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 13 Lames in the comments section below.
Watson to receive boot against nasty New England
Deshaun Watson, Hou, QB (84 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $32)
Matchup: vs. NE
Vegas Line/Total: NE -3, 44
Whether blessed with a driving rainstorm or a series of unskilled quarterbacks, New England tends to receive all the breaks. It’s for that reason why many, this verbose idiot included, have questioned the defense’s virility. The numbers, of course, paint a near historic picture. This season, the Pats have yielded 5.4 pass yards per attempt, 181.1 pass yards per game, a mind-blowing 4:20 TD:INT split and the fewest fantasy points to passers. Lamar Jackson, thanks to his superhuman traits, is the only signal-caller to exceed 13 fantasy points against them. Suffice it to say, Stephon Gilmore, Jason McCourty and the rest of New England’s secondary have suffocated the opposition. The Hoodie is a mastermind.
Watson is similar in style and substance as Jackson, but his leaky offensive line is a critical difference-maker. Kept clean on just 62.1% of his dropbacks (QB32), he’s often scrambled for his life in a frantic attempt to alleviate the heat. His improvisational talents have at times yielded brilliant results (e.g. the one-eyed TD pass), but against a Patriots front sure to throw everything and the turkey carcass at the QB, he’s bound to make a mental mistake or three.
Can you honestly sit Watson in favor of a Ryan Tannehill (at Ind), Nick Foles (vs. TB) or Kirk Cousins (at Sea) with playoff hopes on the line? If you’re a sensible fantasy manager you most certainly can. Maximize the matchup elsewhere. Avoid the immense risk. Watson lands shy of 15 fantasy points for the fourth time this season.
Fearless Forecast: 211 passing yards, 1 passing touchdown, 2 turnovers, 37 rushing yards, 14.1 fantasy points
Fumble-prone Carson eroding backer trust
Chris Carson, Sea, RB (85% started; Yahoo DFS: $25)
Matchup: vs. Min
Vegas Line/Total: Sea -3, 49
Every Thanksgiving it inevitably happens. Your family gathers around the table for cups of cheer, a roast beast, and important reconnections. Then, right on cue mid-meal, an animal scurry erupts underneath everyone’s feet. Someone either purposely dropped a meat chunk or accidentally slid one off the plate, creating a pet-feeding frenzy. What a debacle.
If you’re looking to avoid such disruptions, don’t invite Carson to your annual feast. The man, as of late, is putting everything on the ground.
The rusher’s early season fumbilitis has resurfaced. Last week in Philadelphia he was responsible for a pair of mishandles, mistakes which promptly placed him on the sideline. As a result, former first-round pick Rashaad Penny, who played on over 70% of Seattle’s 4th-quarter snaps, ran wild on an Eagles front few have penetrated. In the end, Carson played on just 53.8% of the team snaps, recording a snore-inducing 57 yards on 12 touches. Puppy dogs and ice cream Pete Carroll, naturally, tossed support behind Carson on Monday but did hint at a tighter touch disparity moving forward. It’s possible the 20-25 carries the incumbent routinely logged are a relic of the past.
This week’s matchup against Minnesota only complicates matters. On the year, the Vikings have given up 4.1 yards per carry, 114.8 total yards per game, six combined TDs and the seventh-fewest fantasy points to RBs. There’s a chance man-eater Linval Joseph will return to action, but even if he doesn’t, the Vikes should serve Carson a heaping dose of stuffing.
Fearless Forecast: 14 carries, 42 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 11 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 6.3 fantasy points
Coleman to leave gamers empty-handed in Baltimore
Tevin Coleman, SF, RB (80% started; Yahoo DFS: $22)
Matchup: at Bal
Vegas Line/Total: Bal -4.5, 46
When Coleman crossed the chalk four times in a 51-13 rout of Carolina in Week 9, his investors thought they were holding a fistful of Amazon stock. He was the primary red-zone rusher on a top-shelf defensive team running behind a top-10 run-blocking line. It was a setup expected to boost the kids’ college funds week after week.
Averaging only 54.8 total yards per game and scoring once since, he’s the reason why my offspring will continue their local community college fast track.
The Niners have undergone an offensive makeover. As defensive coordinators have instituted tweaks, Kyle Shanahan has started to rely more on Jimmy Garoppolo’s arm. It doesn’t mean San Francisco will completely abandon its run-centric personality from earlier this season, but a balanced approach is here to stay. As a result, Coleman, netting a mediocre 2.74 yards after contact per attempt and a 12.6 missed tackle percentage, really isn’t all that reliable.
This week, San Francisco makes the cross-continent trip to face a Ravens team breathing fire. All-universe Lamar Jackson deservedly commands the headlines, but Baltimore’s defense shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s ascending and is the club’s key to whether or not it punches a ticket to Miami. Over the past five weeks, its yielded 4.3 yards per carry, 110.0 total yards per game, two combined TDs and the sixth-fewest fantasy points to RBs. On the year, it also checks in at No. 6 in fewest adjusted line yards surrendered.
In what could be the game of the year, Coleman crumbles.
Fearless Forecast: 12 carries, 33 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 16 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 5.9 fantasy points
Unhealthy Cooper unreliable on Turkey Day
Amari Cooper, Dal, WR (90% started; Yahoo DFS: $30)
Matchup: vs. Buf
Vegas Line/Total: Dal -7, 45
In the rain-soaked slop-fest only an amphibian could love last week, Cooper displayed the rigidity of a Saltine cracker. The conditions were harsh, but his near-heroic catch to extend Dallas’ chances of a comeback perfectly summarized his afternoon. Franchising a Dunkin’ Donuts in Foxborough, he failed to register a catch on two targets. The conditions shouldered much of the blame, but New England’s unforgiving secondary and a tender knee also played significant factors.
Last week’s zero proved once again Cooper is far from matchup proof. Yes, he’s the sixth-most valuable wide receiver currently in the virtual game, but he’s tucked under 10 fantasy points in four contests. The moronic “Always start your studs!” label need not apply.
On Thanksgiving day, expect Cooper to play with the zeal of a deflated parade balloon. Slated to face off against another elite corner, Tre’Davious White (51.1 passer rating, 55.3 catch%, 1.07 yards per snap allowed), the physically challenged receiver isn’t an auto-start. This season, the Bills have surrendered a 6.8 average depth of target (third-lowest), the fourth-fewest fantasy points and four touchdowns to WRs. In fact, just six receivers crossed the 10-fantasy points threshold in 11 games against them. Stifling.
If you want to stiff-arm indigestion, avoid that third helping of stuffing, and Cooper.
Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 39 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 5.9 fantasy points
Beckham to revert to WR3-only output
Odell Beckham, Cle, WR (94% started; Yahoo DFS: $26)
Matchup: at Pit
Vegas Line/Total: Cle -1.5, 40
When fantasy drafters gleefully selected OBJ in Round 2 of August exercises they probably felt jubilation matching Post Malone-getting-hype-to-Shania-Twain at the AMAs. Since then, however, we’ve been held hostage in a never-ending piano recital. Last week, OBJ tickled the ivories with peak Liberace flair. Gaining separation with ease, he and Baker Mayfield connected six times for 84 yards and a score. It marked only the third time this season the receiver tallied 11 or more fantasy points in a game. But Miami cures all fantasy ills.
Expect Beckham’s escape from fantasy purgatory to be brief. He was centimeters away from reaching the chalk in Cleveland’s first fisticuffs with Pittsburgh, a contest forever marred, and possibly fan mocked, by Myles Garrett and Mason Rudolph’s warm exchange. Unfortunately, though, he finished with four catches for 60 yards on 10 targets. No two games are ever the same, but a repeat performance is certainly in the cards.
The acquisition of Minkah Fitzpatrick has been a game-changer for Pittsburgh. Since his arrival in late October, perimeter targets have underachieved. On the year, the Steelers have allowed the 10th-fewest total air yards and 7.0 pass yards per attempt. Likely to again draw a ton of Steven Nelson in coverage (79.9 passer rating, 53.3 catch%, 0.82 yds/snap allowed), Beckham falls short of 70 yards for the seventh time in his miserable 2019 season.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 66 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 9.1 fantasy points
BONUS LAMES (Over 50% started)
RB: Leonard Fournette, Jax (Jax -1; $21) – For many families, Thanksgiving represents hell in the flesh. Chilly relatives whom you rarely see or truly care about attempt to engage in meaningless conversation. It’s awkward, annoying and definitely unwanted. For those vying to break into the fantasy playoffs, Fournette’s Week 13 matchup against Tampa conjures similar feelings. The Buccaneers feature one of the league’s most fearsome fronts. Led by William Gholston and Carl Nassib, who each rank handsomely in run-stop percentage according to Pro Football Focus, they’ve surrendered the second-fewest adjusted line yards and second-highest run-stuff percentage. Tampa has also allowed a mere 93.5 total yards per game and four total scores to RBs. Fournette is a Clydesdale who boosts the bottom line with plentiful receptions, but this week he’s more middling RB2 than sure-fire RB1. (FF: 20-66-0, 5-28-0, 11.9 fpts)
RB: Joe Mixon, Cin (NYJ -3.5; $17) – Though credit to this ingenious fan who smuggled in a full-sized one, but pumpkin pie is nasty. Go right ahead and smother it in whipped cream, it still can’t mask the filling’s overall bland taste and questionable texture. When it comes to fantasy RBs, the Jets are equally unpalatable. No defense ranks higher in fewest adjusted line yards allowed or recorded a higher run-stuff percentage. Getting down to the specifics, they’ve surrendered 3.0 yards per carry, 64.6 rush yards per game and the ninth-fewest fantasy points to the position. Mixon, benefiting from high volume, has regained face over the past five weeks. Netting 21.7 touches per game, he’s churned out the 14th-most valuable fantasy line. However, still inefficient (2.55 YAC/att, 18.0 missed tackle%) and hampered by Cincinnati’s ragtag offensive line (No. 31 in run-blocking efficiency), he likely delivers a clawless performance. And, no, Andy Dalton’s return isn’t much of an upgrade. (FF: 16-58-0, 3-15-0, 8.8 fpts)
WR: John Brown, Buf (Dal -7; $21) – Deep-fry your turkey indoors and chances are your house will go up in flames. Start Brown in a shallow league against Byron Jones and the Cowboys and odds are strong your playoff hopes will suffer a similar fate. Smokey, No. 12 among WRs in total fantasy output while tallying a 5.3-77.8-0.5 average line, has sizzled this season. Though he benefited greatly from a soft midseason schedule, he’s performed notably against tough competition (See: Denver WK12). More than just a streak receiver, he’s developed into a polished, all-around talent. Still, Dallas presents a tall task. Jones has conceded a 55.0 catch percentage and 0.74 yards per snap to his assignments. As a unit, the Cowboys rank No. 5 in fewest fantasy points allowed to the position. Don’t burn down the house. (FF: 5-64-0, 8.9 fpts)
TE: Mark Andrews, Bal (Bal -6; $22) – It’s uncommon for the “expert” community to nail a draft day “sleeper” pick, but Andrews, a fixture on undervalued lists, is one example. He’s delivered on all fronts and then some. Emerging as one of the game’s premier field stretchers, he’s No. 2 at the position in yards per route (3.59), No. 5 in yards per reception (12.9) and No. 1 in total targets beyond 20 yards (13). Trailing only Travis Kelce in total fantasy points, he’s turned a massive profit. This week, however, could be one of Andrews’ quietest performances. No defense has yielded fewer fantasy points to TEs than San Francisco. On the year, it has given up 3.4 receptions per game, 22.4 yards per game and two touchdowns to the position. It shouldn’t shock anyone if Ryan Griffin (at Cin) or Dallas Goedert (at Mia) outpace him in Week 13. (FF: 4-37-0, 5.7 fpts)
DST: San Francisco 49ers (Bal -6; $17) – Please, football gods, guide Lamar and the Ravens to the Super Bowl. For those of us who live outside the Northeast, his presence would not only provide fresh blood, but it would raise the entertainment factor tenfold. The fantasy deity’s dynamic duality is nearly impossible to contain. The Rams were victimized last week. This Sunday, another California team will suffer a similar fate. Only twice this season, Weeks 4 and 5 versus Cleveland and Pittsburgh, has a defense eclipsed 10 fantasy points versus Baltimore. As assertive as the Niners are, they won’t be the third. (FF: 30 PA, 398 YDSA, 3 SCK, 0 TO, 2.0 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: 36-41
Brad’s record: 70-48 (WK11: 7-3; W - Dak Prescott, Joe Mixon, Le’Veon Bell, Cooper Kupp, Chris Carson, Todd Gurley, Greg Olsen; L - Davante Adams, John Brown, San Francisco 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, along with his work on the “Yahoo Sports Fantasy Podcast” and his award-nominated podcast, “The Fantasy Record.”