My docs don't even mention nofail. It must be a relatively recent option.
And no, noauto options are not checked at all for existence.
Not sure how recent it is but its listed in the man page for fstab, the arch wiki, I think the gentoo wiki, as well as other online docs. As far as I can tell -any- fstab error is fatal, and meant to be fatal, unless marked as nofail, or apparently, noauto. Hell when I was first starting out I had boots fail because of bad mount options (typo in one of the opts).