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Week 11 Flames: ‘Joker’ Vereen to get last laugh in Carolina

Brad Evans
Roto Arcade

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Go ahead. Embrace Vereen all over again. (USAT)

Each week the Noise highlights 12-13 somewhat obscure, un-obvious 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 results, whether genius or moronic, the following week using the scoring system shown here. If you're a member of TEAM HUEVOS, reveal your Week 11 Flames in the comments section below.

Andy Dalton, Cin, QB (30-percent started)
Matchup: vs. Cle
Often times this season, the Heatmiser's hand has matched the drapes, delivering on a number of fiery performances. Currently the No. 8 passer in per game average, he's quietly on pace for 4,577 yards and 29 touchdowns, a significant leap in overall production from his previous two seasons. Historically, the Browns have taken a bite out of the human candy cane. In five career clashes with the intrastate rival, Dalton has failed to reach the 20 fantasy point mark in standard leagues three times, including back in Week 4 (206-0-1-13). Still, even with Joe Haden on roster, the Browns are fairly vulnerable against the pass. Since Week 6, they've yielded 245.7 passing yards and 2.75 touchdowns per game to QBs. Haden had A.J. Green's number earlier this year, but Marvin Jones, Tyler Eifert and Giovani Bernard are more than capable of picking up the slack if the corner locks down again. Corners Buster Skrine (78.9 QB rating allowed) and Chris Owens (89.6) will definitely have their hands full. At home, Dalton avenges the Bengals' early season loss at Cleveland.

Fearless Forecast: 267 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception, 9 rushing yards, 21.2 fantasy points

Andre Ellington, Ari, RB (37-percent)
Matchup: at Jax
Clueless, brainless, dumbfounding – these are the adjectives that best describe Bruce Arians' continued loyalty toward Rashard Mendenblah. Though he's dwarfed Mendy in every possible statistical category, Ellington continues to wear kid gloves. Arians, who professed he would get the rookie 20 touches last week against Houston, refused to remove the bubble wrap. On 13 touches, Ellington totaled a team-best 78 yards. Despite the RB's otherworldly 7.74 yards per touch, it appears Papa Bruce will remain overprotective. Post-game the head coach told reporters he thought Ellington's lacking workload was "plenty," a sign it's doubtful he'll exceed 15 touches this week. Still, he's highly capable of tallying a strong RB2 line in Week 11. Jacksonville, presumably on cloud nine after winning its first game of the season, remains a defense ripe for the picking. On the season, the Jags have surrendered 4.55 yards per carry, 160.4 total yards per game and 10 touchdowns to rushers, equal to the fourth-most fantasy points allowed. Given Ellington's remarkable explosiveness and versatility, he should be trusted on the road.

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Fearless Forecast: 11 carries, 82 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 26 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 19.0 fantasy points

Shane Vereen, NE, RB (16-percent)
Matchup: at Car
If you have dreams of rolling in the green, count on Vereen. Out since Week 1 after undergoing surgery to repair a fractured wrist, New England's slasher has been cleared for takeoff. Getting plentiful reps in practice the past two weeks, he is expected to be available and highly active in a monster Monday night clash at Carolina. Stevan Ridley will remain the between-the-tackles grinder and primary goal-line option, but filling the 'joker' role, Vereen should net 12-15 touches per game moving forward. Because of the limited workload most shallow leaguers will likely bypass his services, but think of him as an Andre Ellington-type, an explosive rusher who will likely haul in 3-5 receptions and 60-80 total yards per game. The Panthers, who have allowed just 4.01 yards per carry, three total touchdowns and the sixth-fewest fantasy points to RBs on the season, are a daunting matchup. However, with Rob Gronkowski back in the fold and Tom Brady clicking once again, Vereen, who is very dangerous in space, will be a matchup nightmare for Ron Rivera and company. Carolina, burned often in the flat (6.5 receptions/game allowed to RBs), better beam the Bat signal.

Fearless Forecast: 9 carries, 38 rushing yards, 5 receptions, 32 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 16.7 fantasy points

Percy Harvin, Sea, WR (14-percent)
Matchup: vs. Min
First game back after a long road to recovery against an organization that you butted heads with multiple times before getting shipped out of town? And it's in front of a raucous home crowd that's counted down the days for your arrival? Hollywood couldn't have scripted it any better. Harvin, already amped to be returning to the field, will likely have extra adrenaline pumping through his veins Sunday. Though Adam Schefter reported Tuesday the receiver is expected to be on a snap count, he could be to wide receivers what Andre Brown was to running backs a week ago, a 'limited' player who gets far more run than what was originally anticipated. Yes, given the Vikings' dreadful state and incredibly friendly defense, the game could get out of hand quickly. Still, Russell Wilson is chomping at the bit to play with his new shiny toy. With that in mind and knowing how dreadful Josh Robinson has been in slot coverage this season (85.9 catch percentage allowed), Harvin will get numerous looks even if he sees only 30-35 snaps. If you're a card-carrying member of #TeamHuevos, he's worth the dice roll at WR3.

Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 58 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 15.5 fantasy points

DeAndre Hopkins, Hou, WR (18-percent)
Matchup: vs. Oak
Earlier this season, fantasy owners pulled hamstrings sprinting to the wire to acquire Hopkins. Week 2 against an ultra-stiff Titans secondary he grabbed seven passes for 117 yards and a touchdown, the only receiver to surpass the century mark against Tennessee this year. But typical of most first-year players, he's offered little consistency since, scoring seven-plus fantasy points in his last seven games only once. However, if there was ever a week for the youngster to plow through the rookie wall, this is it. As Nick Foles proved two weeks ago, the Raiders are a bunch of pansies against the pass. Corners Mike Jenkins, Troy Porter and D.J. Hayden each rank outside the top-70 in pass coverage according to Pro Football Focus. Since Week 6, Oakland has surrendered the fifth-most fantasy points to wide receivers. Case Keenum has obviously favored Andre Johnson since overtaking the starting gig, but he hasn't forgot about his fellow rookie. The two have combined for 7.0 targets, 4.0 receptions and 66.3 yards per game in three contests together. Given the favorable matchup, look for the Texans two-step to wreck havoc over Oakland.

Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 75 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 17.2 fantasy points

SHOCKER SPECIAL (Under 10-percent started)

Mike Brown, Jax, WR (3-percent)
Matchup: vs. Ari
To most novices, Brown, similar to the McRib, is a product from an unknown origin. Previously the third option on a then winless Jags club, he was only reserved for those in the deepest of leagues. However, with Justin Blackmon on hiatus, the hidden gem is worth unearthing. Cecil Shorts is unquestionably Chad Henne's primary option, but Brown, who's attracted nearly six targets and totaled 18.0 yards per catch since Week 6, could garner numerous looks this week. Expectations are Patrick Peterson will shadow Shorts almost exclusively, relegating Jerraud Powers to man Mike. Because Powers has struggled terribly in coverage this season (61.0 catch percentage, 99.5 QB rating allowed), Henne's secondary target will likely be lined up in the cross-hairs early and often. Toss in the always possible blowout factor, and the pride of Liberty could cash as a WR3 in 12-team and deeper leagues.

Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 59 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 14.9 fantasy points

BONUS WEEK 11 FLAMES

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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 Tuesdays via Twitter @YahooNoise. How large are your stones?

Week 11 Reader Record: 1-6; Year to date: 24-44

Want to bull rush Brad? Find him on Twitter. Also, check out the Yahoo! Fantasy and Rotoworld crew every Thursday on 'Fantasy Football Live' starting at 6:30 PM ET on NBC Sports Network (Find channel here) and online at Yahoo! Sports (Watch here)

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