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 and less of Yahoo! leagues.
Ok, that's a slight exaggeration. Still, for owners aiming to hoist "The Funston," Yahoo!'s virtual pigskin trophy, the widely available QB (six-percent owned) could slip comfortably into a pair of Isotoners.
Infamously known for his end-zone blunder against Minnesota earlier this season, the former '05 fifth-round pick has quietly been an above average fantasy producer. In five starts this season, he's averaged 232.6 passing yards per game and posted a respectable 6:2 TD:INT split. Those aren't spectacular numbers, but he hasn't been inefficient. Every start, he's progressed mentally. According to Kevin Smith, his QB's growing confidence was noticeable after last week's surprisingly competitive game against the Colts:
"That wasn't the same Dan that I saw in the Vikings game running out of the end zone that ended up on the bloopers that will be on bloopers for the rest of his life. This was a nice, smooth, comfortable - you could tell he was very comfortable. He had a swagger like, 'You know what, I'm the man in charge, I'm going to make it happen, I'm going to come out here and help my team beat Indy.' And to me that's the way he performed. I give him an A."
Still dealing with residual pain stemming from a thumb injury he suffered Week 9, the 25-year-old, who will be a free agent this offseason, is determined to showcase his wares despite Detroit's hefty chances of finishing winless:
"We know the situation ahead of us and the circumstance. We have a really good group of guys who aren't going to quite. Everyone knows what we're trying to avoid."
Cautious with the football and elusive in the pocket, Orlovsky, who is the antithesis of the statuesque Daunte Culpepper, should produce fruitful numbers against a mediocre New Orleans defense. Since Week 11, the Saints have surrendered 217.8 passing yards per game and nine touchdowns (three rush) to QBs, equal to the fourth-most fantasy points allowed. It's possible, for one week, the Orlovsky to Calvin Johnson connection could be very Marino to Clayton/Duper-like. 'Nawlins has conceded the second-most 20-yard pass plays this season.
For Matt Cassel, Kurt Warner, Eli Manning and Jake Delhomme owners worried Mother Nature will prevent them from achieving fantasy greatness (Foxboro forecast, New York), Orlovsky is a dependable substitute. Remember, in these desperate times, names are unimportant. What matters most is production, which Detroit's Polish Prince can deliver.
Week 16 Fearless Forecast: 27-44, 273 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, 0 interceptions
Note: Since the majority of Yahoo! leagues wrap this week, the Shocker Special is slated for hibernation. To the small minority of you who actually understood the rules: Thanks!
Who is your Week 16 Shocker Special? Post your selection with projection in the comments section below.
Previous Shockers: Hank Baskett (2-102-TD), Brian Griese (160-1-0), James Jones (1 drop, injury), Lance Moore (7-101-2TDs), David Martin (1-25-0), JaMarcus Russell (159-0-1-11 rsh yds), Donnie Avery (4-55-TD), Ryan Fitzpatrick (155-0-2-42 rsh yds, FL), Rashied Davis (6-64-TD), Justin Gage (4-47-TD), Koren Robinson (1-12-0), Fred Jackson (9-56, 2-20), Davone Bess (6-84-0), JJ Arrington (5-22, 3-30), Malcom Floyd (5-67-TD)
Image courtesy of US Presswire