December 06, 2008
Each week the Noise will guide desperate, deep-thinking owners into the dark corners of the waiver wire to mine a last-minute diamond. Turn on your helmet light and pack a pickaxe. We're digging for drop-jaw surprises owned in less than 10 percent or started in five percent and less of Yahoo! leagues.
Just like the classic muscle-era 1970 Challenger he drives (similar to the one Chris Cornell revved in Audioslave's "Show Me How to Live" video), Arrington is a small car with a big engine.
Originally pegged to be the Cardinals running back of the future three years ago, the former second-round pick has failed to live up to expectation. Working primarily as an offset rusher and special teams specialist in his NFL career, his impact on the franchise, and fantasy rosters, has been minimal.
But due to Edgerrin James' rapid decline, the versatile scatback is finally starting to change his tarnished "bust" image.
Officially surpassing James on the Cardinals depth chart four weeks ago, Arrington has seen extensive time supplanting starter Tim Hightower on third-downs and occasionally at the goal-line. Since Week 9, he's crossed the chalk twice and averaged a robust 7.6 yards per touch. According to the Sultan of Stubble, Kurt Warner, his contributions in key situations haven't gone unnoticed. Per the Arizona Republic:
"He gives us a dimension that we don't have from anyone else."
"One of the questions we had on J.J. was his ability to run inside. But I think (Week 11 at Sea) when he got first down on a tough inside run on a screen, that was an indication that he's getting a lot better and being more productive in those situations. I thought there were a couple times last year when we were frustrated because J.J. maybe came up a yard short. This year he seems to be making those."
Matched against a repulsive Rams front he gashed for a career-best 116 total yards and a touchdown Week 9, Arrington could see an expanded role in what presumably will be a desert slaughter. Yes, Tim Hightower will receive the bulk of the carries, but in the game's waning hours Arrington could be used heavily to salt away the clock.
Also keep in mind over the past five weeks, St. Louis has yielded 5.2 yards per carry, 207.8 total yards per game and 10 scores to rushers, equal to the second-most fantasy points allowed.
Owners in deep formats trying to scratch and claw their way into the second round should turn the key for Arizona's car enthusiast. Start the 22 percent-owned (four percent-started) mighty mite with confidence at the Flex in 12-team and deeper leagues.
Week 14 Fearless Forecast: 8 carries, 38 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 27 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
Who is your Week 14 Shocker Special? Post your selection with projection in the comments section below.
Previous Shockers: Hank Baskett (2-102-TD), Brian Griese (160-1-0), James Jones (1 drop, injury), Lance Moore (7-101-2TDs), David Martin (1-25-0), JaMarcus Russell (159-0-1-11 rsh yds), Donnie Avery (4-55-TD), Ryan Fitzpatrick (155-0-2-42 rsh yds, FL), Rashied Davis (6-64-TD), Justin Gage (4-47-TD), Koren Robinson (1-12-0), Fred Jackson (9-56, 2-20), Davone Bess (6-84-0).
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