September 17, 2009
Brad and Andy return live this week to answer your questions and discuss their flames, lames and need to know names for Week 2. Submit your questions for Friday night's "Fantasy Freak Show" on The Score at email@example.com.You can also dial the studio line starting around 9 PM PT/11 PM CT/Midnight ET at 312-644-6767 or text us at 67011.
Each week the Noise highlights eight somewhat obscure, unobvious names who he believes are destined for flame madness or lame sadness. Being an accountability advocate, he will tally his hits and misses and post the results, whether genius or moronic, each week using the scoring system posted here.
More Noise: Fred Jackson, Buffalo's "Rudy"
Matchup: at Chi
Lowdown: After watching their QB hang 363 yards against the supposedly vaunted Titans D, Big Ben owners, too, daydream of conceiving "Little Roethlisbergers." Expect their disturbing thoughts to continue this week in Chicago. The Pittsburgh QB dissected the Titans in the flat and between the hashmarks with surgical precision, connecting with Hines Ward(notes) and Heath Miller(notes) repeatedly. A similar blueprint could be followed this week against the Urlacher-less Bears. Without its defensive captain and tackling machine lurking across the middle, the Bears' front seven will likely go-on-the-offensive with numerous twists, stunts and run blitzes, a strategy Roethlisberger is anticipating. If that script is followed, the Steelers spread will prove deadly. Though he will be badgered often, Big Ben's uncanny ability to evade danger should produce plentiful explosive pass plays downfield, especially against a shaky secondary. Top five totals could be on the horizon.
32-47, 311 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 12 rushing yards, 21
Matchup: at Ten
Lowdown: Against Rex Ryan's stingy Jets defense, the Slasher was more Freddy Mercury than Krueger - sans the greasy ‘stache and random "Galileo" chirps. Gripping the pigskin a mere 12 times, Slaton finished with a 42 total-yard, 0-touchdown, 1-fumble performance that paralleled his initial effort a year ago (16 touches, 49 total yards, 0 TDs at Pit). But with a road tango with Tennessee up next, Slaton is sharpening his blades. Last season against the Titans, the then rookie compiled 239 yards and a score in two clashes. His 116-yard exhibition was only the 10th time a visiting rusher had eclipsed the century mark in the 10-year history of LP Field. As defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch(notes) remarked earlier this week, constant Slaton surveillance will be a top priority. Despite the run-stopping emphasis, the miniature rusher's multipurpose abilities combined with the Texans' bevy of lethal weapons will once again make it difficult for Tennessee to contain the mighty mite. If you invested a first-round pick in Slaton, this is the week he calms your fears.
Fearless Forecast: 21
carries, 90 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 21 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 17
Matchup: at KC
Lowdown: Not suffering from a post-Kardashian hangover, the NFL's other running Bush exuded notable power and drive against the Chargers Monday night. In total, the former Louisville standout accumulated 59 total yards and a touchdown on just 13 touches. Tom Cable plans to implement a strict two-back rotation each week, with Darren McFadden(notes) being the staple horse. Bush and veteran Justin Fargas(notes) will earn roughly 12-15 touches per contest when active. Because Bush performed admirably in his '09 debut, it's likely he and not Fargas will play the role of vice-back this week in KC. Assuming he suits up and nets an identical workload; the third-year bulldozer could again produce wholesome numbers. The Chiefs were dismantled by Ravens rushers a week ago yielding 193 total yards, 4.7 yards per carry and three scores. If Oakland's trench heavyweights dominate the line of scrimmage as they did Week 1, sizeable creases for McFadden and Bush will be plentiful.
Fearless Forecast: 14 carries, 63 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 10 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 13 fantasy points
Matchup: vs. Ind
Lowdown: The Wildcat may be on life support in Miami, but the Fins' Cool Cat still possesses the skills needed to smoke defenders. Tallying more work than forecasted, the Holistic One compiled 58 yards on nine touches against Atlanta, including a receiving touchdown. Ronnie Brown(notes) is clearly the superior option considering Williams' advanced age (32), but the former Mike Ditka obsession still feels he's "explosive." Hosting a Colts defense that surrendered 135 total yards, 4.5 yards per carry and a TD to Jacksonville last week, the Fins will likely prescribe a heavy dose of Brown and Williams to pound the interior. He isn't starting material in shallow leagues, but owners with a flex option in more challenging formats should pass the peace pipe.
Fearless Forecast: 10 carries, 44 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 12 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 12 fantasy points
Matchup: vs. StL
Lowdown: Emanating a repugnant odor, the Rams defense is once again one of the league's most abominable units. Surrendering 15 catches, 140 yards and a touchdown to Seattle wideouts last week, Blue and Gold clad defenders will struggle mightily containing Moss, Chris Cooley(notes) and Week 1 surprise sensation Antwaan Randle El(notes). Though he totaled a paltry five targets, two receptions and six yards a week ago, the diminutive dynamo believes Randle El's emergence should help free him near the sidelines. Still one of the leagues slipperiest receivers, Moss should have little difficulty maneuvering to voids against the un-dynamic duo of Ronald Bartell and Jonathan Wade(notes). Expect a big bounce-back week.
Fearless Forecast: 6 receptions, 96 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 15 fantasy points
Matchup: vs. Hou
Lowdown: The mercury is rising on the Temperature Gage. With Nate Washington(notes) nursing a tender hammy, the routinely disrespected former Bear was targeted 11 times, catching seven passes for 78 yards and a score in Pittsburgh. Though Jeff Fisher's conservative offensive philosophy will occasionally limit Gage's looks, he is reliable play against flexible defenses, especially this week. Versus the Jets Week 1, the Texans conceded 154 yards and a TD to Mark Sanchez's(notes) wideouts. Considering the strong chemistry between Collins and Gage, look for the graybeard to line up No. 12 in the sights early and often. After missing Week 1 with a leg injury, Houston's top cover corner Jacques Reeves(notes) is expected to return, but Gage's towering height and smooth route-running outclasses the Texans coverman on paper.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 67 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 13 fantasy points
Matchup: vs. Pit
Lowdown: The Professor, who wants to work toward a Ph. D in sociology once he finishes his post-graduate work at Vandy, is, in all facets, definitely the yin to brain surgeon Devin Hester's(notes) yang. Attracting 13 targets last week in the Bears' futile display in Green Bay (7 receptions, 66 yards), he was clearly Jay Cutler's(notes) weapon of choice in short routes across-the-middle and on the peripheries. Minus premiere receiver stalker Troy Polamalu(notes), the Steelers showed marked vulnerability through the air against a largely mediocre Tennessee passing attack. Overall, the unit yielded 20 catches, 266 yards and a touchdown to powder blue wideouts, the third-worst performance of Week 1. To refine the passing game and establish an early rhythm, Ron Turner will likely call numerous high percentage passes, many of which will head toward Bennett. Start him with confidence as a WR3 in deeper formats, especially those which score favorably for receptions.
Fearless Forecast: 6 receptions, 72 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 13 fantasy points
Matchup: at SD
Lowdown: No longer decomposing, the "Trash" Heap has risen from the fantasy grave. Healthy for the first time in two seasons, the once dependable No. 1 tight end was magnificent in opening week action catching five passes for 74 yards and a touchdown. Joe Flacco(notes) and John Harbaugh's growing confidence in Heap could resurrect his sliding career. This week matched against a San Diego defense that has surrendered the most fantasy points to tight ends over the past three seasons, the injury prone target could imitate Zach Miller. On Monday night, JaMarcus Russell's(notes) safety valve snagged six passes for 96 yards against the Chargers. Count on Heap for top-five totals (Sidebar: That was extremely difficult to type).
Fearless Forecast: 7 receptions, 84 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 14 fantasy points
Matchup: at GB
Lowdown: Gimpy, bewildered and generally maladroit, Palmer's 247-yard, 2 interception effort against Denver was a laughable, Fitzpatrick-esque performance. Under Dom Caper's tutelage, the Packers brilliant transition to the 3-4 defense has been seamless. Pressuring Jay Cutler into risky throws a week ago, they will likely institute a similar gameplan against Cincy's rickety offensive line. Because Palmer's mobility is very limited due to the lingering effects of a high ankle sprain, he will be a sitting duck in the backfield. Throw in the blanketing prowess of Charles Woodson(notes) and Al Harris(notes), and the Bengals' aerial woes will likely extend another week. However, we're really hoping for an Ochocinco Lambeau Leap.
Fearless Forecast: 23-39, 238 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions, 13 fantasy points
Steven Jackson, StL, RB (Noise RB Rank: 23, Bench: 8-team leagues)
Matchup: at Wash
Lowdown: Pugnacious last week against the Hawks, Jackson is already frustrated. His outward conentiousness is understandable. To put it mildly, the Rams are the NFL's version of the Bad News Bears. The two-time All-Pro is undoubtedly, Steve Spagnuolo's most damaging weapon, but with defenses keying on him, and the gross defensive inadequacies of the Rams, it will be tough-sledding for the popular first-round selection. Battling arguably the NFC's finest offensive line, the Redskins contained the Giants rushing attack last week, holding the Frankensteins to just 3.8 yards per carry and 134 total yards. With man-eater Albert Haynesworth(notes) clogging the lane, it will be extremely difficult for the Rams rusher to find running lanes. However, because Spags will likely want to work away from the interior, Jackson could be a dependable receptions source this week, meaning he shouldn't be demoted in PPR-intensive formats.
Fearless Forecast: 18 carries, 72 rushing yards, 5 receptions, 24 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns
Matchup: at Mia
Lowdown: In Indianapolis, it's the same, tired 3.0 yards per carry story on the ground. Though Addai totaled an appreciable 77 yards and splashed pay-dirt against the Jags, the Colts offensive line struggled mightily to create rushing avenues. Left tackle Charlie Johnson(notes) believes the trench issues will be resolved once the O-line plows through the mental roadblocks. Still the odds of a rapid turnaround this week are long. The Fins, coming off a masterful performance against Michael Turner(notes), appear to be one of the AFC's stingiest run defenses. Paul Pasqualoni's base 3-4 limited last year's fantasy darling to 65 yards on 22 carries (2.9 ypc). With Donald Brown(notes) also vying for touches, Addai is destined to disappoint. Trust the veteran rusher only as a flex option in PPR formats.
Fearless Forecast: 15 carries, 48 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 27 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 7 fantasy points
Matchup: at Phi
Lowdown: Beloved by adoring fantasy fans and the Bourbon Street media, Bell has become a parish prodigy overnight. But its imperative owners understand his 143-yard performance came against the Lions, a team a blind, three-legged Chihuahua could shred. A full participant in practice this week, the heavily-braced Pierre Thomas(notes) is determined to return to action. Idiotically discarded by many in Fantasyland, its absurd how quickly owners have forgotten about the PT Cruiser's stirring run to end '08. Bell and Thomas will compete for touches going forward, which complicates their points-scoring potential. Due to the circumstances and unfavorable Week 2 matchup, any Saints back, including Reggie Bush(notes), is untrustworthy. The Eagles suffocated one of the league's more potent rushing offenses, Carolina, last week, limiting Panthers tugboats to just 2.7 yards per carry. Your opportunity to maximize profit on Bell is about to vanish.
Fearless Forecast: 13 carries, 42 rushing yards, 1 reception, 5 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 4 fantasy points
Matchup: vs. Cle
Lowdown: Graduate of the Kanye West School of the Jackass Arts, Marshall was uncharacteristically quiet both verbally and statistically in his '09 debut at Cincinnati. Targeted seven times by Kyle Orton(notes), he caught only four passes for 27 yards. Frankly, his biggest contribution was assisting Brandon Stokley's(notes) Mile High Miracle. Possibly a result of not having a comfortable grasp of the playbook, the perennial 100-catch threat looked lost often. With Eddie Royal(notes) and the ground game expected to be the focus of Denver's scheme this week, Marshall could once again wander off into space. Pulverized by Adrian Peterson Week 1, the Browns could be this year's Broncos. Recall last year, the My Little Ponies were so repulsive against the run, it made the secondary appear stouter on paper than it truly was. Until Marshall wears gloves comprised of double-sided tape, he's bench material.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 52 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 5 fantasy points
Matchup: vs. Car
Lowdown: Despite reaching double-digits in targets (10), White notched a very quiet five catches for 42 yards Week 1 versus Miami. Expect the Falcons' No. 1 to have another wingless performance. Last season against Carolina, Hot Roddy failed to rev his engine. In two contests, he totaled a marginal 11 catches for 160 yards and zero touchdowns. Though the lopsided result may indicate otherwise, corners Chris Gamble(notes) and Richard Marshall(notes) played admirably against the Eagles, limiting Philly receivers to just six catches for 59 yards. Also, it's important to keep in mind the Panthers' recent problems containing tight ends. Tony Gonzalez(notes) will surely wrest away looks. White shouldn't be benched in PPR formats, but another disappointing effort in standard leagues is a very real possibility.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 49 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 4 fantasy points
Matchup: vs. NO
Lowdown: Other than a nifty TD scamper on special teams, Jackson performed deplorably in Carolina totaling just two catches for nine yards. Because Donovan McNabb's(notes) status is still very cloudy, the chances of a strong D-Jack rebound appear unfavorable. Kevin Kolb(notes) has a noodle arm. His inability to deliver crisp, clean passes downfield severely hinders the deep-threat's potential. Marty Morninweg will likely design numerous quick-step drops for Kolb to curtail errant passes. Considering Jackson's dynamite yards-after-catch skills he could prove lethal when given space. Still the situation is not conducive for a banner fantasy day. A more conservative scheme could be installed in an attempt to take the air out of Drew Brees(notes). Play it safe.
Fearless Forecast: 3 receptions, 28 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 2 fantasy points
Matchup: vs. NYG
Lowdown: Shackled by the G-Men recently, Witten has massively underperformed against the Boys' archrival. Over the past two seasons, the oversized target has failed to surpass the 50-yard mark in three of four contests against New York. The Giants secondary was feasted on by the injury imp Week 1, but, despite allowing seven catches for 68 yards and a score to Chris Cooley, the linebacker corps looked strong. Due to NY's possible defensive limitations, Roy Williams, Patrick Crayton(notes) and Miles Austin(notes) are poised to contribute significantly. Obviously, you're not benching one of fantasy's premiere tight ends in any format, but a mediocre effort could be forthcoming (Sidebar: If the Noise misfires on another Cowboy, Big D fans are welcome to vandalize my lawn).
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 56 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns
Images courtesy of the AP