Each week the Noise highlights seven somewhat obscure, unobvious names who he believes are destined to torch the competition. For those playing the Flames home edition, each player must be started in fewer than 60 percent of Yahoo! leagues to qualify. As an accountability advocate, results, whether genius or moronic, will post the following week using the scoring system listed here. Cyber-bullies, tweet the Noise your often violent rants here.
If Flacco exudes an effort versus the Dolphins equal to what he put into his awesome Halloween costume (Side thought: Did Ray Rice(notes) dress as Snooki?), he’ll easily finish inside this week’s top 10. Since his forgettable four-pick performance at Cincinnati Week 2, Baltimore’s “Situation” has performed brilliantly tossing nine touchdown passes to just one interception. Though he hasn’t made the quantum leap in production most pundits forecasted preseason – Cam Cameron has slowly unlaced the kid gloves – noticeable developmental strides have occurred. This week another evolutionary step will be made. “Rocky” best describes how Miami’s secondary has played. Second-year standout Vontae Davis(notes) has stepped up his game, but fellow corner Jason Allen(notes) hasn’t, evident in last week’s benching in Cincy. On the season, the ‘Fins have yielded 220.5 yards per game and 10 touchdowns to passers in seven games. Due to Miami’s stinginess in the trenches (3.9 ypc, 115 total yards per game to RBs), Cameron will likely install a pass-heavy game-plan to attack his opponent's weakness. Flacco and Anquan Boldin(notes) will be an unstoppable duo. Admire the abs.
Fearless Forecast: 23-35, 256 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 20 fantasy points
Owners who exercised patience with Jackson after breaking the bank to acquire his services earlier this season have earned a just reward. Slowly marginally skilled rusher has developed into a reliable flex source, particularly in PPR leagues. Over the past three weeks, he’s averaged an impressive 5.4 yards per touch and 86 total yards per game. As fellow Packer James Jones(notes) remarked last week, the rusher has “come into a little zone.” In Dallas, J.R. isn’t the only individual who’s been shot by a mysterious killer. Several key players on defense have experienced an untimely demise. On the year, the ‘Boys have conceded 4.6 yards per carry, 129.7 total yards per game and five touchdowns to rushers. More alarming, only 29.7 percent of ground plays versus Dallas have gone for zero or negative yards, the lowest amount in the NFC. The ground game will be emphasized. Jackson will also be a vital dump-off outlet for Aaron Rodgers(notes) in the short-field if DeMarcus Ware(notes) and cohorts remain overaggressive. Smother him in Velveeta.
Shutdown Corner calls Tolbert the Kool-Aid Man. Because of his short, portly frame and interchangeable part, Mr. Potatohead is equally appropriate. San Diego’s preeminent goal-line gremlin has been a painful thorn in the side of Ryan Mathews(notes) owners, crossing the chalk in six of eight games. After two unsubstantial workloads in Weeks 6 and 7, Norv Turner deployed the stocky rusher 15 times last week against Tennessee. After averaging nearly 6.0 yards per touch, a similar role could be carved out for the former Chanticleer in Week 9. Turner appears committed to establishing a formidable running game. Brian Cushing’s(notes) switch to inside linebacker didn’t pay instant dividends defending the interior last week in Indy. Third-stringer Mike Hart(notes) averaged a ridiculous 7.0 yards per carry. Throw in the Texans’ ongoing shortcomings against the pass, Tolbert could net a “punch-in” opportunity or three. Slide him in as a RB2 or Flex option in deeper leagues.
Matchup: at Atl
It’s absolutely criminal obtuse owners continue to underappreciate Williams. Started in just under 50-percent of Yahoo! leagues, the preseason All-Mancrush selection deserves strong WR2 consideration every single week, regardless of matchup. Averaging 10.1 points per game in standard formats, he’s outperformed the likes of Greg Jennings(notes), Larry Fitzgerald(notes) and Brandon Marshall(notes). Full disclosure, every time he hauls in a long reception, "Sweet Child O' Mine" cues in our head. This week, another rockstar effort is in the offing. Atlanta’s downfield blanket, Dunta Robinson(notes), still hasn’t been cleared by team doctors after suffering a nasty concussion in Week 6. Even if he plays, Williams should have the upper-hand. In seven games, opposing WR1s have compiled 79.6 yards per game against the Falcons. Considering Atlanta has also yielded 7.8 yards per pass attempt, Josh Freeman(notes) will undoubtedly take a number of deep shots with the rookie. Expect multiple explosive connections. Owners in unchallenging formats need to show him the respect he deserves.
Fearless Forecast: 6 receptions, 96 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 15 fantasy points
Double, double toil and trouble, MacBess will turn Baltimore into rubble. The Spidey-handed receiver, who’s reeled in an impressive 81-percent of passes targeted for him, has become arguably the most dependable third-down receiver in the league. His adroitness underneath and increasing reliance inside the red zone could lead strong WR2 totals this week against the Ravens. Baltimore has been incredibly generous to receivers this season. Wideouts have performed 51.8 percent above the league average against it. Slot machines in particular have achieved a fair amount of success. Wes Welker(notes), Roscoe Parrish(notes) and Jordan Shipley(notes) each posted admirable numbers for the PPR masses. Because of Baltimore’s improved execution in the trenches and Miami’s persistent problems penetrating the line, Chad Henne(notes) will be entrusted to move the chains, enhancing Bess’ workload. Wax poetically.
Fearless Forecast: 7 receptions, 65 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 12 fantasy points
Admittedly a stab-in-the-dark play against the Texans on Monday night, Tamme proved to be a free agent ninja, slicing and dicing his way to six catches for 64 yards and a touchdown. The third-year tight end displayed the athleticism and, most importantly, route-running savvy needed to fill Dallas Clark’s(notes) massive shoes. It’s clear Peyton Manning’s(notes) supreme confidence, work ethic and attention to detail has rubbed off on the inexperienced players around him. In Tamme’s encore, another marquee performance should be expected. Philadelphia is allergic to mid-field coverage. Over the past couple seasons, the Eagles have shown plenty of brotherly love to enlarged targets. This year, Brandon Pettigrew(notes), Chris Cooley(notes), Vernon Davis(notes) and Tony Gonzalez(notes) all posted at least nine fantasy points against them. A similar tally for Tamme should be expected. As we stated Tuesday, the waiver leviathan is now must-start material. Add. Start. Party without pants.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 48 receiving yards, 1 touchdowns, 10 fantasy points
A.J. Smith has become quite the collector of unpronounceable receiving talent from the WAC. The undrafted rookie, who was teammates with Ryan Mathews at Fresno State, is in line for a significant workload this week in Houston. Buster Davis was placed on injured reserve Tuesday and hamstrung receivers Malcom Floyd(notes) and Legadu Naanee are unlikely to see the field. Similar in style and substance as fellow WAC daddy Naanee, Ajirotutu is a lengthy target with considerable athleticism, size (6-foot-3, 210-pounds) and big-play ability. Physically, he could pose a problem for corner Kareem Jackson(notes) who’s been torched often this season. Secondary receivers have averaged 69.1 yards per game against the Texans corner. Considering Houston’s overall troubles in downfield coverage – they’ve surrendered 23 20-yard pass plays this year – and the attention drawn by Antonio Gates(notes), Ajirotutu could emerge from the darkest recesses of the wavier wire to produce starter-worthy numbers in 12-team leagues. Keep in mind in two games this year functioning as a tertiary option, he averaged a healthy 14.8 yards per catch. Shock the world.
Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 56 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 11 fantasy points
Other potential Week 9 Flames: Josh Freeman (at Atl), Matt Ryan(notes) (vs. TB), Colt McCoy(notes) (vs. NE), Michael Bush(notes) (vs. KC), Christopher Ivory(notes) (at Car), Shonn Greene(notes) (at Det), James Jones (vs. Dal), Jordy Neslon (vs. Dal), Mario Manningham(notes) (at Sea), Brandon Tate(notes) (at Cle), Darrius Heyeward-Bey (vs. KC), Bills D/ST
Image courtesy of the AP