Each week the Noise highlights under-started names who he believes are destined to torch the competition. To qualify, each player must be started in fewer than 60% of Yahoo! leagues. Speaking as an accountability advocate, I will post results, whether genius or moronic, the following week (Scoring thresholds – QB: 18 fantasy points, RB: 12 fantasy points, WR: 11 fantasy points: TE: 10 fantasy points; .5 PPR). If you’re a member of TEAM HUEVOS, reveal your Week 11 Flames on Twitter, @NoisyHuevos.
Cam Newton, QB, New England Patriots
(27% in Yahoo leagues; DK DFS: $6,200)
Matchup: at HOU
Vegas line/Total: HOU -2.5
When Cam mercifully applied pen to paper this past July and signed with New England, a firestorm of social media hot takes promptly spread across Twitter. With summer plans derailed by a ceaselessly growing pandemic and appetites for anything football related insatiable, the former MVP teaming with Bill Belichick satisfied the calorie count. Many promised massive production, not only for the fashionable QB, but unproven receivers around him. In a rare instance of level-headedness, this blundering blockhead didn’t take the bait. Expected rushing regression, deep-ball ineffectiveness, unproven weapons — there were ample warning signs.
Though he ranks QB6 in adjusted completion percentage, Cam, QB16 in fantasy points per game, simply hasn’t lived up to the hype. Most hilariously, he’s on pace to become the fourth passer to start at least 14 games yet fall short of six passing TDs in a season. If not for his eight rushing scores, it could be argued he would be the worst starting QB currently in fantasy. Nick Foles, however, would likely say “Hold my beer!”
This week though, inserting Newton into your starting lineup isn’t lunacy. It’s Houston after all, one of ultimate magical elixirs capable of curing blindness, baldness and fantasy bungling. On the year, the Texans have allowed 7.8 pass yards per attempt, 255.1 pass yards per game, a 18:2 TD:INT split and, most importantly for the running QB, 154.3 rush yards per game. They’re quite inviting. Tally it up and Week 11 is ripe for a Cam crushing.
Fearless forecast: 192 passing yards, 1 passing touchdowns, 55 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 0 turnovers, 23.2 fantasy points
Matchup: vs. GB
Vegas line/Total: IND -1, 49.5
“Running back by committee.” When muttered in any fantasy GM’s presence, it immediately sends shivers down the spine. Indecipherable. Maddening. Soul sapping. Enduring the mental anguish that comes with it is an experience no person would place on their worst enemy. As Nyheim Hines slashed and dashed his way to an eventful 115-total yard and two-TD last Thursday, Taylor backers wallowed in misery. Colts HC Frank Reich, who earlier in the week tossed out “hot hand” and “we love all three” when asked about his backfield, became the target of considerable outrage. Taylor, who has languished near the bottom in multiple advanced analytics, most notably YAC per attempt (2.12) and missed tackle rate (9.6%), finished his night in Nashville with 37 total yards on nine touches. Yikes.
Against a familiar backdrop to what he saw during his prolific days at the University of Wisconsin, his potential could unlock, if only for a week. Green Bay is wonderfully gracious toward running backs. This season, the Pack has yielded 4.57 yards per carry, 154.0 total yards per game, 15 total touchdowns and the third-most fantasy points to the position. Settling in at No. 22 in adjusted line yards allowed, they haven’t earned their mozzarella sticks. If Taylor can gain the upper hand early, critical given Reich’s evaluate-then-ride approach, he could quell nerves for at least one Sunday.
Fearless forecast: 12 carries, 46 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 17 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 13.8 fantasy points
Adrian Peterson, RB, Detroit Lions
Matchup: at CAR
Vegas line/Total: CAR -3,
During Prohibition, the Motor City was a capital for criminal activity. With only the Detroit River separating a booze-thirsty country from satisfying its craving, rum-running between Canada and the American city boomed. Though the 21st Amendment thankfully ended the 14-year dry spell, bootleggers remain active in the region to this day, this time specializing in the export of fantasy points. Matt Patricia, with his silly stubby pencil, is the nefarious industry’s kingpin. For almost the entire season, he and henchmen Darrell Bevell packed and shipped Swift’s value to regions unknown. Occasionally he’s contributed meaningful numbers, but the staff’s strange insistence on working relic Adrian Peterson and Kerryon Johnson (combined 63.6% opportunity share) turned the much plugged rookie into an unreliable weekly option, evidenced by his five games of less than 13 fantasy points scored in PPR.
Last week, though, the Lions finally unleashed him. The result: 168 combined yards and a TD on 21 touches. Explosive, shifty, pinballing off would-be tacklers — he displayed every tool in the box. Who’d have thunk it?
Sadly, though, Swift's well-deserved feeding was only short lived as he suffered a concussion in practice midweek. Pulled from the petrified forest, Peterson will assume lead duties Sunday. When given opportunities to plow through whippersnappers, the future HOFer has performed adequately, evidenced by his RB17 standing in yards created per touch. Kerryon will spell him ocassionally, but he should receive roughly 15 touches in a premium matchup. On the year, the Panthers have allowed 4.86 yards per carry, 153.3 total yards per game, 12 touchdowns, 66 total receptions (the most in the NFL) and the fourth-most fantasy points to the position. Expect the artist formerly known as the Purple Jesus to post divine RB2-worthy numbers in 12-team leagues.
Fearless forecast: 14 carries, 63 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 14 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 14.7 fantasy points
Matchup: at SEA
Vegas line/Total: SEA -3.5, 56.5
Unless Seattle trains and employs a swarm of murder hornets to play defense its stingless secondary is sure to continue down a record-setting path of ineptitude. Just how incompetent are the Seahawks? On pace to surrender a mindblowing 5,652 passing yards this season, they are set to outdistance the 2011 Green Bay Packers, statistically regarded as the friendliest pass defense in NFL history, by an astronomical 856 yards. Granularly, they’ve given up 8.1 pass yards per attempt, sixteen 13-point fantasy performers in a 0.5-PPR setting and the most fantasy points to the wide receiver position. Even if Quinton Dunbar and Shaquill Griffin return to action, it won’t matter. Kyler Murray-to-Kirk should yield monstrous numbers, especially with DeAndre Hopkins drawing constant attention.
Kirk, similar to August temperatures in the Sonoran, has cranked the heat over the past few weeks. In his past four games, including an 18.2-fantasy-point skewering of Seattle, he’s averaged 6.3 targets, 4.0 receptions and 68.3 yards per game, scoring an eggplant emoji-worthy five touchdowns. On the season, he ranks top-16 in yards per catch (15.8) and fantasy points per target (2.30). Hopkins may garner headlines, but, quietly, Kirk has turned into quite the shadowy assassin. Given his recent trends and spectacular matchup, he should be tabbed “must-start material” no matter league format or size. Yes, even in your pissant six-team family league. Play the man.
Fearless forecast: 5 receptions, 64 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 14.9 fantasy points
Jalen Reagor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
Matchup: vs. CLV
Vegas line/Total: CLV -4.5, 45.5
For weeks, Philadelphia was exemplary of the walking wounded. The medical bills racked probably exceeded the GDP of Luxembourg. Zach Ertz, Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, Miles Sanders, an uncountable number of offensive linemen and Reagor all missed extensive time. With Carson Wentz trudging along, Travis Fulgham seized the moment transforming into an unexpected WR1. However, with the team mostly healthy, Reagor is quickly developing into a suitable WR2, one that could detonate in spectacular fashion in Week 11. Over his past two games, he’s enticed 13 targets for seven receptions, 63 yards and a TD. On the season, he’s logged an eye-popping 15.71-yard average depth of target.
Reagor, on the verge of a breakout, could soon reward his staunchest advocates with a numbers windfall. This week presents the perfect opportunity. When it comes to defending the pass, his opponent, the Browns, are more approachable Labradors than vicious junkyard dogs. On the season, they’ve allowed 7.1 pass yards per attempt, the sixth-most fantasy points to WRs and the 12th-most air yards per game. The rookie’s projected primary assignment, Denzel Ward, has yielded a 107.0 passer rating. In an increasing role, Reagor spreads his wings.
Fearless forecast: 5 receptions, 68 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 15.3 fantasy points
Shocker special (under 10% started)
Matchup: vs. LAC
Vegas line/Total: LAC -9.5, 47
For those in attendance who get easily nauseous, placing your fantasy faith, even for one week, in the hands of a New York Jet is equivalent to consecutive spins on the Disneyland teacup ride a few cotton candies in. This may be difficult to stomach, but in challenging formats, Perine is worth your consideration. Modern-day “Einstein” Adam Gase has finally drawn the conclusion, we can only assume after intense mathematical calculations, that the youngster deserves more opportunities. Frank Gore, who once partied with King Tutankhamun as a child, isn’t the future or really the present. For a winless franchise in full evaluation mode, it needs to see how much Perine can handle. Thus far, he’s registered an unexciting 8.8% missed tackle percentage and 2.53 YAC per attempt.
With an enlarged volume anticipated, the rookie presents, at a minimum, much flex appeal in 12-team leagues. His opponent the L.A. Chargers have exhibited measurable elasticity in the trenches. Through 10 weeks, they’ve surrendered 4.87 yards per carry, 132.4 total yards per game and eight combined scores to the position. LAC also checks in at No. 24 in adjusted line yards allowed. With Joey Bosa (concussion) no guarantee to return and the Jets offensive registering a pulse before the bye, Perine could slide into the No. 2 backs class in Week 11.
Fearless forecast: 13 attempts, 37 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 16 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 12.8 fantasy points
Bonus shocker — David Moore, WR, SEA (Line: SEA -3.5; DK: $3,500) — If you’re desperately seeking a Hail Mary toss at the buzzer to get your Week 11 off on the right foot, consider Moore. Running a combined 55 routes while playing close to 63% of the ‘Hawks’ snaps the past two weeks, the overlooked target is quietly undergoing an opportunity surge. Presently No. 1 in fantasy points per target and 11.4 yards per target (WR5), he possesses sneaky game-breaking ability. With Russell Wilson aiming to wash away last week’s pass game grime against the Rams, Moore could meet or exceed the 3-54-0 line he posted against Arizona in Week 7. (FF: 4-61-1, 14.1 fantasy points)
Bonus flames (under 60% started)
QB: Jameis Winston, NO (Line: NO -6; DK: $5,900) — Is it déjà vu all over again? It was around this time last year Winston devoured DBs and fantasy Ws. Catching fire down the stretch, he tucked inside the position’s top-three in overall production in Weeks 9-16, averaging a ridiculous 354.5 pass yards per game while tossing 17 touchdowns. Of course, due to his reckless nature, he was a turnover magnet (16 INTs, 4 FLs), but his prodigiousness mesmerized the fantasy masses. Sean Payton won’t allow him to be a loose cannon, but with Drew Brees out possibly multiple weeks, Winston is an instant QB1 in 12-team leagues. His Week 11 opponent is Atlanta, a defense with a well-known putrid secondary. This season, the Falcons have given up 8.3 pass yards per attempt, 322.5 pass yards per game, 2.4 passing TDs per game and the second-most fantasy points to QBs. Winston is a classic case of taking the bad with the good, but due to the delectable matchup and bevy of weapons around him, he’s an immediate plug ‘n play. (FF: 294-3-2-8, 22.6 fantasy points)
RB: Kalen Ballage, LAC (Line: LAC -8.5; DK: $5,600) — The invented “Ballage Barometer,” a reflection of hilarious clumsiness while a member of the Miami Dolphins, is fantasy football’s version of the Mendoza Line. Using yards after contact per attempt as a guide, any player who fell under the threshold (1.51 in 2019) would be instantly lampooned for his putrescent play. With Ballage now a surprising workhorse in a more nourishing offensive environment, the Barometer is no longer functioning. His usage spike and metrics advancements (2.82 YAC/att in ‘20) is the most shocking development of the season. Scheduled to face off against his most unwavering supporter, Adam Gase, the new and improved rusher is, unbelievably, a sure-fire RB2 option in 12-team leagues. (FF: 17-69-1, 2-14-0, 15.3 fantasy points)
RB: J.D. McKissic, WAS (Line: WAS -1; DK: $5,200) — When you meet that special someone, look at him/her with the doting eyes Alex Smith does for McKissic. The passer scattered targets in the scatback’s general direction last week in Detroit, tossing him a whopping 15 balls. They connected only seven times for 43 yards, but it’s unmistakable, “Alligator” Alex is back and is as checkdown-y as ever. What occurred in Week 10 isn’t an anomaly. McKissic is essentially what Austin Ekeler was to the Chargers two years ago, a multifaceted receiving back who’s likely to deliver consistent top-15 returns in PPR leagues. Against a Bengals D responsible for 140.6 total yards per game allowed to RBs, more quick-hit hookups from Smith-to-JD are on the docket. Another 80% or more of snaps played and five-plus receptions are entirely buyable. (FF: 3-10-0-6-38-1, 13.8 fantasy points)
WR: Tim Patrick, DEN (Line: MIA -3; DK: $4,800) — Similar to your kid brother constantly tugging on a parent’s shirt desperate for attention, Patrick demands recognition. Jerry Jeudy is everyone’s dynasty favorite. K.J. Hamler, too, has a cavalcade of suitors. Still, Patrick’s quick breaks, route polish and generally dependable hands point to additional highlights, whether in season-long or dynasty. No. 81 steadily and needlessly continues to receive a cold shoulder. His vitals stir the blood — 15.8-yard average depth of target, 14.2 yards per catch, 32.5% red-zone target percentage. The guy can play. This week matched against a suddenly surging Dolphins defense, he’s a WR3 worth debating. Miami has allowed 7.3 pass yards per attempt and the sixth-most yards to WRs. Likely to see more Byron Jones (114.3 passer rating allowed) than Xavien Howard (60.3), he’s a strong candidate to win over Drew Lock or Brett Rypien’s affections. (FF: 5-67-1, 15.2 fantasy points)
TE: Hayden Hurst, ATL (Line: NO -6; DK: $4,400) — Over the first several games of this season, the tight end lived down to what his last name, though spelled differently, implies. His fantasy value lay in a coffin, awaiting a permanent burial. Weeks 1-5 he ranked TE14, a far cry from the top-eight expectations most placed upon him only a month prior. Hurst, however, has since stiffed-armed the reaper with the ferocity of a dozen Derrick Henrys. Over his past four games, he’s lured 26 targets and hauled in 22 (84.6% catch percentage) for 241 yards and a TD. His subsequent TE4 standing during that stretch has left his investors quite satisfied. This week, expect another pulsating effort. The Saints have allowed 5.3 receptions per game, 53.2 yards per game, six touchdowns and the eighth-most fantasy points to TEs. The Hurst hype, it seems, is very alive. (FF: 5-55-1, 14.0 fantasy points)
Bonus flame: Salvon Ahmed, RB, MIA (Line: MIA -3; DK: $4,800) — Ahmed, clearing phlegm collected in the throat when properly pronounced, may be the new Samkon Gado, a back buried on the depth chart who rises up and steals the fantasy show. As the backup to Myles Gaskin during his days at the University of Washington, he’s in a familiar position. Elevated into the starting lineup for the first time in his brief NFL career last week against the Chargers, he staked his claim as the primary ball carrier exhibiting terrific burst, leg churn and tackle-busting brawn (2.78 YAC/att in Week 10). On 84% of snaps played and 22 touches, he totaled 90 yards and a score. This Sunday, he and the surging Dolphins square off with fading Denver. The Broncos, lacerated in the trenches, have conceded 4.50 yards per carry, 118.0 rush yards per game, six ground scores and the fourth-most fantasy points to RBs since Week 6. Assuming Gaskin rests his tender knee another week, Ahmed is a trustworthy RB2 in 12-team formats (FF: 16-66-1-1-4-0, 13.5 fantasy points)
Super bonus flame: Michael Pittman, WR, IND (Line: IND -2.5; DK: $4,500) — A member of my preseason All-Mancrush Team, Pittman is starting to make fantasy football GM hearts go pitter pat. His 8-7-101-0 (and 21 rush yards) breakthrough performance Thursday against Tennessee earned him a bouquet of roses. Whether working across the middle in traffic or outside the numbers, his lengthy muscular frame and leathery toughness were clearly on display. He’s undoubtedly Philip Rivers’ best overall vertical threat, a receiver who should continue to earn noteworthy looks from here on out. In Week 11, Pittman clashes with Green Bay, a secondary featuring the always restrictive Jaire Alexander. Will the unshakeable DB shadow him or T.Y. Hilton? Due to the receiver’s versatility — he’s logged at least 27% of team snaps in every position — it seems unlikely. Saddle up the maturing stallion at the flex in 12-team and deeper leagues. (FF: 5-71-1, 15.6 fantasy points)
Week 10 record: 1-10 (Rancid!) (Season: 47-76)
W: Antonio Gibson
L: DeVante Parker, Phillip Lindsay, Jordan Wilkins, Darnell Mooney, Antonio Brown, Nick Mullens, DeAndre Washington, Baker Mayfield, Leonard Fournette, Larry Fitzgerald
DNP: Allen Lazard