Minus Matt Forte, Bush will shoulder the load against sliding Seattle. (USP)
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 13 Flames in the comments section below.
Matt Schaub, Hou, QB (34-percent started)
Matchup: at Ten
On Thanksgiving Day in Detroit, Schaub persevered through raucous noise and, thanks to Ndamukong Suh, a pair of cracked huevos en route to his second consecutive 300-plus passing yard performance. Despite being on pace for 4,152 passing yards and 27 touchdowns, the underrated QB continues to receive the stiff arm from owners. In the eyes of many, Houston is a ground oriented club that only occasionally throws. But with Andre Johnson once again impersonating a mythical beast and because of the Texans' struggles in pass coverage, the signal caller has gotten quite the arm workout in recent weeks. Over his past two games, he's attempted 103 passes, averaging an eye-opening 8.1 yards per attempt. The Titans possess little offensive firepower compared to Detroit, but unless Houston suddenly rectifies its defensive woes, another high-volume game could be on the docket. That happens, and Schaub will again finish well-inside the QB top-12. Six of the last seven passers Tennessee faced finished with at least 21 fantasy points, including Chad Henne a week ago. Corner Alterraun Verner has defended the pass exceptionally well this year, yielding a mere 69.5 QB rating. But if Houston can get Johnson in one-on-one situations against Jason McCourty, who has allowed 14.6 yards per catch this season, Schaub will pay an enormous dividend.
Fearless Forecast: 23-31, 235 passing yards, 3 passing touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 23.7 fantasy points
Michael Bush, Chi, RB (17-percent started)
Matchup: vs. Sea
In a who-can-get-hurt-most-often contest, Matt Forte would probably finish third behind Darren McFadden and Beanie Wells. Down and presumably out again with a wrenched ankle, the brittle back appears to be a long shot to suit up this week against Seattle. For owners who sunk a high-round pick in the 'franchise' rusher, his timing couldn't be more inopportune. The haves, however, vehemently disagree. Bush backers must be ecstatic. The backup should net a substantial workload against an underachieving Seattle front. No longer the ironclad unit it was earlier this season, the 'Hawks D-line has been gashed often up the middle. Over the past five weeks, it's allowed a mind-blowing 6.3 yards per carry to RBs. Even Miami, a club that couldn't penetrate a light fog in Buffalo two weeks ago, managed to rack 189 rushing yards against Seattle in Week 12. Yes, the Bears' ravaged offensive line is a problem and Bush is a bit of a laggard, but with an expected 20-plus touches on tap, he should finish with a useful yardage total. Highly efficient near the goal-line, a touchdown or two is also possible. Bank on Bush as a RB2 in 12-team and deeper leagues this week.
Jacquizz Rodgers, Atl, RB (11-percent started)
Matchup: vs. NO
The Model T, Michael Turner, needs to be scrapped. Evidence of his imminent demise continues to mount. For the second straight week, the more dynamic Rodgers saw more action. During that stretch, the upstart out-snapped the incumbent 65-to-56. In what promises to be a shootout, more of the same could be in order. Those who believe 'Quizz is incapable of shouldering a three-down workload must be legally blind. Equipped with a thick, muscular trunks, explosive feet and soft hands, he's a diminutive dynamo built to handle 15-20 touches with regularity. Turner will continue to hammer it home when needed, but another 12-plus touches could be on the horizon for Rodgers. Scorching over the past three weeks, he's averaged a ridiculous 6.9 yards per touch, including a 62-total yard performance (on seven touches) on the bayou in Week 10. Attempting 39.0 passes per game, Atlanta is unequivocally a throw-first, throw-often team. Against a New Orleans secondary that's allowed a league-worst 8.5 yards per attempt, that won't change. Still, Rodgers is the best back the Falcons have. And if his 12-touch load last week is any indication of what Mike Smith is thinking, he may have finally displaced Turner on the depth-chart, a change that was warranted months ago. Against fantasy's most generous run defense, expect sizable results from Atlanta's little big man.
Fearless Forecast: 9 carries, 46 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 23 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 15.9 fantasy points
Pierre Garcon, Was, WR (10-percent started)
Matchup: vs. NYG
Even on a busted wheel, Garcon is faster than 90-percent of the league's defensive backs. Long thought to have kicked the bucket fantasy-wise, the tender-footed wideout returned from the grave Turkey Day in Big D catching five passes (on 7 targets) for 93 yards, including a 59-yard touchdown. If he remains active, Garcon is easily Robert Griffin III's most reliable weapon. Aldrick Robinson, Santana Moss, Josh Morgan and Leonard Hankerson have routinely oozed Crisco from their hands, accounting for 14 combined drops. Mike Shanahan remarked Monday, the wideout escaped Week 12 without a setback and looked good in practice. Barring another misstep, he is slated to start versus New York, a game with major playoff implications. The Giants were sensational defensively against Green Bay, holding Aaron Rodgers and company at bay. Still, corner Corey Webster, who's conceded 17.0 yards per catch to his assignments this year, surrendered another explosive pass play, a 61-yard scoring strike to Jordy Nelson. Given Garcon's blazing speed and RGIII's affinity for throwing deep, Webster will again be lined up in the crosshairs, making the 'Skin a superb WR2 option in any sized league. For those that hung onto him, your patience is about to be rewarded.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 76 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 17.3 fantasy points
Matchup: at Buf
What does a dude have to do to earn the fantasy community's respect? Wrestle a bear? Climb Kilimanjaro? Punch Norv Turner in the face? The Rodney Dangerfield All-Star continues to be the most underutilized player in the virtual game. Only owned in 60-percent of leagues and started in under half, many owners, idiotically, continue to give him the cold shoulder. If he played in a major market, say New York, undoubtedly longwinded soliloquies would be spewed about him. Save for a handful of WRs, there is no hotter target than Shorts. Over the past five weeks, he ranks No. 5 at the position in total points. Yes, he plays for Jacksonville, but with Chad Henne now at the helm, this is a very respectable passing attack that will continue to execute at a high level. Because of the Jags' horrendous defense and unstable ground game, Mike Mularkey will again lean on Henne's arm. Buffalo is highly susceptible between the tackles, but unless Jalen Parmele emulates Maurice Jones-Drew, the Jags may find it difficult moving the chains on the ground. With Justin Blackmon and Marcedes Lewis also searing, a pass-heavy game-plan is in the offing. After all, starting corners Stephon Gilmore and Leodis McKelvin have surrendered a combined 100.5 QB rating. Enough is enough. Start Shorts.
Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 89 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 17.9 fantasy points
SHOCKER SPECIAL (Under 10-percent started)
Matchup: at Oak
McCoy may look like he's perpetually 12-years old, but IF Brandon Weeden doesn't pass post-concussion tests with flying colors this week, the once hyped draft pick could notch manly numbers against the Raiders. For months rumors about a McCoy departure have swirled about Cleveland. Several teams, including the Green Bay Packers, allegedly expressed interest in the backup. Of course, no deal materialized, but Week 13 presents a unique opportunity for the signal caller to showcase his wares. If the overhauled Browns front office is committed to Weeden, surely McCoy will get shipped out, potentially landing in a locale that sorely needs a starting quarterback — *cough* — Arizona. Several NFL insiders believe he deserves a second chance. The numbers don't completely support that notion. In 21 career starts, he's compiled a pedestrian 74.5 QB rating (205.2 ypg, 20:20 td:int split). However, in the appropriate system he could outperform expectations. Oakland is a spectacular matchup. Since Week 2 only Matt Cassel and Matt Ryan failed to score at least 21 standard fantasy points against the Raiders. Overall, they've given up 257.2 passing yards and 2.1 touchdowns per game, the fifth-most in the NFL. Worst yet, they've allowed three passing touchdowns in three consecutive weeks. If thrust into the starting lineup, McCoy won't spoil the opportunity. Debate his merits in deep leagues.
(UPDATE: According to local reports, Brandon Weeden has been cleared for takeoff in Week 13. He will be scored instead of McCoy this week)
Fearless Forecast: 19-32, 256 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 21 rushing yards, 20.9 fantasy points
BONUS WEEK 13 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: 46-55, 45.5%
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