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 11 Lames on Twitter @NoisyHuevos.
(60% started in Yahoo; DK DFS: $6,100)
Matchup: at BAL
Vegas line/Total: BAL -6.5, 49
One of the greatest redeeming qualities of the United States: It’s the ultimate second-chance society. Tannehill was on the fast track to clipboard holdings and irrelevance. His final days in Miami were filled with immaterial gains. His final season on South Beach, marred by dismal performances, proved to be an unceremonious end. Shipped along with a sixth-round pick to Tennessee in exchange for a fourth-round 2020 and seventh-round 2019 pick, he commanded minimal draft capital in the open market. In hindsight, however, it was a steal of a deal. As anyone reading this is aware, Tannehill was nothing short of spectacular last fall. His dual-threat prowess, judiciousness and leadership propelled the Titans deep into the postseason and elevated fantasy GMs who bought in as he finished QB2 in fantasy points per dropback in Weeks 9-16.
Regression, predictably, has kicked in for the veteran in 2020. Still, top-14 in fantasy points per game and inside the top-10 in red-zone completion percentage, catchable target rate and completed air yard, he continues to sport a high Energy Star rating. This week, however, he will need to be peak efficient to slide into the position’s top-15. His opponent, Baltimore, exhibits sharpened talons against the pass. This season, the Ravens have surrendered just 6.4 pass yards per attempt, 231.8 pass yards per game, 1.2 passing TDs per contest and the eighth-fewest fantasy points to QBs. They have, bizarrely, given up the 10th-most air yards to the position, but No. 2 in blitz percentage, the dirty pockets created have routinely rattled signal callers. Due to the Ravens’ inadequacy bottling up the run — they allow 4.39 yards per carry to RBs — Derrick Henry is sure to be the emphasis, capping Tanny’s upside.
Fearless forecast: 228 passing yards, 1 passing touchdown, 1 turnover, 11 rushing yards, 13.2 fantasy points
Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns
Matchup: vs. PHI
Vegas line/Total: CLV -3.5, 48
Leather helmets, black and white TVs, pull-tab beers — Kevin Stefanski and the Cleveland Browns are unfiltered old school in their offensive approach. Echoing the football ghosts of Jim Brown, Earnest Byner and, hell, Peyton Hillis, they’ve pounded the rock with conviction, displacing earth and would-be tacklers in the process. This is the Stefanski football brand, bludgeon opponents with the ground grind until full submission. Last week’s smashing of Houston, through biting gale force winds, perfectly exemplified the throwback mentality. Chubb and Kareem Hunt flattened a nutless Texans defense each topping the century mark on 19 carries. The latter, who ripped through a number of feeble tacklers in his triumphant return, elevated his YAC-per-attempt mark to an NFL-leading 4.41. He didn’t skip a beat after missing four games with a knee injury, though his game-clinching out of bounds maneuver crushed fantasy souls.
This week, however, Cleveland welcomes a more formidable challenger. The Eagles run defense, spearheaded by maneater Fletcher Cox, is often immovable. This season, Philly has surrendered just 3.36 yards per carry, 79.0 rush yards per game and the 11th-fewest fantasy points to rushers. Chubb should receive his customary 15-20 carries, but with Hunt commanding the lion’s share of pass-down duties, he can be game script limited. In many ways, he’s the Derrick Henry of the North. The former Bulldog is arguably the purest downhill runner currently in the NFL game, but Week 11 could mark only the third time this season he falls well short of 100 yards.
Fearless forecast: 16 carries, 78 rushing yards, 0 receptions, 0 touchdowns, 7.8 fantasy points
Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers
Matchup: at IND
Vegas line/Total: IND -2.5, 51
The disrespect Jones received preseason was unwarranted. Fantasy GMs feared Jamaal Williams and the accentuated bulge of AJ Dillion’s tightly wound thighs. As a result, he, the RB touchdown leader in 2019, slipped well into Round 2 and, in some almost unfathomably cases, Round 3. It simply didn’t compute. He’s revered by Aaron Rodgers, wonderfully multidimensional and the slickest offensive all-downs weapon outside Dalvin Cook in the NFC. Still, most veered in another direction because … regression. Naysayers, though, can kick rocks. Jones ranks No. 4 in 0.5 PPR points per game, RB6 in YAC per attempt among rushers with at least 75 touches (3.13) and RB17 in yards created per touch.
For the Packer Backer, this week isn’t the sweetest slice of gouda. Grover Stewart — don’t let his muppety name fool you — isn’t your run-of-the-mill cute, cuddly interior defender. He ranks No. 16 among all defenders with 18 tackles for loss versus the run. Add in the hole-obliterating presences of Anthony Walker and Darius Leonard and it’s easy to see why the Colts are one of the most feared defenses in the NFL. On the year, they’ve relinquished only 3.42 yards per carry, 101.2 total yards per game, seven total TDs and the third-fewest fantasy points to RBs. Mix in Williams’ sizable rotational role and Jones could replicate last week’s disappointing 13-46-0, 5-49-0 output.
Fearless forecast: 14 carries, 41 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 33 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 9.4 fantasy points
Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Matchup: vs. LAR
Vegas line/Total: TB -3.5, 47.5
Chubb running out of bounds just before crossing the chalk for a sweatless six. Kyler Murray, in a contest with a closing Arizona -3 line, taking a knee on a two-point “attempt” to preserve a two-point miracle victory against the Buffalo Bills. Whether you’re talking fantasy or gambling, bad beats dampened spirits last Sunday. Lady Luck maximized the credit cards, keyed the car and moved out, permanently. Given the unpredictability of sports, soul-vaporizing moments are bound to occur. It’s during these times, burying the hatchet is the only sensible recourse.
If you’re looking to avoid pain and anguish, counting on Evans to post suitable numbers is an exercise in futility. Though he’s come alive over the past three weeks hauling in 15 receptions (on 24 targets) for 196 yards and two TDs, the matchup lends considerable pause. The Rams rank No. 1 in fewest fantasy points allowed to wide receivers. In a 0.5-PPR setting, only four WRs have crossed the 11 fantasy-point threshold, zero since Week 7. Jalen Ramsey, who’ll likely coat Evans like a layer of hot tar on a roof, has yielded a 53.3 catch percentage, 77.1 passer rating and 0.57 yards per snap to his assignments. In the end, it’s plausible he suffers a similar fate as Allen Robinson (4-70-0), DeVante Parker (1-3-1) and DK Metcalf (2-28-0) before him.
Fearless forecast: 3 receptions, 35 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 5.0 fantasy points
Matchup: vs. MIA
Vegas line/Total: MIA -3.5, 45
Watching the Denver Broncos frustratingly attempt to move the chains ranks up there with consuming a marathon of low-budget, poorly acted Lifetime movies, My Psycho Yoga Instructor very much included. It’s quite tortuous. Once again, it seems, John Elway hasn’t found his man. If Drew Lock can’t somehow deflect pressure (25.2 under-pressure passer rating), he’ll soon go the way of Brock Osweiler, Paxton Lynch, Trevor Siemian and Case Keenum. If that happens, the Jesus Christ of Colorado should follow. The Broncos are a religion in the Centennial State, but the string of amateurish passers post-Peyton Manning is a fireable offense, yet Elway implausibly continues to survive.
Outclassed by fellow rookies Justin Jefferson, Chase Claypool, Brandon Aiyuk, Tee Higgins and CeeDee Lamb, Jeudy — largely due to Denver’s unsteady QB play — hasn’t quite delivered on his ginormous promise. Though his recent prospects have brightened, topping 65 yards in three consecutive weeks, he currently sits at WR47 in 0.5 PPR fantasy points per game, three spots behind teammate Tim Patrick. His ankle-breaking routes arrow to a rosy future, but with Brett Rypien potentially back under center this week, his immediate outlook is bleak. The matchup, too, isn’t all puppy dogs and ice cream. Miami, No. 4 in blitz percentage, is an attacking and opportunistic defense which has gained confidence with every forced blunder. Against a rickety Denver offensive line, they should have a field day, limiting downfield opportunities for Jeudy to convert.
Fearless forecast: 4 receptions, 57 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 7.7 fantasy points
Bonus lames (over 50% started)
RB: James Robinson, JAX (Line: PIT -10; DK: $6,400) — Forget left field, Robinson emerged from the last space in the expansive stadium parking lot. Undrafted and overlooked, the former Illinois State Redbird has taken flight as the Jaguars’ primary rusher. His rise has made the Jaguars front office look like geniuses after cutting Leonard Fournette loose in August. On a humongous 85.1% opportunity share, tops in the league, he’s become an unsung workhorse running with power and conviction (3.10 YAC/att) while padding the bottom line with occasional contributions in the pass game. His latter role, however, has dwindled somewhat since Jake Luton was inserted into the starting lineup. Robinson grabbed only two passes in his past two games. This week the volume will be there, as always, but Pittsburgh’s pressure-packed nature (36.1% pressure percentage) and inflexible front say exercise caution. This year the Steelers have yielded 4.13 YPC, 84.3 rush yards per game, five total TDs and the second-few fantasy points to RBs. (FF: 17-64-0-1-7-0, 7.6 fantasy points)
RB: Darrell Henderson, LAR (Line: TB -3; DK: $5,300) — Next to Indy’s constantly spinning turnstile, there isn’t a more confusing backfield than L.A.’s. Sean McVay is a master in the art of deception, an illusionist who makes all eyewitnesses believe one development only to trick them with an unexpected revelation. Cam Akers’ increasing role (27.3% snap percentage in WK10) combined with Malcolm Brown’s continued existence have polluted the waters for Henderson. He’s still running assertively between the tackles (2.87 YAC/att) and logs the occasional red-zone look, but the unpredictability of his weekly workload erodes trust. This week with him facing Tampa’s vaunted run defense other options should be weighed. The Bucs, No. 1 in fewest adjusted line yards allowed, have given up a mere 3.03 yards per carry and 54.2 rush yards per game to RBs. Start him and you may scuttle your season, matey. (FF: 12-39-0, 1-5-0, 4.9 fantasy points)
WR: DK Metcalf, SEA (Line: SEA -3.5; DK: $7,600) — After last week’s miserable 2-28-0 showing by the Thanos of WRs, Pete Carroll fumbled through reporter questions inquiring why the prized wideout was so underused. Cliche answers, covering the usual “scheming” and “we tried” bases, followed. In reality, it was Jalen Ramsey’s lockdown defense which explained the abrupt absence. Though Arizona is a softer opponent — the Cards have allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to WRs — there’s no guarantee Metcalf recovers all the infinity stones. Patrick Peterson (89.7 passer rating allowed) had the ‘Hawks’ number in the first matchup Week 7, holding him to an eerily similar 2-23-0 line. For Vance Joseph’s D, the primary soft spot is underneath coverage. The Cards have surrendered 69.9 yards per game to slot receivers, the 11th-most in the league. Once again Tyler Lockett, if he suits up (knee), stands to benefit leaving Metcalf to draw defenders downfield. (FF: 4-70-0, 9.0 fantasy points)
WR: Tyler Boyd, CIN (Line: WAS -1.5; DK: $5,600) — Almost every child growing up discovers friendship via a stuffed animal. Mine was “Rocky,” a tender-faced raccoon. He was story subject matter, a traveling buddy, absorber of spit and an inseparable bedtime companion. To rookie QB Joe Burrow, Boyd, his Rocky, is the personification of youthful attachments everywhere. Seven times this season the pair have hooked up at least five times in a game. The slot man, quietly on pace for 107 receptions, has caught 80.0% of his targets, 14 of which have come inside the red zone. Another heavy dose of looks are on the docket, but the matchup against Washington isn’t the kindest. No franchise has allowed fewer slot yards (40.3/game) than the Fighting Footballs. They also rank inside the top-six in fewest air yards and fantasy points surrendered to WRs. His projected assignment, unheralded DB Jimmy Moreland, has given up a 78.2 passer rating. (FF: 6-51-0, 8.1 fantasy points)
TE: Mike Gesicki, MIA (Line: MIA -3.5; DK: $4,300) — There is no more thankless weekly task as a fantasy football predictor than attempting to rank the bare cupboard that is tight ends. Watching the Chicago Bears, without the benefits of a smooth añejo tequila, insufferably bumble their way through four quarters provides more enjoyment. OK, that’s a stone-cold lie. They redefine “suck.” Gesicki is a rather flavorless option in Week 11. In his first two tangos with Tua Tagovailoa, he’s enticed nine targets, totaling five receptions for 82 yards and zero scores. Denver has thrown in the towel defensively, but the Broncos remain stiff against opposing tight ends giving up 5.2 receptions per game, 50.6 yards per game, two touchdowns and the 10th-fewest fantasy points to the position. In other words, expect more mediocrity. (FF: 3-36-0, 5.1 fantasy points)
Week 10 record: 8-1 (Season: 56-37)
W: Carson Wentz, Derrick Henry, Mike Davis, Jared Cook, Tyler Lockett, Darrell Henderson, Marquise Brown, Melvin Gordon
L: Justin Jefferson
DNP: Joe Mixon