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Week 5 Fantasy Busts: Cam Newton to cool off in the Motor City

Brad Evans
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Week 5 Fantasy Lames: Cam, DeMarco, Keenan projected letdowns

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 5 Lames in the comments section below.

*Editor’s Note: This week, Brad paid tribute to the great Tom Petty by working in as many references to the rock icon’s classic cuts from The Heartbreakers to Mudcrutch to the Traveling Wilburys. RIP, Tom.

[Enter the $100K Baller football contest. $10 to enter and $10K to 1st place]

Cam Newton, Car, QB (50 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $27)
Matchup: at Det

Raked over the coals. Filtered through the ringer. Ceaselessly trolled. Those who recommended dropping Newton in shallow leagues prior to Week 4, me included, instantly became punching bags for hindsight jab throwers. Their disdain was justified. Clearly the “expert” community’s prior doubts was the necessary bulletin board material the former MVP sorely needed. All he did was trot onto the field and torch the Patsies for 360,000 combined yards and a 100 touchdowns (rough estimate). His resulting 30-plus point performance was his finest scoring output since Week 15 of 2015. For a week it was the Wham! Bam! Thank You! Cam! of yesteryear. He delivered passes accurately and on time and sprinted out of the pocket when an opportunity arose. Though he has some incredibly delectable matchups upcoming and should remain a QB1 in 12-team leagues rest of season, the fire stoked from last week could be temporarily extinguished this Sunday. Thanks to Darius Slay’s lock down play (39.4 passer rating, 9.4 yards per catch allowed), Detroit has surrendered a mere 7.0 yards per attempt and 71.6 passer rating to his assignments. Quandre Diggs is a forgiving DB (124.4 passer rating, 13.1) who Devin Funchess could successfully exploit, but a Cam cooling is certainly within reason, especially if his prolonged ball-holding and sack issues from Weeks 1-3 resurface. Be careful runnin’ down last week’s dream.

Fearless Forecast: 214 passing yards, 1 passing touchdown, 1 interception, 37 rushing yards, 15.3 fantasy points

DeMarco Murray, Ten, RB (81 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $19)
Matchup: at Mia

In any NFL backfield, it’s good to be king, if just for a while. Murray definitely sat comfortably on the throne last season tallying a top-10 line in a bounce back campaign for the ages, but his current monarchical grip is tenuous, to say the least. Derrick Henry, who’s notched 42.6 percent of the opportunity share, is limiting DeMarco’s power. The understudy has been more efficient in almost every metric imaginable. If not for Murray’s 75-yard TD scoot Week 3, his crown would’ve already transferred. At the present moment, he appallingly ranks No. 68 in juke rate, No. 80 in yards created per touch, No. 51 in fantasy points per snap and No. 2 in drop percentage among RBs. And that was “achieved” behind the second-most efficient run-blocking unit in the league. Yer so bad. Another mundane output is likely on tap this week in Miami. Ndamukong Suh, per usual, is plugging holes with measurable ferocity, but Lawrence Timmons, Vincent Taylor and William Hayes have also excelled in their gap assignments. Collectively, the Dolphins have allowed just 3.24 yards per carry to RBs on the season. Throw in the possibility of Matt Cassel starting or an immobile Marcus Mariota and Murray’s prospects dim further. This week, he’s just another face in the crowd.

Fearless Forecast: 13 carries, 55 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 11 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 7.6 fantasy points

Jordan Howard, Chi, RB (87 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $22)
Matchup: vs. Min

Cast aside in droves Week 2 for the new kid on the block, Tarik Cohen, the popular Round 2 pick sat alone on an island. No one wanted to touch him. Very few were willing to buy on the bear. A testament to Howard’s steely resolve and work ethic, he gutted out a sprained AC joint, refused to back down, regained his tackle-breaking demeanor and promptly turned his season around. In fact, he stands exactly where fantasy owners selected in average drafts, at RB9. He’s logged only 58.3 percent opportunity share, but his 17 total evaded tackles ranks No. 13 among all RBs. Behind Chicago’s rock solid offensive line, he, at least for now, has quelled doubters. Still, Howard is likely to compile only marginal production this week. Minnesota, which features Linval Joseph, the league’s No. 1 run stopper, is again exhibiting its purple people eating side. On the year, the Vikings have allowed just 3.2 yards per carry and the second-fewest fantasy points to RBs. They largely contained Le’Veon Bell in Week 3 and it took Ameer Abdullah 23 touches to surpass the century mark against them last week. In this Mitchell Trubisky age of Bears football, John Fox is hopeful his team will strike a balance. But the undesirable matchup and Cohen’s presence imply an average fantasy week for Howard.

Fearless Forecast: 17 carries, 66 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 14 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 9.5 fantasy points

Keenan Allen, LAC, WR (92 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $21)
Matchup: at NYG

You wreck me, Keenan. Ya, you break me in two. Over the years, Allen’s myriad knee wrenches and various under-performances have disrupted the psyche, but thus far, he’s remained healthy and delivered profitable results. He’s attracted 27.0 percent of the targets share, piled up receptions (6.0 per game) and averaged a rich 83.5 yards per game. He’s also racked the most yards after the catch of any receiver through four weeks (156 yards). Currently the 12th-most valuable WR in Fantasyland, he’s repaid those who gambled on him in Round 4 of August drafts handsomely. This week, however, he may fall on harder times. Janoris Jenkins is one of the league’s tightest blankets and could follow Allen everywhere. According to Player Profiler, the decorated DB ranks inside the top-five in pass break-ups (6), catch rate allowed (35.0 percent) and fantasy points per target surrendered (0.80). Alongside Patrick Peterson, Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye and Darius Slay, Jenkins is undoubtedly one of the true shutdown corners in the league. Expected to stay glued to Allen, Jenkins should divert Philip Rivers’ attention away from his top target. In the end, it could be more of a Tyrell Williams or Hunter Henry game in New York.

Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 64 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 8.9 fantasy points

Martavis Bryant, Pit, WR (64 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $14)
Matchup: vs. Jax

Free Fallin’ summarizes Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers’ passing game best. Yes, Antonio Brown continues to bust moves all over the field, evidenced by his AFC-leading 388 receiving yards, but, in general, the vertical attack has underwhelmed, Bryant most noticeably. Even when thrust into the great wide open, the downfield threat has resembled a rebel without a clue. He’s failed to connect on deep-ball opportunities and has barely resembled the dominating player of two years ago. Seeing just 15.6 percent of the targets share, he’s yet to haul in four or more catches in a game this season. Most troubling, he has zero red-zone receptions on the season. Defenses, consistently rotating an extra safety over the top to negate Bryant’s strength, have accounted for him beautifully. Jacksonville will surely follow suit. Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye are one fearsome pair. Targeted 43 times, they’ve surrendered just 18 receptions (41.9 catch%). Each ranks inside the top-five in passer rating allowed. As a team, the Jags are giving up a lowly 5.7 pass yards per attempt and have conceded the second-fewest pass plays beyond 20 yards (8 total). String it together and Bryant, even at his very discounted $14 price tag in Yahoo DFS, is completely untrustworthy. Let someone else dance with Mary Jane.

Fearless Forecast: 3 receptions, 49 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 6.4 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 4 Results: 2-5 (Season: 8-20)
My Week 4 Results: 9-1 (Season: 28-12) (W: T.Y. Hilton, Mike Gillislee, Ben Roethlisberger, Isaiah Crowell, Martavis Bryant, Kyle Rudolph, Golden Tate, Philly D/ST; L: Devonta Freeman)

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.