October 20, 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.
Over the past few weeks, Favre overexposure, literally, has permanently damaged eyes and stained brains. Still, Barbra’s on-field flair for the dramatic continues to captivate our attention. This year’s return to Lambeau will surely draw a wide audience. Historically, the Old Gunslinger has thrived under the spotlight. In 55 career primetime clashes, he’s averaged 237.4 yards and 1.6 touchdowns per game. Given all the controversy and concerns that have enveloped No. 4 in recent weeks, you just know he’s on the precipice of a statistical explosion. Love him or hate him, the man has always excelled when confronted with adversity. Week 7 won’t be any different. Medics in Green Bay are in short supply. Several key players on defense could again be sidelined. Cornerback Al Harris’(notes) possible activation and the return of Clay Matthews(notes) definitely helps, but this is a unit that has struggled in pass coverage even at full strength. On the year, the Pack has given up 240.2 yards per game and seven touchdowns to passers equal to the seventh-most fantasy points. Favre claimed his enflamed elbow “felt great” after last week’s win versus Dallas. Assuming the pain doesn’t intensify in practice this week, he should operate without inhibition. Remember in two games last year against his former employer, he averaged 257.5 yards per game with an impeccable 7:0 TD:INT split. Sound the Viking horn.
Fearless Forecast: 23-33, 231 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 1 interception, 18 fantasy points
One of the NFL’s freest spirits, no longer trapped in football purgatory, appears to have risen from the grave. In his ‘Hawks debut last week at Chicago, he totaled 53 yards and a touchdown on 20 touches. His per carry average was unspectacular, but the sizable workload is a clear sign Pete Carroll is committed to establishing a power running game. Lynch is “excited” for good reason. This week, look for the Cardinals to be marked by the Beast. To say Arizona has had difficulties stuffing the run is a gross understatement. On the season, Darnell Docket and cohorts have surrendered 4.7 yards per carry, 173 total yards per game and six touchdowns to RBs equal to the fourth-most fantasy points allowed. Seattle’s offensive line is still a work in progress, but against a generous front, it should dominate the interior. Though he’ll cede approximately 8-12 touches to Justin Forsett(notes), the Beast will feast. Deploy Lynch as a RB2 in 10-team and deeper leagues.
Labeling a player who didn’t log a carry a week ago a “flame” may seem audacious, but a three-legged mule could rack appreciable numbers on limited touches against the Bills. John Harbaugh clarified earlier this week uncontrollable circumstances, not a pending trade, was the reason why McGahee disappeared last week. Large helpings of Ray Rice(notes) were dished out in an attempt to exploit short-field matchups. Though Rice will again shoulder the heavy-side of the split, McGahee should be utilized in some capacity. Even with 10-12 carries, he could inflict significant damage. On the year, only 10.3 percent of runs against the Bills have gone for zero or negative yards, the lowest mark in the league. Buffalo has also yielded 4.8 yards per carry, 159 total yards per game and six scores to rushers equal to the second-most fantasy points allowed. In what could become a lopsided affair, McGahee cleans up in garbage time. Similar to Brandon Jacobs(notes) last week, the goal-line vulture is an upside flex play capable of quality RB2 totals in star-thin formats.
Fearless Forecast: 12 carries, 48 rushing yards, 1 reception, 5 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 11 fantasy points
The long-bomb specialist has slowly regained his identity from ’09, a season in which he was arguably the Saints’ most consistent fantasy producer at wideout. Eased back into full-time duty after undergoing offseason foot surgery, he’s caught eight passes for 128 yards and two scores in his past two games, including two receptions for 35-plus yards. The Browns, bombarded by opponents over the first half of the fantasy regular season, haven’t earned their Snausages in pass defense. Through six games they’ve allowed 19 pass plays of 20-plus yards and the sixth-most fantasy points to receivers. Drew Brees(notes) appeared more comfortable in the pocket in Tampa largely due to a resuscitated ground attack sparked by Christopher Ivory(notes). If the rookie can keep Cleveland on its toes, Meachem should attract several one-on-one situations. Ride him as a WR2 in moderately shallow leagues.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 67 receiving yards, 1 touchdowns, 12 fantasy points
The near beheading of DeSean Jackson(notes) by human Guillotine Dunta Robinson(notes) thrusts Avant into a prominent role. Because he’s an intelligent route runner who typically works underneath, he could become the apple of Kevin Kolb’s(notes) eye. His skill set meshes perfectly with Kolb’s strengths. Keep in mind after Jackson groggily walked off the field, the former Wolverine was targeted five times, reeling in all five passes for 62 yards. Tennessee, which leads the NFL in sacks with 24, swarmed the Jags in Monday’s snooze-fest. If they employ similar tactics this week, Kolb and Avant could burn the Titans often in the short-field. Remember, receivers have scored 25 percent above the league average against the Nashville representative this year. Owners hoping to unearth waiver gold should stream the 95-percent available receiver immediately.
Fearless Forecast: 6 receptions, 62 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 12 fantasy points
With Big Ben back, a wave of “chunk plays,” as the tight end describes them, will crash the shores of South Beach. Roethlisberger's ability to spread the wealth stretches defenses to its limit, creating exploitable voids for Miller and Ward in the short-to-intermediate field. Against Cleveland that was clearly on display as the greasemen combined for seven catches, 104 yards and two touchdowns. Another profitable day could be on the horizon, especially for Miller. Miami hasn’t allowed a tight end touchdown since Dustin Keller(notes) blew up for two scores in Week 3, but as Green Bay’s Tom Crabtree(notes) and Andrew Quarless(notes) proved a week ago, the ‘Fins often play loose coverage across the middle. Expect Miller to take advantage. Due to the rash of injuries at the position, he’s easily a top-five play in Week 7.
Fearless Forecast: 3 receptions, 44 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 10 fantasy points
Crayton, who was dealt from Dallas to the San Diego for a seventh-round pick back in early September, has found a new lease on life out West. After the injury imp snacked on Antonio Gates(notes) and Malcom Floyd(notes) last week in St. Louis, the veteran established an instant bond with Philip Rivers(notes) connecting six times for 117 yards. The triple-digit effort was only the fourth of his career. With Floyd hamstrung and possibly minus Legedu Naanee(notes), Crayton could again step to the forefront. Because New England has performed unPatriotically against the pass, Philip Rivers will undoubtedly take to the sky. On the year, Beelzechick’s bunch has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to wide receivers. Though Crayton doesn’t posses the explosiveness of Floyd, he’s a quick, undaunted wideout who functions smoothly in traffic and down the sidelines (Visual evidence here). With Antonio Gates, who officials feel "optimistic" about playing this week, drawing so much attention between the hashmarks, the receiver could attract a large workload working the peripheries. Plug him in.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 77 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 13 fantasy points
Other potential Week 7 Flames: Kevin Kolb (at Ten), Joe Flacco(notes) (vs. Buf), Knowshon Moreno(notes) (vs. Oak), Darren McFadden(notes) (at Den, if he plays), Christopher Ivory (vs. Cle), Mike Wallace(notes) (at Mia), Deion Branch(notes) (at SD), Mike Williams (vs. Ari), Lance Moore(notes) (vs. Cle), Buster Davis (vs. NE), Danario Alexander(notes) (at TB), Seattle D/ST
Image courtesy of US Presswire