Each week the Noise will guide desperate, deep-thinking owners into the dark corners of the waiver wire to mine a last-minute diamond. Turn on your helmet light and pack a pickaxe. We're digging for drop-jaw surprises owned in less than 10 percent or started in five percent or less of Yahoo! Plus leagues.
Before summer gave way to fall and a single down of meaningful football was played, the fantasy masses truly believed Chris Henry was an alien life form.
Based on his preseason numbers, the unique-looking wideout was undeniably extraterrestrial. In four exhibition contests he tallied 14 catches for an NFL-high 224 yards and four touchdowns. His stirring effort combined with behind-the-scenes buzz – Carson Palmer(notes) told our own Michael Silver that Henry, not Chad Ochocinco(notes), was Cincinnati's best receiver – launched expectations into another galaxy.
As a result, mantasies were fostered, hyperbole was spewed and tendons snapped. Owners outstretched arms and slapped wallets – he went for $15 in one of the Noise's local auction leagues – convinced the troubled target was on the precipice of a breakthrough. In the Friends and Family draft, Average Joe, Michael Gehlken, proudly selected him at pick No. 150 (Round 11), three spots ahead of Jeremy Maclin(notes). As long as he avoided incarceration, fortunes were sure to be reaped.
Nine weeks into the season, Henry has indeed lived on another planet – Plublow. Currently the 56th-best WR in fantasy, he's averaged an unexciting 3.1 targets, 1.6 receptions and 30.8 yards per game. He's also found the end-zone twice. The speedster blames his sluggish start on a quadriceps strain suffered in late August. But, as Henry noted earlier this week, he's finally back to full-strength:
"I'm pretty much 100 percent. It's always a good thing when you're 100 percent. You can go out and fly around and not have to think about or worry about an injury."
This week, he very easily could take-off.
Though it may seem unlikely, deep-thinking owners suffering from the bye week blues who employ the 10-percent owned commodity's services could earn a substantial dividend. Back in Week 4 he torched the Ravens for 92 yards, his finest yardage effort this year. Despite showing significant improvement defensively a week ago versus Denver, Baltimore is susceptible to surrendering explosive pass plays. On the year, Ed Reed(notes) and company have allowed 23 20-yard pass plays, the ninth-most in the NFL.
With his injury fully healed and confidence still intact, Henry, at least for this week, could be risk-taking owners' favorite Martian.
Week 9 Fearless Forecast: 3 receptions, 74 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
Who is your Week 9 Shocker Special (10% owned or less)? Post your pick with projection below?
SILENCE THE NOISE CHALLENGE
Each week one lucky aspiring fantasy prognosticator is chosen to go toe-to-toe against the Noise. If you want to be a guest "expert" submit your Week 10 flames, lames (1 QB, 3 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE for each, 16 total) and shocker special (one player at any position) along with a valid email address and your location here no later than 7 PM central time on Thursday. Oh, and please, no long dissertations to justify your picks. All that's required are your player selections and projections. Winners earn a league spot to compete against yours truly next season. Good luck!
Week 9 contestant: Brian in Colorado Springs, CO
QB: Alex Smith, SF, 20-30, 225 yards, 2:1 TD:INT, 12 rush yards, 11% started
RB: Felix Jones(notes), Dal, 8 rushes, 48 yards, 42 receiving yards, 1 TD, 25%
RB: Joseph Addai(notes), Ind, 14 rushes, 82 yards, 28 receiving yards, 1 TD, 91%*
RB: Brandon Jacobs(notes), NYG, 18 rushes, 111 yards, 10 receiving yards, 1 TD, 87%*
WR: Devery Henderson(notes), NO, 4 catches, 102 yards, 1 TD, 26%
WR: Santonio Holmes(notes), Pit, 5 catches, 83 yards, 1 TD, 49%
WR: Devin Hester(notes), Chi, 5 catches, 92 yards, 1 TD, 71%*
TE: Fred Davis(notes), Wash, 6 catches, 82 yards, 1 TD, 31%
QB: Joe Flacco(notes), Bal, 22-34, 254 yards, 7 rush yards, 1:1 TD:INT, 35% started*
RB: Matt Forte(notes), Chi, 15 rushes, 49 yards, 42 receiving yards, 0 TDs, 94%
RB: Ray Rice(notes), Bal, 14 rushes, 52 yards, 44 receiving yards, 0 TDs, 95%
RB: Steve Slaton(notes), Hou, 7 rushes, 22 yards, 32 receiving yards, 0 TDs, 64%
WR: Roddy White(notes), Atl, 5 catches, 68 yards, 0 TDs, 98%
WR: Mario Manningham(notes), NYG, 3 catches, 48 yards, 0 TDs, 32%*
WR: Miles Austin(notes), Dal, 4 catches, 52 yards, 0 TDs, 95%
TE: Benjamin Watson(notes), NE, 3 catches, 21 yards, 0 TDs, 31%*
*Not exactly Flame/Lame material (Remember, the rules state over/under 60 percent started), but the readers are in desperate need of saving some face.
Week 8 results: Matt from Gales Ferry, CT
Flames (2-7): W - (Michael Crabtree(notes), Justin Fargas(notes) (Shocker)); L - (David Garrard(notes), Kevin Smith(notes), Jamal Lewis(notes), Fred Jackson(notes), Mike Sims-Walker(notes), Kevin Walter(notes), Tony Scheffler(notes))
Lames (3-5): W - (Ryan Grant(notes), Steve Smith (NYG), T.J. Houshmandzadeh(notes)); L - (Donovan McNabb(notes), DeAngelo Williams(notes), Thomas Jones(notes), Vincent Jackson(notes), Jeremy Shockey(notes)).
Noisers Season: Flames (19-45, 29.7%), Lames (27-28, 49.0%)
Winners: Matthew in Colden, NY, Micah in Shelbyville, TN
Image courtesy of US Presswire