher’s unexciting secondary metrics (RB30 in elusive rating, 2.60 YAC/att), the line’s effectiveness combined with the favorable fronts seen by the rookie (16.5 stack%) are why he’s perched inside the RB top-15. With Royce Freeman healthy and given the unrelenting opponent, Lindsay may take a step back from his banner Week 11. The Steelers have allowed the eight-fewest fantasy points, 3.75 yards per carry and 75.7 rush yards per game to rushers. (FF: 12 atts, 49 yds, 3 recs, 19 yds, 0 tds, 8.3 fpts)

WR: Alshon Jeffery, Phi ($22; vs. NYG) – The Eagles are fit for a 10-piece bucket. Mounting injuries in the secondary combined with a stagnant offense have the World Champs on the ropes. Even Rocky is ready to throw in the towel. Alshon flattened the Giants in Week 6, posting an 8-89-2 line; his finest fantasy performance of the season. However, he’s failed to surpass 50 yards in three consecutive weeks and with the Giants suddenly surging, he isn’t a sure-fire WR2 or WR3. The G-Men have given up the 12th-fewest fantasy points to WRs this year. Don’t bank on a Jeffery repeat. (FF: 5 recs, 55 yds, 0 tds, 8.0 fpts)

TE: Eric Ebron, Ind ($20; vs. Mia) – The Colts TE is regressing toward the mean, and harshly. With Jack Doyle back in the fold, he hasn’t played on 50 percent of team snaps since Week 7. In fact, over the past three weeks he’s lured just six total targets. The ‘Fins have yielded 4.5 receptions per game, 51.9 receiving yards per game and five total touchdowns to the position, but his minimized role is a significant deciding factor. Can he maximize limited opportunities? Odds and common logic say what’s recently transpired is the new norm. (FF: 3 recs, 34 yds, 0 tds, 4.9 fpts)

DST: Pittsburgh Steelers ($19; at Den) – The Denver Broncos have served up multiple turnovers in a game just twice this season. Equally convincing, they’ve surrendered two sacks over the past two weeks. The Steelers, thanks to T.J. Watt and Cameron Heyward, are the pacesetters in QB takedowns with 37. However, the Steel Curtain has forced few turnovers (12). Throw in the Broncos’ confidence level after a shocking win in L.A. last week and Pittsburgh won’t leave owners in the black. (FF: 23 PA, 368 YDSA, 2 SCK, 1 TO, 5.0 fpts)

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?

Reader record: 31-42

Brad record: 65-39 (WK11 4-6; W – Emmanuel Sanders, Dalvin Cook, Jordan Howard, Carolina D/ST; L – Aaron Rodgers, Joe Mixon, Mark Ingram, Mike Evans, Adrian Peterson, Jared Cook)

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.”

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