November 19, 2009
Brad and Andy return live this week to answer your questions and discuss their flames, lames and deep names for Week 11. Submit your questions for Friday night's "Fantasy Freak Show" on The Score via email (Please include name/city) at firstname.lastname@example.org.You can also dial the studio line starting at 8 PM PT/10 PM CT/11 PM ET (NOTE: We may air a half hour early tomorrow. Our broadcast will begin immediatelly following Northern Illinois hoops.) at 312-644-6767 or text us at 67011. You can also follow the show, and the Noise, via Twitter.posted here.
More Noise: Choose Your Own LT Adventure
FLAMES (Started in 60 percent or under of Y! Plus leagues)
Matchup: vs. NO
Scoreboards haven't spontaneously exploded in the rookie's presence, but in just two starts he's accomplished more than quarterbacks in destitute pigskin lands Oakland, Cleveland and Fitzpatrick Heights. Though he's completed just 50.8 percent of his attempts, Freeman has exhibited a fearless attitude. His smooth mechanics and astute pocket awareness point to Pro Bowl caliber seasons ahead. Over the past two weeks he's averaged a respectable 14.3 points per game in standard formats, netting 200.5 passing and 27.5 rushing yards per game with four touchdowns. That output could rise this week against a New Orleans defense minus starting corners Tracy Porter(notes) and Jabari Greer(notes). Their absence combined with Tampa's defensive inefficiencies and the expected return of Antonio Bryant(notes) suggest Freeman could be leaned on heavily. The Saints have allowed 249.8 passing yards and five touchdowns to gunslingers since Week 6. A Shocker Special worthy performance just outside the QB top 10 is fathomable.
Matchup: vs. Cle
The Browns are a disgrace to all canine species, even yappy teacup yorkies. On the season, no team has been run on more than Cleveland. Enemy rushers have pounded the interior an average of 31.1 times per game through nine weeks. On those carries, they've caged the Chihuahuas netting 180.8 total yards per game and 13 total touchdowns. Only Buffalo's opposition has had more success. For The Director, the Lions' pliable offensive line has cramped his scoring style – he hasn't crossed the chalk since Week 4. He also hasn't eclipsed the century mark in six straight. But because Matthew Stafford(notes) may actually have oodles of time to connect with Calvin Johnson(notes) downfield, Smith should see a few wide lanes to jet through. Consider him must start material in all formats.
Fearless Forecast: 17 carries, 73 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 15 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 14 fantasy points
Matchup: at StL
Wells is a rhinoceros dressed in medieval armor driving a battering ram. The rookie's ferocious running style and growing confidence have opened the eyes of many in Fantasyland. The former Buckeye has earned increased reps in recent weeks, which he's excelled with. Since Week 6 he's averaged 69.8 total yards per game and totaled three touchdowns. Tim Hightower(notes) will still rack most touches inside the 5, but it's clear Ken Whisenhunt is committed to establishing a hardnosed power running game. Wells should again net roughly 14-17 touches this week in St. Louis. The repulsive Rams have surrendered 4.8 yards per carry, 179.8 total yards per game and seven scores to rushers over the past five weeks, equal to the second-most fantasy points allowed. Expect another marquee effort.
Fearless Forecast: 16 carries, 81 rushing yards, 1 reception, 6 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 14 fantasy points
Matchup: vs. Ten
Reading between the lines it's very apparent Gary Kubiak wants Slaton to reestablish his position as the team's best back. Over the bye week, The Slasher worked extensively to solve his menacing case of fumblitis watching video of Tiki Barber(notes), who conquered the affliction several years ago. Earlier this week, Arian Foster(notes) was promoted from the practice squad and is expected to get reps alongside Slaton, Ryan Moats(notes) and Chris Brown. Obviously, Houston's backfield is crowded, but the incumbent's diligence will be rewarded. Assuming Bud Adams' cretaceous-aged "birds" aren't a distraction; expect the former Mountaineer to tote roughly 60 percent of the workload with much success. The Titans have yielded a ridiculous 7.9 yards per carry, 187.3 total yards per game and five scores to rushers over the past five weeks, equal to the fifth-most fantasy points allowed. Your chances of buying low are rapidly shrinking.
Fearless Forecast: 13 carries, 44 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 27 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 13 fantasy points
Matchup: at StL
In terms of recent production, the top-heavy Breaston is the Katherine Heigl of fantasy wideouts. Quietly over the past five weeks he's splashed pay-dirt four times averaging 6.2 targets, 4.6 receptions and 60.4 yards per game, the 11th-best output at his position. Kurt Warner(notes) has threaded footballs through pinholes of late. Given the accommodating matchup against his old club, the Sultan of Stubble should have little trouble spreading the love to Larry Fitzgerald(notes), Anquan Boldin(notes) and Breaston. Because offenses have pounded the Rams between the hashmarks, only four receivers have eclipsed the 70-yard mark against them since Week 6. But despite the Cardinals' advancing ground game, they're still a pass-first team. Expect the recipient of Warner's 199th career TD pass to again post sneaky good numbers.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 66 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 13 fantasy points
Matchup: at Jac
For Terrell Owens(notes) supporters, the phrase "getting Fitzpatricked" is the real-life equivalent of probing-by-cattle-prod. However, for Evans backers, the phrase has a more positive meaning. The inconsistent wideout has done some of his finest work this season with the backup behind center. From Weeks 6-8, the combo connected for 11 receptions for 172 yards and two scores (22 targets). With Skeletor (Dick Jauron) no longer a threat to Eternia, new head coach Perry Fewell has made it clear he wants to feature the Fred Jackson(notes)-led Wildcat more often. Despite the Bills' presumed shift to a more ground-centered style, Evans should still pay an appreciable dividend this week in Jacksonville. The Jags have allowed five TDs and four 70-yard-plus performances to receivers over the past five weeks.
Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 57 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 11 fantasy points
Matchup: vs. Ari
In the Rams' surprisingly competitive clash with New Orleans last week, Avery was an unforeseen fantasy stud totaling 67 yards and two touchdowns. Finally healthy, the fleet-footed wideout should continue his recent run of success. For the most part, Arizona's secondary has been rocky this season. Cards corners have conceded the seventh-most fantasy points to WRs. 'Zona is an aggressive bunch who relishes ramping up pressure on the pocket. Under normal circumstances, Marc Bulger(notes) would be swallowed whole by the blitz, but the Rams' offensive line has made significant strides in pass protection in recent weeks. Last week against New Orleans, the QB was sacked just twice. If the Rams can continue to hold their blocks, Avery's chances of a repeat performance are better than you think
Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 51 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 11 fantasy points
Matchup: vs. NO
Striving to "be the best, plain and simple," Winslow has flourished with an inexperienced quarterback at the wheel. Over the past two weeks the former motorcycle stuntman has attracted 16 targets, catching 11 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown, his best two-game stretch this season. Another banner effort could be on tap against a stiff Saints unit. Through nine weeks, no oversized target has scored on New Orleans. But as Brent Celek(notes) (8-104 Week 2) and Tony Gonzalez(notes) (6-89 Week 8) proved earlier this year, talented tight ends who are heavily involved in their team's gameplan can pierce Gregg Williams' unit. Anticipate another double-digit point performance from the budding Winslow.
Fearless Forecast: 6 receptions, 74 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 13 fantasy points
LAMES (Started at or over 60 percent of Y! Plus leagues)
Matchup: at Den
This week the raging Rivers calms. San Diego's slinger has played brilliantly in recent weeks, threading the needle with incredible precision. But on-field accuracy hasn't necessarily translated to giant fantasy gains. Since Week 6 he ranks 10th in points per game at his position, averaging 246.2 yards per game with 10 touchdowns. In his last meeting with Denver five weeks ago, he notched a mediocre 274 yards and a touchdown. This time around, the conclusion could be blander. After dropping three straight, the Broncos are desperate to regain supremacy in the AFC West. The Chargers will likely lean on LT early to set up play-action, but if the ground game stalls, San Diego could struggle vertically. The Broncos' high-pressure blitz scheme may also hinder Rivers' statistical performance. Only sit Rivers if you have dependable alternatives, but the tea leaves suggest a vanilla effort. Denver has yielded just 218.8 passing yards per game in its past five contests.
Fearless Forecast: 23-32, 248 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions, 14 fantasy points
Matchup: at NE
Aging with the grace of Andie MacDowell (She's really 51?), Jones has greatly exceeded his Round 4 draft day value, especially of late. Over his past five contests, the 31-year-old has averaged 5.3 yards per carry, 139.5 total yards per game and scored three times, good for the sixth-best output among rushers. New England has been somewhat friendly to RBs in recent weeks, surrendering 4.6 yards per carry since Week 6. But despite giving up occasional big runs, only two rushers, Ray Rice(notes) and Chris Johnson, have surpassed the 90-yard mark against them. Physically, Jones recently declared he "feels like a rookie." Running behind one of the league's best offensive lines can have that effect. But absent a consistent vertical attack from the Jets, New England will likely suffocate the veteran in Foxboro. Week 2 against the intradivisional foe, Jones totaled just 54 yards on 14 carries.
Fearless Forecast: 21 carries, 89 rushing yards, 1 reception, 4 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 9 fantasy points
Matchup: vs. Phi
Chicago's ineffectiveness pounding the pigskin is, in Bears fans' eyes, a bigger crisis than the terrifying Eggo shortage that has gripped the nation (What will Mrs. Butterworth do?). Forte's situation is sticky, to say the least. Evident in last week's game in San Fran, the Bears' offensive line is a sieve. Forte finished with a pathetic 41 yards on 20 carries. Fortunately, the former Tulane star saved face with his versatility, catching eight passes for 120 yards. When provided space he's been assertive, racking significant yardage in the passing game. More of the same should be expected this week against Philly. The Eagles, humiliated by LT last week in San Diego, are looking to regain their edge. Over the past five weeks, they've allowed just 3.8 yards per carry to backs, but five touchdowns. Forte will again be an asset as a receiver, making him indispensable in PPR leagues, but another marginal effort in standard formats is on the horizon.
Fearless Forecast: 18 carries, 57 rushing yards, 5 reception, 36 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 9 fantasy points
Matchup: vs. SF
In the land of artery clogging dairy products, Grant has curdled. Though he's averaged a healthy 4.4 yards per carry average over the past five weeks, he's found the end zone just twice since Week 3. Suffice it to say, the Packers' offensive line has limited his fantasy potential. Against the Niners' formidable front seven, the rusher could again tally sour numbers. Since Week 6, San Fran has surrendered a mere 3.5 yards per carry, 124 total yards per game and four scores to backs. If Aaron Rodgers(notes) is clicking in the passing game early, don't be surprised if Mike McCarthy shies away from the run. Grant is one of the few remaining workhorses still kicking in an era of split backfields. But even with a steady 20-carry diet, he's only proven trustworthy against loose defenses.
Fearless Forecast: 20 carries, 83 rushing yards, 1 receptions, 5 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 8 fantasy points
Matchup: vs. Buf
The Skywalker Show may be deceased, but the Jacksonville upstart is still an Internet sensation. That is, in virtual pigskin circles. Staving off the deadly Darrelle Disease last week in New York, Sims-Walker cracked eggs on the faces of fantasy pundits totaling 49 yards and a touchdown. You'd think we learned our lesson, but the Bills aren't exactly the friendliest of matchups. Glancing at the numbers, most football fans would surmise Buffalo's struggles stopping the run have artificially enhanced its secondary's stoutness. But that's not entirely the case. Safety Jairus Byrd(notes) has been magnificent, totaling seven interceptions this season. Due to Maurice Jones-Drew's(notes) presence, the Jags will focus on the run, stymieing MSW's chances for a noteworthy fantasy day. Keep in mind, the Bills have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to wideouts since Week 6.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 64 receiving yards, 0 touchdown, 6 fantasy points
Matchup: vs. SF
For those who invested fat coin in Jennings, it's been a frustrating year. Outplayed by ageless teammate Donald Driver(notes), the popular early round pick ranks just 28th among wideouts in overall production. Now bothered by a knee contusion, his value could decline further this week against the Niners. San Fran has occasionally been dissected vertically this year (i.e. Roddy White(notes) Week 5), but the Niners have generally defended the pass well. Over the past five weeks, the Gold Panners have yielded just one touchdown and two 70-yard receiver performances, equal to the seventh-fewest fantasy points allowed. Considering Jennings has netted the 36th-best ppg mark since Week 6, Driver may once again overshadow him.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 59 receiving yards, 0 touchdown, 5 fantasy points
Matchup: vs. Sea
It's perplexing why the majority of fantasy owners continue to support Harvin as an every week start. It's understandable if your league scores favorably for return yards, but in standard formats he's more of the stream-type. Since Week 6, he hasn't registered top 40 numbers. Vikes' fans have clamored for Harvin to see more action, but Brad Childress remains committed to a limited workload. The rookie, who's battled through a shoulder injury, migraine headaches and an unknown sickness, hasn't exactly been healthy. On paper, Harvin's matchup with the Hawks is very enticing. Seattle has conceded the second-most fantasy points to wideouts in their past five contests. But Harvin's limited looks combined with Brett Favre's(notes) mancrush on Sidney Rice(notes) could again push the youngster into the background. Expect another snoozer.
Fearless Forecast: 3 receptions, 47 receiving yards, 0 touchdown, 4 fantasy points
Matchup: vs. Wash
Because Dallas' ground game has grinded to a halt, Witten, who's grossly underachieved this season, could again remain trapped in the box. The enlarged target humbly admitted earlier this week, the ‘Boys must get the rushing attack back on track, even if it costs him looks. When featured prominently, Witten has done what he's always done, catch everything in sight. But due to the aforementioned ground troubles and Tony Romo's(notes) increased dependability on Roy Williams and Miles Austin(notes), he's become an auxiliary option. On the season he ranks just 17th at his position in points per game. Toss in Washington's No. 4 ranking against tight ends this season, and Witten's star is bound to fade once again.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 44 receiving yards, 0 touchdown, 4 fantasy points
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