Week 9 fantasy busts: A.J. Green to leave owners in the red

Roto Arcade
Week 9 Fantasy Lames: Freeman’s recent mediocrity to extend

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 9 Lames in the comments section below.

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Kirk Cousins, Was, QB (60 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $30)
Matchup: at Sea

The injury imp has taken up residence in the nation’s capital. Over the past several days, scores of Washington offensive linemen have fallen victim to its insidious wrath. By the end of last Sunday’s rain-drenched slog against Dallas, Morgan Moses, unhealthy ankles and all, was the only Redskins starter remaining on the line. Adding insult to injury Jordan Reed was lost to a hamstring pull. The quagmire that developed underneath the feet of Jay Gruden’s club seemed completely appropriate. Against the rival Cowboys, his offense sunk knee deep into an immovable muck. Under duress on 34.6 percent of his dropbacks and sacked four times, Cousins simply didn’t have enough time to function. His 263-1-1 final line, with a fumble lost to boot, was his second-worst fantasy output of the season. Sadly, in the followup his stock could fall further. Seattle, and its exotic blitz packages, is sure to dial up the heat. Against Washington’s patchwork line, the ‘Hawks, despite being down Cliff Avril and with an uncharacteristic 17 total sacks on the season, have to be salivating. Michael Bennett, who has six QB takedowns on the season, is sure to boost that number. Throw in how badly fantasy superman Deshaun Watson humiliated Seattle’s secondary last week, and it could be another forgettable afternoon for No. 8. Keep in mind, including Watson’s stellar performance last week, the ‘Hawks have conceded 6.6 yards per attempt and a 56.5 completion percentage to passers. Earl Thomas’ presumed absence gives Cousins a glimmer of hope, but a below average day is on tap.

Fearless Forecast: 282 passing yards, 1 passing touchdown, 2 turnovers, 14 rushing yards, 14.7 fantasy points

Devonta Freeman, Atl, RB (96 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $28)
Matchup: at Car

The ebb and flow of any fantasy season constantly alters player perception. On the fantasy hierarchy of needs, instant gratification is its own pyramid block. Of late, Freeman has failed to deliver much satisfaction. Over his past three games, the assumed RB1 ranks RB33 in PPR points per game contributing a bland 76.7 total yards per game with zero touchdowns. Though he’s churned out 5.5 yards per carry and continues to boast impressive YAC yields (2.87 YAC/att on year), lost work to Tevin Coleman has many understandably skittish. Since Week 6, he’s averaged an uneventful 13 touches per game, mostly due to shoulder and neck issues. With or without the services of run-stopper extraordinaire Luke Kuechly, the Carolina Panthers are a tough nut to crack on the ground. Thanks in large part to Kawann Short’s gap-filling prowess, they rank No. 4 in fewest fantasy points allowed to RBs, giving up 3.63 yards per carry to the position. No RB has crossed the 90 total yard mark against them the entire year, including the likes of Carlos Hyde, LeSean McCoy, Mark Ingram and Doug Martin. Mix the ingredients together and Freeman, despite his efficiencies, will leave a bitter taste in owner mouths.

Fearless Forecast: 12 carries, 56 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 22 yards, 0 touchdowns, 9.3 fantasy points

C.J. Anderson, Den, RB (68 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $17)
Matchup: at Phi

Anderson is the pile of unwanted Halloween leftovers no one wants, but if desperate for a sugar fix, he or she would be willing to consume — the Circus Peanuts of fantasy RBs. Simply hearing the rusher’s name evokes apathy. He, much like the entire Broncos offense, is tepid at best, terrible at worst. Victimized by negative game scripts against Buffalo, New York, L.A. and KC, his value has fallen into a deep, dark crevasse.  Since Week 3, he ranks No. 42 in standard fantasy points per game, nestled between Buck Allen and Wayne Gallman. Fun times. Given Denver’s ongoing offensive line woes and the rising profiles of Jamaal Charles and Devontae Booker, it’s dumbfounding why owners continue to trust CJA’s services. In a contest where events will quickly go awry for Denver, he deserves a demotion. The Eagles rank No. 5 in fewest fantasy points allowed to RBs. On the year, they’ve surrendered just 3.05 yards per carry and 43.5 rushing yards per game. Bottom line, he’s completely untrustworthy. Orleans Darkwa (vs. LAR), DeAndre Washington (at Mia) and Alex Collins (at Ten) offer more upside.

Fearless Forecast: 13 carries, 55 rushing yards, 1 reception, 8 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 6.8 fantasy points

A.J. Green, Cin, WR (98 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $28)
Matchup: at Jax

Repeated in this space over the years, the “Always Start Your Studs” theory is lazy and downright misleading. Few players, if any, are completely immune from firing a blank. Heck, Antonio Brown fell short of 7.0 fantasy points twice in standard leagues this year. Really Deshaun Watson is the only player who’s achieved true matchup proof status. Green, the third-most valuable wideout in Fantasyland, is riding the crest of a significant value wave. Since Week 3, he’s scored in all but one game and compiled 28 receptions for 434 yards. His resulting 13.4 Yahoo standard-league points ranks only behind DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller over that stretch. Though he torched a rock solid Bills D for 7-189-1, much of that production was primarily achieved against pushover secondaries (Cleveland, Green Bay and Indy). Jacksonville, his Week 9 opponent, is a daunting assignment. Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye are the Power Man and Iron Fist of coverage duos. Their suffocating execution (41.3 passer rating, 42.5% catch rate allowed) are one of the reasons why I believe Jacksonville is a legit dark horse to represent the AFC in Super Bowl 52. Brown and DeAndre Hopkins are the only WRs to net double digit fantasy points against the Jags. Toss in Andy Dalton’s and the Cincy o-line’s struggles and a bleak outlook comes into focus.

Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 59 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 8.4 fantasy points

Larry Fitzgerald, Ari, WR (55 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $22)
Matchup: at SF

Going from Carson Palmer to Drew Stanton is akin to trading in a deliciously smooth IPA for a warm can of Natural Ice. Suffice it to say, Stanton, who spots a career 6.3 ypa and 52.7 completion percentage, is a substantial downgrade. To be fair, Fitz played well when the elevated backup started eight games in 2014. Over that stretch, he averaged 5.1 receptions and 71.0 yards per game, hauling in a pair of touchdowns. That however was eons ago and recent, though brief, appearances by Stanton have disastrous. The respected veteran will continue to earn appreciable targets. He’s attracted 9.3 looks per game (23.2 percent of the team share). Still, one has to wonder if Stanton can deliver the ball crisply and accurately. On paper, San Francisco presents a golden opportunity. Its secondary, which traded its best cover man in Rashard Robinson on Tuesday, is one of the league’s friendliest. The Niners have allowed a TD per game and the 11th-most fantasy points to WRs. Slot corner Leon Hall, who Fitz will lock horns most with, has given up a 39.6 passer rating, but he’s barely played (33 snaps). Call it a gut feeling, but it seems Fitz underwhelms.

Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 51 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 7.6 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 8 Results: 5-2 (Season: 24-32)
My Week 8 Results: 7-3 (Season: 54-26) (W: Matt Stafford, T.Y. Hilton, Jordan Reed, Denver D/ST, Amari Cooper, Carlos Hyde, C.J. Anderson; L: DeAndre Hopkins, Lamar Miller, Matt Ryan)

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.

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