Down Gronk and facing a tough Miami D, Brady owners could drop to their knees. (USAT)
Each week the Noise highlights 10 somewhat un-obvious names who 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. If you're a member of TEAM HUEVOS, reveal your Week 15 Lames in the comments section below.
Tom Brady, NE, QB (83-percent started)
Matchup: at Mia
It may seem unintuitive to place Brady on this list. After all, his searing stretch over the past five weeks (No. 3 among QBs since Week 9) would suggest predicting a sub 20-point performance is nothing more than a shameless attempt to generate clicks. Admittedly, that might be partially true, but there's sound reasoning behind his 'Lame' designation. The two-time MVP told WEEI Monday, the Pats "are going to have to make do" with "combinations" sans Rob Gronkowski, but expressed confidence he and his teammates will adapt. With Julian Edelman and Shane Vereen sizzling, the short-pass attack definitely won't suffer, however, an increased reliance on Stevan Ridley and the ground game could become a necessity. Point blank, unless Aaron Dobson is injected with Randy Moss' archived DNA from 2008 or Kenbrell Thompkins resembles the unstoppable target from the preseason, Brady has no reliable deep-threat, a clear weakness Miami is sure to take advantage of. Quite possibly the most underrated secondary in the league, the Dolphins have surrendered just 6.9 yards per attempt and three multi-TD passers the entire year. Corners Brent Grimes, who ranks No. 4 in coverage according to Pro Football Focus, and Jimmy Wilson have been very unrelenting. Brady was abominable, with Gronk, against the 'Fins in Week 8, totaling a hideous 116-1-1 line in Foxboro. The second tango on South Beach could be equally ugly. Shiver in your Uggs, Brady backers.
Fearless Forecast: 264 passing yards, 1 passing touchdown, 1 interceptions, 3 rushing yards, 16.5 fantasy points
C.J. Spiller, Buf, RB (58-percent)
Matchup: at Jax
After exploding for 157 total yards and a score against Atlanta two weeks ago, many, including this balding Massengill, bought tickets for the Spiller Florida Fantasy Redemption Tour. Taking on the explosive appearance of his former self and blessed with a superb Sunshine State slate (at TB, at Jac, vs. Mia), it seemed highly plausible he would resemble the RB1 we all projected preseason he would be. Then last week happened. Against the Bucs Spiller and his Bills teammates had their eyes on the offseason. Turnovers, miserable offensive execution and poor run-blocking negatively influenced the rusher's final line. On 12 touches he finished with 48 yards. Disappointing. Only weeks ago, the 2013 Jags were tabbed one of the worst teams in NFL history. Blown out routinely, they were this generation's '76 Bucs. But, winners in four of their past five, Gus Bradley has quickly turned the tables. No longer pushovers on defense, the Jags have batted down balls and plugged gaps. Over their past five games, they've surrendered 2.79 yards per carry, 90.0 total yards per game and two TDs to RBs. That's it. Still locked in a timeshare with Fred Jackson and given the unsavory matchup against one of the league's hottest teams, on the road, and, suffice it to say, the 'toxic' version of Spiller is bound to reappear.
Fearless Forecast: 11 carries, 38 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 18 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 7.1 fantasy points
Andre Brown, NYG, RB (68-percent)
Matchup: vs. Sea
Brown's season has been quite unpredictable. Though he was expected to play second fiddle to David Wilson, many, including yours truly, sung his praises preseason, saying he would be a highly reliable producer in TD-heavy leagues. However, bitten by the injury imp yet again, his chance to graduate from the sleeper class was temporarily derailed. But now the workhorse, he's finally cashed in. In five starts, he's tallied 4.28 yards per carry, 100.8 total yards per game and scored three times, an output worthy of a top-15 RB ranking. Still, Brown shouldn't be trusted as anything more than a FLEX option in 12-teamers this week. Seattle did surrender 110 rushing yards to Frank Gore in Week 14, but, including that soft effort, the 'Hawks have surrendered a bland 4.02 yards per carry to RBs over their last three. More impressively, they've not allowed a rushing TD since Week 7 and the sixth-fewest fantasy points to rushers on the season. Because of Eli Manning's dreadful execution, it would be no surprise if defensive coordinator Dan Quinn creeps extra safeties into the box to contain New York's most consistent offensive weapon. He'll be decent, but mediocrity can lead to elimination this time of year.
Fearless Forecast: 19 carries, 78 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 13 receiving yards, 11.3 fantasy points
A.J. Green, Cin, WR (98-percent)
Matchup: at Pit
Does Rob Lowe age? Does Bob Costas' hair move? Is Green incapable of being a fantasy dud? The answer to these perplexing questions, a resounding NO. Undoubtedly, the former first-round pick is one of the purest talents in the game. His name deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald and, quite possibly, Josh Gordon. His incredible length, athleticism and ball-tracking skills are nearly unmatched. However, he isn't invincible, particularly against a common foe that's had his number of late. Green has found the end-zone in three of his past five meetings against Pittsburgh, but he's averaged a pedestrian 4.8 receptions for 57.6 yards per game during that stretch. Owned by Ike Taylor and William Gay back in Week 2, he was held to a measly six receptions for 41 yards on 14 targets. As usual, the workload will be there, but don't be surprised if the Steelers give him the Mike Wallace treatment, mobbing him with safety help over the top. In what should be a cornea-burning affair in the Steel City, Green falls outside the WR top-20 for the fifth time this season.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 63 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 10.1 fantasy sports
Vincent Jackson, TB, WR (74-percent)
Matchup: vs. SF
Mike Glennon's once unyielding obsession with V-Jax has turned into a passing infatuation. From Weeks 4-8, the rookie passer looked the receiver's way a mind-blowing 15.0 times per game, connecting 26 times for 358 yards and four scores. Since then, however, their on-field relationship has become rocky. No longer the center of his world, Glennon has targeted Jackson 6.7 times per game over the past six weeks. The wideout's resulting 8.8 fantasy points per game during that span barely ranks him inside the WR top-30 in Yahoo leagues. No question, V-Jax has excelled in generous matchups, but when toe-to-toe with an unfavorable foe, he's floundered. San Francisco, unfortunately, is one opponent not to mess with. Darrelle Revis and Patrick Peterson may garner all the attention, but Tramaine Brock also deserves to be spotlighted. The blanketing corner, who ranks No. 3 in coverage according to PFF, has conceded a 52.6 catch percentage and 70.0 QB rating to his assignments. Since Week 10, Brian Quick is the only wide receiver to score double-digit fantasy points against the Niners. If you want to sip the championship bubbly, avoid V-Jax.
Fearless Forecast: 3 receptions, 68 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 9.1 fantasy points
BONUS WEEK 15 LAMES
TEAM HUEVOS 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 Wednesdays via Twitter @YahooNoise. How large are your stones?
— Rich Gallup (@rich_gallup) December 12, 2013
Reader Record: 43-54
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