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 2 Flames in the comments section below.
Alex Smith, KC, QB (6-percent started)
Matchup: at Phi
As predicted by many fanalysts preseason, everyone's favorite Mustachioed Tomato, Andy Reid, has done wonders with the Kansas City offense. Smith may not be a statistical megastar but through two weeks the game-manager has engineered the Chiefs offense very efficiently. His 5.7 yards per attempt is nothing to write home about, but his very respectable 94.7 QB rating and pair of multi-TD performances are. Averaging 35 attempts per game in consecutive wins versus Jacksonville and Dallas, he's sure to ramp up the throws in the un-brotherly Reid boo fest Thursday at Philly. Unquestionably, Jamaal Charles will be featured early and often to slow down tempo, but Smith's arm will also be worked plenty. The Eagles' pedal-to-the-metal offense has executed brilliantly thus far averaging 477 total yards per game. KC's defense, meanwhile, might be the league's most underrated, however, it's highly probable Michael Vick and friends hang a hefty number. That happens and Smith will sling it some 40-plus times. Toss in his ability to scramble – he's actually dashed for five more yards than Vick (82 to 77) – and he's worth weighing as a back-end QB1 in 12-team and deeper leagues. Keep in mind the Eagles currently check in at No. 27 in pass coverage according to Pro Football Focus. Given how poorly corner Cary Williams has played of late (64.7 catch rate allowed), Smith and Dwayne Bowe are bound to hook up for a TD once or thrice.
Fearless Forecast: 25-41, 278 passing yards, 3 passing touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 24 rushing yards, 28.3 fantasy points
Joique Bell, Det, RB (26-percent)
Matchup: at Wash
For Reggie Bush owners, getting 'Joiqued' is a rather unpleasant feeling. The backup rusher, who's already snaked two goal-line plunges from the incumbent, will be a perpetual thorn in the side, particularly this week. Even if Bush, hobbled by a knee injury, is available in the nation's capital, Bell should take on an expanded role. Over the first two weeks he's accounted for 24 total touches, 164 total yards (6.8 yards per touch) and two touchdowns, seeing roughly 30-35 snaps per game. Given Bush's physical limitations and the ultra-friendly matchup, Bell should be viewed as more than just FLEX-only material. On the young year, Washington has surrendered 5.7 yards per carry to opposing backs. LeSean McCoy ran roughshod over them Week 1 for 184 yards. Sadder for 'Skins fans, James Starks, who makes an antennae-less slug look fast, plodded his way to 168 total yards (6.6 ypc) last week in Lambeau, the first 100-yard Green Bay rusher since Brandon Jackson accomplished the feat Week 5 of 2010. Highly versatile, tough between the tackles and cemented as the primary goal-line back, Bell storms The Mall en route to high-end RB2 numbers. Ring him.
Fearless Forecast: 13 carries, 63 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 37 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 19.0 fantasy points
Bilal Powell, NYJ, RB (6-percent)
Matchup: vs. Buf
Already embroiled in a self-made QB controversy, the league's most dysfunctional franchise once again is giving local stand-up comedians and newspaper headline writers plenty of fresh material. Though much of what's recently transpired with the Jets is chuckle-worthy, the backfield really isn't. Chris Ivory is still a large part of Rex Ryan's RB tandem, but Powell is slowly distancing himself from the ex-Saint. Powell has out-snapped (95-to-49), outplayed and outproduced his less-versatile teammate thus far. Expect more of this same inside the Meadowlands this week against Buffalo. The Bills D, up to their bumbling ways as usual, has surrendered favorable ground yards to the opposition. Against New England and Carolina they allowed 4.7 yards per carry to rushers, though they've yet to give up a touchdown. Shuffling behind a rock solid offensive line that currently ranks top-10 in run-blocking, Powell is an upside flex option in 12-team and deeper formats. And, for the record, this might be the only time this year a Jet will make an appearance in this space.
Fearless Forecast: 14 carries, 55 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 20 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 15.7 fantasy points
DeAndre Hopkins, Hou, WR (13-percent)
Matchup: at Bal
Note to self, if Hopkins ever challenges me to an arm-wrestling match while operating at full-strength, fake an injury. For a wide receiver, the rookie is brutishly strong. He's also the most well-rounded target from this year's NFL draft class. The Clemson product's scorching start has burned down the house, especially in PPR leagues. The beneficiary of many one-on-one situations, he's attracted 20 targets (top-20 among WRs) catching 12 passes for 183 yards and a touchdown. Absolutely brilliant in the Texans OT victory over Tennessee last week, he should carry momentum over into Baltimore. The struggling Ravens, who continue to have issues on the back-end defensively, are in a very vulnerable state. Corey Graham, expected to be Hopkins' primary shadow, has surrendered a 128.6 QB rating and 71.4 catch rate according to Pro Football Focus. Due to the inflexibility of Baltimore's front and with Andre Johnson coming off a concussion, the youngster has all the makings for another sensational day. Get him off the pine and into the game.
Fearless Forecast: 6 receptions, 75 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 18.0 fantasy points
Josh Gordon, Cle, WR (8-percent)
Matchup: at Min
After serving a two-game suspension, last season's splashy rookie is finally back in action. Unfortunately, with Brandon Weeden sidelined by a bum thumb, traveling vacuum salesman Brian Hoyer will be his quarterback. Yep, you guessed it, Hoyer sucks. In a pair of appearances with the Cardinals last season, he completed a mere 56.6 percent of his passes, averaging just 6.2 yards per attempt. However, in a contest against a highly exploitable secondary, Norv Turner should draw up several high-percentage throws for the journeyman, employing various screens and shallow crosses for Gordon. If the wideout can shake off the rust quickly, he's likely to deliver sound WR3 numbers. Minnesota corners Josh Robinson and Chris Cook have conceded a combined 20 receptions on 23 targets thus far (86.9 catch-percentage). Gordon was a top-30 WR from Week 5 on last season. Despite the revolving door at QB, expect him to pick up where he left off.
Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 68 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 15.8 fantasy points
SHOCKER SPECIAL (Under 10-percent started)
Tyler Eifert, Cin, TE (4-percent)
Matchup: vs. GB
In front of a nationally televised audience, Eifert showcased his field-stretching abilities against rival Pittsburgh. Playing 56 snaps, he hauled in three passes for 66 yards (on five targets), including a beautiful 61-yard downfield connection from Andy Dalton. An animated skyscraper at 6-foot-6, 251-pounds, the ex-Golden Domer is quickly becoming one of the league's premier vertical threats. His blend of size, speed, athleticism and route savvy will soon push him into the TE1 class, possibly as early as this week. Green Bay, down its best corner in Casey Hayward, has struggled in coverage over the first two weeks. Opposing passers have averaged a stratospheric 9.2 yards per attempt against them. Tight ends, too, have reaped major success versus the Pack, evident in what Vernon Davis and virtual unknown Jordan Reed achieved Weeks 1 and 2 respectively. Jermaine Gresham will continue to get 6-8 targets per game, but with Green Bay likely focused on containing A.J. Green, Eifert has strong odds of converting a long touchdown. Bank on a Week 3 break out.
Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 72 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 16.2 fantasy points
BONUS WEEK 3 FLAMES
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?
— Mike Reyes (@mDOT316) September 17, 2013
Week 2 Reader Record: 4-3; Year to date: 5-8
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