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 less than five percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Severely hampered earlier this season by residual effects stemming from a pelvic fracture suffered in training camp and a knee injury shortly thereafter, Avery has finally rounded into form. His eye-opening four-catch, 73-yard effort last week in Washington, highlighted by a spectacular 43-yard reception that set up Josh Brown's game-winning shocker, showed the explosive rookie is beginning to live up to his early-round hype.
Since seizing the No. 2 receiver spot from Dane Looker in late September, Avery has shown steady weekly improvement in his comfort and feel for Al Saunders' complex offense. Jim Haslett maintains the "kid's going through a learning experience," but the occasional stellar glimpses we've seen from Avery have given the fantasy masses a taste of his gigantic long-term upside. Steven Jackson agrees. Per the St. Louis Post Dispatch:
"Avery showed today (Week 6 at Washington) why Coach Haslett referenced him as one of the guys that needs to touch the ball."
A diminutive bullet, the 5-foot-11, 184-pound second-round pick, who ran a 4.43-forty at the NFL Combine with a pulled hamstring, is a shifty playmaker whose drawn comparisons to Kevin Curtis and Lee Evans. Bulger, psyched about Avery's potential, is confident the rookie will be a major force for years to come. From the September 26th edition of the Post-Dispatch:
"This young man has tremendous speed. He is going to be an outstanding football player. He's another guy like Steven (Jackson) that has that juice and explosiveness that we need."
Matched against a Dallas secondary minus Terence Newman and Adam Jones, Avery should rack targets working opposite Torry Holt. Look for Bulger to take numerous shots downfield, attacking the 'Boys' primary defensive weakness with Avery's breakneck wheels.
For those individuals who follow statistical analysis provided by Football Outsiders, No. 2 receivers have posted a fantasy friendly 33.7 DVOA against the Cow Pokes, which means the eight-percent owned (four-percent started) Avery could be in store for a monster day. Conventional numbers also supports this claim. The Cowboys have yielded seven 70-yard performances and six touchdowns to wideouts, equal to the eighth-most fantasy points surrendered.
If the Lou's makeshift line can occasionally repel Dallas' aggressive pass rush, Bulger should be able to connect with the rookie on a handful of sizable gains.
Week 7 Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 84 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
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