September 15, 2010
Each week the Noise highlights seven somewhat obscure, unobvious names who he believes are destined to torch the competition. For those playing the Flames home edition, each player must be started in fewer than 60 percent of Yahoo! leagues to qualify. As an accountability advocate, results, whether genius or moronic, will post the following week using the scoring system listed here. Cyber-bullies, tweet the Noise your endless rants here.
Once the most feared quarterback in physical and pixilated form – it was unfair to play with the Falcons in Madden 7 – many wonder how Vick will perform as a starter roughly two years removed from juking prison “Bubbas.” Fanatics needn’t be worried. After Kevin Kolb(notes) was sent to the sidelines dazed and confused last week against Green Bay, the former Pro Bowler turned back the clock passing for 175 yards and a touchdown while rushing for a ridiculous 103 yards on 11 carries. Against another NFC North foe, expect the numbers to be even better. Due to Vick’s effectiveness rolling off play-action, the Lions will likely slide coverage in an attempt to contain the fleet-footed QB. Unfortunately, they will fail epically. Last week, Jay Cutler(notes) carved up Detroit for 372 yards and two scores, chipping in an additional 22 rushing yards on the ground. No spy, not even James Bond, will be able to handcuff Vick. Andy Reid is stubbornly committed to Kolb, but after what will surely be a banner week for the backup, impatient Philly fans will want to hurl the incumbent into the Delaware. If you cashed in on Vick via free agency, activate him immediately.
Ryan Grant’s(notes) season-ending ankle injury thrust Jackson into the catbird seat at running back, and emptied the FAAB wallets of fantasy players. Rumors are starting to surface the Packers could inquire about the price tag for Marshawn Lynch(notes). However, a deal doesn’t appear imminent. Jackson, a former second-round pick in 2007, will be given every opportunity to place a stranglehold on the starting job against Lynch’s club. In terms of overall skills, the 24-year-old isn’t exciting. But a runner doesn’t have to showcase flashy talents in a one-cut-and-go scheme. Just look at what Arian Foster(notes) has already accomplished in a similar system. Equipped with solid break-tackle ability and plus-versatility, Jackson should be effective in spurts, especially this week. Last week he totaled 75 yards on 20 touches against a stingy Eagles defense. The Bills’ newly installed 3-4 defense performed well against Miami in Week 1, but were still pounded on the ground for 147 total yards and a touchdown by Ricky Williams(notes) and Ronnie Brown(notes). Because of the Packers’ unstoppable passing game, the fourth-year rusher should see sizable holes to scoot through. Mike McCarthy expressed supreme confidence in Jackson as “an every-down back” four weeks ago. Now it’s his time to prove it. For the now penniless owners who won his services, plug him in as an RB2.
Fearless Forecast: 22 carries, 92 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 21 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 17 fantasy points
Hidden behind Brandon Jacobs(notes) over the past couple seasons, the Bride of Frankenstein has finally pulled back the veil to reveal his true fantasy beauty. Wearing the pants in the Giants’ backfield, Bradshaw totaled a rousing 93 yards and a touchdown opening week versus Carolina. Expected to maintain a 60-percent workload, his encore performance will be significantly more monstrous. The Colts were embarrassed by Foster last week, conceding 231 yards and three touchdowns, the second-best Week 1 rushing performance in NFL history. The absence of defensive cog Bob Sanders(notes) cripples an already undersized, vulnerable unit. Healthy and revitalized, the Giants’ offensive line should easily win the war in the trenches. Tom Coughlin, similar to what Gary Kubiak did a week ago, will follow a conservative approach early in an attempt to control the clock and Peyton Manning(notes). In the battle of the Mannings, Bradshaw will steal the show. Trust him as an RB2 in 10-team and deeper leagues.
Fearless Forecast: 22 carries, 106 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 13 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 17 fantasy points
Bryant exceeded expectation in his professional debut. Targeted a team-high 12 times against rival Washington, he hauled in eight passes for 56 yards. The immediate heavy workload speaks volumes about Tony Romo’s(notes) comfort level and confidence in the kid. Expect another bevy of looks this week. Freakishly talented, Bryant’s mixture of size, speed, strength and athleticism is a gross mismatch for a very average Bears secondary. Zackary Bowman(notes) will undoubtedly struggle in one-on-one coverage. Because Jason Garrett would lick Dez up and down, until the rookie said “stop” – the offensive coordinator is rather fond of him – expect the ballyhooed target to run several “smoke” routes out of the gate in an attempt to get involved early. In his first home game as a Cowboy, Bryant will make owners, including Jerry Jones, grin from ear-to-ear. Consider him must-start material in any sized league.
Fearless Forecast: 8 receptions, 102 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 16 fantasy points
In terms of fantasy contributions, most would characterize the “other” Moss as generally worthless. Based on his rather bland impact (70-902-3) despite a hefty workload (120 targets) a season ago, his haters have good reason to spew vitriol. However, with Donovan McNabb(notes) now manning the controls, Moss should be routinely useful this year, this week in particular. Kareem Jackson(notes) and Glover Quin(notes) are physical corners who will try to disrupt Moss by jamming him at the line. However, the veteran wideout still possesses enough speed to burn either defender deep. The pair was manhandled by Indy pass catchers a week ago surrendering four 20-plus yard connections and 317 receiving yards. Anticipate the M&M combination to wreak havoc downfield. Coming off a serviceable six-catch, 77-yard effort against the ‘Boys (10 targets), Moss deserves a WR2 designation in 10-team and deeper leagues this week.
Fearless Forecast:7 receptions, 86 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 14 fantasy points
In a contest only a fantasy owner could stomach, Murphy could be a real diamond in the rough. Last week the Raiders passing game, in typical fashion, appeared anemic and disoriented. Excluding Zach Miller, Oakland receivers totaled a laughable eight catches for 58 yards. Murphy’s four catches for 28 yards (seven targets) led the way. With Jason Campbell(notes) behind center, the Crypt Keeper (Al Davis) has stressed his desire to take shots downfield. To prevent beheading, look for Tom Cable to follow orders this week. The Rams could enter Week 2 very thin at cornerback with Justin King(notes) and Kevin Dockery(notes) hamstrung. Even when the not-so-golden secondary was at 100-percent a week ago, it allowed 204 yards and a touchdown to Arizona receivers. Count on Murphy as an upside WR3 option in 12-team and deeper leagues.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 63 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 12 fantasy points
Earning the starting nod in Tampa, Hillis was one of Week 1’s biggest surprises. Though the sure-handed rusher uncharacteristically lost a fumble in the loss, he finished the afternoon with a functional 65 total yards and a touchdown on 14 touches. A repeat performance is likely against KC. Late last year, Jerome Harrison(notes) demoralized the Chiefs for a franchise record 298 total yards and three touchdowns. Despite the unforgettable effort, it appears the coaching staff will continue to employ a near 50/50 timeshare. Glenn Dorsey(notes) and company, aided by Mother Nature, played brilliantly Monday night against the Chargers, limiting electric rookie Ryan Mathews(notes) to just 3.9 yards per carry. However, their exceptional play may be a mirage. Keep in mind, the Chiefs finished 31st against the run last year. Typically, a major tide shift in defensive identity doesn’t happen overnight. Battling the Browns’ quality offensive line is a far more daunting task. Whether Jake Delhomme(notes) or Seneca Wallace(notes) is at the helm, Harrison’s pesky nuisance should ram his way to handsome flex totals. There’s fantasy gold in ‘dem ‘der Hillis!!!
Fearless Forecast: 11 carries 49 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 12 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 12 fantasy points
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