Each week the Noise highlights 12-13 somewhat obscure, unobvious 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 the results, whether genius or moronic, the following week using the scoring system shown here. If you're a member of TEAM HUEVOS, post your Week 14 Flames in the comments section below.
Joe Flacco, Bal, QB (14-percent started)
Matchup: at Wash
It's been a tale of two seaons for the self-described 'elite' quarterback. He blew the doors off in his first four starts averaging 317.3 passing yards per game while totaling a 7:3 TD:INT split. According to many league analysts, his comfort-level in Baltimore's newly installed no-huddle offense would finally lead the overhyped quarterback to fantasy riches. Naturally, in the weeks that followed, he fell off the statistical cliff. Since Week 5, he's eclipsed 16-points in standard leagues only twice, netting a very mundane 221.2 passing yards and 1.0 touchdowns per game. By all means, pin the blame on Cam Cameron. His history of ineptitude play-calling ranks up there with Norv Turner (Ray Rice 13 touches against Pittsburgh? Please, can Cam!). Still, despite his wild inconsistencies, Flacco is worth resting your playoff hopes on in Week 14. When gifted a favorable matchup (e.g. Week 10 vs. Oakland), the Raven is more than capable of taking flight. Washington is one such opportunity. New Orleans is the only defense that's conceded more fantasy points to passers than the 'Skins. Ten signal callers in 12 games have tallied at least 20 points against them, including 'megastars' Christian Ponder and Sam Bradford. In a game that promises ample scoring, the Flacco Seagulls deserves plenty of airplay.
Fearless Forecast: 20-35, 286 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 1 interception, 2 rushing yards, 21.5 fantasy points
Bryce Brown, Phi, RB (58-percent started)
Matchup: at TB
A firestorm almost always begins with a spark. On Twitter it starts with a mere statement. Sunday night during the Eagles/Cowboys game an observational tweet by yours truly awoke LeSean McCoy zealots from hibernation. The boastful Brown-might-be-better reflection wasn't hyperbole. Sure, the sample size is small and his past two matchups were far from daunting, but his explosive open-field wheels, superb vision, decisiveness and versatility are star trademarks. His humbling bout of fumblitis is a major concern, but Brown's baseline skills are spectacular. Recall, he was the No. 1 high school recruit in the country in 2008 per Rivals. Though a bit of a head-case in college, which soured his draft stock, the seventh-round pick has accumulated more yards in his first two starts than any other Eagles back, ever, including McCoy. In fact, according to Elias, he's only the second player since the merger to rack 100 yards and two rushing touchdowns in his first two starts. The other, another RB afterthought on draft day, Arian Foster. This week's tango with Tampa presents Brown's toughest test yet. No team has surrendered fewer rushing yards per game (70.9) than the Bucs. Only Alfred Morris and Adrian Peterson have surpassed 75 ground yards against them. But Brown is a special talent in the midst of statistical puberty. His ability to consume yards via ground and air will easily push him over the century mark in total yardage for the third-straight week. With Eagles in evaluation mode and McCoy still not fully recovered from a concussion — as of Monday, he's in Phase 3 of 5 of the NFL post-concussion process — he should tote the load again this week, and possibly the rest of the season. Bottom line: Brown is this year's C.J. Spiller, a top-10 RB who will carry owners to championship glory.
Matchup: vs. NO
After displaying flashes of brilliance preseason, the buzz surrounding Wilson was deafening just three months ago. The highly touted rookie was expected to shoulder the light end of New York's projected 60-40 split, and possibly more given Ahmad Bradshaw's peanut brittle state. But fumbling against the Cowboys opening night placed him in Tom Coughlin's doghouse. Several tears and weeks later, the rookie is back where he started. Andre Brown's season-ending leg injury in Week 12, paved the way for Wilson to log a noteworthy load Monday. Sadly, he didn't. Though he only gripped the pigskin four times for a meager nine yards in Washington, the youngster could finally splash onto the scene this week against New Orleans. On the year, the Saints have given up 5.1 yards per carry and 182.3 total yards per game to RBs equal to the most fantasy points allowed. And many of those totals were notched by secondary options. Timeshare backs DeAngelo Williams and Ronnie Hillman compiled noteworthy numbers against the Saints. On roughly 10-12 touches, he is a strong candidate for 60-80 total yards and a TD.
Fearless Forecast: 9 carries, 51 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 12 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 13.8 fantasy points
Antonio Brown, Pit, WR (17-percent started)
Matchup: vs. SD
Though inventor of the wheel, Charlie Batch, played admirably in last week's stunning upending of Baltimore on the road, the Steelers offense minus Ben Roethlisberger, for the most part, has resembled an obese octogenarian attempting to cross a wide street — very pedestrian. Misconnects, smallish gains, three and outs — it isn't the smashmouth spread fantasy fans have grown accustomed to seeing under Mike Tomlin. But Big Ben has a legitimate shot of returning this week, which, assuming it happens, would greatly bolster a Pittsburgh club vying to cement its position in the wildcard race. Par for the course under nincompoop Norv, San Diego is currently in the midst of its usual swoon. Fairly rigid defensively not long ago, the Chargers have lost their juice, particularly versus the pass. Peyton Manning, Andy Dalton and the aforementioned Flacco each topped 21 fantasy points against them. Overall, starting corners Quentin Jammer and Antoine Cason rank outside the top-50 in coverage according to Pro Football Focus. Even if Big Ben doesn't play, Brown, who was targeted 10 times in Week 13, is a strong candidate for WR top-24 numbers.
Fearless Forecast: 6 receptions, 82 receiving yards, 1 touchdown,
Matchup: at Ind
On a per game basis, Wright hasn't exactly won the war. His 6.3 ppw output in standard settings ranks No. 63 among wideouts. But in a road clash against Indy, look for the rookie to win the battle. As Y!'s own intrepid reporter, Jason Cole, noted Monday, questions continue to loom about Jake Locker's accuracy. In an era where high completion percentages are inescapable, hitting your teammates at a 56.6-percent clip simply isn't cutting the mustard. But with Chris Palmer terminated, it appears the Titans will turn to the air often down the stretch. Though he played mostly from behind against Houston last week, Locker chucked it 46 times. Wright, targeted 10 times, caught six passes for 78 yards. Matched against another explosive offense, a similar workload could be in the offing for the wideout. Perusing what type of receiver has done damage against the Colts this season, several have been shifty, underneath weapons (e.g. Davone Bess, Julian Edelman, Randall Cobb and Percy Harvin) akin to Wright. In other words, put a quarter in the slot versus Indy, and chances are you'll hit the PPR jackpot. Overall, the Colts have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to WRs. As a WR3 in 12-team-plus leagues, Wright won't be wrong.
Fearless Forecast: 7 receptions, 79 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 13.1 fantasy points
SHOCKER SPECIAL (Under 10-percent started)
Matchup: at GB
For deep-thinking owners desperately seeking a TE rental primed to serve a platter of points, look no further than 'The Chef.' Ryan Broyles, who was quickly rocketing up the WR ranks, suffered a torn ACL in Sunday's loss against Indy, a huge blow to the Lions' vertical attack. Tantrum thrower Titus Young would be an ideal replacement, but his gross insubordination has him on the outside looking in. Mike Thomas, acquired from Jacksonville earlier this year, is slated to start opposite Calvin Johnson, which leaves Scheffler to man the slot, a position he's very familiar with. The ex-Bronco isn't a drag racer, but he's a very adept route runner with terrific hands and size, a legit matchup nightmare for opposing defenses. With Detroit's affinity for three-receiver sets, he should get plenty of action at Lambeau. Despite seeing just 45.8-percent of snaps over the past two weeks, he reeled in 11 passes for 112 yards. Yes, Green Bay has locked down on tight ends for much of the season. Scheffler and Brandon Pettigrew totaled an unexciting 6-44-0 in the first matchup. But Kyle Rudolph proved quite useful against the Pack last week posting six receptions for 51 yards and a TD. And understand no two games are ever the same, unless it involves San Francisco/St. Louis. On 10-plus targets, Scheffler scores a top-10 line in the rematch.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 67 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 16.4 fantasy points
BONUS WEEK 14 FLAMES
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 "Flames" (1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 1 D/ST) by midnight PT Mondays via Twitter @YahooNoise. How large are your stones?
Reader Record: 48-60, 44.4%
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- Sports & Recreation
- Joe Flacco
- Bryce Brown