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Each week the Noise highlights 10 somewhat un-obvious names whom he believes are 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: 19 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.
Aaron Rodgers QB, GB (85 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $32)
Matchup: at Det
Vegas line/total: GB -1, 50.5
Foolish. Preposterous. Put down the Don Julio, Evans. It’s extremely rare this risk-taker daringly features one of the greatest of all-time in this space. However, it’s justifiable. Danica’s snuggle buddy hasn’t resembled his normal, box-score stuffing self. Currently QB18 in fantasy points per game, he’s averaged a vanilla 7.2 yards per attempt while ranking beyond the top-20 in air yards per attempt, deep-ball completion percentage and red-zone completion percentage. With only one multi-TD performance in his past three, something is amiss. Maybe it’s his tender knee, but there are other explanations for the stagnancy. For starters, he’s been placed under duress on 53 dropbacks, the seventh-most in the league. Compounding matters, he’s been without the services of Randall Cobb. The slot receiver might return this week, but outside target Geronimo Allison is very iffy post concussion. Even if all parts return healthy, Rodgers faces a rigid opponent. Yes, the description applies. Detroit, spearheaded by “Big Play” Darius Slay (56.8 passer RTG, 0.62 yards/snap allowed), ranks top-five in fewest fantasy points surrendered to QBs. On the year, the Lions have yielded 198.0 pass yards per game and seven pass TDs. In a divisional clash in which Aaron Jones could become the point of emphasis based on what the defense gives, Rodgers again dissatisfies.
Fearless Forecast: 248 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 1 turnover, 14 rushing yards, 18.3 fantasy points
Carlos Hyde, Cle, RB (80 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $23)
Matchup: at Bal
Vegas line/total: Bal -3, 47.5
Sometimes the best/worst decisions are made in an altered state. Through the haze of heavy consumption, yours truly sunk a “bank breaking” $2 into Hyde during the high stakes Stopa Auction Invitational back in mid-July. Unbeknownst, it was without question the single greatest hazy purchase ever made. In a game of inexplicable timeshares, Hyde is a certifiable workhorse. Yes, Nick Chubb galloped his way to two long scores last week in Oakland, but the veteran has registered 70.3 percent of the opportunity share (RB10), ranking No. 18 in total yards created, No. 9 in total evaded tackles and numero uno in goal-line touches (9). Standing tall at RB12 in fantasy points per game, the significantly discounted back from August has his stakeholders on a path to Franklins. This week, however, expect Hyde to be humbled. Baltimore is resoundingly tough versus the run. Only the Chicago Bears have surrendered fewer fantasy points to RBs over the first four weeks. Altogether, the Ravens have allowed 3.61 yards per carry, 67.8 rush yards per game and one rushing TD to the position. C.J. Mosley and Kenny Young each rank top-10 among all linebackers in run-stop percentage according to Pro Football Focus. Hyde is always a threat to trip and fall into the end zone, but this week give me Aaron Jones (at Det), Nyheim Hines (at NE) or James White (vs. Ind) over him.
Fearless Forecast: 18 carries, 61 rushing yards, 1 receptions, 6 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 7.2 fantasy points
Adrian Peterson, Was, RB (52 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $19)
Matchup: at NO
Vegas line/total: NO -6.5, 52
Peterson, seemingly ripped from the pages of a Stephen King novel, is a mythical beast; a true freak of nature. He continues to steamroll through defenders, dodge contact and pile up numbers despite his advanced age and mileage logged. On 58.5 percent of the opportunity share (20.4 touches per game), he ranks top-12 in multiple superficial and advanced categories, including fantasy points per game (RB9), yards created per carry (RB4), breakaway runs (RB4) and yards after contact per attempt (3.11, RB11). Most impressively, he’s reached those numbers against several unfavorable fronts. With defenses keying on the run when he’s in the game, they’ve stacked the line 30.3 percent of the time. Again, knowing the forces working against him, it’s astounding how well he’s performed. Fantasy players who relish driving down narrative street will shout “REVENGE GAME!” but in a familiar building Peterson isn’t a slam dunk start. For all of the Saints’ shortcomings on pass defense, they’ve executed brilliantly in the trenches. Demario Davis, Marcus Davenport and Kurt Coleman rank favorably in run-stop percentage at their respective positions. Collectively, New Orleans has yielded an unreal 2.96 yards per carry, 73.7 rush yards per game, two rush scores and the seventh-fewest fantasy points to RBs. Multiply and carry the one and Peterson could finish with an output similar to his uneventful outing versus Indy Week 2.
Fearless Forecast: 16 carries, 63 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 13 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 8.6 fantasy points
DeAndre Hopkins, Hou, WR (98 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $34)
Matchup: vs. Dal
Vegas line/total: Hou -3.5, 45
Seeing Hopkins, a top-five wide receiver so far this season who’s netted a ridiculous 30.8 percent of the target share, on this list probably has you thinking, “Evans, put down the silly sauce and quit watching ‘Love Yurts’ on DIY. This is sheer lunacy!” Though featuring Hopkins in this space is teetering on insanity, there’s a method to the madness. The decorated receiver has one of the worst matchups on paper in Week 5. Why? He’s expected to square off against arguably the staunchest DB in the league, Dallas’ Byron Jones.
So far this season, the ascending corner held Devin Funchess, Odell Beckham and Marvin Jones in check. On the year, he’s surrendered a lowly 43.8 catch percentage, 51.8 passer rating and 0.36 yards per snap to his assignments. Hopkins has recorded some action in the slot (23.6 percent of the time), adding versatility which could spring him for sizable gains. Still, Dallas as a unit has allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to WRs this year. You can’t bench him in season-long, but for those with DFS interests, Hopkins is a recommended fade.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 68 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 9.3 fantasy points
Tyreek Hill, KC, WR (98 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $31)
Matchup: vs. Jax
Vegas line/total: KC -3, 49
Opportunistic. Surgical in execution. Slippery. Resolute. Patrick Mahomes is a modern day Dan Marino. Forget the forced “Showtime” moniker, his real nickname is “Money.” Whether it’s on-time throws or accumulated fantasy numbers, he continues to reward his backers. His ambidextrous efforts last week in Denver were a prime example. Though unsuccessful in the first half, he fought through adversity, extended plays, made ridiculous pinpoint throws and rallied Kansas City from a double-digit fourth-quarter deficit. The kid is unflappable. He owns every unique characteristic the great ones possessed. Unsurprisingly, Hill has benefited massively from his QB’s play. Someone who broke algorithms last year in efficiency, KC’s “Little Red Corvette” has continued to defy odds. On 20.7 percent of the target share, he ranks WR12 in fantasy points per game and No. 9 in fantasy points per target. His silly 11.4 yards per target and top-10 showings in total air yards and yards after catch explain why he’s been able to sustain WR1 value despite limited opportunities. This week, however, presents a daunting challenge. Jacksonville, the league’s top-rated pass defense, has allowed a mere seven connections beyond 20 yards. Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye and Tyler Patmon combined have given up 0.62 yards per snap, 9.92 yards per catch and 80.9 passer rating to their assignments. Unless he pops the top, Hill struggles.
Fearless Forecast: 3 receptions, 54 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 6.9 fantasy points
BONUS WEEK 5 LAMES (Over 50 percent started)
RB: Dalvin Cook, Min, RB (at Phi; $20) – The downward-trending RB disclosed his hamstring still isn’t close to 100 percent. Though limited, he’s remarkably forced a missed tackle 28 percent of the time, the second-highest mark this season. However, he’s completely unreliable knowing his handicap and matchup. The Eagles, thanks to Brandon Graham who leads the NFL in run-stop percentage, have given up a league-low 2.67 yards per carry and the third-fewest fantasy points to RBs. (FF: 12 carries, 33 rushing yards, 2 recs, 9 yards, 0 tds, 5.2 fpts)
RB: Alex Collins, Bal, RB (at Cle; $21) – Collins’ fumble lost at the goal-line last week against Pittsburgh likely doomed his red-zone role. It’s probable Buck Allen becomes the rusher of choice in that area of the field. Equally worrisome, the river dancer has netted just 47.8 percent of the opportunity share, ranking RB58 in yards created per carry and RB57 in YAC/att (1.98), last year’s metric darling has fallen off a cliff. Cleveland has allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to RBs, but Collins is a FLEX play at best. (FF: 10 atts, 38 yds, 2 recs, 11 yds, 0 tds, 5.9 fpts)
WR: Doug Baldwin, Sea, WR (vs. LAR; $21) – Knocking off the dust last week in Arizona, Baldwin experienced no setbacks after playing on 81.7 percent of the snaps. With a game under his belt many will welcome him back with open arms, but the opponent is rather unfavorable. L.A. slot corner Nickell Robey-Coleman has surrendered an 84.0 passer rating and 0.92 yards per snap to his assignments. Amari Cooper and Larry Fitzgerald gained minimal traction against him. Seattle’s generally depressed offensive state only amplifies Baldwin’s bust potential. (FF: 5 recs, 51 yds, 0 tds, 7.6 fpts)
TE: Rob Gronkowski, NE, TE (vs. Ind; $24) – Despite some rosy reports, Gronk remains very questionable for Thursday night’s clash with the Colts. Well short of full strength due to an ankle ailment, he may play sparingly given the short week, though, as always, the Pats will remain cryptic about his availability and presumed usage. His painful underachievement the past three weeks is likely to extend, especially with Julian Edelman stealing targets. Indy has conceded the ninth-most fantasy points to the position and tight end is largely a desolate wasteland, but Gronk spikes are not in the forecast. (FF: 3 recs, 39 yds, 0 tds, 5.4 fpts)
DST: Tennessee Titans (at Buf; $21) – Plucked off the waiver wire in droves, the Titans are the most popular stream option in Week 5. The Bills crash landed last Sunday in Green Bay, resembling the meatless offense from Weeks 1-2. Tennessee, though, isn’t exactly an asphyxiating unit. It’s given up 4.90 yards per carry to RBs and 7.2 pass yards per attempt. Tack on the home field advantage and it could be a bland outcome for the powder blues. (FF: 20 PA, 334 YDSA, 4 SCKs, 1 TO, 7.0 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 “Flames” (1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 1 D/ST) by midnight PT Tuesdays via Twitter @YahooNoise. How large are your stones?
Readers’ record: 10-14
Brad’s record: 24-13 (WK4: 6-4; W – Alex Collins, Matt Breida, Marvin Jones, Chris Hogan, Leonard Fournette, LA Rams; L – Tom Brady, Brandin Cooks, T.Y. Hilton, Jared Cook)
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, and his award-nominated podcast, “The Fantasy Record.”