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Flames/Lames: G.I. Know, a real fantasy hero

Brad Evans
Roto Arcade

Brad and Andy return live this week to answer your questions and discuss their flames, lames and deep names for Week 13. Submit your questions for Friday night's "Fantasy Freak Show" via email (Please include name/city) at can also dial the studio line starting at 8 PM PT/10 PM CT/11 PM ET at 312-644-6767 or text us at 67011. You can also follow the show, and the Noise, via Twitter.

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Each week the Noise highlights eight somewhat obscure, unobvious names who he believes are destined for flame madness or lame sadness. Being an accountability advocate, he will tally his hits and misses and post the results, whether genius or moronic, each week using the scoring system posted here.

More Noise: Rejuvenated Jackson

FLAMES (Started in 60 percent or fewer of Y! Plus leagues)

Alex Smith, SF, QB (Noise QB Rank: 9, Start: 10-plus team leagues, 21% started)

Matchup: at Sea

The contributions gap between high-profiled '05 draftees Aaron Rodgers(notes) and Smith is shrinking, though it's still Kirstie Alley-wide. Since overtaking the starter's role midseason, the former No. 1 pick has finally reached fantasy puberty. He's executed timing routes crisply and made sound decisions, particularly when operating in the spread. Most importantly, he's connecting with playmakers Vernon Davis(notes), Michael Crabtree(notes) and Frank Gore(notes) often. Offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye has been hesitant to install a full-blown spread system, but, as Crabtree remarked earlier this week, the play-caller is starting to warm up to the idea. Based on Smith's recent results, Raye should be thinking more liberally. Over his past three games, the maturing quarterback has tossed five touchdowns to just two interceptions. This week his passes should again penetrate the end zone multiple times. In terms of pass defense, the Hawks are a clownish group of flightless Dodos. Since Week 9, they've yielded 274.2 passing yards and 13 touchdowns to passers, equal to the most fantasy points allowed. Seattle has defended Qwest Field remarkably well in recent years, but with its defense reeling, Smith's surge should continue.

Fearless Forecast: 25-39, 237 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception, 11 rushing yards, 19 fantasy points

Knowshon Moreno(notes), Den, RB (Noise RB Rank: 15, Start: All Leagues, 50% started)

Matchup: vs. KC

Moreno's mental maturation has been well documented. According to the Denver Post, his defensive reads have sharpened and pass-blocking improved, which has boosted his confidence. For G.I. Know, mental preparation is indeed half the battle. This year's top RB draft pick is the league's pacesetter in yardage among rookies, which is a noteworthy achievement. However, this season's back class doesn't come close to matching the talent of last season's extraordinary group. Still, Moreno is starting to come around. He's eclipsed the 80-yard mark in three straight and has averaged a stout 5.0 yards per carry in his last five. His excellent performance has staved off Correll Buckhalter(notes), cementing the youngster as Denver's workhorse. With roughly 20 touches he should rack superb numbers against a KC defense that's surrendered 169.5 total yards per game and six scores to rushers since Week 8, equal to the third-most fantasy points allowed. Throw a saddle on this horse. Yee-haw!!!

Fearless Forecast: 20 carries, 93 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 9 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 16 fantasy points

Jamaal Charles(notes), KC, RB (Noise RB Rank: 16, Start: All Leagues, 57% started)

Matchup: at Den

The JC of KC probably couldn't heal the sick with a single touch or shuffle across a lake in sandals, but his fantasy powers are truly divine. Those who've genuflected at the Church of Charles altar have been richly rewarded. Since seizing the starting job full-time in Week 10, the former Longhorn has gouged the opposition, averaging 110 total yards per game with four touchdowns (one return). A plaguing case of fumbilitis has inhibited him somewhat, but his refuse-to-go-down attitude has earned the respect and support of Todd Haley. The Broncos have largely been a two-faced defense this season. Last week against the Giants, they stamped out the run with relative ease. But in other recent outings, most notably versus Pittsburgh, they were gashed. The Chiefs are not particularly adept in the run-blocking department, which doesn't bode well for Charles. But the versatile back's ability to operate on the peripheries via ground and air makes him dangerous no matter the opponent. Including their caging of Brandon Jacobs(notes) on Thanksgiving night, Denver has still allowed 4.7 yards per carry 161.5 total yards per game and four scores to rushers over its past five.

Fearless Forecast: 15 carries, 69 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 38 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 16 fantasy points

Jonathan Stewart(notes), Car, RB (Noise RB Rank: 19, Start: All Leagues, 42% started)

Matchup: vs. TB

The little redheaded stepchild of the Panthers backfield won't be the Alfred E. Newman of fantasy rushers in Week 13. Complete domination best summarizes Carolina's first clash with the Buccaneers. DeAngelo Williams(notes) and Stewart ran down Tampa's collective throat, each surpassing the century mark in rushing yards. The rematch could be equally lopsided. Raheem Morris relieved Jim Bates of defensive coordinator duties two weeks ago. With the rookie head coach calling the plays on D last week, the Bucs smashed empty rum bottles over the Falcons' heads, holding Michael Turner(notes), Jerious Norwood(notes) and Jason Snelling(notes) to a combined 63 rushing yards (2.3 ypc). But one sensational effort doesn't mean this defense has transformed overnight. With Matt Moore(notes) at the helm, Williams and Stewart will humiliate their NFC South rival. In their past two contests, the Bucs have allowed 566 yards rushing to the Panthers. The Daily Show rolls.

Fearless Forecast: 14 carries, 71 rushing yards, 1 reception, 5 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 13 fantasy points

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Lee Evans(notes), Buf, WR (Noise WR Rank: 18, Start: All Leagues, 29% started)

Matchup: vs. NYJ (in Toronto)

Evans will be a thorn in Lito Sheppard's(notes) side. With Darrelle Revis(notes), who Terrell Owens(notes) respectfully noted is "on an island by himself," expected to draw the outspoken wideout, the Buffalo beamer will be the apple of Ryan Fitzpatrick's(notes) eye. As discussed in Wednesday's Fred Jackson(notes) embellishment, Perry Fewell has removed the padlocks from the playbook, encouraging his offense to attack opponents aggressively. Fitzpatrick has taken numerous shots downfield, connecting with Owens, and to a lesser extent Evans, on several explosive pass plays. Though the opponent is stiffer, the formula likely won't change. The Bills' No. 2 was targeted 11 times in his first clash with the Jets, catching four passes for 68 yards and a touchdown. North of the border he should shine once again.

Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 65 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 12 fantasy points

Jason Avant(notes), Phi, WR (Noise WR Rank: 19, Start: All Leagues, 25% started)

Matchup: at Atl

Against a very generous Atlanta secondary, Avant will be a fantasy savant. The fifth-year wideout from Michigan has proven to be occasionally useful this season, developing into a top-flight third weapon for the Eagles. Donovan McNabb(notes) has spoken highly of the receiver's advancements, noting earlier this week he's a "big-time player" who has gained his confidence. With DeSean Jackson(notes) very unlikely to play due to last week's concussion, Avant and rookie Jeremy Maclin(notes) are must starts in Hotlanta. Since the loss of corner Brian Williams(notes) earlier this season, the Falcons have been the victims of a vertical blitzkrieg. No defense has conceded more 20-yard pass plays this year. And over the past five weeks, they've yielded the 11th-most fantasy points to receivers. Though LeSean McCoy(notes) has been featured more prominently in Marty Mornhinweg's gameplan, this is still a pass-first team. Avant could be the biggest fantasy surprise of Week 13.

Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 93 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 15 fantasy points

Donnie Avery(notes), StL, WR (Noise WR Rank: 20, Start: All Leagues, 21% started)

Matchup: at Chi

Due to a mass Bears extermination, taxidermists in the greater Chicago area are working overtime. The Midgets of the Midway have been hunted down vertically with unparalleled success. Giving up a seemingly uncountable number of long pass plays, the Black and Bruised have surrendered five 70-yard receiver performances and six touchdowns to wideouts over the past five weeks, equal to the fifth-most fantasy points allowed. This week, the little football brother down I-55 could be surprisingly competitive. That's right Bears fans. Armageddon has arrived. Avery quietly ranks 22nd at his position in points per game since Week 9, averaging 65 yards with three touchdowns. Because of Chicago's gross insufficiencies in downfield coverage, the smallish wideout's speed will cause headaches. If Kyle Boller(notes) can carry over his adequate play from a week ago, Avery will again finish within or just outside the top 20.

Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 54 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 11 fantasy points

Carolina Panthers Defense (Noise D/ST Rank: 3, Start: All Leagues, 28% started)

Matchup: vs. TB

Facing Tampa's turnover prone offense, Carolina has infected the Noise with a case of "Cat Scratch Fever." Josh Freeman(notes) has performed well beyond expectations, occasionally delivering precise passes and making plays with his feet. Despite his veteran savvy, he's often looked and played like a rookie. Often he's held onto the rock too long, which has led to several sacks (11 in five games) and fumbles (seven). Julius Peppers(notes) must be licking his chops. Carolina can be skewered in the trenches, but because Tampa doesn't have a formidable rushing attack, the Panthers will focus on the pass. In their previous meeting in Week 6 (Josh Johnson(notes) QB'd Tampa), the Panthers coaxed two turnovers and recorded four sacks. This week, the widely available unit could pay a double-digit dividend for only the second time this season.

Fearless Forecast: 3 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, 2 interceptions, 10 points allowed, 1 TD, 13 fantasy points

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LAMES (Started in over 60 percent of Y! Plus leagues)

Drew Brees(notes), NO, QB (Noise QB Rank: 10, Bench: NO BENCH, 97% started)

Matchup: at Wash

We're extremely hesitant recommending arguably the most explosive passer in the NFC as a lame. Frankly, it's the equivalent of including Megan Fox on a list of Hollywood Medusas. But due the stringent rules of this little game, Brees is absurdly designated as such. There is an argument to be made. Washington boasts the best pass defense in the NFL. Over the past five weeks, the ‘Skins have allowed a mere 189.5 passing yards per game and five touchdowns to passers, equal to the fifth-fewest fantasy points allowed. Brees isn't immune from putrid performances. Earlier this season he logged back-to-back sub-200-yard, zero touchdown games against Buffalo and the New York Jets. If Washington doesn't bite on ball fakes and double moves (Carlos Rogers(notes)!) it could defy the odds. As Jim Zorn said earlier this week, the defense "absolutely must be disciplined" to prevent a blowout. You're still starting him, but a third dud effort isn't out of the question.

Fearless Forecast: 19-28, 211 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions, 12 fantasy points

Joseph Addai(notes), Ind, RB (Noise RB Rank: 20, Bench: NO BENCH, 88% started)

Matchup: vs. Ten

Addai has been the Henry VIII of consistency kings, devouring the competition. Amazingly, he's recorded a touchdown in six of his past eight games. Hindered by timidity a season ago, he's replaced the dancing shoes with work boots, drawing apologies from fantasy pundits and Colts bloggers. Though on paper he appears to be a slam dunk "flame" against the white-hot Titans, the numbers are somewhat deceiving. Over the past five weeks Tennessee has allowed 6.1 yards per carry to rushers. But over its past three, that number is dramatically lower (4.1 ypc). During their miraculous resurgence, the Titans have finally rediscovered the defensive identity that labeled them one of the NFL's most feared units a season ago. Their creative mixture of twists and stunts have often befuddled and confused quarterbacks and stymied the run. With Donald Brown(notes) a major question mark, Addai will most certainly net his usual 15-20 touches. But similar to last week in Houston, the results could be bland.

Fearless Forecast: 16 carries, 67 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 16 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 8 fantasy points

Steve Slaton(notes), Hou, RB (Noise RB Rank: 25, Bench: 8-12 team leagues, 67% started)

Matchup: at Jac

Not even a lifetime supply of Vidal Sassoon products could sway Gary Kubiak from his committee beliefs. The well-combed coach is dedicated to an even distribution between Slaton and backfield "Lurch," Chris Brown. More frustrating is his commitment to giving the upright runner the ball inside the red zone. Since Week 9, Brown has three times more carries inside the 20 than Slaton. Because of his featured role as a pass catcher, The Slasher is still must start material in PPR-intensive formats. But for standard leaguers, he's a matchup-only play. This week, he deserves to ride the pine in shallow leagues. Lately, the Wild Card-hunting Jags have tightened up their interior defense. Since Week 9 they've conceded just 118.6 total yards per game and four touchdowns to rushers, equal to the eighth-fewest fantasy points allowed. Another mundane effort is on the horizon.

Fearless Forecast: 11 carries, 48 rushing yards, 5 reception, 39 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 8 fantasy points

Brandon Jacobs, NYG, RB (Noise RB Rank: 27, Bench: 8-12 team leagues, 67% started)

Matchup: vs. Dal

The Football Frankenstein is a caricature of his former intimidating self. New York's once impenetrable offensive line has been repeatedly pillaged by aggressive, quick defenses. In turn, Jacobs has run more east-west than north-south, leading casual observers to believe he's lost his edge. Truthfully, the monstrous runner is fine physically. Being such a large rusher, he needs an adequate lane to gain steam in the open-field. He's simply been gifted few. Unless the Giants line turns back the clock, Dallas' fast-attacking defense will reign over the line of scrimmage, an occurrence which has happened routinely of late. Since Week 9, the ‘Boys have surrendered just 4.0 yards per carry and one touchdown to rushers, equal to the sixth-fewest fantasy points allowed. At this point last year, Jacobs had four 100-yard games under his belt. This year, he's yet to eclipse the century mark. Unfortunately, even possibly without Ahmad Bradshaw in uniform, that streak will likely continue.

Fearless Forecast: 14 carries, 50 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 15 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 6 fantasy points

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Roddy White(notes), Atl, WR (Noise WR Rank: 21, NO BENCH, 90% started)

Matchup: vs. Phi

Michael Vick's(notes) return to the Georgia Dome will surely bring out PETA protestors in droves. By game's end, White owners may picket alongside them. Bothered by a knee injury for the past several weeks, the sticky-handed wideout has continued to perform at a high level averaging 4.6 receptions and 67 yards per game. Chris Redman(notes) is a capable backup, but Philly's blitz-crazed defense is an untamable unit which will surely rattle the pocket. So far this season, only one wideout has surpassed the 80-yard mark against the Eagles. Over the past five weeks, they've also surrendered the 11th-fewest fantasy points to WRs. Stretching back to '07 White has averaged six receptions, 80.8 yards per game and totaled four scores with Redman at the controls. But the presence of Asante Samuel(notes) and Redman's lack of arm strength are unavoidable concerns.

Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 63 receiving yards, 0 touchdown, 6 fantasy points

Donald Driver(notes), GB, WR (Noise WR Rank: 23, Bench: NO BENCH, 71% started)

Matchup: vs. Bal

The Dr. Seuss of the NFL has voraciously consumed opposing corners as though they were Green Eggs and Ham. Throwing Father Time the Heisman, the 34-year-old has remained entrenched in the WR top 20 for most of the season, including the past five weeks. During that stretch he's outperformed Greg Jennings(notes), averaging 73.2 yards per game with two touchdowns. Evident in their No. 8 ranking in most 20-yard pass plays allowed, the Ravens have been victimized vertically. However, they've shown significant improvement in pass defense in recent weeks. Since Week 9, the Blackbirds have conceded the fifth-fewest fantasy points to wideouts. If Ray Lewis(notes) and company successfully dial up pressure on Aaron Rodgers, they should be able to mask their coverage deficiencies, thus limiting opportunities for Double-D downfield.

Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 56 receiving yards, 0 touchdown, 5 fantasy points

Calvin Johnson(notes), Det, WR (Noise WR Rank: 25, Bench: NO BENCH, 64% started)

Matchup: at Cin

Chad Ochocinco(notes) is jealous of Johnson, not because of the youngster's otherworldly skill set but rather his Megatron nickname. Football's favorite court jester playfully told the Detroit Free Press this week he wished people referred to him as Ochotron or Optimus Tron. This week, the leader of the Decepticons will likely be outperformed by his admirer. Johnson, who has been bothered by myriad injuries for weeks, is expected to play without restriction. However, Leon Hall(notes) will apply the shackles. Johnson has outmaneuvered double coverage for most of the season, but the Bengals' bracket scheme is more unforgiving than most. Only one receiver has reached the 50-yard mark against Cincy since Week 9. The Queen City Cats have also surrendered the fewest fantasy points to wideouts during that span. The Lions are slowly rebuilding, but this week, in what easily could be a shutout, the Bengals will force them to take a step back.

Fearless Forecast: 3 receptions, 30 receiving yards, 0 touchdown, 3 fantasy points

Heath Miller(notes), Pit, TE (Noise TE Rank: 10, Bench: 8-12 team leagues, 60% started)

Matchup: vs. Oak

Miller is in the midst of a breakout season. He's already established a new career high in receptions and is currently on pace to obliterate previous benchmarks in yards and touchdowns. But despite his across-the-board advancements, the enlarged target has been fairly unreliable, especially of late. Since Week 7, he's found the end zone just once and has eclipsed 40 yards in a game an equal number of times. This week, he will again be forgotten. Due to their shortcomings upfront, the Raiders have yet to allow a touchdown to a tight end this season. Overall, they've also yielded the third-fewest fantasy points to the position. Simply put: when near the goal-line, teams have chosen to run the ball. Pittsburgh is unquestionably a pass-first team, but with Ben Roethlisberger(notes) banged up, Rashard Mendenhall(notes) is sure to shoulder a substantial portion of the offensive load, particularly inside the red zone.

Fearless Forecast: 3 receptions, 22 receiving yards, 0 touchdown, 2 fantasy points


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