October 10, 2009
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 or less of Yahoo! Plus leagues.
Pittsburgh's Mike Wallace(notes) probably couldn't grill the Ayatollah in a hard-hitting interview. But the rookie receiver, who shares the same name as the legendary journalist from "60 Minutes," does possess an attribute which can kill defenders in the open-field: blazing 4.33 40-yard speed.
While fantasy owners are going bonkers for another first-year AFC North receiver, Mohamed Massaquoi(notes), the minimally owned Wallace has actually tallied more robust numbers this season. Both wideouts have already surpassed the 100-yard mark in a game, but the Steelers' speed demon has outpaced his counterpart in targets (MW: 20, MM: 19), receptions (14, 10) and yards (194, 179). With pugilist Braylon Edwards(notes) now tormenting another franchise (New York), Massaquoi's competition for looks isn't as prevalent compared to Wallace. But after this week's tilt with the Hello Kitties, the latter could be one of fantasy's hottest waiver grabs.
Tutored by arguably one of the league's finest pass catching tandems, Hines Ward(notes) and Santonio Holmes(notes), Wallace has advanced rapidly. Not just a Troy Williamson(notes)-like straight-line weapon, he's developed into a reliable route-runner and deep-pattern target. The youngster admits the incessant push provided by his teammates has helped in his transition to the pro game:
"If I don't know how to run my route, that's hurting them too and that's hurting the rest of the team," Wallace said. "So both of them are always on me about different things all the time. One of them might tell me about dipping my head, the other might tell me about my stride. Both of them are always picking at me, so I'm constantly trying to clean all of that up."
Though the Lions have surrendered just nine 20-yard pass plays, the 10th fewest in the league, they've occasionally had difficulty containing long bombers. Devery Henderson(notes) and Santana Moss(notes) shredded Detroit in Weeks 1 and 3 respectively. The tamable Kittens have also yielded the seventh-most fantasy points to wideouts this year. Due to the sudden emergence of Rashard Mendenhall(notes), the Steelers are undoubtedly more balanced. However, because of the Lions' struggles against the pass, Bruce Arians will surely bombard his opponent downfield. Wallace could accumulate his second 100-yard effort and potentially his first touchdown as a pro.
In a brutal bye week in which several notable wideouts are unavailable (i.e. Greg Jennings(notes), Donald Driver(notes), Marques Colston(notes), Vincent Jackson(notes), Devin Hester(notes) and Johnny Knox(notes)) the 11 percent-owned (five percent started) Steelers speedster could be the ultimate WR3 stopgap in 12-team and deeper leagues.
Week 5 Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 83 yards, 1 touchdown
Who is your Week 5 Shocker Special? Post your pick with projection below.
SILENCE THE NOISE CHALLENGE
Each week one lucky aspiring fantasy prognosticator is chosen to go toe-to-toe against the Noise. If you want to be a guest "expert" submit your Week 6 flames, lames (1 QB, 3 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE for each, 16 total) and shocker special (one player at any position) along with a valid email address and your location here no later than 7 PM central time on Thursday. Oh, and please, no long dissertations to justify your picks. All that's required are your player selections and projections. Winners earn a league spot to compete against yours truly next season. Good luck!
Week 5 contestant: Aaron from Richmond, VA
QB: Mark Sanchez(notes), NYJ, 15-25, 250 yards, 2:1 TD:INT
RB: Brandon Jacobs(notes), NYG, 20 carries, 130 yards, 3 receptions 30 yards, 2 TDs
RB: Marshawn Lynch(notes), Buf, 15 carries, 80 yards, 2 TDs
RB: Joseph Addai(notes), Ind, 15 carries, 115 yards, 1 TD
WR: Steve Breaston(notes), Ari, 5 receptions, 80 yards, 1 TD
WR: Kevin Walter(notes), Hou, 8 receptions, 110 yards, 1 TD
WR: Santonio Holmes, Pit, 10 receptions, 120 yards, 0 TDs
TE: Sean Ryan(notes), KC, 4 receptions, 60 yards, 1 TD
QB: Matt Ryan(notes), Atl, 15-30, 180 yards, 1 TD, 3 INTs
RB: Cedric Benson(notes), Cin, 14 carries, 60 yards, 0 TDs
RB: Knowshon Moreno(notes), Den, 15 carries, 40 yards, 3 receptions, 20 yards, 0 TDs
RB: Ronnie Brown(notes), Mia, 20 carries, 50 yards, 0 TDs
WR: Derrick Mason(notes), Bal, 3 receptions, 40 yards, 0 TDs
WR: Randy Moss(notes), NE, 5 receptions, 60 yards, 0 TDs
WR: DeSean Jackson(notes), Phi, 4 receptions, 30 yards, 0 TDs
TE: Chris Cooley(notes), Was, 6 receptions, 40 yards, 0 TDs
Week 4 results: Jack in Santa Clara, CA
Flames (3-6): W - (Kyle Orton(notes), Brandon Marshall(notes), Bernard Berrian(notes)); L - (Julius Jones(notes), Cedric Benson, Darren McFadden(notes), Justin Gage(notes), Anthony Fasano(notes), Chad Henne(notes) (Shocker))
Noisers Season: Flames (10-17, 37.0%), Lames (12-11, 52.1%)
Winners: Matthew in Colden, NY
Image courtesy of Getty