Week 8 fantasy busts: Amari Cooper not yet completely back

Yahoo Sports Fantasy Minute
Week 8 Fantasy Lames: Ryan won’t find post-Super Bowl hangover cure in New York

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 8 Lames in the comments section below.

Matt Ryan, ATL, QB (77 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $36)
Matchup: at NYJ

With his value cryogenically frozen, Ryan’s status as a weekly fantasy starter is on very, very thin ice. The quarterback’s diminished return post Super Bowl is worse than any red wine hangover. UB40 would agree. His TD percentage has dropped from a career-best 7.1 in 2016 to 3.4 this year. Under certified moron Steve Sarkisian’s direction – You just now discovered Julio Jones’ red-zone skills?! –he’s also experienced precipitous drop-offs in accuracy categories including red-zone (’16: 65.6; ’17: 54.8) and deep-ball completion (48.5; 18.2) percentages. Ultimately, he’s evolved into an unwanted weekly fantasy starter, indicative in his QB20 ranking and one multi-TD performance on the season. Though the matchup this week is advantageous, Ryan should be considered a borderline starter in 12-team leagues. Yes, the Jets have surrendered the ninth-most fantasy points to passers, but they’ve given up a mere 237.1 yards per game and 6.8 yards per attempt. Buster Skrine, likely to line up against Mohamed Sanu most often, typically lays down (125.0 passer rating, 5 TDs allowed), but former Cowboy Morris Claiborne has shackled the opposition (69.7 passer rating, 0 TDs allowed). Punch the digits and Ryan, even with six teams on bye and given the turnover at the position, is largely unreliable. The headache continues …

Fearless Forecast: 257 passing yards, 1 passing touchdown, 1 interception, 13.3 fantasy points

C.J. Anderson, Den, RB (69 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $19)
Matchup: at KC

The Broncos offense is the culmination of every axe-murdered victim in the entire horror flick catalogue. No matter if it’s Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler or Paxton Lynch, the quarterback problem sits unresolved. Unable to move the chains consistently and effectively over the past several games, a gassed Denver defense has attempted, mostly unsuccessfully, to shoulder the increased burden. As a result, game scripts have quickly turned negative, crushing Anderson’s fantasy value. In three of his past four games, the RB failed to cross the 8.0-fantasy point mark. Since Week 3, he ranks RB48 in per game production, contributing an unsightly 58.3 total yards per game with zero scores. Most concerning, he’s relinquished work to backfield compatriots Devontae Booker and Jamaal Charles. CJA still ranks inside the position’s top-15 in elusive rating (RB15) and yards after contact per attempt (RB7), but the Broncos’ vertical instability suggests a rise in stacked fronts is on the horizon. So far this season, he’s seen an overloaded box only 18.5 percent of the time. In fairness, Kansas City does present a favorable paper matchup. The Chiefs have allowed 4.37 yards per carry and six rushing TDs to RBs. However, behind a dysfunctional offensive line expect Anderson to drown in a sea of red jerseys.

Fearless Forecast: 11 carries, 46 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 13 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 6.9 fantasy points

Carlos Hyde, SF, RB (85 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $22)
Matchup: at Phi

San Francisco’s road toward complete futility is littered with stubborn moose, shady drifters and unexpected blockades. The same could be said for Hyde’s fantasy path. Reportedly on the outs just a couple weeks ago, the rusher has regained Kyle Shanahan’s trust, but the Niners’ general defensive putridity and lack of offensive power has made the rusher highly unpredictable. Though RB20 since Week 4, he’s averaged an undesirable 3.43 yards per carry and fallen shy of double digit fantasy points three times in standard leagues. Hyde is an advanced analytics darling ranking inside the top-15 in total evaded tackles and breakaway runs (Five scampers of 15-plus yards). Surprisingly, he’s also tallied the fourth-most red-zone opportunities of any RB this year. But a road matchup against a white-hot Eagles team is daunting to say the least. Yes, he’s likely to accumulate the catches in garbage time, but successful moments between the tackles will be fleeting at best. Fletcher Cox and Co. comprise a Great Wall in the trenches. On the year, they’ve surrendered just 3.06 yards per carry, 88.3 total yards per game and the fourth-fewest fantasy points to RBs. Again, he has measurable PPR appeal, but the outlook in standard formats is quite bleak.

Fearless Forecast: 13 carries, 36 rushing yards, 5 receptions, 39 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 10.0 fantasy points

DeAndre Hopkins, Hou, WR (63 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $32)
Matchup: at Sea

When Bill O’Brien turned the launch codes over to Deshaun Watson, the Texans officially went full nuclear. The rookie hotshot, whose downfield accuracy and overall polish many scouts questioned during the NFL Draft process, has carpet bombed the competition. He’s thrived in almost every imaginable situation – play-action, under pressure, downfield. As a result, Hopkins, zombified by Brock Osweiler last season, has come back to life. Netting an obscene 35.1 percent of the team’s target share, he’s hauled in 37 catches and set the pace among all wide receivers in touchdowns (6). That, however, was accomplished against several assailable secondaries. His last four opponents, New England, Tennessee, Kansas City and Cleveland, all rank inside the top-13 in fantasy points allowed to WRs. A road matchup in Seattle presents a much stiffer test. Yes, Richard Sherman doesn’t shadow assignments, but he and fellow corner Shaq Griffin have held WR1s to a lowly 43.6 yards per game. They’ve also allowed a combined 73.9 passer rating, 50.8 catch percentage and two TDs. Throw in the hard hits levied by Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas, and Hopkins could easily post his worst fantasy output of the season.

Fearless Forecast: 6 receptions, 59 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 8.9 fantasy points

Amari Cooper, Oak, WR (85 percent started; Yahoo DFS: $21)
Matchup: at Buf

“Idiot.” “Clown.” “You should be fired.” After Amari Cooper, who just minutes prior to kickoff last Thursday I disparagingly called the “Geostorm” of wide receivers on Twitter, scored his first meaningful fantasy points in weeks hindsight haters promptly emerged from their troll holes with pent up rage to expel. No surprise, a steady stream of epithets flooded my timeline as Cooper loyalists plunged and twisted daggers. The descriptions mentioned above were the gentle ones. #FadeTheNoise was in full effect … For those who invested a top pick in the wideout, what he accomplished against the Chiefs, mostly in the slot, was exactly what the doctor ordered. His 11-210-2 line, the best single-game output by a Raiders WR since 1965, put yours truly on blast. And I happily owned it. Few, if any saw the resurgence coming. His overall worth, prior to the game rather insignificant, vaulted back into the position’s top-20. Despite the dramatic turn of events, my reservations toward No. 89 remain unchanged. He’s a wonderfully talented player, but continued drops – they do matter – an almost nonexistent red-zone role (one red-zone catch on the year) and appalling catch rates (50.0) say pump the brakes. It’s why Derek Carr prefers Michael Crabtree and Jared Cook near the goal line. Cooper is far from back. Unless he sees 12-plus targets every game moving forward, additional box score catastrophes are likely. This week will be one of them. Buffalo’s Tre’Davious White and E.J. Gaines have given up a combined 67.5 passer rating, two TDs and a 50.0 catch percentage to their assignments. The Bills’ safety play has been equally outstanding. Suffice it to say, Cooper’s reign as WR1 will be shorter than Anthony Scaramucci’s as White House communications director.

Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 58 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 8.3 fantasy points

BONUS WEEK 8 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 “Lames” (1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 1 D/ST) by midnight PT Tuesdays via Twitter @YahooNoise. How large are your stones?

Reader Week 7 Results: 4-3 (Season: 19-30)
My Week 7 Results: 9-1 (Season: 47-23) (W: Doug Martin, DeMarco Murray, T.Y. Hilton, Larry Fitzgerald, Buck Allen, Keenan Allen, Marshawn Lynch, Cameron Brate, Baltimore D/ST; L: Alex Smith)

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.

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