November 30, 2011
Each week the Noise highlights 10 bold names who he believes are destined to torpedo your team. For those playing the Lames home edition, each player must be started in at least 50 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 Lames in the comments.
Matt Ryan(notes), Atl, QB (Noise Week 13 QB Rank: 16, 68-percent started)
Matchup: at Hou
Over the past five weeks, Matty Ice has been hotter than being the cream filling in a Han and Hope Solo love-Twinkie. Since Week 8, he's averaged 24.4 points per game in standard formats (8.5 ypa, 301 ypg, 9:2 td:int split), good for the sixth-best output among signal callers. The reason for his reascension is twofold: 1) He's reconnected with top target Roddy White(notes), 2) Mike Mularkey has finally incorporated no-huddle more into the game-plan which has allowed the quick-thinking QB to flourish. Two weeks ago against Tennessee, in one of his finest efforts of the season, he operated out of the formation on roughly 45-50 snaps. The quick pace has kept defenses off-guard, helping the QB remain upright. During his recent fiery stretch he's been sacked just 1.0 time per game compared to 2.6 times over the season's first seven weeks. However, the Texans, arguably the league's most underappreciated defense, will likely extinguish the passer's hot hand. Houston has yielded just 5.9 yards per attempt, two multi-TD games and a pair of 200-plus yard performances to QBs this year. For a unit that was embarrassed often last year, the additions of DB Jonathan Joseph and coordinator Wade Phillips has done wonders. Everything may be big in Texas, but this week Ryan's numbers could be small.
Fearless Forecast: 22-31, 217 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interceptions, 13.9 fantasy points
Michael Bush(notes), Oak, RB (Noise Week 13 RB Rank: 15, 80-percent started)
Matchup: at Mia
The 'Other' Bush has likely made himself a multi-millionaire brilliantly filling the void for injured star Darren McFadden(notes). He's routinely displayed the humiliating power, toughness and versatility needed to be an All-Pro level workhorse. In four starts he's averaged an insane 148.3 total yards per game (5.2 yards per touch), splashing the invisible pool in each game. RB-starved franchises will likely sacrifice limbs for the free-agent-to-be's services during the offseason. The Raiders O-line also deserves a hat-tip, but clearly the rusher's earned an every-down, every-week gig. It's true Bush moves the Noise's man-meter, but, speaking objectively, he isn't a slam dunk RB1 this week in Miami. Undoubtedly, he'll shoulder another burdensome workload, but the 'Fins, like the Bears last week, are one of the league's best at plugging gaps. Cameron Wake(notes) and company have limited RBs to just 3.7 yards per carry, 126.5 total yards per game and only two touchdowns, equal to the third-fewest fantasy points allowed. Only Ben Tate(notes) back in Week 2 eclipsed the 90 rushing yard mark against the 'Fins. In a hostile environment and against a surging opponent, the Man in Black falls into a 'Ring of Fire.'
Fearless Forecast: 23 carries, 81 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 21 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 12.5 fantasy points
Rashard Mendenhall(notes), Pit, RB (Noise Week 13 RB Rank: 27, 81-percent started)
Matchup: vs. Cin
A cold, early December game usually means it's time to deck the Mendenhall, but in a critical AFC North battle its doubtful his owners will feel jolly. It's been an unusual year for the former Illinois standout. One of the league's rare workhorses last year, his workload has decreased dramatically. Bruce Arians, more air-minded compared to the past, has called the rusher's number 20 times in a game only once. In 19 games a season ago, including the playoffs, he shouldered that load nine times. The offensive lines poor execution has also sapped his productivity. Last week against the league's seventh-most generous run defense, Kansas City, Mendenhall did his best CJ2Lame impersonation running for three yards or fewer on nine of 17 carries. Yes, he did record a 19.0 fantasy point day against Cincy three weeks ago, but his 2.9 ypc left a lot to be desired. In the rematch Geno Atkins(notes), one of the best run stuffers in the NFL, gets the best of him. Keep in mind only Willis McGahee(notes) and Ray Rice(notes) have surpassed 90 rushing yards in a game against the Bengals this season. Fa la la la la, la la la lame.
Fearless Forecast: 16 carries, 55 rushing yards, 1 reception, 10 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 7.3 fantasy points
Vincent Jackson(notes), SD, WR (Noise Week 13 WR Rank: 25, 92-percent started)
Matchup: at Jax
Volatility is the name of the game for V-Jax. Some weeks he'll guide you to the Promised Land. Other weeks he'll rain on your parade, Nick Novak style. Four times he's eclipsed 17-points in a game. And seven times he's failed to reach even a third of that amount. This week expect more of the latter. Like the franchise as a whole, which was sold to Illinois grad Shahid Kahn and fired long-time head coach Jack Del Rio earlier this week, the Jags secondary is in a state of flux. When starting corners Rashean Mathis(notes) and Derek Cox(notes) were placed on injured reserve many believed the unit was irreparable. However, that hasn't been the case. William Middleton(notes), working as a starter and part-timer, has handcuffed the opposition, holding assignments to just 8.6 yards per catch. His battery mate, Drew Coleman(notes), has played equally well allowing just 9.0 yards per catch. Talent level doesn't always dictate executability. Many times it's the system that does. No doubt Jackson is one of the league's premier playmakers, but because Jacksonville doesn't give up many explosive pass plays, and due to Philip Rivers'(notes) wild inconsistency, he could again fade into the background.
Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 47 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 7.7 fantasy points
Miles Austin(notes), Dal, WR (Noise Week 13 QB Rank: 32, 50-percent started)
Matchup: at Ari
Counting on any receiver, no matter how accomplished, in his first game back from a major lower body injury is risky business. Just ask those who trusted Andre Johnson(notes) in Week 12. Though he's yet to return to the practice field, Jerry Jones, who disclosed Tuesday he really "missed" Miles (Yep, Laurent Robinson(notes) really stunk up the joint with No. 19 on the shelf), believes his top receiver will return this week against Arizona. Most would automatically assume he's must-start material if active, but given the fickle nature of hamstring injuries he's far from it. Expect him to be eased back into action. Arizona's much improved secondary is also a major deterrent. Burned repeatedly earlier this season, young corners Patrick Peterson(notes) and A.J. Jefferson(notes) have started to tap into their mammoth potentials. Since Week 8, the duo has yielded just two receiver touchdowns and a pair of 85-plus yard performances, ranking in the top-third in fewest points-allowed to WRs. When firing on all cylinders, Austin is one of the virtual game's elites. His 10.7 points per game output checks in at No. 12 among WRs in standard formats. But the former Kardashian canoodler could be 'booty' in his return. Based on his likely accumulated rust, bland matchup and Dallas' recommitment to the run, he deserves to ride the pine one more week.
Fearless Forecast: 3 receptions, 29 receiving yards, 5.2 fantasy points
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