Week 7 Fantasy Football Lames: Mack, Michel, Zeke to slam into walls

Each week the Noise highlights 10 somewhat un-obvious names whom he believes will 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 7 Lames in the comments section below.

Wentz likely feeble Eagle against desperate Cowboys

Carson Wentz, Phi, QB (64 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $31)
Matchup: at Dal
Vegas Line/Total: Dal -3, 48.5

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One step forward, two steps back. This is often the theme for most NFL franchises — or league referees. It also applies to the Dallas Cowboys. After roaring out of the gate and racing to a 3-0 start, the now humbled ‘Boys are back to even, falling short in three consecutive. An unhinged run defense, key injuries and poor execution are to blame. Despite the downturn, Big ‘D’ is living up to its nickname, at least in the pass game. No. 6 in fewest fantasy points allowed to signal-callers, Jason Garrett’s bunch has surrendered 6.9 pass yards per attempt, 257 pass yards per game and five total passing touchdowns in six contests. Not one starting DB has given up a 100-plus passer rating.

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Wentz, currently QB9 in Yahoo Fantasy, is exactly where most anticipated he would be. Netting 243 pass yards per game, 6.8 pass yards per attempt and outside the top-20 in several critical advanced metrics — most notably, QB23 in adjusted completion percentage and QB22 in deep-ball passer rating — he hasn’t statistically wowed across the board, but his 12 TD strikes have applied a thick lipstick layer.

On the road and with Dallas pinned into a corner, Wentz falls outside the position’s top-12.

Fearless Forecast: 251 pass yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 2 turnovers, 13 rushing yards, 17.3 fantasy points

Mack won’t boom after bye

Marlon Mack, Ind, RB (61% started; Yahoo DFS: $26)
Matchup: vs. Hou
Vegas Line/Total: Ind -1, 48

When Alexander the Great marched his army deep into uncharted Persian territory in 331 BC, he not only encountered new people, cultures, and landmarks, but also a beast of almost mythical proportion: The war elephant. First confronted at the Battle of Gaugamela, a decisive victory for the Macedonians, the ancient battering rams left such an impression on Alexander he eventually placed several of the animals under his command, intimidating any and all who took up arms against him.

Mack, too, is a fear instrument.

Marlon Mack isn't a sure-fire thoroughbred for fantasy devices off the Colts' bye. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Marlon Mack isn't a sure-fire thoroughbred for fantasy devices off the Colts' bye. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

Indy’s workhorse has mowed down the competition with patience, elusiveness and devastating power. Though the beneficiary of the Colts’ No. 2 ranked run-blocking line according to Pro Football Focus, he’s generated 3.04 yards after contact per attempt and broken a tackle on 16.8% of his attempts. Overall RB18 in fantasy points per game, he’s averaged 94.0 rush yards per game with a pair of touchdowns.

This week, however, the rusher will be more papillon than pachyderm. Houston has yielded 4.3 yards per carry, but a mere 73.3 rush yards per game and two scores to RBs. Per Football Outsiders, the Texans slot inside the top-10 in fewest adjusted line yards allowed. Wide lanes will be few and far between.

Fearless Forecast: 19 carries, 77 rushing yards, 1 reception, 8 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 9.0 fantasy points

Michel musket to fire blanks in Jersey

Sony Michel, NE, QB (79% started; Yahoo DFS: $19)
Matchup: at NYJ
Vegas Line/Total: NE -9.5, 42

Tom Brady has it all: Dashing looks, endless wealth, a Supermodel wife, loving family, more bling than Offset. As someone who had betting interests on Michel in last week’s effortless dispensing of New York, the QB’s pilfering of two rush scores was excruciating. Tom, you’re one selfish dude.

If not for Michel’s end-zone struts logged in other games, he would easily be in the running for Most Disappointing Fantasy RB of 2019. His advanced profile would make David Montgomery look like an all-world back. He’s RB47 in yards after contact per attempt (1.97) and has forced a whopping 10 missed tackles on 105 touches. Yes, point the finger at New England’s 18th-ranked run-blocking line, but Michel couldn’t dodge a lightly tossed beach ball if his life depended on it. With 19 red-zone attempts on the season — five inside the 5-yard line — he is the ultimate TD or bust fantasy RB.

In the first tilt with the Jets, the rusher did manage to cross the chalk. However, his nine carries for 11 yards was knee-slapping bad. On the year, New York has bottled up the run fairly well, yielding 3.6 yards per carry, 83.0 rush yards per game and five rushing TDs to rushers. LBs Steve McLendon and Neville Hewitt each have graded out positively in run-stop percentage according to Pro Football Focus.

In a rematch sure to have a very different outcome and with Rex Burkhead possibly back in the fold, Michel is completely unreliable even in 12-team leagues.

Fearless Forecast: 16 carries, 62 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 14 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 8.6 fantasy points

KC’s speed demon to be slowed in Denver

Tyreek Hill, KC, WR (85% started; Yahoo DFS: $32)
Matchup: at Den
Vegas Line/Total: KC -3.5, 49

As witnessed last week in his splashy return to the lineup, Hill is an absolute menace to would-be defenders. His hair-singeing speed, high-point success, and strength after the catch dominated Houston’s secondary, at least for a half. Attached to arguably the best deep-ball thrower in the league, he should be cemented inside the wide receiver top-10 rest of season. Tyreek, after all, is a freak. Recall he was No. 8 or better in yards per route (2.98), yards per target (10.8) and yards per catch (17.9) a season ago.

This week, however, Denver shadow specialist Chris Harris (57.8 passer rating, 0.63 yards/snap allowed) will plant a flag atop Hill.

Harris has been tasked twice to follow all the movements of an opponent’s top option. He blanketed Allen Robinson and Davante Adams, holding the NFC North tandem to a combined four receptions, 49 yards, and zero touchdowns. He and his Mile High cohorts have excelled under Vic Fangio’s recent recalibrations. On the year, they’ve conceded 6.3 pass yards per attempt, 63.2 catch percentage and the fourth-fewest fantasy points to WRs. Tyrell Williams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling are the only wideouts to exceed 75 yards against them.

In a trap game for the struggling Chiefs, Hill, who’s averaged an unexciting 54.0 yards per game without a TD in his past three meetings against the Broncos, will leave backers in the red.

Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 68 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 9.3 fantasy points

Allen’s woes to extend for a third week

Keenan Allen, LAC, WR (96% started; Yahoo DFS: $29)
Matchup: at Ten
Vegas Line/Total: Ten -2.5, 38.5

What seems like an eternity ago, Allen was the coolest kid in fantasy. His unbuttoned silk shirt, shades and colorful scarf accent, probably purchased from a Boogie Nights backlot sale, exemplified his soaring confidence. He was the unrivaled WR1 Weeks 1-3, but since then he’s fallen on hard times. Over his past three efforts, he’s logged just 18 targets, 11 receptions, 99 yards and zero touchdowns. More alarming, he’s WR78 over that stretch in yards per route run. In other words, he’s suddenly become a low-volume, horizontal “threat.”

Eventually, Allen will reverse course. He’s too integral to the Chargers’ vertical attack to be kept at bay. Still, his matchup this week suggests another downtrodden performance is entirely plausible. Versatile corner Logan Ryan should drape him whether in the slot (Allen 52.4 slot%) or out wide. The stalwart has allowed a 72.1 passer rating and 1.19 yards per snap to his assignments. Tennessee as a whole has yielded 6.8 pass yards per attempt and the eighth-fewest fantasy points to WRs.

With better matchups upcoming, next week could be your last opportunity to buy Keenan for a pack of Juicy Fruit.

Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 56 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 8.1 fantasy points

BONUS LAMES (Over 50% started)

RB: Ezekiel Elliott (Dal -3; $28) – Philadelphia is known for three things: 1) Over-the-top fan revelry, 2) Zero pass defense, 3) Stonewalling the run. The Eagles know how to plug gaps consistently and effectively. Dalvin Cook, Kerryon Johnson, and Le’Veon Bell are just a few prominent rushers to find little to no creases against them. Only Alexander Mattison has crossed 62 ground yards versus Philly this year. Overall, it’s surrendered 2.9 yards per carry to RBs. Elliott is one of the virtual game’s rare voluminous runners. Still, Dallas’ o-line turnover will only exacerbate Zeke’s underwhelming 2.75 yards after contact per attempt. If denied at the goal line, a finish outside the RB top-20 is quite possible. (FF: 19-61-3-17-0, 9.3 fpts)

RB: Mark Ingram, Bal (Sea -3.5; $24) – Lamar Jackson is from a galaxy far, far away. His statistical milestone achieved last week against the hapless Bengals confirmed it. Unsurprisingly, Ingram has benefited from Jackson’s dual-threat brilliance. He’s witnessed an overloaded front just over 21% of the time, blasting his way to seven TDs, 3.45 yards after contact per attempt and the sixth-most valuable fantasy line among RBs. Celebratory dances will be persistent as we barrel toward the fantasy playoffs. This week, however, could be a different story for Ingram. Seattle has given up 4.3 yards per carry and six rushing scores but ranks No. 7 in run stuff percentage. (FF: 13-57-2-13-0, 8.0 fpts)

WR: Allen Robinson, Chi (Chi -3; $21) – Son of a Mitch! Trubisky is healthy and slated to start for Chicago this Sunday against the Saints. Robinson zealots, like this blabbermouth, are already yearning for a Chase Daniel return. Weeks 1-4 with Trubisky running the bleep show, Robinson averaged 6.0 receptions and 70.0 yards per game. Without a TD to his name during that span, he was WR33 in total fantasy output. Now expected to draw a much improved Marshon Lattimore who’s surrendered a 41.3 passer rating and 45.0 catch percentage over his past three games, Robinson is nearly benchable in shallow leagues. The targets will be there, but odds are infinitesimal his QB will deliver the ball accurately. (FF: 5-52-0, 7.7 fpts)

TE: Darren Waller, Oak (GB -6; $18) – A wallflower back in August, the Raider has breathed life into a position paralyzed by injuries and ineptitude. Commanding a 26.9% target share (TE1), he ranks inside the position’s top-five in catch rate (88.1%), yards per route run (3.32) and yards after catch (188). Though clearly Derek Carr’s most trustworthy ally, Waller could fall victim to enemy hands in Week 7. Green Bay has miffed opposing tight ends, allowing 4.5 receptions per game, 35 yards per game and just one touchdown. Without a score this season and under 55 yards in his past two games, he’s set for another sub-optimal Sunday. (FF: 5-54-0, 7.9 fpts)

DST: Baltimore Ravens (Sea -3.5; $12) – Kim Jong-un’s odds of winning the Kentucky Derby are better than almost any defense forcing multiple Seattle turnovers. Outside of Chris Carson’s brief fumblitis case, miscues have been a rarity for the ‘Hawks. Russell Wilson has absorbed 16 sacks this season, but the Ravens have applied little pocket pressure for much of the year. Toss in a vulnerable secondary plus the raucous road environment and casting them to the waiver wire is an easy move. It’s astonishing the unit, No. 23 in fantasy scoring, is rostered in over 70% of Yahoo leagues. Folks, Ray Lewis retired years ago. (FF: 23 PA, 363 YDSA, 1 SCK, 1 TO, 2.0 fpts)

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 record: 18-21

Brad’s record: 34-26 (WK6: 5-5; W - Joe Mixon, JuJu, LeSean McCoy, Delanie Walker, Jags DST; L - Aaron Rodgers, OBJ, Mike Evans, Dalvin Cook, Kenny Golladay)

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.”

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