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Lames: McFadden could lean in wrong direction against Chargers

Brad Evans
Roto Arcade

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Each week the Noise highlights six unobvious names who he believes are destined to morph into human torpedos. For those playing the Lames home edition, each player must be started in at least 50 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, feel free to tweet your hindsight jabs here.

Tom Brady(notes), NE, QB (Noise Week 13 QB Rank: 14, 84-percent started)
Matchup: vs. NYJ

Mr. Gisele Bundchen's gradual Ken doll transformation is alarming. So is his Week 13 matchup. Since Darrelle Revis'(notes) return to full strength five weeks ago, the Jets have had every QB's number. Over that stretch no signal caller has surpassed 260 yards and only Matthew Stafford(notes) has accounted for multiple touchdowns. Speculation has run wild this week exactly how Rex Ryan plans to align his defensive backfield. On Tuesday, the demonstrative coach offered clues about assignments, hinting Revis could shadow Wes Welker(notes). However, given New England’s bevy of weapons and spread-it-out configuration, a zone scheme seems more likely. No matter how the tandem is deployed, numerous incompletions should be expected. As Mike Salfino pointed out earlier this week, quarterbacks have completed a mere 41-percent of passes directed at Revis and Antonio Cromartie(notes), well below the 61-percent league-wide average. Brady tallied 15 fantasy points when the AFC goliaths clashed in Week 2. Expect the encore to be less fruitful. Ugg(s) indeed.

Fearless Forecast: 22-38, 244 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions, 14 fantasy points

Possible QB alternatives: Matt Cassel(notes) (vs. Den), Jay Cutler(notes) (at Det), Sam Bradford(notes) (at Ari), Ryan Fitzpatrick(notes) (at Min)

Darren McFadden(notes), Oak, RB (Noise Week 13 RB Rank: 23, 62-percent started)
Matchup: at SD

Against the surging Chargers, it won't be "Christmas in Hollis" for Run DMC. Over the past two weeks, the Raider's McFake alter-ego has resurfaced. He's totaled just 47.5 yards per game without a touchdown while netting a horrifying 0.8 yards per carry. Insiders have heard behind closed doors the coaching staff is concerned he's reverted to his former pussyfooting ways. Meanwhile, tackle Langston Walker(notes) simply believes McFadden's sudden downturn can be attributed to defenses "loading up against the run." No matter the reason, the former top pick is avoidable in Week 13. The Bolts, arguably the most well-rounded defense in the league, have allowed just three rushers to reach the 65-yard mark since Week 2, giving up only 3.8 yards per carry. Due to the umbrella nature of Ron Rivera's defense, soft spots underneath can be exploited. As Knowshon Moreno(notes) showed earlier this year and Donald Brown(notes) last week, backs that battle San Diego typically contribute soundly in PPR formats. Still, in standard leagues, expect another major letdown.

Fearless Forecast: 12 carries, 46 rushing yards, 5 receptions, 33 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 7 fantasy points

Rashard Mendenhall(notes), Pit, RB (Noise Week 13 RB Rank: 19, 89-percent started)
Matchup: at Bal

Since we bleed Orange and Blue, our unabashed love for Rashard is well-documented. We can't wait to gift him an Illinois Snuggie this holiday season. However, this week, the bro-mance is on hold. Gashed by the run earlier this year, Baltimore has stiffened in the trenches. Since Week 5 only two backs have punctured the invisible pool against them. Also, during that span, only Mike Goodson(notes) has eclipsed 70-yards on the ground. Mendenhall has been a beast of burden over the past two weeks accounting for a Franco Harris-era 59 carries. Because of Ben Roethlisberger's(notes) visible gimpiness, he'll will again be worked like a mule. However, don't expect him to duplicate his Week 4 performance (88-2) against the division rival. Unless Big Ben can keep Ray Lewis(notes) and company honest downfield, yards will be hard to come by between the tackles. In a game which could be a war of attrition, Mendy may send playoff-seeking owners packing.

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Fearless Forecast: 23 carries, 86 rushing yards, 1 reception, 3 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 8 fantasy points

Possible RB alternatives: Mike Tolbert(notes) (vs. Oak), Fred Jackson(notes) (at Min), Thomas Jones(notes) (vs. Den), Felix Jones(notes) (at Ind), Jonathan Stewart(notes) (at Sea), Mike Goodson (at Sea)

Calvin Johnson(notes), Det, WR (Noise Week 13 WR Rank: 23, 84-percent started)
Matchup: vs. Chi

News of Shaun Hill's(notes) season-ending finger injury is a crushing blow for Megatron, who will now run routes for Drew Stanton(notes). Over 104 career pass attempts, the former Spartan QB has tallied an unsavory 52.9 completion percentage. Detroit's offensive line has protected the pocket well this season, yielding just 20 sacks. But the Bears, fresh off an enormous win against Michael Vick(notes) and the Eagles, should be able to apply pressure early and often, limiting Stanton's chances of connecting downfield with Johnson. Yes, the vengeful wideout is using Week 1's controversial no-catch as motivation this week. But since Charles Tillman(notes) and friends have surrendered just six touchdowns and five 75-yard WR performances this year, Johnson may not taste revenge. Remember, he finished with just four catches for 45 yards (0 tds) against Chicago in Week 1. Megatron has failed to total 10 fantasy points in a week just three times. This week could likely be his fourth.

Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 38 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 3 fantasy points

Dez Bryant(notes), Dal, WR (Noise Week 13 WR Rank: 29, 74-percent started)
Matchup: at Ind

Twinkle, twinkle rookie star. Why the hell have you tumbled so far? Bryant, practically unstoppable during the middle portion of the season, has landed on hard times over the past two weeks. Victimized by his own success, defensive coordinators have made Bryant the focal point of their schemes, increasing double-teams on the young wideout. Since Week 12, he's caught a lowly three passes for eight yards. It's understandable why he went all T.O. on the sidelines Thanksgiving Day. Just like any unrefined, extremely talented player, he'll learn to adjust. However, don't expect an overnight transformation. The Colts are one of the league's stingiest pass defenses. On the year, the Cover 2 scheme has surrendered eight receiver touchdowns and eight 70-yard efforts equal to the eighth-fewest fantasy points allowed. Based on Mike Tolbert's success in the trenches last week, Jason Garrett may follow a similar ground-and-pound approach. Felix Jones and elevated third-stringer Tashard Choice(notes) will be worked extensively. Scoring opportunities could be few and far between for Bryant. If you have an adequate crutch at WR, lean on him.

Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 32 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 3 fantasy points

Possible WR Alternatives: Braylon Edwards(notes) (at NE), Mario Manningham(notes) (vs. Wash), Mike Williams, TB (vs. Atl), Danario Alexander(notes) (at Ari), Johnny Knox(notes) (at Det), Steve Johnson(notes) (at Min)

Vernon Davis(notes), SF, TE (Noise Week 13 TE Rank: 11, 74-percent started)
Matchup: at GB

Mine with this prospector and you're sure to unearth a large chunck of fantasy pyrite. Last week, VD’s impassioned, tear-jerking speech given before San Francisco’s thrashing of Arizona was worthy of a motivational poster. Matt Foley would've been proud. Unfortunately, it propelled his team, not his fantasy numbers, to greatness. Davis, hampered by an ankle injury over the past two weeks, has practically vanished, catching only three passes for 35 yards. Another mellow effort appears likely. Though the Niners could be playing from behind, Davis should only be trusted in deeper formats. The Packers have conceded a bland 4.8 receptions and 53.4 yards per game to oversized targets this season. They've also allowed only three touchdowns. This week's projected benign line will be the latest in what's been a very disappointing second half for VD. Pan for gold elsewhere.

Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 36 receiving yards, 0 touchdown, 3 fantasy points

Possible TE alternatives: Visanthe Shiancoe(notes) (vs. Buf), Kevin Boss(notes) (vs. Wash), Joel Dreessen(notes) (at Phi), Todd Heap(notes) (vs. Pit), Greg Olsen(notes) (at Det)

Other potential Week 13 Lames: Ben Roethlisberger, Pit (at Bal), Matt Ryan(notes) (at TB), Ray Rice(notes) (vs. Pit), Brian Westbrook(notes) (at GB), Cedric Benson(notes) (vs. NO), Terrell Owens(notes) (vs. NO), Chad Ochocinco(notes) (vs. NO), Wes Welker (vs. NYJ), Michael Crabtree(notes) (at GB), Percy Harvin(notes) (vs. Buf)

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