September 08, 2011
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 an accountability advocate, results, whether genius or moronic, will post the following week using the revamped scoring system listed below.
Tony Romo(notes), Dal, QB (Noise Week 1 QB Rank: 14, 77-percent started)
Matchup: at NYJ
For the avid golfer, an opening week matchup against the Jets in the NYC is as menacing as the par four, 495-yard 9th hole at Pebble Beach on a damp, blustery day. As many a quarterback is familiar, the dynamic duo of Darrelle Revis(notes) and Antonio Cromartie(notes) is very intimidating. When healthy and executing at its highest level the tandem can hold any accomplished QB hostage, especially one coming off a long hiatus. Romo hasn't competed in a regular season game since Week 7 last year. The rust, at least initially, will likely be visible. Combine that with an unproven, young offensive line facing a ferocious blitzing defense, and Romo could be badgered often, leading to several misconnections and turnovers. Yes, the Jets allowed seven multi-TD passers a season ago, but in the first game of 2011 with all defensive parts operating at full capacity, wise owners with sound backup options will avoid Romo.
Michael Turner(notes), Atl, RB (Noise Week 1 RB Rank: 25, 94-percent)
Matchup: at Chi
In his hometown return, the former Northern Illinois standout may be crowned homecoming queen. The Bears secondary may have its hands full stopping Roddy White(notes), Julio Jones(notes) and Tony Gonzalez(notes), but, in the trenches, the Burner will be extinguished. As Mike Smith told reporters Wednesday, Chicago's front seven are "outstanding," a unit that plays with "great pad level" and is "very disruptive." Historically, the Bears have feasted on north-south runners, particularly at home. Even the league's most dynamic backs have often left Soldier Field battered and bruised. Last year, for example, Adrian Peterson managed just 51 yards on 17 carries Week 10 in the Windy City. Overall, in eight home contests in 2010, the Bears surrendered just 3.8 yards per carry to visiting rushers. Though the Falcons are likely to install a more pass-happy system, Turner should still get his customary 17-22 carries. But keep in mind he'll cede touches to Jason Snelling(notes) and Jacquizz Rodgers(notes) on third downs. This week, expect his inner-Benson to surface.
Fearless Forecast: 18 carries, 70 rushing yards, 0 touchdowns, 7.0 fantasy points
Ray Rice(notes), Bal, RB (Noise Week 1 RB Rank: 23, 95-percent)
Matchup: vs. Pit
Over the years, Steely McBeam has ramrodded Rice. In five games, the fourth-year back has failed to cross the chalk and racked a vanilla 4.2 yards per carry and 77.8 total yards per game. To soften the Steelers in the trenches, Rice will undoubtedly be deployed early and often. He will also play a substantial role within the passing game as Joe Flacco's(notes) primary check-down receiver. However, due to Troy Polamalu's(notes) ubiquitous nature, many of those touches will likely go for marginal gains. Without question, Rice is an elite back who is must-start material almost every week in PPR formats. But in standard leagues, the consensus top-five pick deserves to ride the pine. Recall in that format last year, only three backs (Cedric Benson(notes), BenJarvus Green-Ellis(notes) and Fred Jackson(notes)) surpassed 12 fantasy points in a game against the Steelers. Don't count on the Uncle Ben's of fantasy to do the same.
Fearless Forecast: 15 carries, 54 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 11 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 8.8 fantasy points
Dwayne Bowe(notes), KC, WR (Noise Week 1 WR Rank: 33, 89-percent)
Matchup: vs. Buf
Earlier in the week, news Tyler Palko(notes) was expected to replace injured starter Matt Cassel(notes) crushed Bowe owners' Week 1 hopes. However, now that the incumbent is in line to take first-team snaps, many are optimistic his primary weapon will deliver big opening week numbers. Think again. Sunday's tilt with Buffalo will be the Jamaal Charles(notes) show. Last year, the JC of KC piled up 238 total yards on 26 touches against the Bills. A full season of Shawne Merriman(notes) should help solidify the Buff's run defense, but not completely. This is still an exploitable unit that will get gashed often. Bowe will likely net a handful of targets, but, similar to last year (3-16-1 in Week 8), the end result will be unspectacular. Minus Tony Moeaki(notes) and Jonathan Baldwin(notes), additional coverage over-the-top is a real possibility, especially if Steve Breaston(notes) is unable to stretch the field. Keep in mind Drayton Florence(notes), Terrence McGee(notes) and Leodis McKelvin(notes) surrendered just 61.8 yards per game to No. 1s in '10. In the Charles exhibition, RamBowe will discharge little ammunition.
Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 53 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 8.3 fantasy points
Jeremy Maclin(notes), Phi, WR (Noise Week 1 WR Rank: 36, 76-percent)
Matchup: at StL
Since the lockout was lifted in late July, it's been tough sledding for Maclin. Hampered by a mysterious virus that trimmed 15 pounds off his frame, he's recuperated slowly. Now healthy and supposedly "ready for Week 1," many are unsure just how prepared the receiver is. After all, he only returned to practice roughly two weeks ago and didn't log a single snap in the preseason. Playing in front of dozens of family and friends in his hometown of St. Louis, he will be motivated to perform. But the lost work could pay a toll. And Michael Vick(notes) has plenty of weapons. DeSean Jackson(notes), LeSean McCoy(notes), Jason Avant(notes) and even Brent Celek(notes) could be the focus of the offensive game-plan, assuming No. 7 isn't tattooed repeatedly. Under normal circumstances, Maclin would be deemed reliable, but the extended lay-off is reason enough to ride him on the pine if you have favorable secondary options (e.g. Kenny Britt(notes) (at Jac), Nate Burleson(notes) (at TB), Braylon Edwards(notes) (vs. Sea), Mario Manningham(notes) (at Wash), Davone Bess(notes) (vs. NE)).
Fearless Forecast: 3 receptions, 37 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 5.9 fantasy points.
ADDITIONAL PASSENGERS RIDING ON THE WEEK 1 LAMES TRAIN...
OK Team Huevos, following the rules above, who is on your Lames list this week?
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