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 12 Flames in the comments section below.
Eli Manning, NYG, QB (33-percent started)
Matchup: vs. GB
Weak, noodle-like, 'tired' … Manning's arm may not be "Eli-astic" but it was undoubtedly the most overblown story spewed by a bored New York media during an otherwise uneventful Giants bye week. Yes, Tom Coughlin's passing offense has dragged along at a sluggish pace since Eli's 337 yard, 1-TD effort versus Washington in Week 7, but the one-week siesta is exactly what the doctor ordered. Pro Football Talk reported Monday the passer's regained "pop" on this throws. Truthfully, Manning, sans for the lack of TDs, has actually tallied numbers on par with recent seasons. His completion percentage (61.3), yards per game (264.1) and yards per attempt (7.3) are well above career averages. But because Fantasyland is an instant gratification society, underwhelming numbers over a three-game stretch are unwelcome and unacceptable. Hopefully you bought on the bear. The Giants' matchup in Week 12 is outstanding. Green Bay's defense, sans Charles Woodson, Clay Matthews and other key players, is an exploitable unit. Though it's conceded just 6.7 yards per attempt since Week 7, four straight QBs have thrown for at least 255 yards and a TD against it. With Hakeem Nicks finally back to 100-percent and the Giants desperate to resuscitate it's aerial attack, look for Eli to storm out of the bye with guns ablazin'. In a contest where points will be plentiful, anticipate a top-10 finish.
Fearless Forecast: 28-44, 318 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 1 interception, 22.9 fantasy points
Marcel Reece, Oak, RB (58-percent started)
Matchup: at Cin
The most effective back in Black isn't Darren McFadden, Mike Goodson or Taiwan Jones. Unquestionably, it's Reece. Gifted a full complement of touches over the past two weeks, he's seized the moment. In consecutive starts, the wonderfully skilled fullback, quite possibly the finest route-runner among rushers in the league, worked brilliantly underneath and displayed surprising adeptness between the tackles. Against Baltimore and New Orleans, he accounted for 297 total yards, netting a ridiculous 6.9 yards per touch. Reece is a modern day version of Charlie Garner, a Swiss Army knife who's graduated from his role as check-down receiver. Considering the anemic performance of the ground game with McFadden, it will be interesting to see how Dennis Allen deploys the juggernaut once DMC is activated. This week, though, the head coach likely many not have to make that decision. Reports indicate Allen is only "hopeful" the slow-healing incumbent will be available in Week 12, making Reece must-start material in Cincy. The Bengals have defended the run better of late, but they're still allowing 4.4 yards per carry to RBs on the year. Similar to their effort last week against another ultra-versatile weapon, Jamaal Charles, who totaled 118 yards, Geno Atkins and friends will struggle at the point of attack. For the emerging RB1, another triple-digit high is in the forecast.
Matchup: at KC
Since August, yours truly has written hundreds of propagandistic words about the rookie. Rarely has he lived up to the hype. He's found the end-zone and surpassed the 80-yard mark in a game only once this year. When healthy, wily veteran Willis McGahee is clearly the primary option. But with Willis officially cooked with a torn MCL, the spotlight is finally shining on Hillman. The youngster is a fleet-footed, slashing back equipped with plus versatility. His blitz pick-up remains a work in progress, but, in terms of raw talent, he's C.J. Spiller-lite. In fact, when Denver drafted him, John Elway felt he landed the next Darren Sproles. No doubt he will yield touches to Lance Ball, and possibly Blowshon Moreno, on third downs, but he should net a 13-16 touch workload against the Chiefs, a club so unbelievably bad it was partially to blame for a fan's recent death. On the year, KC has surrendered a very friendly 4.6 yards per carry to RBs. Six rushers, including 'living legends' Jackie Battle and LeGarrette Blount, achieved Flame status against it since Week 4. If you're pining for points at the FLEX, hike the Hill in Week 12.
Fearless Forecast: 15 carries, 71 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 20 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 17.3 fantasy points
Matchup: vs. NE
There's no disputing the Jets offense is several levels below atrocious. A New York comedian could make a career out of Mark Sanchez/Tim Tebow punchlines. But any inept club is one favorable matchup away from cranking out quality fantasy numbers. For the Puddle Jumpers, Week 12 is one such occasion. When the Jets and Pats first battled in Week 7, NY's vertical game actually didn't suck the hind teet. Sanchez completed 28 of 41 passes for a season-high 328 yards and a TD. In that contest, Kerley was the passer's weapon of choice grabbing a season-best seven balls (on 11 targets) for 120 yards. The acquisition of Aqib Talib is the shot in the arm the Pats secondary needed, but the unit, as a whole, remains very susceptible to big plays. In total, it's allowed 51 pass play of 20-plus yards, far and away the most in the league. Equally encouraging for Kerley owners, a whopping 10 wideouts have scored at least 10 fantasy points against it, including T.Y. Hilton last week. Start the Jet Thanksgiving night and chances are you'll smother your opponent in points, gravy.
Fearless Forecast: 6 receptions, 88 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 19.3 fantasy points
SHOCKER SPECIAL (Under 10-percent started)
Matchup: vs. Ten
The Hen House, in quite possibly the most shocking development of Week 11, yielded several golden eggs against the league's top-ranked defense, Houston, on the road. After he replaced wing dinged starter Blaine Gabbert midway through the first quarter, the veteran improbably resembled Mark Brunell circa '95, ripping off numerous explosive pass plays en route to a 354-4-0-11 fantasy day, the third-best output by a signal caller Sunday. Henne only completed 48.5 percent of his attempts, but he got playmakers Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon involved and took multiple shots downfield. His 10.7 yards per attempt was the highest of his career. With the plug officially pulled on Gabbert, expect the Henne bombardment to continue. In Tennessee's past six contests, five quarterbacks have tallied at least 21 fantasy points against it, including the mediocre likes of Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jay Cutler. Overall, the Titans have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to QBs, surrendering 7.7 yards per attempt. Another 300-plus yards may be a stretch, but due to Jacksonville's inadequacies on defense, he's capable of at least a top-15 tally. In deeper leagues, drink up all the Hennessy you got on your shelf.
Fearless Forecast: 19-34, 264 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 1 interception, 3 rushing yards, 20.5 fantasy points
BONUS WEEK 12 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: 44-50, 46.8%
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- Eli Manning
- Marcel Reece