September 30, 2010
Each week the Noise highlights six unobvious names who he believes are destined to morph into human torpedos. For those playing the Lames home edition, each player must be started in at least 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues to qualify. As anaccountability advocate, results, whether genius or moronic, will post the following week using the scoring system listed here. Cyber-bullies, feel free to tweet your hindsight jabs here.
The City of Brotherly Love may temporarily embrace McNabb, but eventually a hail of Duracells will come raining down on the former Eagle. Turning up the heat is Sean McDermott’s M.O. on defense. The aggressive unit ranks second in the NFL with 12 sacks. Typically, McNabb is dangerous when pressured. His ability to seek out targets accurately while on the run has been one of his calling cards. However, the Eagles are very familiar with his tendencies. And their secondary is no slouch. So far this season, green-clad defenders have limited passers to just 209.3 yards per game and forced five interceptions. The Chunky Soup maestro completed a mere 59.4 percent of his attempts a week ago against hapless St. Louis. He’s also yet to tally a multi-TD performance. Another painfully mediocre effort appears imminent. Yes, we’re bending the rules of our own little game, but with many owners suffering from the bye week blues – or lifeless performances provided by mummified Brett Favre(notes) – we’re confident McNabb’s start percentage will rise at or close to qualifying level come kickoff. Unfortunately, for those needing a one-week boost, Asante Samuel(notes) and Ellis Hobbs(notes) will ruin McNabb's homecoming.
Fearless Forecast: 22-34, 227 passing yards, 1 passing touchdown, 2 interceptions, 13 fantasy points
In the Battle for Buckeye State supremacy, Benson will accidentally leave the nutcracker in the kitchen drawer. Concerns over the veteran’s sore knee has pushed Marvin Lewis to install a loose committee with Benson and Bernard Scott(notes). The Bengals head coach believes his workhorse won’t be able to remain whole at his current 347 carries pace. Bears fans aren't sure he can again eclipse 250. This week against the Chihuahuas, Benson could cede roughly 7-10 touches to the more explosive backup. Compared to a year ago, Cleveland has greatly improved against the run. No longer allergic to tackling, the Browns have successfully executed gap assignments. Against the likes of Ray Rice(notes), Thomas Jones(notes) and Jamaal Charles(notes), they’ve allowed just 3.9 yards per carry and zero touchdowns. With frustration over Cincy’s stagnant offense “building,” another uneventful week should be expected. Feel free to dial 1-800-HELP-FTC for further “fantasy” assistance related to Bengals players.
Ray Rice, Bal, RB (Noise Week 4 RB Rank: 24, 87-percent started)
Matchup: at Pit
Americans worried about illegal immigration should encourage the government to hire the Steel Curtain to protect the nation’s borders. No person, not even Chris Johnson, can penetrate it. Pittsburgh has limited rushers to a lowly 81.3 total yards per game and 2.6 yards per carry. Though Rice compiled 155 total yards per game in two contests against the AFC North nemesis a season ago, he simply can’t be trusted in the rematch. Despite missing practice time with a bruised knee, the youngster is expected to suit up, at least according to Willis McGahee. Whether Rice plays or not, it’s quite possible McGahee will be leaned on more heavily than usual. Because of his presumed physical limitations and unfavorable matchup, the Long Gain Rice should be avoided. Unless you’re in a deep PPR league, employ a fallback option.
Fearless Forecast: 16 carries, 61 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 23 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 8 fantasy points
Brandon Jacobs’(notes) attempt to attract attention to helmet tossing as a future Olympic sport has turned potential into production for Ahmad owners. Currently ranked No. 12 among RBs in points per game, the Bride of Frankenstein has delivered monstrous numbers, totaling 100 yards per contest with two touchdowns. Expect him to fall well short of his seasonal average this week. The Bears are a voracious run defense. Julius Peppers(notes) and company have yet to allow a back to surpass 40 yards in a game. Yes, Chicago hasn’t exactly faced a murderers row of rushers outside Jahvid Best(notes), but this is still a talented defense playing with supreme confidence. The Giants offensive line, no longer the defender-displacing force it was just two seasons ago, will be manhandled. If you’re a masochist, start him. However, if you're a realist, find a replacement.
Fearless Forecast: 16 carries, 67 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 17 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 8 fantasy points
Compared to last season, Megatron has transformed not into a Porsche or 10-ton tank, but an El Camino on blocks. On the young season, he’s averaged just 4.7 receptions and 50.3 yards per game with one score, sadly equivalent to Roscoe Parrish’s(notes) fantasy production. As the Free Press detailed earlier this week, several reasons for Johnson’s disappointing start are to blame – Nate Burleson’s(notes) absence, scattered distribution of targets, increased attention from defenses, etc. As the gifted wideout has seen all year, Green Bay will almost certainly rotate an extra safety over the top to contain him. In the past, the Packers employed a similar strategy, netting fruitless results for Johnson. Last season in his lone matchup against the divisional foe, he hauled in just two catches for 10 yards. Another listless performance is likely. Keep in mind, Charles Woodson(notes) and friends have held No. 1 targets to just 23.0 yards per game this season, the second-lowest mark in the league.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 46 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 4 fantasy points
Speaking as a disgruntled owner pressed into starting David Garrard(notes) in a 20-team league (we lost Matthew Stafford(notes) Week 1), the Jaguars are an offensive abomination. Miscues, misreads and misfires have become commonplace. Save for racking quality numbers in garbage time against the Chargers, MSW has underachieved. Week 1 he was shutout against the Broncos and last week versus Philadelphia he caught only two passes for 34 yards. Indianapolis, usually known for disallowing explosive pass plays, was torched by Kyle Orton(notes) last week for 476 yards including six completions of 20-plus yards. The Colts' poor performance lends hope for a Sims-Walker rebound. Hoewver, look for the Cover 2 to rediscover its defensive identity. As the Jags’ only dependable downfield weapon, Sims-Walker will draw plenty of attention. In what will likely be a lopsided affair, he could generate appreciable numbers again late, but that’s tough to count on. Keep in mind Indy surrendered only 33 yards to Andre Johnson(notes) Week 1 and 35 yards to New York’s Steve Smith the following week.
Fearless Forecast: 3 receptions, 34 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 3 fantasy points
Other possible Week 4 Lames: Eli Manning(notes) (vs. Chi), Jahvid Best (at GB), Steven Jackson (vs. Sea), Darren McFadden(notes) (vs. Hou), Anquan Boldin(notes) (at Pit), Andre Johnson (at Oak), Steve Smith, Car (at NO), Hines Ward(notes) (vs. Bal)
Image courtesy of US Presswire