Each week the Noise highlights under-started names who he believes are destined to torch the competition. To qualify, each player must be started in fewer than 60 percent of Yahoo leagues. Speaking as an accountability advocate, I will post results, whether genius or moronic, the following week (Scoring thresholds – QB: 18 fpts, RB: 12 fpts, WR: 11 fpts: TE: 10 fpts; .5 PPR). If you’re a member of TEAM HUEVOS, reveal your Week 2 Flames in the comments section below.
More accurate Allen to shrink Giants
Josh Allen, Buf, QB (10 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $27)
Matchup: at NYG
Vegas Line/Total: Buf -2, 43.5
Over the first two quarters of last week’s opener in New York, Allen was Pompeii personified. His disastrous line, exacerbated by a butter-fingered Cole Beasley, was littered with turnovers, four in six possessions. It was an ominous start for the rough-edged passer many were banking on being more polished. Much improved over the second frame, he brought the Bills back, flashing his multifaceted skill set in securing a key divisional victory. In total his 254-1-2-38-1 output finished just outside the position’s top-10.
After Allen fought through the initial fire and ash emitted, a silver lining emerged. He posted the eighth-best adjusted completion percentage (84.0), a positive development. If his accuracy remains on an upward trajectory it would be an encouraging advancement. Allen’s run-first and ignore-the-consequences mentality isn’t going to change, which raises his overall fantasy floor. It won’t be pretty, but steady QB1 tallies are on the docket, including this week against another Big Apple rep, the Giants.
In terms of defensive dreadfulness, New York picked up where it sadly left off in its opener at Dallas. From whistle to whistle, Dak Prescott relentlessly bombarded the Giants secondary with little to no resistance. The passer finished with 405 yards and four TDs on 32 attempts, posting a galactic 12.7 YPA. Janoris Jenkins was the only NYG DB not to cross the 112.0 mark in passer rating allowed. This week, Allen sizzles.
Fearless Forecast: 266 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 40 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 26.6 fantasy points
Reborn RB McCoy to throw shade in Oakland
LeSean McCoy, KC, RB (24% started; Yahoo DFS: $14)
Matchup: at Oak
Vegas Line/Total: KC -9.5, 53.5
Just a few days ago, this bumbling nitwit likened McCoy to a hardened trunk in a petrified forest. His horrid situation-free stats accumulated as a member of the Buffalo Bills pointed to imminent shuffleboard matches and bridge games. But the 31 year old appeared refreshed and rejuvenated in his Chiefs debut. On 20 snaps, he touched the rock 13 times, totaling a ridiculously efficient 93 yards. He also notched 3.50 yards after contact per attempt. His cuts were fluid and decisive. His burst, vintage. Maybe Shady isn’t as ancient as originally perceived. When surrounded by the reigning MVP, Patrick Mahomes, a host of explosive weapons and a solid run-blocking line, any rusher, no matter how wrinkly, can turn back the hands of time.
For McCoy, expect more backstrokes in the Fountain of Youth Week 2. Why? It’s Oakland, a team, post-Antonio Brown, which shocked the world against Denver Week 1. In its opener, the Raiders largely stood their ground against the 1-2 punch of Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman. The duo combined for 127 total yards on 26 touches, averaging 4.7 yards per carry.
McCoy will continue to function in a timeshare alongside Damien Williams and Darwin Thompson, but if granted another 13-15 touches, he should coast to RB2-level numbers versus KC’s AFC West rival. Light fronts will be frequent.
Fearless Forecast: 12 carries, 67 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 14 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 15.6 fantasy points
Miami’s dreadful D an opportunity to FLEX Rex
Rex Burkhead, NE, RB (1% started; Yahoo DFS: $10)
Matchup: at Mia
Vegas Line/Total: NE -17.5, 47.5
When it comes to New England RBs, it’s always a spin on the Wheel of Fortune. Sometimes you land the bedazzled $10,000 opportunity. Other times, you hit bankrupt. Take the Pats opener, for example. James White and Burkhead yielded fruitful results while Sony Michel left his backers frustrated and penniless.
This week, however, everyone should get their slice of the pie — Brandon Bolden possibly included. It’s the Miami Dolphins for the love of the fantasy gods, a franchise that would struggle to defend junior college powerhouse Northeastern Oklahoma A&M (Go Golden Norsemen!). Mark Ingram, barely breaking a sweat in the oppressive south Florida heat and humidity last week, easily chewed up 107 yards on 14 carries, scoring twice.
Burkhead was one of the biggest Week 1 surprises. On 32 snaps, he gripped the pigskin 40.6% of the time, totaling 85 yards on 13 touches while also chipping in 4.75 yards after contact per attempt. Teammate White was equally effective in the pass game, but Michel ran with the purpose of a running back in concrete boots. Belitricks always need to be accounted for, but if rookie Damien Harris is deemed inactive, Burkhead should prove ultra efficient on another dozen or so touches. Consider him at RB2 in 12-team and deeper formats.
Fearless Forecast: 9 carries, 39 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 16 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 13.0 fantasy points
Sure-handed Crowder to haul in another bushel of catches
Jamison Crowder, NYJ, WR (20% started; Yahoo DFS: $17)
Matchup: vs. Cle
Vegas Line/Total: Cle -2.5, 46
For much of the summer, Crowder was marooned on an island. Few fantasy mouthpieces or managers paid attention to local reports which suggested a 100-catch season was on the immediate horizon. Gardner Minshew had better odds of outscoring Baker Mayfield Week 1 …
But it happened, in both instances.
Targeted an obscene 15 times, Crowder relentlessly nickel-and-dimed Bills defenders, finishing with 14 catches for 99 yards. His 2.07 aDOT was Jarvis Landry- and Julian Edelman-approved, but his mammoth target share and resulting production titillated PPR backers who purchased his services in the late rounds. Double-digit catches won’t be routine for the veteran, but turning a tidy profit on his WR4 cost is nearly a guarantee, barring a significant injury. Recall in 2016 and 2017 with Washington when he finished WR30 and WR32, respectively, in PPR scoring. He has the track record and, most importantly, the trust of Sam Darnold. Chris Herndon’s return Week 5, however, could complicate matters.
This week, Crowder square dances with the Cleveland Browns, a squad still wincing from the knee to the crotch issued by Tennessee. In the massacre, Marcus Mariota knifed through the Browns secondary, connecting often with physical rookie A.J. Brown out of the slot. His primary defender, T.J. Carrie, earned a lowly 55.9 pass D grade from Pro Football Focus. Likely to again lure ample looks from Darnold, Crowder is in a favorable position to tee off. Consume a bowl.
Fearless Forecast: 9 receptions, 77 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 18.2 fantasy points
Rookie Metcalf to continue impressive start in Pittsburgh
D.K. Metcalf, Sea, WR (7% started; Yahoo DFS: $13)
Matchup: at Pit
Vegas Line/Total: Pit -3.5, 46.5
Marquise Brown, Miles Boykin, Terry McLaurin, A.J. Brown, Metcalf — for several first-year receivers, it was an unprecedented Week 1. According to Fantasy ADHD, three rookie wideouts cracked the position’s top-10 in air-yards per attempt. For a mostly disrespected class, it was quite the auspicious start.
Metcalf didn’t rewrite the history books, but his opening week greatly exceeded my low expectations, especially given the practice time he missed post a recent knee cleanup procedure. The youngster, talked up incessantly by overzealous cheerleader Pete Carroll, repeatedly flashed against Cincinnati. Targeted six times, he grabbed four passes for 89 yards, notching a 17.7 aDOT. No one has ever questioned Metcalf’s physical abilities and long-range speed, but his breaks, previously nitpicked by yours truly, really stood out. If he can continue on an upward path, he’s the WR2 Russell Wilson sorely needs.
This week, the greenhorn is worth entertaining at WR3 in 12-team leagues. Forget “Steel,” Pittsburgh was the “Soft Curtain” defensively in New England. Skewered by Tom Brady across all points, the Steelers’ vulnerabilities were exposed. Likely matched against fellow rookie Justin Layne with Joe Haden banged up (shoulder), Metcalf is set to build off his breakthrough Week 1 performance.
Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 81 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 16.1 fantasy points
SHOCKER SPECIAL (Under 10% started in Yahoo leagues)
Mecole Hardman, KC, WR (3% started; Yahoo DFS: $10)
Matchup: at Oak
Vegas Line/Total: KC -9.5, 53.5
Out of the woodwork and on the prowl, the injury imp made the rounds, snacking on various player parts in Week 1. Some locales escaped with minor flesh wounds. Jacksonville, however, turned into a bloodbath as Nick Foles (clavicle) and, most damning, Tyreek Hill (shoulder) experienced significant setbacks.
With Hill out multiple games due a grizzly sternum protrusion, DeMarcus Robinson and the rookie will be pressed into high-profile roles. Though the former is an intriguing deep-league add, the latter is the best fit to fill the outside speed void. The dude is blur. If Tyreek is “The Cheetah,” Mecole should be deemed “The Gazelle.” Blessed with 4.33 40-yard wheels and route versatility, he’s a coverage nightmare. Just ask Chiefs DBs. Throughout training camp, Hardman logged repeated explosive plays.
After Hill exited in the first half last week, Hardman only registered one target, but witnessed action on 53-of-59 snaps. For superficial reasons, bashful fantasy gamers won’t be willing to take the risk given the available alternatives on a full slate. But roll the dice and the youngster could do his best DeSean Jackson impersonation. If Oakland DB Gareon Conley sits, backup Trayvon Mullen (132.2 passer rating allowed Week 1) will have his hands full. One downfield strike thrown by Patrick Mahomes could yield a 10-plus point fantasy effort.
Fearless Forecast: 3 receptions, 59 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 13.4 fantasy points
BONUS FLAMES (Under 60% started)
QB: Andy Dalton, Cin (Cin -1, 45; $25) – Straight out of NES throwback “Duck Hunt,” Dalton shot down multiple birds last week in Seattle. Airing it out 51 times he compiled 418 pass yards and two TDs, adding 8.2 yards per attempt. His 86.7 adjusted completion percentage ranked No. 7 among Week 1 passers. The Niners confounded Jameis Winston last week, but, possibly down Joe Mixon, another torrent of Dalton throws could be on tap. Has Zac Taylor fixed him? It’s certainly possible. (FF: 278-2-0-9, 20.0 fpts)
RB: Miles Sanders, Phi (PK, 51; $16) – Fantasy gamers who go beyond the box score know Sanders showcased nicely in Week 1. If not for a holding call, he would’ve had a noteworthy effort. The shake ‘n bake he displayed on an overturned TD run was the stuff of beauty. Netting a 48% snap share, the highest of any Eagles RB, he should improve on his 27-total yard initial effort. His opponent, Atlanta, allowed a whopping 5.3 yards per carry to Minnesota RBs in Week 1. (FF: 11-56-1-2-12-0, 13.8 fpts)
RB: Latavius Murray, NO (LAR -3, 53; $15) – Witnessed Monday night, Murray is the new Mark Ingram, though a watered-down version. In the game of the week, he logged eight touches for 47 yards, displaying excellent vision on a 30-yard sprint to the end-zone. Murray is a telephone pole with feet, an upright runner who rarely makes eyes pop. However, running behind a top-shelf offensive line allows him to quickly gain momentum. Faced with a dauntless matchup against a Rams D which was gashed by Christian McCaffrey in Carolina, the veteran has sound odds of crossing the chalk once again. (FF: 8-42-3-9-1, 12.6 fpts)
WR: Curtis Samuel, Car (Car -6.5, 50; $19) – Crank the T. Swift, Samuel investor. You need to calm down. Yes, his four targets, three receptions for 32 yards, and 8.0 yards per target Week 1 against the Rams left a bitter taste, but Tampa’s repulsive D is the ultimate cure all. His likely dance partner, Carlton Davis, earned one of the lowest coverage grades in Week 1. Cam Newton’s performance against the Rams was certainly forgettable, but even with the short week, the passer and gadget WR connect early and often. (FF: 5-52-1-12, 14.9 fpts)
TE: Darren Waller, Oak (KC -9.5, 53.5; $13) – The least shocking development in Oakland’s surprising Week 1 triumph over Denver was the emergence of Waller. Cashing nearly every yardage prop imaginable in the first quarter, he finished with seven receptions for 70 yards (on eight targets). His commanding 100% snap share and target rate are evidence his initial actions were far from fluky. This week expected to draw slot corner Kendall Fuller, who yielded seven catches and 94 yards (155.2 passer rating allowed) to Jags receivers last Sunday, the 6-foot-6, 255-pound converted wideout will cash handsomely. (FF: 6-67-1, 15.7 fpts)
DST: New York Jets (Cle -2.5, 46; $14) – Browns fans may already be crestfallen, or just fallen, but can their revered offense really wallow in misery for a second-consecutive week? It most certainly can. Against Tennessee, Cleveland’s translucent offensive line had Mayfield running for his life. The rattled passer’s 41.7 sack percentage was second only to Aaron Rodgers. The opportunistic Jets forced four Bills turnovers in Week 1. Crank the heat again and it will find a place inside the top-10. (FF: 20 PA, 345 YDSA, 4 Sacks, 2 TOs, 10.0 fpts)
BONUS: James Washington (Pit -4, 46.5; $11) – Thrifty shoppers could find a steal of a deal in Washington this week. In Pittsburgh’s lopsided loss to New England, the sophomore receiver played on an unexpected 36 snaps, catching two passes for 52 yards. His 45-yard bomb from Ben Roethlisberger was the Steelers’ lone highlight. This Sunday, he could see more action working outside the numbers against Seattle. More Grouping of Gloom than Legion of Doom, Seattle’s once-proud secondary is a shell of what it once was. John Ross absolutely torched Tre Flowers (143.9 passer rating, 3.07 yds/snap allowed) last week and I fully anticipate Washington to dole out a similar treatment. (FF: 3-68-1,14.3 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 “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: 2-5
Brad’s Week 1 results: 6-6 (W: Kyler Murray, Devin Singletary, Michael Gallup, Lamar Jackson, Dede Westbrook, Josh Gordon; L: Matt Breida, Marvin Jones, Duke Johnson, Justin Jackson, Jack Doyle, DAL 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.”