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Flames/Lames: Young to pull sleigh full of goodies, teammates

Brad Evans
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Brad and Andy return live this week to answer your questions and discuss their flames, lames and deep names for Week 16. Submit your questions for Wednesday night's "Fantasy Freak Show" via email (Please include name/city) at freakshow670@yahoo.com.You 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: LJ's depatures births the JC of KC

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

Vince Young(notes), Ten, QB (Noise QB Rank: 11, Start: 10-plus team leagues, 18% started)

Matchup: vs. SD

Young is shining up his jingle bells for what will surely be a Vinsane-in-the-membrane performance on Christmas night. Commanding arguably the most dangerous 7-7 team in the AFC Wild Card hunt, the resurgent signal caller has shed his unjustified light-throwing label tossing 249 yards per game with seven touchdowns in his past three. He's also chipped in 28 rushing yards per game. Accuracy still isn't one of Young's strong suits but with first mate, Captain Quick (Chris Johnson), at his disposal a simple five-yard screen can instantly stretch into a 70-yard touchdown. The return of Justin Gage(notes), who snagged two TD passes last week, also enhances his value. The two teams, stemming from a 2007 clash in which Shawne Merriman(notes), who was victimized by an alleged "cheap shot," suffered a devastating knee injury, harbor a great deal of animosity toward one another. Suffice it to say, the two won't exchange secret Santa gifts. However, look for Young to deliver plenty of presents. The strides San Diego has made in run defense has come at a vertical cost. Teams, like Cincinnati last week, have bombarded the Chargers. Over the past four weeks, they've allowed 253.8 yards per game and eight touchdowns, including a three-score game to the mighty Brady Quinn(notes). Young will taste candy cane sweet.

Fearless Forecast: 25-42, 258 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception, 27 rushing yards, 21 fantasy points

Jerome Harrison(notes), Cle, RB (Noise RB Rank: 14, Start: All Leagues, 23% started)

Matchup: vs. Oak

Owners who had the foresight to deploy Harrison a week ago hit the (expletive) lottery. His unforgettable 286 rushing yards, the third-best single game effort in NFL history, and TD hat trick will be scrawled down in the annals of fantasy history as the greatest effort 98 percent of owners never benefited from. Incensed readers who sent vitriolic emails to "experts" for their recommendation of Chris Jennings(notes) don't deserve blame. Augustus Gloop (Eric Mangini) would employ an Oompah Loopmah (not MJD) for a chance to swim in a giant cup of hot coco. But despite Mangenius' treachery, and presumed voracious appetite, we're confident he won't demote or consume the record-breaker. Harrison has certainly proven he can be the lead dog. Assuming he nets the start, the versatile Chihuahua should pack a vicious bite versus Oakland. Since Week 11, the Raiders have allowed 4.9 yards per carry, 162 total yards per game and four scores to rushers, equal to the ninth-most fantasy points. Cleveland's rapidly improving offensive line should dominate the interior for the third-straight week. Another 30-plus carries is highly unlikely but with 18-22 touches, Harrison should pay a handsome dividend.

Fearless Forecast: 20 carries, 84 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 16 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 16 fantasy points

Jason Snelling(notes), Atl, RB (Noise RB Rank: 15, Start: All Leagues, 24% started)

Matchup: vs. Buf

Michael Turner(notes) is a broken down horse who deserves a trip to the Kibbles n' Bits factory. Tweaking his ankle yet again last week, the popular early-round pick exited stage left almost immediately. Though the starter is determined not to "shut it down right now," his odds of suiting up Sunday appear long. Enter Snelling. When pressed into starting action, the converted fullback has performed admirably. In the five games in which he's garnered at least 10 touches, the bruiser has averaged 78 total yards per game with four scores. The Bills have made some minor improvements in run defense in recent weeks, but they'are still one of the most vulnerable interior units in the league. On the season they've surrendered 4.9 yards per carry, 188.2 total yards and 1.4 touchdowns per game to rushers, equal to the most fantasy points. Because Mike Smith(notes) is dedicated to a ground-pounding approach, Snelling should be leaned on heavily in an attempt to soften Buffalo's unyielding pass defense. Start him with confidence.

Fearless Forecast: 15 carries, 66 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 16 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 14 fantasy points

Ahmad Bradshaw(notes), NYG, RB (Noise RB Rank: 16, Start: All Leagues, 21% started)

Matchup: vs. Car

Despite a cumbersome foot injury, the Bride of Frankenstein has outshined his backfield hetero-life-mate, Brandon Jacobs(notes), over the past several games. His explosiveness, versatility and deceptive power explain why Tom Coughlin and company continue to turn to him, particularly inside the 10. Over the past three weeks, the former seventh-round pick has averaged a terrific 5.1 yards per touch, 79.3 total yards per game and totaled three touchdowns. The Frankensteins should be utilized heavily this week against Carolina. Contrary to their stiff pass defense, the Panthers have underperformed interiorly. Since Week 11, they've surrendered 4.4 yards per carry, 160.8 total yards per game and six TDs to rushers, equal to the fifth-most fantasy points. Eli Manning(notes) has been sensational of late, but because the Giants offensive line has rediscovered its hole-creating identity, the run will surely be the featured philosophy. Bradshaw balls.

Fearless Forecast: 12 carries, 53 rushing yards, 3 reception, 22 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 13 fantasy points

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Dwayne Bowe(notes), KC, WR (Noise WR Rank: 19, Start: All Leagues, 25% started)

Matchup: at Cin

In his first game back from suspension, Bowe posted mediocre numbers totaling four catches for just 56 yards against the Browns. He and his teammates suffered from a contagious case of the dropsies. However, the silver lining on an otherwise unmemorable day: he attracted 10 targets. Look for RamBowe to have his M-16 locked and loaded this week. Cincinnati's bracket scheme has clamped down on wideouts in recent weeks. Since Week 11, the Bengals have yielded just three 70-yard performances and five touchdowns to wideouts, equal to the ninth-fewest fantasy points. But the Chiefs' top target is one of the league's elite talents. His size, body control and strength are incredibly difficult to contain even when garnering extra attention. Cincy couldn't bottle up similarly skilled pass catchers Calvin Johnson(notes) and Vincent Jackson(notes) earlier this season. If Matt Cassel(notes) can stave off the Bengals pass rush, Bowe should have a fine day.

Fearless Forecast: 6 receptions, 77 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 13 fantasy points

Braylon Edwards(notes), NYJ, WR (Noise WR Rank: 22, Start: All Leagues, 29% started)

Matchup: at Ind

Banana Hands loves to attract off-the-field attention. From speeding tickets to dust ups with LeBron's posse to paternity lawsuits, he certainly doesn't exhibit a squeaky clean image. Hopefully, Braylon's baby's mama demands he never holds the child. Despite his chaotic life away from football, Edwards has occasionally shown flashes of his former All-Pro self. Yes, the long-bomb he botched in Toronto was laughable, but he has splashed pay-dirt in two of his past three games and is coming off his first 100-yard effort since Week 15 last year. Indy's injury ravaged secondary continues to give up noteworthy performances to large targets. Brandon Marshall(notes) humiliated the Colts for an NFL record 21 receptions two weeks ago and Mike Sims-Walker(notes) tallied 64 yards and a score against them last week. If he coats his hands in Mrs. Butterworth, Edwards could compile superb WR2 numbers. Indy has given up the seventh-most fantasy points to wideouts over the past five weeks.

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

Josh Morgan(notes), SF, WR (Noise WR Rank: 26, Start: All Leagues, 3% started)

Matchup: vs. Det

Morgan has always possessed the tools to develop into a premier wideout. But inefficiencies at the quarterback position combined with his slow development have blanketed his abilities. However, Jimmy Raye's axis-tilting shift to a more liberal passing system has greatly enhanced the promising wideout's production and, most importantly, his confidence. Though still minimally owned, the up-and-comer has averaged a healthy 7.3 targets 5.5 receptions and 43.5 yards per game since Week 12. During that stretch, he's also found the end-zone twice. The Niners will likely attack Detroit vertically this week in an attempt to revitalize Alex Smith, who's struggled in his past two contests. The loathsome Lions have allowed nine touchdowns and six 70-yard-plus games to receivers over the past five weeks, equal to the most fantasy points. Morgan may not be a household name yet, but he's a rising young player who's definitely worth the gamble.

Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 56 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 11 fantasy points

Jermichael Finley(notes), GB, TE (Noise TE Rank: 5, Start: All Leagues, 40% started)

Matchup: vs. Sea

For months we've speculated about Finley's dynamite potential. It appears he's finally tapping into it. Despite operating at around "80-85 percent" due to a bum knee, the ultra-talented tight end continues to deliver one headline performance after another. Finley has been Aaron Rodgers'(notes) favorite target over the past five weeks netting 8.2 targets, 6.2 receptions and 60.4 yards per game. He's also scored three times. Over that span, only Dallas Clark(notes), Antonio Gates(notes), Vernon Davis(notes) and Fred Davis(notes) have outpaced the newcomer. Don't expect the Cheese Whiz train to slow down anytime soon. After last week's embarrassing blowout loss to Tampa, the Hawks have officially packed it in. Dissected vertically, they've conceded numerous explosive plays in recent weeks, including to tight ends. Since Week 11 they've allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to enlarged targets. Defensive coordinators have thrown zone and man coverage at Finley with little success. Corners, who've attempted to jam him at the line, have experienced significant resistance. Because of his mammoth size and considerable athleticism, he is a matchup nightmare. If A-Rod continues to line him up in the crosshairs, he simply won't be stopped.

Fearless Forecast: 7 receptions, 72 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 13 fantasy points

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

Peyton Manning(notes), Ind, QB (Noise QB Rank: 12, Bench: 8-10 team leagues, 100% started)

Matchup: vs. NYJ

Though Jim Caldwell continues to be vague in regards to starters' playing time, the chances all marquee Colts lay Yule logs this week are solid, including Manning. We've witnessed this scenario unfold before. With Indy's playoff fate determined, Tony Dungy opted to sit his players in '05 and '06. Caldwell, a Dungy disciple, will likely follow the same blueprint. Undoubtedly, Manning will probably play at least the entire first half. But against an unfriendly Jets secondary, starting him is an enhanced risk. Only one quarterback this season, Chad Henne(notes) in Week 5, has thrown for multiple touchdowns against them. And only four signal callers - Drew Brees(notes) and Matt Schaub(notes) not included - have reached the 200-yard mark. Considering the circumstances, history and matchup, it's quite possible Curtis Painter(notes) could see extensive action. Play it safe.

Fearless Forecast: 15-24, 198 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions, 11 fantasy points

Steven Jackson, StL, RB (Noise RB Rank: 17, Bench: NO BENCH, 83% started)

Matchup: at Ari

Jackson must pull Budweiser-stocked carts to stay in shape. The man is a Clydesdale. Heroic is the best word that describes the workhorse's spectacular season. Despite routinely facing overloaded boxes, he continues to thwart opponents. He even stiff-armed the Swine Flu. As Jackson remarked earlier this week he refuses to shut it down. Based on his consistent returns, his passion for playing is evident. Only three times this season he's failed to eclipse 100 total yards in a game. But this week could be the fourth. Arizona has been steamrolled in the trenches over the past two weeks yielding 167 yards to Frank Gore(notes) Week 14 and 126 to lowly Maurice Morris(notes) last week. But, as Adrian Peterson owners can attest, the Cardinals are fiercer at home allowing just 4.1 yards per carry to rushers. He's impossible to demote, especially in PPR formats, but upstarts Fred Jackson(notes) (at Atl), Beanie Wells(notes) (vs. StL) and Harrison will likely yield more formidable totals.

Fearless Forecast: 21 carries, 84 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 13 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 9 fantasy points

LaDainian Tomlinson(notes), SD, RB (Noise RB Rank: 21, Bench: 8-10 team leagues, 86% started)

Matchup: at Ten

Start LT on Christmas night and it's quite possible he'll deposit a lump of coal in your stocking. Coming off his first 100-total yard game of the season, the antiquated back was finally featured prominently in the passing attack. According to Norv Turner, the veteran hasn't "lost anything in terms of his receiving ability" - a strange comment considering LT has averaged 1.3 receptions per game. Due to San Diego's continued run-blocking inadequacies and the Titans' growing defensive confidence, the former league MVP should not be trusted. Tennessee's run defense has intensified over the past five weeks surrendering just 3.9 yards per carry and 133.8 total yards per game to RBs. In fact, no rusher has reached the 80-yard mark against the Titans since Maurice Jones-Drew(notes) gashed them for 177 yards in Week 8. Unless LT again carves out a substantial role in the passing game, which seems very unlikely, another underwhelming total yardage effort is likely. Don't let him be your Scrooge.

Fearless Forecast: 18 carries, 63 rushing yards, 1 reception, 8 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 7 fantasy points

Knowshon Moreno(notes), Den, RB (Noise RB Rank: 25, Bench: 8-12 team leagues, 70% started)

Matchup: at Phi

Shortcomings in short-yardage situations continue to plague the rookie. If you give Moreno an inch, he'll take a centimeter. He's been stopped for negative yards, no gain or 1-yard an astounding 35.2 percent of the time. Josh McDaniels refuses to point an accusatory finger specifically at the youngster commenting earlier this week every component of the rushing offense has failed. The prepubescent coach probably isn't expecting a miraculous turnaround this week in Philly. Sean McDermott's aggressive defense is an intimidating foe. The Eagles have yielded an uncharacteristic 4.3 yards per carry to backs since Week 11, but over that span they've also surrendered just two scores and 128.6 total yards per game, equal to the sixth-fewest fantasy points. Don't bank on Moreno rediscovering his mojo.

Fearless Forecast: 19 carries, 65 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 14 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 7 fantasy points

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Calvin Johnson, Det, WR (Noise WR Rank: 29, NO BENCH, 75% started)

Matchup: at SF

Nothing says potential fantasy disaster quite like Drew Stanton(notes). The inexperience third-string quarterback is expected to net the start this week in hostile territory. For the third-straight week Megatron may transform into a small-massed object. Hampered by a sore knee and constant double coverage, the unbelievably gifted wideout has vanished. Over the past two weeks he's caught just seven passes for 72 yards. On paper, Niners corner Shawntee Spencer is completely outmatched by Johnson's size and skill set - most corners are. But since he's really Detroit's only reliable offensive weapon, Mike Singletary will devise several strategies to confine the talented receiver. Keep in mind only two receivers have surpassed 70 yards against San Francisco since Week 10.

Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 41 receiving yards, 0 touchdown, 4 fantasy points

Steve Smith, NYG, WR (Noise WR Rank: 27, Bench: NO BENCH, 76% started)

Matchup: vs. Car

Smith is blessed with Spiderman hands. The sticky-fingered wideout has caught over 66 percent of passes thrown his direction. Because of Eli Manning's pinpoint accuracy, the Giants have resorted to a more aggressive, skyward style over the past several games. However, as we discussed earlier, this matchup sets up nicely for the running game. Carolina has yielded a fair amount of pass yardage (212.8) since Week 11, but few touchdowns. In fact, only three receivers have crossed the chalk against the Panthers this season. Smith is a savvy route-runner who exploits soft spots in coverage with regularity. But Chris Gamble(notes) will be a challenge. Only Roddy White(notes) and Antonio Bryant(notes) have eclipsed the 70-yard mark against him this year. Smith will get his usual 5-6 catches, but his yardage totals probably won't make a major impact.

Fearless Forecast: 6 receptions, 59 receiving yards, 0 touchdown, 5 fantasy points

Terrell Owens(notes), Buf, WR (Noise WR Rank: 37, Bench: 8-12 team leagues, 60% started)

Matchup: at Atl

Minus the homophobic slurs, T.O. did his best Larry Johnson Twitter impersonation after last week's loss to New England posting "sometimes things must come 2 and end, u hv 2 move on & accept wht life has 2 offer." For those with English degrees who can't decipher annoying Twitter shorthand, Owens' time in Buffalo appears to be short-lived. With only seven catches for 66 yards in his past three games, his frustration is understandable. This week it could reach a crescendo. Atlanta's secondary is less than stellar. No unit has allowed more 20-yard pass plays this season. But with performance douser Brian Brohm(notes) scheduled to start and the Bills determined to push Fred Jackson over 1,000 yards, Owens will again be forgotten. Just say, ho, ho, no to T.O.

Fearless Forecast: 3 receptions, 34 receiving yards, 0 touchdown, 3 fantasy points

Greg Olsen(notes), Chi, TE (Noise TE Rank: 15, Bench: 8-14 team leagues, 60% started)

Matchup: vs. Min

Due to his largely insignificant contributions, He-Man has transformed into She-Ra. Trapped in an offensive wasteland, the highly skilled target has attracted few opportunities. For the most part, his season has been a colossal failure, particularly over the past five weeks. During that stretch he's averaged a mere 3.6 receptions and 22 yards per game. His resulting 2.2 points per game output ranks No. 36 at his position, one spot ahead of fantasy powerhouse Brad Cottam(notes). Despite his dramatic downturn, owners - we can only assume are deceased or out of contention - continue to start him. Olsen compiled a PPR praiseworthy seven catches for 42 yards four weeks ago against the Vikes. But in the rematch little should be expected.

Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 26 receiving yards, 0 touchdown, 2 fantasy points

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