October 06, 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 often violent rants here.
At the beginning of the season, Kolb was a delectable item on the fantasy menu. Behind center of an explosive, pass-first offense, he was expected to make a Matt Schaub(notes)-like rise to stardom. However, a concussion Week 1 versus Green Bay scrambled those thoughts, elevating Michael Vick(notes) back to fantasy prominence. Now with Vick sidelined for at least the next 1-2 weeks, the pendulum has swung back to the preseason sleeper’s side. For those who reinvested, expect a massive Week 5 windfall. With LeSean McCoy(notes) inactive or extremely limited, Marty Mornhinweg could abandon the run almost entirely in San Francisco, a strategy he implemented often last year. By game’s end, Kolb’s arm may scream for mercy. The Niners are a vulnerable pass defense giving up 236.8 passing yards and two touchdowns per game to QBs equal to the seventh-most fantasy points allowed. Look for Kolb to dink and dunk his way to sizable numbers on 40-plus attempts. Slather him in butter.
Fearless Forecast: 27-42, 287 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 1 interception, 21 fantasy points
Owners searching for a religious experience must start the JC of KC this week at Indy. Charles, shackled for much of the early season averaging just 11.3 carries per game, has been a frustrating player to own. Investors who burned stacks of cash to acquire his services are understandably irate over the runner’s mismanagement. To them, Todd Haley’s head should be forcefully dunked in BBQ sauce until he agrees to increase the dynamic rusher's reps. After all, he’s averaging an insane 7.0 yards per carry. Stay the course. Eventually his per game touches will increase, which could happen this week. Rushers have regularly trampled over the Colts’ undersized defensive line. On the year, Indy has surrendered 4.9 yards per carry, 158.3 total yards per game and five scores to plowshares. Expect Haley to subscribe to a run-first, run-often philosophy in an attempt to control clock and keep the ball out of Peyton Manning’s(notes) hands. In Week 5, the JC of KC heals early season wounds.
Tolbert is an absolute hammer. More Stanley than Fisher Price, which Ryan Mathews(notes) resembles, his thick frame and bone-crushing style and versatility are eerily similar to Natrone Means circa ’94. Norv Turner is “committed” to the rookie as his starter but he clearly believes Mathews and Tolbert are interchangeable. Last week, the veteran’s early hot-hand combined with the Chargers’ quick thrashing of Arizona explained the separation in carries. This week, a similar scenario could play out. The Raiders' frontline has been steamrolled regularly this season. Through four weeks, they’ve conceded the most 20-yard run plays in the league and the third-most fantasy points to RBs, allowing 5.5 yards per carry, 186.7 total yards per game and six touchdowns. Due to the presence of Nnamdi Asomugha(notes), Turner will undoubtedly stress the run. Both Bolts are capable of top-15 performances. But with Mathews still dinged, the undrafted former Chanticleer is the more employable option. Count on a strong RB2 return in 10-team and deeper leagues.
Fearless Forecast: 17 carries, 99 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 12 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 17 fantasy points
Torain is the latest in a long line of unheralded Shanahan running back pets. More Rottweiler than poodle, he’s a classic power back reminiscent of Christian Okoye. He runs a bit upright which could lead to future nicks and scrapes, but against even the stiffest defenses he will gain chunks of yards with every carry. The Eagles’ Quintin Mikell(notes) most certainly agrees. The safety was flattened by the Torain train last week (See trucking here). Green Bay is one of the league’s finest run defenses surrendering only 3.8 yards per carry and 102.8 total yards per game to RBs. Within the 3-4 scheme, Packers linebackers attack and buckle running lanes very quickly. However, with Clinton Portis(notes) out, opportunities alone suggest Torain will generate upper-tiered RB2 numbers. Keep in mind the burly back has averaged 4.6 yards per carry through two games. Green Bay hasn’t allowed a 100-yard rusher in 17 straight regular season contests, but the ‘Skins’ punisher just might end the streak.
Fearless Forecast: 21 carries, 91 rushing yards, 1 reception, 7 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 15 fantasy points
Manningham will go so deep, so deep, he’ll put Houston butts to sleep. Shutout last week against Chicago, the fleet-footed wideout will be heavily involved in Tom Coughlin’s Week 5 game-plan. The Texans success stymieing the run and severe deficiencies on pass defense means Eli Manning(notes) will bombard them often downfield. Houston has yielded the third-most 20-yard pass plays and the fifth-most fantasy points to wideouts this year. Manningham, who has averaged 17.0 yards per catch, will likely attract at least 7-8 targets. Brian Cushing’s(notes) return from suspension is a significant boost, but his short-field presence is a bigger issue for Steve Smith and Ahmad Bradshaw(notes) owners. Sunday will be a good day for Super Mario.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 83 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 14 fantasy points
Amendola, classically trained at the Wes Welker(notes) Institute of Overachievement while a student at Texas Tech, has emerged as a viable deep-league PPR commodity. Currently ranked in the top 20 in targets (7.8) and receptions per game (5.3), the undrafted wideout has reeled in at least four catches in each of his first four games, including a ridiculous Cirque du Soleil-esque grab last week versus Seattle (See the circus catch here). Once again, the Hello Kitties have struggled mightily in almost every facet defensively, particularly against the pass. Unable to contain receivers whether in zone or man coverage they’ve surrendered the 10th-most fantasy points to WRs this season. Amendola is a precise route-runner who has become Sam Bradford’s(notes) most trusted ally underneath. Due to the nature of his game, explosive pass plays are a rarity, but a season-best effort appears to be imminent. Additional contributions on special teams increases the odds. With Welker enjoying a little robe time this week, another former Red Raider will storm the field with “Guns Up.” Slot him in as a WR3 in 12-team and deeper leagues.
Fearless Forecast: 7 receptions, 76 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 13 fantasy points
To most, trusting a Harvard product in a critical bye week is about as uncomfortable as enduring two hours of 80s racial divide-bridger “Soul Man.” However, any quarterback, even one whose accuracy is comparable to the Noise’s in weekly sleeper prediction, matched against the generous Jags is worth the gamble. Jacksonville’s embarrassing secondary ranks first in most 20-yard pass plays and fantasy points allowed to QBs. Through a quarter of the season, it’s yielded 315 yards per game and nine touchdowns. Last week in a blowout loss to the Jets, Fitzpatrick did his best Vick impersonation throwing for 128 yards and two touchdowns while also racking 74 rushing yards. Despite a solid fantasy output, he completed only 12 of 27 attempts, a performance so poor Chan Gailey nearly benched him. As a result, the signal caller acknowledged Monday he and his receivers “need to get on the same page.” Against the woeful Jags, look for the Bills to get synergized. Construct an apocalyptic shelter now. Fitzpatrick may finish in the position’s top 10 for the second consecutive week.
Fearless Forecast: 21-30, 223 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 1 interception, 24 rushing yards, 20 fantasy points
Other likely Week 5 Flames: Sam Bradford (at Det), Shaun Hill(notes) (vs. StL), Thomas Jones(notes) (at Ind), Michael Bush(notes) (vs. SD), Lance Moore(notes) (at Ari), Derrick Mason(notes) (vs. Den), Any other Bill (Lee Evans(notes), Steve Johnson(notes), C.J. Spiller(notes), Fred Jackson(notes), Thurman Thomas, Don Beebe, Frank Reich, Marv Levy, seriously anyone)
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