September 29, 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.
The Polish-to-English translation of Gradkowski may indeed be “perfectly mediocre,” but the elevated backup will be anything but middling this week against the Texans. Charitable best describes Houston’s secondary. Through three games it has surrendered an insane 381 passing yards per game and six aerial touchdowns. Obviously, the undrafted Toledo product isn’t remotely close to the talent class of Peyton Manning(notes), Donovan McNabb(notes) and Tony Romo(notes), but he’s no Purple Drank either. Though he completed only 50 percent of his attempts last week in the desert he sill finished with a notable 255 passing yards and a touchdown. His sidearm habits and chucked ducks continue to infuriate local writers, but the Texans can disguise any mechanical flaw. Considering his budding chemistry with Louis Murphy(notes) and Zach Miller and scrambling ability when pressured, he could easily puncture the QB top 10. All ‘Ski, ‘Ski got dam!
Fearless Forecast: 22-38, 279 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 1 interception, 20 fantasy points
Preseason, most, including yours truly, would’ve taken out a second mortgage betting on LT adding 2010 to his Jets tattoombstone. However, with every sizable gain, the thirty-something rusher has slapped his critics in the face. Watching the old Vizio Sunday night, the future Hall of Famer exhibited the vision, burst, versatility and cutback skills of yesteryear. In his first start this year, the former Charger ripped off 88 total yards and a touchdown against a solid Dolphins defense. Shonn Greene(notes) will continue to steal roughly 10-12 carries per game, but it’s clear LT will remain atop the depth chart for the foreseeable future. Although Mark Sanchez(notes) has blossomed, Rex Ryan will undoubtedly employ a conservative approach this week against a Bills defense which has yielded 4.4 yards per carry, 146 total yards per game and four scores to rushers. Due to his growing role and revitalized talents it’s time, as Torsha Tomlinson told the Daily News Monday, to jump back on the bandwagon. The scariest RB of the past decade has regained his fearsome appearance.
Ignoring Leon Washington’s(notes) spectacular special teams contributions, the Seattle backfield has largely been a barren wasteland of fantasy production. But after Forsett tallied 20 touches last week versus San Diego it’s clear Pete Carroll has finally realized Julius Jones(notes) can’t outrun a giant Galapagos tortoise. The last time the diminutive back visited the Gateway City he posted heavenly numbers (22-130-2). The encore could be almost as good. St. Louis has continued to struggle stopping the run, giving up 5.1 yards per carry and 157 total yards per game to rushers. Injuries and a lack of chemistry up front have handicapped the ‘Hawks’ running game. This week it should finally get on track. Even with Clifton Ryan(notes) expected to return for the Rams, Forsett should accumulate noteworthy numbers in his first standout performance of the year. Start him with supreme confidence.
Fearless Forecast: 18 carries, 87 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 21 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 16 fantasy points
Mariah, Aretha and a whole lot of Whitney rolled into one, the San Francisco diva may finally belt out a chart-topping tune. Jimmy Raye’s dismissal should remove the padlock from the Niners playbook. Alex Smith, who historically has operated more effectively out of the gun, will likely get an opportunity to play his style of game. Despite ongoing communication problems between Smith and Crabtree the pair should be able to reconnect the severed line. Similar to last season, the Falcons have struggled in pass coverage. At least one receiver has surpassed 80 receiving yards against them in each of their first three games. No. 1 targets have also performed 14.6 percent above the league average versus Dunta Robinson(notes). The second-year wideout has averaged an appalling two receptions and 27 yards per game thus far. However, with the Niners already in desperation mode and Josh Morgan(notes) ailing, he will be more than just a cameo in Week 4. Plant the Crabtree in your starting lineup.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 74 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 14 fantasy points
Anthony Hargrove’s motivational “dance” last week versus Atlanta must have lit a fire under Moore. Sir Lance-a-lot, a key waiver wire acquisition two years ago, hauled in a massive payload, catching six passes for a career-best 149 yards and two touchdowns. Amazingly, the single-game total surpassed what he accomplished in seven contests a year ago. With Reggie Bush(notes) sidelined, Moore has once again become an integral piece to New Orleans’ offensive puzzle. Against a flimsy Carolina D, another potent dose of targets should be expected. The Panthers have allowed the 10th-most 20-yard pass plays this season. Considering Marques Colston(notes) will draw Chris Gamble(notes) and friends in coverage, Moore will thrive in several one-on-one situations. It’s rare New Orleans wide receivers post consecutive stellar weeks. After all, with the Hugo Chavez of quarterbacks, Drew Brees(notes), running the offense, socialism is the Saints’ passing philosophy. But Brees has had considerable success recently against the Panthers, which bodes well for Moore. Last year, he burned them for 330 yards and a score. Coming off a disappointing loss to Atlanta, the Saints march all over Carolina.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 66 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 12 fantasy points
Though Rob Gronkowski(notes) is cemented as the Pats’ primary goal-line tight end, Hernandez has developed into quite the efficient force between the 20s. On just 15 targets, he’s amassed 13 receptions for 211 yards, the fourth-highest output at the position. Due to his plus size (6-foot-2, 245-pounds), athleticism and sharp route-running skills, the rookie poses a matchup problem for a Dolphins defense which has fared poorly in containing tight ends. So far this season, monoliths have performed 49.8 percent above the league average against them. Dustin Keller(notes) and Visanthe Shiancoe(notes) each achieved marked success in their matchups with the ‘Fins. Look for Tom Brady(notes) to line Hernandez up in the crosshairs often, making the former Gator’s return to Florida memorable. For Jason Witten(notes), Kellen Winslow(notes) and Shiancoe owners in shallow leagues, the still widely available Patriot is your bye week remedy.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 78 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 13 fantasy points
The Marshawn Lynch to Green Bay rumors may be increasing in intensity, but for one week only, the Packers’ rushing attack will perform a step above marginal. Because Brandon Jackson(notes) couldn’t power through a wall of thinly sliced Swiss, Kuhn, a converted fullback, could see an uptick in carries in an attempt to jumpstart the ground game. Last week in Chicago, Kuhn totaled 51 yards on just eight touches. Ndamukong Suh(notes) was supposed to rectify the Hello Kitties’ loathsome run defense, but it’s still clearly in rebuilding mode. The bloodied unit has allowed a ridiculous 5.2 yards per carry, 208.3 total yards per game and seven touchdowns to rushers in three games. Since Aaron Rodgers(notes), who averaged 353 yards per game in two contests against the NFC North doormat last year, will be able to operate uninhibitedly, the poor man’s Peyton Hillis(notes) could be thrust into several goal-line opportunities. The Packers have to establish the run at some point. This week is their best opportunity to see what the Kuhn Dog is capable of. Label him an upside flex option in deeper leagues.
Fearless Forecast: 10 carries, 47 rushing yards, 1 reception, 8 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 11 fantasy points
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