Week 1 Fantasy Lames: Chilly Brees to blow in Minnesota
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 1 Lames in the comments section below.
Drew Brees, NO, QB (96 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $37)
Matchup: at Min
“Dude!!! Evans has officially lost it. Brees on the Lames list?! WTH?!” Collectively, this is probably what most of you are thinking, but understand NO ONE is immune from an abysmal outing. Ok, David Johnson might be the lone exception. No doubt, the future HOFer is a consistency king, but primarily on a season-to-season basis. Last year, he lived a Jekyll and Hyde existence, dominating foes at home while producing meekly away. In fact, he failed to surpass 17 fantasy points on the road four times. The indoor environment benefits Brees, but the paper matchup isn’t exactly favorable. Xavier Rhodes is one of the better blanketers in the league. A season ago, the DB ranked top-six in catch percentage and passer rating allowed. Trae Waynes (DB86 in fantasy points per snap allowed in ’16) is a liability, which is why the Vikes acquired Tramaine Brock from Seattle. His matchup with Ted Ginn is worrisome. Safety Harrison Smith must keep the the lid screwed on otherwise a long Ginn connection or three occurs. But without steady rock Willie Snead (suspension), Rhodes expected to shadow Michael Thomas and the raucous environment, Brees’ unexciting Week 1 projection comes into focus.
Fearless Forecast: 268 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 16.7 fantasy points
Marshawn Lynch, Oak, RB (87 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $18)
Matchup: at Ten
Unnecessarily expensive on Draft Day and in Week 1 DFS, Lynch is the Whole Foods of running backs. In the end he may be a quality product, but he’s essentially LeGarrette Blount with a bloated price tag. Jack Del Rio made it clear earlier this summer he has no intentions of running the 31-year-old into the ground. With DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard, who were both extremely efficient on a per touch basis in 2016, on roster there’s no reason overwork an advance-aged rusher off a one-year siesta. Roughly 12-14 touches may be the norm, not the 220-250 touch workload some paid for in August. He’s fully capable of reaching 900 combined yards with 7-9 TDs, but sporadic dismal performances are on tap, Week 1 likely one of them. Tennessee’s defensive front is underrated. Jurrell Casey, who ranked top-10 in run-stop percentage last year, is a man eater. Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo also stuff RBs at a prodigious level. Oakland’s offensive line is fantastic, but tempering expectations is suggested.
Fearless Forecast: 13 carries, 56 rushing yards, 1 reception, 7 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 6.8 fantasy points
Joe Mixon, Cin, RB (58 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $19)
Matchup: vs. Bal
Cincinnati’s hatchling is still very much in the incubation stage. Mixon, reached for by countless owners in Round 4 or in some cases much earlier in 12-team exercises, has many supporters. But, right now, he isn’t the Bengals’ primary ball carrier. In terms of baseline talents, the rookie oozes upside. His blend of size (6-foot-1, 228 pounds), speed (4.50 40-yard), power and elusive are ideal three-down traits. Throughout the Preseason he flashed All-Pro potential, ramming through contact on tough interior runs while juking tacklers out of their socks on dump-offs. Eventually he’ll overtake Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard as the featured runner, but it will be a gradual process. Despite early August reports to the contrary, indications suggest Mixon starts off the year in an unclear RBBC. Hill is expected to “start” with the greenhorn and Bernard sharing. It’s unknown exactly how many touches he’ll receive in the opener, but 11-13 is likely. Cincinnati’s penetrable offensive line (No. 19 in power run-blocking last year per Football Outsiders) and the unattractive matchup are additional deterrences. Baltimore’s front is on the younger side, but C.J. Mosley, Michael Pierce (No. 2 in run stop%) and Brandon Williams (No. 11) often snacked on backs last year. Unless Marvin Lewis suddenly unleashes Mixon, it’s wise to leave him benched in shallow leagues.
Fearless Forecast: 11 carries, 45 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 21 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 8.1 fantasy points
Dez Bryant, Dal, WR (96 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $23)
Matchup: vs. NYG
Bryant is galactic talent in the midst of his prime, but he, like any other receiver, is far from matchup proof. Debated ceaselessly throughout the summer, Dallas’ schedule is a gauntlet rigged with numerous boobytraps. Dez is slated to square off against top-10 corners from 2016 in nine of 16 contests. Still, several owners, victims of their own ignorance and brand-name obsession, continued to shell out top dollar to acquire the receiver’s services. For the conned, Week 1 likely signals the first of many frustrating Sundays. Matched against one of the stingiest secondaries in the league, the New York Giants, ‘X’ most definitely does not mark the spot. Bryant, pinched by Big Blue in a pair of contests last year (14-2-18-0), could experience deja vu. Human superglue Janoris Jenkins is again expected to stick to No. 88. Last year, the corner ranked top-three in catch percentage and passer rating allowed. His 0.10 fantasy points per snap surrendered also ranked highly (CB7). Even with Ezekiel Elliott possibly on the field, Bryant, who ranked second-to-last in average yards separation in ’16, will have little room to breathe.
Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 44 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 6.4 fantasy points
Demaryius Thomas, Den, WR (91 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $20)
Matchup: vs. LAC
“Frozen.” Phish. In-and-Out Burger. Thomas. What do they all have in common? Each is terribly overrated. It’s stunning how many owners snapped tendons to secure DT in drafts. Though he and teammate Emmanuel Sanders were separated by five spots or less in total points output the previous three seasons, the former still went nearly 50 picks higher than the latter in average drafts. Madness. Last year, according to Sharp Football, Thomas posted a meager 52 percent success rate of targets. Point the finger all you want at Trevor Siemian, but the receiver isn’t blameless. He committed 10 drops, the second-most of any wideout, netted only 7.5 yards per target (WR59) and ranked outside the top-40 in catch percentage (62.5). He’ll continue to generate a massive targets share (25.9% in ’16), but in statistical terms he’s on the same plane as Golden Tate, a high-volume underneath wideout who rarely finds the end zone. Thanks to Casey Hayward’s handiwork last year, DT failed to titillate in a pair of matchups against the Chargers totaling 10 catches for 114 yards and no scores. No matter if it’s Hayward (CB9 in passer rating allowed in ’16) or Jason Verrett (top-10 in coverage rating ’14-’15) assigned to Thomas, the Bronco and his tender groin, for the most part, stays in the stall.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 66 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 9.1 fantasy points
BONUS WEEK 1 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 “Flames” (1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 1 D/ST) by midnight PT Tuesdays via Twitter @YahooNoise. How large are your stones?
QB Aaron Rodgers, RBs Melvin Gordon & Mark Ingram, WRs TY Hilton & Keenan Allen, TE Tyler Eifert, D/ST Vikings #TeamHuevos
— Riaz Dhanani (@RiazD) September 6, 2017
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 Spin.”