Week 11 Fantasy Lames: Gurley to log one of his worst performances this year
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 11 Lames in the comments section below.
Matthew Stafford, Det, QB (65 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $32)
Matchup: at Chi
Listen to any sport talk radio station in an NFL town of an underachieving team and vitriolic takes are unavoidable. Head coaches, even those whose hire spurred renewed optimism only months before, are run through the ringer. Everyone demands better. Everyone wants a head. Most times the vengeful rhetoric borderlines on the ridiculous, but when it comes to John Fox it’s warranted. Benny Cunningham’s Fox-challenged goal line stretch, which resulted in a fumble/touchback reversal, is all the evidence needed. Despite his offensive shortcomings, Fox has built a respectable Bears defense. Chicago ranks No. 4 in fewest fantasy points allowed to QBs conceding 7.0 yards per attempt, 224.1 pass yards per game and a mere 1.0 vertical strikes per game. Mining data, corners Prince Amukamara, Bryce Callahan and Kyle Fuller have surrendered a 58.0 catch rate to their assignments. Stafford, the seventh-most valuable signal-caller since Week 5, is in the midst of a tear. Over that span he’s averaged 314.8 pass yards and 2.0 touchdowns per game. However, due to his woeful 47.1 red-zone completion percentage, he’s relied highly on explosive pass plays, which the Bears have rarely given up. Chicago ranks inside the top-three in fewest 20-plus yard pass plays allowed. Crunch the numbers and a bland outcome seems likely.
Fearless Forecast: 262 passing yards, 1 passing touchdown, 1 interception, 6 rushing yards, 14.1 fantasy points
Tevin Coleman, Atl, RB (50 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $20)
Matchup: at Sea
Derrick Henry. Marlon Mack. Bilal Powell. Coleman. All are restrained RBs who, if gifted a legit three-down workload, would prosper handsomely. With Devonta Freeman unplugged by several ailments (shoulder/neck, knee, concussion), Coleman’s time to shine is now. Unfortunately, it’s a rather inopportune week. To be fair, he’s flourished in limited work. His 3.54 yards after contact per attempt ranks second only to LeGarrette Blount among all running backs who’ve played on at least 25 percent of his team’s snaps. Additionally, he’s racked 4.9 yards per carry against base fronts and ranks top-three in recorded 15-plus yard runs (8). Unquestionably, he’s a wonderful blend of open-field TNT, power and versatility. Fantasy, though, is a matchup game and Coleman is faced with an intimidating task. Seattle, despite various defensive injuries, is a stingy force. Bobby Wagner and Jarren Reed (hamstring?) slot inside the top-five at their respective positions in run-stop percentage according to Pro Football Focus. As a team, Seattle has surrendered the fifth-fewest fantasy points, 2.55 yards per carry and a lowly 77.2 total yards per game to rushers since Week 5. Coleman’s projected volume is alluring, but expectations must be tempered.
Fearless Forecast: 18 carries, 57 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 13 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 8.0 fantasy points
Todd Gurley, LAR, RB (98 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $34)
Matchup: at Min
Of the thousands of predictions made over the course of the season none have deflated huevos quite like my “Gurley finishes outside the RB top-20” prediction. Unforgivable. Sean McVay, who surely still gets carded when purchasing a six-pack, overnight erased years of futility under Jeff Fisher. The Rams, poised for a deep playoff run, are the talk of Los Angeles, bumping the Lakers in priority. McVay is entirely responsible for the fevered pitch. He’s opened up the playbook, allowed Jared Goff to uncork outside the numbers (8.5 ypa) and placed Gurley in situations to succeed. A true workhorse RB, the refurbished rusher has thrived between the tackles and as a receiver. The Rams offensive line, which ranks inside the top-five according to several advanced metric sites, has opened numerous creases for Gurley to motor through. Still, the rusher has occasionally relapsed. According to Pro Football Focus, he ranks outside the top-30 in yards after contact per attempt (2.58) and elusive rating. More disconcerting, 33.1 percent of his touches have gone for one, zero or negative yards. Despite the occasional brick walls, he’s managed to tally at least 10 fantasy points in all but one game. However that number could double this week. Minnesota, featuring the top run stopper in the NFL, Linval Joseph, typically devours rushers. Le’Veon Bell and, of all people, Ameer Abdullah are the only RBs to cross the 80-yard mark against them. On the year, the Vikes have given up 3.47 yards per carry and the fewest fantasy points to plowshares. They’re also unyielding in the flat (37.4 receiving ypg conceded to RBs). For Gurley, it could be an emasculating week on the road.
Fearless Forecast: 17 carries, 64 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 22 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 10.6 fantasy points
Dez Bryant, Dal, WR (89 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $23)
Matchup: vs. Phi
Zeke Elliott’s legal loss is a hefty price for Dallas to pay. Presumably in the driver’s seat for a playoff appearance pre-setback, its second season hopes are tenuous at best despite a home-laden remaining schedule. Compounded by offensive line issues – Adrian Clayborn feasted on Dak Prescott last week – the once shining star is showing signs of oxidation. Jerry Jones, consumed with mounting a campaign to oust Roger Goodell and his ridiculous contract demands (Lifetime use of the league’s private jet?!), surely isn’t a happy camper. Neither are Dez owners. The perceived WR1 has fallen into a deep slump. Over the past three weeks, he’s averaged a worthless 4.3-40.3-0 line, forcing many to reconsider his “stud” label. His targets share (28.8 percent) remains substantial, but without Zeke on the field to keep defenses honest, he’s crumbled under the added weight. Most worrisome, the intense pressure Prescott is sure to endure against Fletcher Cox and friends only elevates the wideout’s bust potential. Down his starting left tackle against Atlanta, Dak was placed under duress on 45.2 percent of his dropbacks. Throw in the possibility Ronald Darby (39.6 passer rating allowed) could return for the Eagles and Bryant is set to post puny numbers in prime time.
Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 48 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 6.8 fantasy points
Keenan Allen, LAC, WR (65percent started; Yahoo DFS: $20)
Matchup: vs. Buf
In this hypersensitive age of concussions, to hear a 13-year veteran at any position other than punter or kicker has never suffered head trauma is practically unheard of. But that’s indeed the case with Philip Rivers. The quarterback, who is in the league’s protocol system, suffered his first ever concussion as a pro last week against Jacksonville. In a race to be cleared in time for this week’s clash against Buffalo, he is 50/50 to suit up. If Rivers is unavailable, Kellen Clemens and his career 6.4 yards per attempt and 54.6 completion percentage, will take the reins. Frightening. With or without Mr. Reliable, Allen is a suspect option in DFS and shallow formats. He hasn’t reached the end zone since Week 1 and has fallen short of 70 yards in five-straight contests. Also disturbing, he’s suffered from Julio Jones disease catching only two passes inside the red zone. The Bills, blasted on the ground by New Orleans last week, still feature a premier pass defense. E.J. Gaines (50.5 passer rating) is trending toward activation and Tre’Davious White (50.9 catch rate allowed) continues to lock down. Overall, Buffalo has given up the ninth-fewest fantasy points to WRs. In a game the Chargers are sure to lean mostly on Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler, Allen’s shockingly healthy campaign drags on.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 48 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 7.3 fantasy points
BONUS WEEK 11 LAMES
#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 “Lames” (1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 1 D/ST) by midnight PT Tuesdays via Twitter @YahooNoise. How large are your stones?
Goff, Peterson, Coleman, Diggs, Nelson, Walker, Vikings
— Quentin Babb (@quentin_babb) November 15, 2017
Reader Week 10 Results: 2-5 (Season: 29-41)
My Week 10 Results: 8-2 (Season: 70-30) (W: Drew Brees, Adrian Peterson, Doug Martin, T.Y. Hilton, Will Fuller, Jordy Nelson, Jack Doyle, Denver D/ST; L: DeMarco Murray, Stefon Diggs)
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.”