Week 16 Fantasy Busts: Inconsistent Brandin Cooks set to disappoint

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Week 16 Fantasy Lames: Grinch side of Green to make yet another appearance

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 16 Lames in the comments section below.

Drew Brees, NO, QB (87 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $33)
Matchup: vs. Atl

Unthinkable. Unconscionable. Flat out nuts. Not long ago even entertaining the thought of shying away from Brees at home was insane. He’s an inner-circle Hall fo Fame quarterback with a years long history of public humiliations inside the Superdome. His historic averages are obscene – 101.4 passer rating, 7.98 ypa, 291.3 yards per game, 2.3 passing touchdowns per game. But as this year’s Saints have evolved into a ground-stressed team, Brees has actually proven mortal at times within friendly confines. Against Detroit, Chicago and Carolina he failed to surpass 15 fantasy points. Uncharacteristic. This week, the QB and his cohorts welcome a very familiar foe, Atlanta. In the first matchup just two weeks ago, at the swanky Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Brees notched a very employable 271-2-1 line. However, no two contests are rarely the same. As has been the case for the entire regular season’s second half, Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara are sure to be game plan centerpieces. Atlanta has fumbled horribly containing versatile RBs this season giving up a league-high 92 receptions and 55.3 receiving yards per game to the position. It’s certainly possible his production comes via dump-offs, but downfield connections are another story. This season, the Falcons, led by Desmond Trufant (57.4 catch% allowed), have surrendered just 6.8 yards per attempt and 1.2 air touchdowns per game. Brees has barbecued the Dirty Birds in his illustrious career, but this time, he forgets to pack the hot sauce.

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Fearless Forecast: 266 passing yards, 1 passing touchdown, 1 interception, 13.7 fantasy points 

Jamaal Williams, GB, RB (53 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $15)
Matchup: vs. Min

Glancing at Williams’ college film and various scout opinions one persistent thought comes to mind – JAG. No, that doesn’t mean he’s the next Natrone Means or Fred Taylor. It’s an acronym that stands for “Just a Guy.” To be fair, he greatly exceeded all expectations operating as the Packers’ lead back from Weeks 10-14. Over a five-game stretch he totaled the sixth-most valuable output among all RBs averaging 95.8 total yards per game with five touchdowns. But secondary metrics reveal true colors. During that same span he ranked No. 29 in yards after contact per attempt and No. 30 in elusive rating according to Pro Football Focus. That’s on par with Kerwynn Williams, an appropriate talent comp. Truthfully, the BYU product isn’t special. Aaron Jones is Green Bay’s true top RB. Simply, he’s more athletic, more explosive and more elusive, an overall better fit. After Williams lumbered last week (10-30-0), it’s possible Mike McCarthy gives Jones additional work, especially when considering the opponent. Outside of blips against Detroit, Cleveland and Carolina, the Vikings have encased most straight-line runners in ice. On the year, they’ve surrendered the fewest fantasy points to RBs yielding 3.62 yards per carry, 104.4 total yards per game and eight touchdowns. With a potential 50-50 split on the immediate horizon and given the horrendous matchup, Williams is demote worthy, with or without Aaron Rodgers at the controls.

Fearless Forecast: 12 carries, 43 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 14 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 7.2 fantasy points 

Marshawn Lynch, Oak, RB (73 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $14)
Matchup: at Phi

Eggnog isn’t for everyone. Its creamy texture and overt sweetness don’t tickle many taste buds. In order to consume multiple moose mugs of it alcohol is necessary. That, at least, is how we roll at the Evans compound. Lynch, like the classic holiday beverage, isn’t loved by some. His controversial Anthem protests and demonstrative nature turn many people off. For others, however, his unbridled joy, between-the-tackles doggedness and fierce loyalty to Oakland are admired. It’s been a rocky return to old stomping grounds for Beast Mode. He, as usual, has generated appreciable yards charging downhill. HIs 1.89 yards created per touch, which tracks gains made after running around or through the first defender, ranks No. 7 among all RBs. Additionally, he checks inside the top-six in juke rate, total evaded tackles (75) and yards per carry versus stacked fronts (4.4). But his surface production hasn’t quite matched the secondary metrics. Currently RB18 in standard formats, he’s largely been matchup dependent. Unfortunately, this week doesn’t present a favorable opportunity. Fletcher Cox and friends consume RBs with the voracity of Santa at a Mrs. Fields. This year, the Eagles have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points, 3.19 yards per carry, six rushing TDs and, get this, 50.8 rushing yards per game to RBs. Kareem Hunt, Todd Gurley and Alfred Morris are the only plowshares to top 65 ground yards against them. Throw in the strong possibility of an insurmountable early deficit and the odds of Lynch finishing top-30 seems long.

Fearless Forecast: 14 carries, 52 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 13 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 8.0 fantasy points 

A.J. Green, Cin, WR (95 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $27)
Matchup: vs. Det

It never ceases to amaze how many people steadfastly stand by their “studs.” The idea is the siren’s song of fantasy. Start Player X because of previous accomplishments and he’s a near lock for profitable numbers. However, last week, Green donned an embarrassing pink bunny suit. Jailed by Xavier Rhodes, quite possibly the best shadow corner currently in the NFL, he sunk millions of gamers with an impractical 2-30-0 line. In response, “Fudge” wasn’t exactly the word his backers uttered. The former All-Pro only has one direction to go, but another effort outside the WR top-30, which would be his eighth this season, is entirely plausible. Full disclosure, the Lions have surrendered the most receptions to WRs over the last eight weeks. Additionally, on the season, 10 wide receivers have notched 70 yards or more against them. But much of that production was generated by underneath weapons. The reason? Darius Slay. Similar to Rhodes, he’s shadowed some of the game’s elites and turned them into paupers. Odell Beckham (3-30-0), Julio Jones (4-50-0), Michael Thomas (1-4-0) and Antonio Brown (1-9-0) are just a few unfortunate souls who felt the DB’s wrath. Bill Lazor will attempt to move Green about to exploit softer matchups, but considering the broken state of the Bengals as a whole, particularly the offensive line, there’s no guarantee Andy Dalton feeds his top option. Don’t shoot your eye out. Count on JuJu Smith-Schuster (at Hou), Sterling Shepard (at Ari), Robert Woods (at Ten) or Keelan Cole (at SF) instead.

Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 62 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 8.7 fantasy points 

Brandin Cooks, NE, WR (93 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $25)
Matchup: vs. Buf

The lone arrow Cooks fires this week is sure to penetrate the heart of his owners. He’s served up a few holiday treats here and there, but, for the most part, Tom Brady’s primary downfield threat has resembled a pricier Robby Anderson. His WR12 standing in fantasy points per game is a tad deceiving. Because Brady prefers culinary variety, the receiver has disappeared in several instances throughout the season. In six of 14 games he fell outside the WR top-24. With a dependable ground attack, Rob Gronkowski, Chris Hogan (when healthy) and other mouths to feed, Cooks simply isn’t overly reliable. When matched against uncongenial secondaries (e.g. New Orleans, Miami and Los Angeles) his production soured. His first battle with Buffalo, in Week 13, was one such occasion. Targeted a season-low three times, he hauled in a useless two catches for 17 yards. The Bills play loose in the trenches, but when it comes to defending the pass they’re rather stiff. Corners E.J. Gaines and Tre’Davious White have allowed a combined 70.5 passer rating and 54.8 catch percentage to their assignments. If Gaines is unavailable this week (knee), Shareece Wright (84.0 passer rating allowed) should fill in adequately. In total, Buffalo has yielded only four touchdowns and the fourth-fewest fantasy points to WRs since Week 8. Nearly identical to the first matchup, Gronk and the ground game, even down Rex Burkhead, will be emphasized resorting Cooks to a bit player.

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



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 Week 15 Results: 3-4 (Season: 46-59)
My Week 15 Results: 7-3 (Season: 99-51) (W: Jared Goff, Lamar Miller, A.J. Green, Robby Anderson, DeMarco Murray, Samaje Perine, New England D/ST; L: Tyreek Hill, Greg Olsen, Dion Lewis)

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.

Special day and time for Week 16 edition of “Fantasy Football Live”

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