Each week the Noise highlights 10 somewhat un-obvious names who he believes will leave egg on his face. To qualify, each player must be started in at least 50% 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 fantasy points, RB: 12 fantasy points, WR: 11 fantasy points, TE: 10 fantasy points). If you’re a member of TEAM HUEVOS, reveal your Week 8 Lames on Twitter @NoisyHuevos.
Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
(51% started in Yahoo; DK DFS: $6,300)
Matchup: at CHI
Vegas line/Total: NO -4, 44
With drama thick enough to compete with a Bachelorette episode, New Orleans has become the epicenter of considerable trade rumors and conjecture. All-Pro receiver Michael Thomas, who shattered franchise records last season only to suffer a massive slump spurred by ankle/hamstring injuries and a pugilistic streak, is making it known he wouldn’t mind a change in scenery. Due to his weighty contract, it’s unlikely a proper suitor will be procured in time, but with the trade deadline looming nothing is completely off the table. Also down Emmanuel Sanders (COVID-19), Brees is once again placed in an uncompromising position. Sans his top two downfield weapons, he’ll lean on upstart Marquez Callaway, Tre'Quan Smith and tonnage from Alvin Kamara.
After a sluggish start in which people panned him for a noodly arm and uncharacteristic inaccuracy, the future HOFer has begun to resemble his old self. Sporting an 82.8% adjusted completion rate, he trails only Russell Wilson in the category. His 140.0 passer rating on chucks beyond 20 yards is also second best. Over the past two weeks, he eclipsed 22 fantasy points in three of his past four games, thanks in large part to a pair of vintage over-the-top rushing TDs. Still, despite the recent productivity surge, he’s QB18 in fantasy points per game.
Even at full strength, the unkind matchup would’ve likely placed Brees front and center on the Week 8 Lames list. Living up to their Monsters of the Midway nickname, the Bears are more treat than trick defensively. Yes, they’re gashable in the trenches (4.39 yards per carry allowed to RBs), but yielding only 6.5 pass yards per attempt and the fewest fantasy points to QBs, Kyler Fuller and Co. are not easily beatable through the air. Brees, who’s averaged a modest 261.9 yards and 1.9 passing TDs per game in seven career contests versus Chicago, finishes outside the QB top-15.
Fearless forecast: 242 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 1 turnover, 16.7 fantasy points
Josh Jacobs, RB, Las Vegas Raiders
Matchup: at CLV
Vegas line/Total: CLV -2.5, 53.5
To the shock and horror of those who sunk a first-round pick into Jacobs, repeated back stabbings have occurred. Yes, the much-hyped rusher was dinged for a bit, an ailment that handcuffed his production, but even when operating at close to full strength sizable gains just haven’t materialized. A year can make all the difference in the world, and when it comes to the sophomore rusher, similar to the state of the world as a whole, is enduring one demoralizing slump. An infectious case of inefficiency has ravaged Vegas’ once impenetrable offensive line. Presently, the Raiders rank No. 16 in adjusted line yards allowed. Jacobs, too, isn’t pulling his weight. Steep declines in YAC per attempt, missed tackle rate and yards created per touch show he’s emitting only small steam puffs. The locomotive of last year is slowly chugging along, barely toting the cargo behind him.
Cleveland is very much in the running for a playoff spot. Though Baker Mayfield has experienced multiple bumps and Odell Beckham is toast with a torn ACL, the Browns’ vicious front has left bite marks on the competition. Though middle of the pack in adjusted line yards, they’ve largely thrived in gap coverage, surrendering 3.68 yards per carry, 68.3 rush yards per game and eight total TDs to RBs. Sione Takitaki, Sheldon Richardson and B.J. Goodson have accounted for 28 tackles for loss defending the run. Calculate and the conclusion drawn is Jacobs falls short of RB2 qualifications for the fourth time this season.
Fearless forecast: 16 carries, 52 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 14 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 8.1 fantasy points
Matchup: at PHI
Vegas line/Total: DAL -7.5, 43
Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Pennywise, Annabelle, Rudy Giuliani “tucks” — whatever or whoever haunts your nightmares, for fantasy devices, there’s no scarier movie than what’s going on in Dallas. Bone-chilling chapters are written and rewritten weekly. From cataclysmic injuries to fallible defensive maneuvers to gross incompetence, America’s Team is haunted by a steady stream of ghosts. For those unaffected by physical ailments, the inconsistency and ineptitude has sapped what remaining fantasy value they had. Just look at Zeke. Adulated in August, he’s cannonball splashed into a cesspool of suck. Severe downturns in YAC per attempt (2.80), missed tackle rate (19.9%), yards created, pass protection, among other categories, has his investors wondering if he’s still a must-start “stud.” The ‘Boys’ offensive line concerns combined with insufficiencies vertically have crushed his playmaking abilities. Add in a bizarre case of fumblitis and Zeke has resembled a dawdling backup. Frankly, Tony Pollard has outplayed him. Please, Jerry, trade for Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Gracing television screens Sunday night, the American Horror Story is sure to act out another frightening episode. Despite its own set of warts, Philadelphia has done a marvelous job containing the run. Fletcher Cox and Friends have yielded 3.29 yards per carry, 107.1 total yards, seven combined touchdowns and the 10th-fewest fantasy points to RBs. With Andy Dalton in a race to be cleared from concussion protocol, Elliott is nowhere close to the “Always start” designation some lazy analysts repeatedly spew. Le’Veon Bell (vs NYJ), Jonathan Taylor (at DET) and even Leonard Fournette (at NYG) are higher in my ranks.
Fearless forecast: 15 carries, 54 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 23 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 9.7 fantasy points
Matchup: at GB
Vegas line/Total: GB -6.5, 54.5
Stefon Diggs’ exodus to Buffalo along with a full offseason to heal unlocked Thielen’s inner WR1 monster. Vlad the Impaler in purple, he’s repeatedly shish-kabobed the competition, skewering secondaries whether versus press, man or zone coverage. Through seven weeks, he generated a mammoth 29.2% target share (WR6), the fourth-highest air yards share (43.2%) and ranks top-10 in fantasy points per game, total red-zone targets (8) and deep targets (14). In other words, he’s reverted to the undeniable WR1 of 2018, a player who torched the rival Packers for 20 receptions, 256 yards and two scores over a pair of contests. That’s fantasy production equivalent to the number of pornbots spamming my Twitter account.
Green Bay, however, is a different defensive beast. Yes, Thielen burned the Packers yet again in Week 1 posting a 6-110-2 line, but with Justin Jefferson’s emergence, he’ll undoubtedly be shadowed exclusively by Jaire Alexander the second time around. The ascending star corner has allowed a 58.3% catch percentage, 68.4 passer rating and 0.55 yards per snap to his assignments. As a collective, Green Bay slots inside the top-third in fewest fantasy points surrendered to WRs. Among wideouts, only Thielen, Olamide Zaccheaus and Randall Cobb surpassed 61 yards against them this year. The adage “no two games are ever the same” applies to the Vikings WR1 this week.
Fearless forecast: 5 receptions, 65 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 9.0 fantasy points
Matchup: vs. SF
Vegas line/Total: SEA -3.5, 54
One week DK Metcalf explodes; the next, it’s Lockett igniting for 15-200-3. Seattle’s seesaw is maddening to predict. For the receiving volcano, it would be entirely too appropriate the magma cools after his historic effort last week in Arizona.
His ceaseless dustings of Patrick Peterson under the primetime lights Sunday night in a thrilling OT loss forever etched Lockett’s name into fantasy football lore. His resulting 56.0 fantasy points scored on DraftKings ranked No. 14 all-time among wide receivers, sandwiched in between Henry Ellard’s three-TD slashing of the Colts in 1989 and Brandon Marshall’s stupefying 21-catch game, also against Indy, in 2009. With Russell Wilson cooking at a high temperature on deep balls (122.3 passer rating on throws of 20-plus yards), more spectacular performances are on the horizon for Lockett.
With San Francisco’s secondary finally starting to get healthy, fantasy's No. 2 overall receiver could revert to the sheepish producer witnessed Weeks 4 and 5 versus Miami (2-39-0) and Minnesota (4-44-0). Richard Sherman is still a week or two away from returning, but Jason Verrett (23.2 passer rating, 0.30 yds/snap allowed) and Emmanuel Moseley (70.6, 1.12) have done a masterful job in coverage. As a whole, the Niners have surrendered the 10th-fewest air yards per game, 6.7 pass yards per attempt and the sixth-fewest fantasy point to WRs. Robert Saleh’s crew will crank the heat, a dangerous proposition against Russell Wilson (QB3 in pressure completion percentage), but Lockett’s unnerving history against the division rival — he’s fallen short of 52 yards in three career contests — suggests chasing last week’s stats isn’t wise.
Fearless forecast: 4 receptions, 50 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 7.0 fantasy points
Bonus lames (over 50% started)
RB: Ronald Jones, TB (Line: TB -10.5; DK: $5,700) — In the ongoing game of Buccaneer bingo what number will Bruce Arians call out this week — 27 or 28? The most likely answer is both. Last week, Fournette outpaced his contemporary notching 55.7% of the snap share. He also dominated pass down work, an area he should continue to receive consistent action in. Jones’ shortcomings as a pass catcher combined with the organization’s desire to keep both backs fresh for what could be a Super Bowl run pollutes each back’s value. The Giants, most susceptible in the pass game against sure-handed RBs, are a matchup best served for Fournette. Tough between the hashmarks allowing 3.93 yards per carry to rushers, they could stonewall Jones on his approximate 12-14 attempts, labeling him completely untrustworthy in Week 8. (FF: 13-42-0-1-5-0, 5.2 fantasy points)
WR: CeeDee Lamb, DAL (Line: PHI -7.5; DK: $5,600) — Dallas is a dumpster fire circling a black hole somewhere in the deepest recesses of space. Defensively and now offensively, the contagion has created an uncontrollable spread of suck. Possibly down Andy Dalton (concussion), the pass game could fall on the shoulders of rookie Ben DiNucci. Some have called the seventh-round pick an inexperienced Tony Romo. Last year with James Madison, he did display solid accuracy and touch on intermediate throws, totaling 45 touchdowns. That production, however, wasn’t logged against an NFL-level defense, especially one featuring an excellent cover corner in Darius Slay. Toss in the Cowboys’ crumbling offensive line and it could be rough sledding for Lamb and the passing attack in primetime. The Eagles, No. 12 in fantasy points allowed to WRs, are a plus matchup, but it’s hard to place your trust in the hands of a complete unknown. (FF: 4-57-0, 7.7 fantasy points)
WR: DeVante Parker, MIA (Line: LAR -4; DK: $5,700) — It’s officially Tua time. Highly publicized rookie Tua Tagovailoa gets his first crack to showcase his wares against … one of the NFL’s stiffest passing defenses. Thrown into the lion’s den doused in meat juice, he will be tested right away. Strong-armed, wonderfully accurate and superb in his reads/progressions while at Alabama, he’s a franchise cornerstone and unlikely bust. Still, questions about his durability remain. How polished he’ll be is anyone’s best guess. Parker, No. 1 among WRs in contested catch rate, isn’t too far off last season’s breakout pace. However, drawing lockdown corner Jalen Ramsey in coverage only increases his Week 8 bust risk. The decorated Ram has allowed a 53.3 catch percentage, 77.1 passer rating and 0.57 yards per snap this season. Overall, only the Fighting Footballs (WAS) rank higher in fewest fantasy points surrendered to WRs. (FF: 4-60-0, 8.0 fantasy points)
WR: Darius Slayton, NYG (Line: TB -10.5; DK: $4,800) — Overlooked due to the focus on Tom Brady, the Buccaneers have plundered the opposition defensively. Dialing up persistent pressure (28.3%, No. 4 in the NFL), they’ve placed QBs in uncomfortable situations. Daniel Jones is all too familiar with duress. Third-to-last in clean pocket percentage (56.2% of dropbacks), he’s dealt with a barrage of blitzes. With that downside in mind, he’ll have only sporadic opportunities to connect with his big-play weapon, Slayton, downfield. Even when he does, Jamel Dean, who’s posted a 70.0 passer rating and 0.84 yards per snap allowed, is sure to sever any connection. Slayton, No. 2 among WRs in air yards share (45.0%), can fly, but his second-straight quiet week is a likely conclusion. (FF: 3-26-0, 4.1 fantasy points)
TE: Mark Andrews, BAL (Line: BAL -3.5; DK: $5,800) — Back in August the tight end position took on the appearance of the Marianas Trench. Stacked with talent in prominent roles, it was the deepest pool of prospects in recent memory. Then the season happened. Now a desolate landscape with rolling tumbleweed and abandoned buildings an apocalyptic scenario has unfolded. Andrews, No. 3 in total scoring, is exactly where people drafted him. He scribbled a mammoth 38.1% red-zone target share and ranks No. 2 among TEs with a 24.2 air yards percentage. This week, however, he’ll make his contribution to the growing position graveyard. Pittsburgh’s stellar LB play has largely contained tight ends this season. The Steelers have given up 3.8 receptions, 39.0 receiving yards and the fifth-fewest fantasy points to plus-sized targets. (FF: 3-28-0, 4.3 fantasy points)
Week 8 results: 7-3 (Season: 33-32)
W: Josh Jacobs, Odell Beckham, Kenyan Drake, Amari Cooper, Le'Veon Bell, Allen Robinson, George Kittle
L: Drew Brees, Derrick Henry, Will Fuller