Week 15 Fantasy Lames: Petty, Anderson won’t rekindle 2016 magic
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 15 Lames in the comments section below.
Jared Goff, LAR, QB (58 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $33)
Matchup: at Sea
Before the regular season commenced, my podcast partner Brandon Funston and I playfully nicknamed the Rams quarterback after a mediocre German beer, “Gaffel.” After Jeff Fisher ruined Goff his rookie year, the look, the taste, the smell … it ALL applied. It explained why the industry consensus ranked him outside the position’s top-20. But because of Sean McVay’s genius, the once skunky QB is going down with the hoppy delight of a Heady Topper. His pronounced strides surveying defenses while consistently attacking outside the numbers has led to striking improvements in multiple categories, particularly yards per attempt (’16: 6.1, ’17: 8.1), deep-ball completion percentage (25.0, 37.0) and overall passer rating (63.6, 99.2). Vaulting up the ranks, he’s consistently fallen inside the QB top-12 on a week-in, week-out basis. However, this time around I believe he doesn’t deliver starter-level production. Yes, even against a Seattle secondary down Richard Sherman. Without the decorated corner’s services, the Seahawks’ pass D hasn’t come unglued. It has relinquished 275.3 pass yards per game, but Blake Bortles is the only passer to reach 18.0 fantasy points against it during that timeframe. Emerging star Shaq Griffin (51.9 passer rating allowed since Week 10) and Seattle’s hard-hitting safeties have picked up the slack. In hostile territory, expect Goff to tally a similar line as he did in the first meeting (268-0-2-22).
Fearless Forecast: 273 passing yards, 1 passing touchdown, 3 turnovers, 10 rushing yards, 12.9 fantasy points
Samaje Perine, Was, RB (60 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $17)
Matchup: vs. Ari
Perine, who came on like gangbusters post Rob Kelley and Chris Thompson shelvings, has cooled significantly. Scalding against New Orleans (126-1) and New York (130-0), he fell into a deep freeze in followups vs. advantageous opponents Dallas (69-0) and the L.A. Chargers (52-0). Victimized by poor blocking, game flow and his own sudden lack of YAC (2.24 YAC/att last two games) it seems his breakthrough efforts from just a couple of weeks ago were fleeting. In Week 15, don’t expect the rookie to quickly regain his previous form. It’s been an arduous journey to irrelevancy for the Arizona Cardinals. Catastrophic injuries, particularly to Carson Palmer and David Johnson, sapped any postseason possibilities. Problems at DB outside Patrick Peterson only piled on. Still, their lone silver lining is their rather inflexible defensive line. On the year, Karlos Dansby and friends have given up the seventh-fewest fantasy points, 3.43 yards per carry, 75.7 rush yards per game and seven rushing touchdowns (in 13 games) to running backs. Combine that with Washington’s patchwork offensive line and Perine’s ceiling is very limited. Kirk Cousins should be able to move the ball vertically with success, but bank on the RB adding to his string of sub 80-yard efforts.
Fearless Forecast: 16 carries, 58 rushing yard, 3 receptions, 21 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 9.4 fantasy points
DeMarco Murray, Ten, RB (63 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $18)
Matchup: at SF
Every Saturday night clubs thump the latest, hottest tracks for partygoers aching to escape reality. Drinks flow. Inhibitions disappear. Inevitably, fleeting romances bloom. Hey, many people, no matter how flawed, look good under colored lights. Murray and Henry are fantasy’s version of those willing dance partners. Most would automatically assume they’re worth entertaining due to the opponent, San Francisco, but looks they are often deceiving. Cast a bright light on the situation and an aghast reaction is sure to happen. Yes, the Niners rank No. 8 in most fantasy points surrendered to RBs on the season, but they’ve greatly improved in the category down the homestretch. In fact, since Week 9 no franchise has yielded fewer fantasy points to rushers. Over that span, the Niners have coughed up just 3.74 yards per carry, 120.2 total yards per game and zero touchdowns, containing the likes of Lamar Miller and Jordan Howard. What explains the turnaround? Reuben Foster. Per Pro Football Focus, the rookie from ‘Bama has posted the second-best run-stop percentage among linebackers in the past six weeks. Throw in the fact Murray is essentially locked into a 50/50 timeshare with Derrick Henry and has compiled an appalling 2.88 yards per carry over the past five weeks, and he’s easily avoidable. Henry, too, shouldn’t be counted on. The Niners’ run D is officially legit.
Fearless Forecast: 12 carries, 41 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 17 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns,
Tyreek Hill, KC, WR (94 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $29)
Matchup: vs. LAC
If a strawberry-flavored gumdrop sprouted feet and owned the athleticism to rip off a 4.34 40-yard dash, it would be Hill. The short, stocky and blazing fast receiver has packed plenty of fantasy sweetness this season. Though a bit inconsistent for some likings – he’s finished short of the 10 fantasy-point line in standard leagues eight times – “The Freak” checks in at No. 6 in total points scored at wide receiver. When the play calling has been aggressive, allowing Alex Smith to tap into his attacking alter ego, Hill has knifed through the opposition. No defensive scheme, even Cover 2s, can contain the guy. His speed and evasiveness are nearly unmatched. Casey Hayward, though, may be the exception. Arguably the tough cover man currently in the league, he’s transformed several fantasy princes into paupers. His list of the vanquished reads like a Pro Bowl roster – Demaryius Thomas, Brandin Cooks, Dez Bryant, Amari Cooper (Ok, maybe more of a human gutter ball) and Alshon Jeffery. Targeted 65 times, he’s given up a mere 28 receptions (43.1 catch%) and posted a 51.3 passer rating, the fifth-lowest among qualifying defensive backs. Hill scurried his way to a 5-77-1 line in the first matchup back in Week 3. However, the Chargers, riding the crest of a late-season tidal wave, have allowed ONE touchdown to a wide receiver since Week 7. Calculate the variables and the solution for Hill isn’t a positive one.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 56 receiving yards, 7 rushing yards, 0 touchdowns, 8.8 fantasy points
Robby Anderson, NYJ, WR (76 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $27)
Matchup: at NO
This time last year, Anderson poured fantasy risk takers an oversized cup of cheer. Against an overly generous Miami secondary, he left defenders in the dust catching a long bomb from then starter Bryce Petty. His final 4-80-1 line proved to be a large enough jackpot to score owners playoff riches. Coincidentally enough, he’s placed in a familiar position. Josh McCown, out for the season with a broken left hand, thrusts Petty back under center. The QB’s established chemistry with Anderson offers promise, but the result this time around will be very, very different. Yes, the receiver has developed into a well-versed commodity, shedding his streak-only image. One of the more profitable wideouts in fantasy this season, he ranks WR10 in points scored. Netting 23.1 percent of the targets share, he’s repeatedly torched defenses downfield (2.26 yards per pass route (WR10)) and emerged as a reliable red-zone asset. But despite his advancements and rapport with Petty, he’s tough to trust in Week 15. Marshon Lattimore lurks. The talented rookie, who typically shadows assignments, has given up the third-lowest passer rating (47.3) among all DBs along with a 53.4 catch percentage and 12.4 yards per catch. Altogether the Saints have allowed 7.1 yards per attempt and the seventh-fewest fantasy points to WRs over their last eight contests. Anderson has fallen short of the 75-yard mark only three times since Week 6, but a second-consecutive dud is entirely possible.
Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 57 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 7.7 fantasy points
BONUS WEEK 15 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?
Brady, kamara, Morris, Fitzgerald, Hilton, Doyle, Seahawks
— lazersho (@lazersho) December 12, 2017
Reader Week 14 Results: 2-5 (Season: 43-55)
My Week 14 Results: 3-7 (Season: 92-48) (W: Mike Evans, Christian McCaffery, Kirk Cousins; L: Russell Wilson, Jordan Howard, Julio Jones, Leonard Fournette, Devin Funchess, Kyle Rudolph, Denver 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 75 million households on Fox Sports Regional networks and his new podcast, “The Fantasy Record.”