Week 6 Fantasy Flames: Kamara, Hogan, Gabriel to catch fire
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 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Speaking as an accountability advocate, I will post results, whether genius or moronic, the following week (Scoring thresholds – QB: 18 fpts, RB: 12 fpts, WR: 11 fpts: TE: 10 fpts; .5 PPR). If you’re a member of TEAM HUEVOS, reveal your Week 6 Flames in the comments section below.
Kevin Hogan, Cle, QB (1 percent started, $20 in Yahoo DFS)
Matchup: at Hou (Game over/under: 45)
For those Cleveland fans who playfully list the organization’s number of quarterback starters since 1999 on the back of jerseys, extra long sizes are required. Tim Couch, Brandon Weeden, Charlie Frye, Brady Quinn … it’s a bottomless abyss of failure. It’s too early to determine whether Deshone Kizer, spectacularly awful the past couple weeks, is the franchise’s next great derelict, but he’s certainly trending in the wrong direction. Hue Jackson has yet to announce his starter for this week’s clash in Houston, but signs point to Hogan getting the call. Including the elevated backup in this column might be overly huevos-y, but it’s completely foreseeable Hogan proves skeptics wrong. How? The plus-athlete is a dual threat who’s shown promise in spurts. In Week 7 last year, for example, he passed for 100 yards and ran for another 104 more against Cincinnati. A week ago, he recorded a pair of TDs, attacked downfield (10.2 ypa) and padded the bottom line with 30 rushing yards. Mix in Cleveland’s pass D issues, Deshaun Watson’s fiery hand and Houston’s plethora of significant injuries on defense, and tabbing him a ‘Flame’ isn’t that outlandish. Keep in mind Jonathan Joseph, Kareem Jackson and Jonathan Banks have allowed at least a 115.1 passer rating on the season. Again, if Hogan starts, the Chihuahua could pack a vicious bite.
Fearless Forecast: 223 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 1 interception, 54 rushing yards, 21.3 fantasy points
Alvin Kamara, NO, RB (19 percent started, $17 in Yahoo DFS)
Matchup: vs. Det (Over/Under: 51)
“Indiana Jones,” “Lord of the Rings,” “Lethal Weapon” – Tinsel Town is known for cranking out the sequels. Some meet or, in some rare cases, exceed expectations set by the original. Others, however, fall terribly flat. Take for instance the “Cars” series. The first one was an instant classic. Then Pixar, presumably driven by lucrative merchandise sales, made two more. They were completely forgettable. That trilogy is the perfect parallel to the Saints’ backfield. Kamara, the club’s true Lighting McQueen, is the only Black and Gold clad rusher worth watching. In terms of speed, electricity and efficiency, Mark Ingram and recently dealt Adrian Peterson pale in comparison. Off the bye, Kamara could experience a well-deserved expanded role, up for him his previously logged 31.8 percent opportunity share. Tough after initial contact (3.7 YAC/att), evasive and ultra-versatile, he needs more run. Sean Payton, who compared Kamara to Marshall Faulk earlier this season, absolutely loves the kid. This week against visiting Detroit, it would be no surprise if he earned 14-plus touches. The Lions, who’ve conceded a lowly 3.48 yards per carry and 129.2 total yards per game to RBs, rank outside the league’s top-15 in most fantasy points allowed to rushers. Despite the unattractive paper matchup, the physically fresh youngster will do work behind a top-shelf offensive line (No. 6 in run-blocking efficiency per Player Profiler). At the fantasy altar, Kamara is on the verge of being canonized, especially with CJ.2K, Peterson, now living in an Arizona retirement community.
Fearless Forecast: 10 carries, 51 rushing yards, 5 receptions, 39 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 17.5 fantasy points
Andre Ellington, Ari, RB (37 percent started, $13 in Yahoo DFS)
Matchup: vs. TB (Over/Under: 44.5)
Admittedly, I’m what you call a fantasy floozy. Rather promiscuous when it comes to running backs over the years, I openly professed my love for many under-the-radar rushers. Many of you are familiar with the names – Brandon Jacobs, Ryan Mathews, Melvin Gordon. A few raised arousal levels. Most caused unwanted dysfunction. Three years ago, Ellington joined the latter group. Though remarkably effective in smaller doses in 2014, he crumbled under the demands of an increased workload the following season. Eventually, David Johnson seized command of the Arizona backfield, relegating Ellington to mop-up duty. But with DJ sidelined and CJ2000 years old useless, the scrappy rusher is suddenly a thing again. Johnson and Kerwyn Williams will continue to dominate early-down work until AP is up to speed, but the multidimensional veteran has morphed into the desert’s version of Chris Thompson or Tarik Cohen. Targeted 39 times in five contests, he’s hauled in 28 passes for 256 yards — PPR goodness. He’s managed to dodge the end zone, but this is the week the afterthought leaves an indelible RB2 mark. His opponent, Tampa Bay, has yielded a foam sword in the trenches this season. The Bucs rank No. 8 in most fantasy points allowed to RBs giving up 133.5 total yards and 7.3 receptions per game to RBs. To be fair, they’ve given up just 3.27 yards per carry to plowshares, but Ellington’s strength resides dissecting defenses in the short field. FLEX him at a minimum.
Fearless Forecast: 4 carries, 19 rushing yards, 7 receptions, 61 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 17.5 fantasy points
Donte Moncrief, Ind, WR (17 percent started, $16 in Yahoo DFS)
Matchup: at Ten (Over/Under: OTB)
For Indy’s Frenchman, his 2017 fantasy season has tasted like unseasoned escargot. Targeted a mere 14.8 percent of the time, he’s hauled in an unusable 11 catches for 174 yards and one score. Dropped in droves in recent weeks, most believe the once highly touted thoroughbred isn’t race ready, even in deep leagues. Though Jacoby Brissett has spoon fed T.Y. Hilton and, to a lesser extent, his tight ends, this is the week Moncrief delivers flavorful results. “Miniatures” should replace “Titans” as the franchise’s nickname. Shriveled by its flammable D, Mike Mularkey’s club has been picked apart often by opposing quarterbacks. On the season, they’ve yielded a league-high 12 passing touchdowns, nine of which were hauled in by wide receivers. Peering through the microscope, Logan Ryan and Adoree Jackson have the appearance of amoebas. The pedestrian pair have enveloped few assignments. On the year, they’ve allowed a combined 115.8 passer rating, five scores and 78.8 yards per game. Given Moncrief’s limited volume, admittedly, he’s a dice roll, but the matchup and limited resources several have with four teams on siesta say No. 10 is certainly worth the hit. Gamble, and you may score blackjack.
Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 57 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 13.7 fantasy points
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, NYJ, TE (23 percent started, $16 in Yahoo DFS)
Matchup: vs. NE (Over/Under: 47.5)
At some point in our lives, every one of us is influenced by overconfidence. Self-talk, and the resulting ego boost we receive, convinces us to abandon conventionality, chase the river and pray a jack of any suit flips up to complete the straight. It’s bound to happen. It’s sure to happen. Last week on Twitter, I too nearly fell victim to a psychological stroking. After reading a rather hyperbolic piece on a competitor’s site, I tossed out a rather bold statement about ASJ. Luckily, it kept the hindsight haters at bay as the hidden gem finished TE8 on the week. Whew. Not one to back down, I’m doubling down on the Jet. Though New England temporarily learned how to read its defensive playbook last week in Tampa, it remains a highly beatable defense. Last Thursday, Patrick Chung blanketed Cameron Brate fairly well, but Jameis Winston misfires soured what was an otherwise a sweet-tasting fantasy night. On the year, Chung has conceded a 19-273-2 line to his assignments, several of those catches to tight ends. In fact as a unit, the Patriots stand at No. 4 in fantasy points allowed to the position. Seferian-Jenkins, who’s seen 21.4 percent of the targets share (TE4) since returning to action, is the mental boost we all need in another harsh bye week.
Fearless Forecast: 6 receptions, 55 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 17.5 fantasy points
WEEK 6 SHOCKER SPECIAL (Under 10-percent started)
Taylor Gabriel, Atl, WR (2 percent started, $13 in Yahoo DFS)
Matchup: vs. Mia (Over/Under: 47)
Speedy Gonzalez. Mighty Mouse. Scrappy from Scooby Doo. Gabriel, much like memorable cartoon characters and carbon copy Tyreek Hill, is a dwarfish receiver (5-foot-8, 167-pounds) chock full of speed and explosiveness. A year ago, he was one of the waiver wire’s shiniest gems. He enticed just 12.8 percent of the targets share and caught 36 balls, but his knack for bursting into the end zone briefly tabbed him a consistency king. From Weeks 8-15, he morphed into a matchup nightmare, crossing the chalk seven times. His subsequent 2.71 fantasy points per target set the pace among all wide receivers. Though he’s cashed six only once in four games, his amplified snap share (’16: 46.9%; ’17: 59.1%) and possible increased overall role with Mohamed Sanu questionable (hammy) suggest another scoring streak is on the immediate horizon. The matchup, too, is incredibly favorable. Miami, with or without top corner Byron Maxwell, hasn’t quite served up fantasy production on a silver platter. It ranks top-10 in fewest points allowed to WRs. That standing, however, is a bit deceiving. The ‘Fins rank top-12 in catch percentage (71.4, No. 2) and yards per catch (12.93, No. 12) surrendered. Scuba diving, current CB starters Xavien Howard and rookie Cordrea Tankersley have given up a 102.7 average passer rating. If Sanu sits, look for Gabriel, who ranks top-15 in separation yards per target, to skewer the Fish underneath.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 61 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 14.6 fantasy points
BONUS WEEK 6 FLAMES
#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?
— Alex Szabo (@AlexSzabo23) October 10, 2017
Fan Week 5 results: 3-4 (Season: 14-23)
My Week 5 results: 5-5 (Season: 26-26; W: Jacoby Brissett, Duke Johnson, Jerick McKinnon, ASJ, Carson Wentz; L: Tyrell Williams, Alex Collins, Wayne Gallman, Adam Humphries, Oakland D/ST; DNS: Geronimo ALlison, C.J. Prosise)
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.”