November 29, 2011
Each week the Noise highlights 12 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 revamped scoring system shown here . If you're a member of TEAM HUEVOS, post your Week 13 Flames in the comments.
Matt Moore(notes), Mia, RB (Week 13 Noise QB Rank: 14, 7-percent started)
Matchup: vs. Oak
When Moore seized the reins of the 'Fins' starting job back in Week 4, owners were unsure what passer would show up. Would it be the QB that posted an impeccable 8:0 td:int ratio over the final four weeks of 2009? Or perhaps the abomination that lost out to waste of space Jimmy Clausen(notes) the following season? Based on his 230.3 yards per game and 7:1 td:int split since Week 9, it appears the more palatable side has resurfaced. Three reasons explain Moore's resurgence: 1) Protection. Sacked 16 times in his first four starts, he's only been forced to the ground seven times since. 2) Aggressiveness. He's taken numerous shots downfield, particularly to Brandon Marshall(notes), indicative in his eye-opening 8.6 yards per attempt in his last four. 3) Offensive balance. Brian Daboll's installation of tosses and sweeps for Reggie Bush(notes) has kept defenses honest, opening up opportunities in the pass game. If all the ingredients again come together, Moore should deliver sweet totals this week versus visiting Oakland. Nine signal callers in 11 games have registered at least two touchdowns against the Raiders secondary. Hue Jackson's crew has also allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to QBs on the year. Though Moore has been, as Bush noted recently, "a huge, huge difference-maker," the Miami front office continues to scour the college landscape for its future franchise quarterback (RGIII anyone?). But with five games left to prove his mettle, the once maligned Panther could deliver a string of performances to remember, beginning this week. Stream away.
Fearless Forecast: 20-31, 252 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 9 rushing yards, 21.5 fantasy points
BenJarvus Green-Ellis(notes), NE, RB (Week 13 Noise RB Rank: 11, 45-percent started)
Matchup: vs. Ind
Nearly disbarred in fantasy's court of judgement a few weeks ago, the LawFirm is finally back doing what he does best: dropping the gavel on would-be tacklers. Earlier this season, a toe injury of unknown severity and a lack of commitment to the run game paralyzed the rusher's numbers. From Weeks 6-10, he averaged a useless 3.4 points per game. But with back-to-back double-digit efforts, Green-Ellis is primed for stellar stretch run. Expect his resurrection to continue this week versus Indy. To call the defeated Colts "awful" would be a massive understatement. Just down the turnpike, the 1-10 Indiana Hoosiers might have a shot against them. Though terrible everywhere, defending the run might be Indy's greatest weakness. Eleven rushers in 11 games have scored at least 10 standard points against it. On the year, the My Little Ponies have yielded 4.3 yards per carry, 176.1 total yards per game and 13 TDs to RBs, equal to the third-most fantasy points allowed. Because Tom Brady(notes) will operate uninhibitedly, creating several goal-to-go situations, the bruiser has excellent odds of punching in a touchdown or three. Pick up the phone.
Fearless Forecast: 20 carries, 84 rushing yards, 1 reception, 8 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns, 21.9 fantasy points
Pierre Thomas(notes), NO, RB (Week 13 Noise RB Rank: 19, 23-percent started)
Matchup: vs. Det
In a mad dash of fantasy shopping, the Noise, unapologetically, would pepper spray his fellow leaguemates for the PT Bruiser's services. As most are aware, my man-crush runs very, very deep. Without question last year's busted season seriously tested my dedication. But quietly useful over the past several weeks, the adoration for Thomas is as strong as ever. Since Week 9, PT has netted 11.1 points per game in standard formats (even more in PPR leagues), scoring in three of four games, good for the 17th-best RB output during that stretch. Sean Payton's revolving door of running backs remains tough to decipher. The coach, just before Monday's shrinking of the Giants, admitted he had yet to determine how his stable of rushers would be used, a "problem" Chan Gailey could only dream about. Clearly, though, Thomas has earned a bigger piece of the pie, evident in his rising snap count and overall performance. In his past three games, PT, running with vintage vim and vigor, has averaged a redonkulous 7.2 yards per touch. Darren Sproles(notes) and Mark Ingram(notes) will definitely carve out significant roles, but, this week, against a potentially Suh-less Lions defense, the ex-Illini could inflict measurable damage. Even with The Stomper in uniform, Detroit has surrendered 4.7 yards per carry to RBs this year. No doubt Drew Brees(notes) and company will turn to the air early and often, but, considering the Lions' vulnerability up front, a heavier than normal workload could be in store for Thomas. Turn the key.
Fearless Forecast: 11 carries, 67 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 4 receptions, 23 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 18.0 fantasy points
Eric Decker(notes), Den, WR (Week 13 Noise WR Rank: 28, 22-percent started)
Matchup: at Min
It's true Tim Tebow(notes) could stop an avalanche with a fingertip, but the Mile High Messiah is also capable of transforming a middle-of-the-road wideout into a near must-start in competitive formats. Though he's failed to reach 75 yards with Mr. Fourth Quarter under center, The Disciple has become a true consistency king, splashing six in four of his past five games. Equipped with "iron lungs," according to his mentor and workout buddy Larry Fitzgerald, Decker is the consumate max-effort guy. He, like Tebow, simply outworks defenses. This week he may barely break a sweat. The Vikings, sans Antoine Winfield(notes), are positively dreadful versus the pass. Without the corner, they've allowed 8.3 yards per attempt. Overall, they've yielded the third-most fantasy points to wide receivers. Ten WRs have finished in 'Flame' territory against them. Yes, Tebow has only thrown 22 passes twice in six starts — and he would have a hard time hitting the Jolly Green Giant in the chest on 50-percent of those tosses — but given the friendly opponent it's certainly conceivable he could turn to the air 25-plus times. If that happens count on Decker attracting 7-9 of those attempts. Become a follower.
Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 51 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 14.1 fantasy points
Brent Celek(notes), Phi, TE (Week 13 Noise TE Rank: 9, 20-percent started)
Matchup: at Sea
Higgins would definitely agree the Magnum P.I. of tight ends has a high-ceiling in Week 13. Earlier this season, Celek was forced to stay in the box to protect Michael Vick(notes) from a barrage of blitzes. As a result, his numbers suffered greatly. From Weeks 1-5, he failed to record a top-20 week. But since then, he's become an integral part of the Eagles offense. Over his past five contests, he's attracted a healthy 7.7 targets per game reeling in 5.5 receptions for 64.0 yards and two touchdowns. This week he should continue to soar in the Battle of the Birds. Seattle, similar to Chicago, is a club that believes TEs have cooties. Oversized targets have performed 53.3 percent above the league average against the 'Hawks since Week 8. Jason Witten(notes), Ed Dickson(notes) and Fred Davis(notes), the last three TEs Seattle has faced, each crossed the chalk. No matter if Vick or Vince Young(notes) runs the show Thursday, Celek should finish well inside the position's top-12.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 67 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 16.4 fantasy points
Damian Williams(notes), Ten, WR (Week 13 Noise WR Rank: 25, 9-percent started)
Matchup: at Buf
Citizens of Fantasyland are understandably giddy about Chris Johnson's revival, but the terribly underrated Williams has also created a stir, albeit a much smaller one. Over the past five weeks, the wideout has splashed pay-dirt three times averaging a respectable 3.4 receptions and 50 yards per game. His subsequent 8.4 points per week output during that span checks in at No. 26 among wide receivers. In hot water earlier this season with offensive coordinator Chris Palmer for not playing up to his full potential, the fringe commodity barely registered a blip on most owner radars. But now with the confidence of his OC, head coach and, most importantly, quarterback, the USC product is wielding a sharpened sword. Look for him to plunge it into the heart of Buffalo. Bumbling defensively, the Bills have given up seven scores to WRs in their past four games. Aaron Williams(notes), the Titan's likely shadow, has been particularly generous, conceding 13.5 yards per catch and a 64.7 catch percentage. Because he has only one 70-plus yard performance on his 2011 resume, don't expect banner numbers from Williams. But a profitable day could be in the offing for the emerging WR3.
Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 58 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 14.8 fantasy points
BONUS WEEK 13 FLAMES
Image courtesy of Getty