Week 13 Fantasy Lames: Big Ben to cool off considerably in Cincy
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 13 Lames in the comments section below.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pit, QB (64 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $40)
Matchup: at Cin
At home, Big Ben is your local high end family-owned Italian joint, a go-to institution. However, on the road, he’s Fazoli’s, an “Italian” fast food chain fully equipped with a drive thru. His splits are obscene and very discouraging when not relishing the creature comforts of Heinz Field. He’s fallen short of the 18.0 Flames/Lames fantasy point threshold in 10 consecutive away games. More worrisome, he struggled to push the ball downfield in his his prior matchup versus Cincinnati, completing 58.3 percent of his attempts for a pedestrian 224 yards and two scores. Jacksonville’s secondary has earned all the hype, deservedly so, but the Bengals are not far behind in stinginess allowing 6.3 yards per attempt, 219.1 pass yards, 1.1 pass touchdowns per game. Aaron Rodgers and, randomly, DeShone Kizer are the only signal-callers to cross the 20-point line against them. Getting down to the brass tacks, corners William Jackson, Pacman Jones, Darqueze Denard and Dre Kirkpatrick have conceded a combined 73.2 passer rating to their assignments. Big Ben has drop kicked DBs in recent outings (10 TDs last three), but this week the clock strikes midnight.
Fearless Forecast: 237 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 1 interception, 16.5 fantasy points
Kareem Hunt, KC, RB (91 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $29)
Matchup: at NYJ
Andy Reid is the fantasy version of The Mind Flayer from “Stranger Things.” He invades gamers’ minds, becomes their host and forces them to play Hunt, knowing full well the coach has zero intention of allowing the rusher touch the rock near the goal line. Yep, he purposely wrecks rosters with the ultimate goal of ruining fantasy lives. All he’s missing are the Bob-eating Demodogs. Hunt loyalists, and Jamaal Charles supporters from yesteryear, are all too familiar with Reid’s devilish sorcery. The youngster, who hasn’t scored in eight consecutive games, has shed his top-10 image. Since Week 8, he’s experienced a sharp reduction in snap share, workload and overall production (58.0 total yards per game, 1 GL attempt). Over that duration, even against multiple favorable opponents (e.g. DAL, NYG, BUF), he ranks RB47 (No, that’s not a typo) in standard fantasy points per game, slotting behind such All-Pros as Devontae Booker, Buck Allen and Theo Riddick. That’s a House of Pain-level career free fall, peeps. Despite the decline, Hunt still consistently ranks in several advanced metrics including elusive rating (RB4) and yards after contact per attempt (3.02, RB10). Again, it’s Reid. His unexplained incompetence knows no bounds. Unthinkable only a month ago, the rookie is now undependable, particularly this week. The Jets, thanks to NFL run-stop pacesetter Steve McLendon, thwart RBs. They’ve yielded 3.71 yards per carry and only five rushing scores to RBs in 11 games. Do the long division and the answer is clear cut.
Fearless Forecast: 15 carries, 48 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 14 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 7.7 fantasy points
Jay Ajayi, Phi, RB (70 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $18)
Matchup: at Sea
From bodily entrance to exit, last Sunday on “Fantasy Football Live” I fell into a burning ring a fire. Losing a Leonard Fournette vs. Ajayi wager (my side) the week prior, I took on the #OneChipChallenge. The Carolina Reaper went down, down, down and the flames, oh yes, they went higher. It burned, burned, burned. That ring of fire. That ridiculous ring of fire. Thanks Doug Pederson … The Eagles head honcho has morphed into everyone’s worst fantasy villain. His running back head games are reminiscent of Mike Shanahan’s or Bill Belichick’s. It’s aggravating. It’s bewildering. And it’s impossible to predict. But that’s the point. Ajayi, once a true workhorse in Miami, is now a Shetland pony with the Eagles. In three weeks donning kelly green, he’s averaged 17.7 snaps, 7.3 touches and 70.3 total yards per game. His resulting 9.6 yards per touch and 3.45 YAC/att suggest he deserves more work, but Pederson doesn’t care about Fantasyland’s pithy requests. LeGarrette Blount, Corey Clement and Kenjon Barner are fixed heads on the Eagles’ rushing hydra. Due to the enormous workload reduction, Ajayi should be avoided this week in Seattle. Bobby Wagner, the leader in run-stop percentage at linebacker, and his Seahawks have surrendered just 2.67 yards per carry and 57.0 rush yards per game to RBs since Week 6. I’m convinced Ajayi would crush with 15 or more touches behind Philly’s immovable offensive line, but Pederson’s RBBC commitment greatly hinders his overall potential.
Fearless Forecast: 9 carries, 31 rushing yards, 1 reception, 6 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 4.2 fantasy points
Golden Tate, Det, WR (81 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $17)
Matchup: at Bal
Similar to his alma mater, Notre Dame, Tate has suffered a tough-to-swallow collapse. Placed in an iron maiden the past two weeks, he’s hauled in an uneventful seven receptions for 39 yards. Though he’s delivered consistent WR2 value in PPR leagues for much of the season, his absent touchdowns over the year’s second half has left a bitter taste for the standard scoring fantasy player. Since Week 8 he’s found the end zone once. Over that span, Marvin Jones has stolen much of the TD thunder. Still, his appreciable targets share (21.2 percent), 75.9 catch rate (WR4) and league-leading 411 yards after catch offer significant weekly upside. His Week 13 matchup, however, greatly lowers the ceiling. Jimmy Smith, winded by Baltimore’s lack of sustainable drives, was manhandled a bit last week by DeAndre Hopkins. But even including that forgettable performance, the corner has yielded only a 44.9 passer rating and 65.4 catch percentage to his assignments. Brandon Carr (71.7 RTG allowed) and LaDarius Webb (68.5) have also proven rather unwelcoming. And Baltimore, as a whole, has given up the second-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers this season. Matthew Stafford has tossed two TDs or more in six of his past seven contests, but against the Ravens’ hardened secondary, he and Tate may find it difficult to cross the chalk.
Fearless Forecast: 6 receptions, 58 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 8.8 fantasy points
Julio Jones, Atl, WR (100 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $33)
Matchup: vs. Min
It could be easily argued I’m Edward Norton’s character from cinematic classic “Fight Club.” My imagination runs so wild I buy my brain’s grand delusions and punish myself with self-inflicted wounds when they don’t materialize. Take my vehement stance on Julio. Last week, on every platform known to existence, I preached caution with the presumed WR1’s rest of season value. Though a top-five effort was predicted against Tampa, concerns about him reversing course completely were raised. Naturally, every pro-Jones antagonist emerged from their troll holes post-TB thrashing (12-253-2) to hurl verbal barbs, missing my original point entirely and clearly absolving the wideout of his previous WR3 standard-league output. Sorry folks, but even after Julio’s disintegration of Tampa, I’m not backing down. He will underwhelm not only in Weeks 14 and 16 vs. New Orleans (Assuming Marshon Lattimore is healthy), but also Week 13 against visiting Minnesota. Xavier Rhodes is a menace. He shadowed Antonio Brown (8-4-54-0 vs. Rhodes), Mike Evans (8-4-36-0), Davante Adams (6-3-21-0) and Marvin Jones (3-1-4-0) earlier this season and kept them in check. Jones returned the favor in the rematch on Thanksgiving, but surrendering just two TDs, a 55.6 catch percentage and 73.0 passer rating to his assignments this year, Rhodes typically constricts his prey. Yes, Julio is a galactic talent and one of the most feared downfield threats in the league. However, it’s silly to forgive him, the rich man’s Amari Cooper, for his prior misgivings because of one dynamite week. This week, the supposed WR1 lock reverts to his predominant 2017 season form.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 73 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 9.8 fantasy points
BONUS WEEK 13 LAMES
#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?
— thomas brancaleone (@lionspaw23) November 29, 2017
Reader Week 13 Results: 4-2 (Season: 38-46)
My Week 13 Results: 9-1 (Season: 83-37) (W: Dak Prescott, Adrian Peterson, Jordan Howard, Michael Thomas, Amari Cooper, Jay Ajayi, Doug Martin, Dez Bryant, Minnesota D/ST L: Zach Ertz)
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 Record.”