Noisemakers: Week 14 feedback

Since brevity is a word that doesn’t exist in the Noise’s vocabulary, your comments, questions and vitriolic derision will run separately from Thursday’s flames/lames column for the remainder of the season. Bring the noise, fools!

Brad, I read your column through links posted on the Carolina Panthers home page and have many mixed emotions each week, and the one that always overcomes is awe. What I mean is all the completely HORRIBLE comments that people send to you about your decisions and input on upcoming games. I know that people are mean by nature, but some of the comments that I read make me laugh from disbelief. I just wanted to let you know that I feel your pain from all of the “naysayers” and groups of 30- and 40-year-olds that send you these comments from their computers in their basements that are waiting on their mom to bring them their afternoon hot-pocket. Keep up the great work!Panthers Fan, Charlotte, N.C.

Noise: DeAngelo Love Slave, the Noise too imagines his harshest critics have not yet severed the umbilical cord. But instead of snacking on hot-pockets, I envision them waiting on pins and needles for a heaping plate of Totino’s Pizza Rolls. Gen-X rejects love tightly wrapped breaded balls filled with pepperoni bits and processed cheese.

Whether many of my “naysayers” are “Boomerang Kids” or not, their malevolent diatribes are not only welcomed, they’re encouraged. Reading and responding to spiteful emails is arguably the greatest part of my job. The formative or, in many cases, non-constructive criticism I regularly receive proves that people are angrily clicking on my column link each week, which is kind of the point.

It’s fine to be empathetic of my position, but the nasty notes are water off the Noise’s back. Passionate opinions expressed in any writer’s work are bound to attract dunderheads. Without quibblers my job would be very boring.

Keep bringin’ the noise haters, especially if you’re an arrogant Affleck lover from the greater Boston area.

Nice call on Rivers being a lame this week … I love it how all experts keep on betting against this guy. He only threw for three TDs, ran for 19 yards and threw for over 200. Nice call on him. Keep betting against him and looking like an idiot!David, Jerusalem, Ill.

Noise: David, shouldn’t you be preparing to play the camel in Jerusalem’s live nativity reenactment instead of sending scornful emails to fantasy mouthpieces?

Yes, almost every fantasy “expert” across the nation missed badly on Rivers. From my perspective, his matchup against Oakland was not favorable from any objective viewpoint. First, the Raiders had only surrendered three 250-yard and three multi-TD passers on the season. Second, Rivers threw for only 180 yards and posted a 1:2 TD:INT split versus the Silver and Black in Week 4. Finally, Vincent Jackson, who vanished in his previous game versus Atlanta, was drawing primary coverage from the “Black Death,” Nnamdi Asomugha.

Logically, the combined elements warranted a “lame” designation. Of course, since the NFL stands for “No Friggin’ Logic,” Rivers raged for three TDs and Jackson, whose pockets evidently were brimming with posies, went bonkers totaling a career-high 148 yards on five catches.

Although we’ve routinely talked negatively about Rivers, the Y! experts will likely come to a top-10 consensus on his Week 15 ranking. San Diego travels to the Masterpiece City to face a Chiefs defense that has conceded 254.6 yards per game and a 7:4 TD:INT to passers since Week 10, equal to the third most fantasy points allowed. Another performance close to Rivers’ Week 10 tally versus KC (316 yards, 2:2 TD:INT) could be on the horizon.

Even when sulking on the bench, banana hands Braylon has difficulty hanging onto his helmet, towels, duffle bags, thoughts of catching said objects …
(US Presswire)
Is Braylon Edwards a no start this week? Seems like bench players Devery Henderson, Branch and or Engram would be a better play. But I hate the idea of benching my No. 2 pick! Crappy Braylon.Alex, Chicago, Ill.

Noise: After enduring one torturous Edwards performance after another, the Noise has come to the realization the Zen Master should never be trusted handling babies, Waterford crystal or transplanted organs. Seriously, the guy’s hands naturally secrete Crisco.

With that in mind, it’s impossible to trust Edwards during the most critical week of the season. His “stud” label was stripped weeks ago. Remember, Ken Dorsey, not Brady Quinn, Derek Anderson or Bernie Kosar, is taking snaps behind center. The former “U” standout’s 51.2 completion percentage last week at Tennessee is exemplary of his “suck” factor.

Yes, the Eagles have surrendered six touchdowns and the 10th-most fantasy points to wideouts since Week 10, but butter hands hasn’t splashed pay-dirt since Week 9 and has averaged a very marginal 3.8 receptions and 55.6 yards per game over the past five weeks, ranking him 48th among WRs in fantasy points per game. Hell, Bryant Johnson, Malcom Floyd and Jabar Gaffney have outperformed him during that stretch.

Looking at your alternatives, Branch is unquestionably your best play. Neon Deion finally showcased the burst and route-running savvy he exuded prior to blowing out his knee last year. With Seneca Wallace expected to take snaps again this week, he has excellent odds of surpassing 75 yards against a misleadingly “strong” St. Louis secondary. The Rams have allowed the seventh fewest fantasy points to receivers over the past five weeks, but that’s only because teams have continuously pummeled them in the trenches.

Why do you not have Dominic Rhodes as a pickup this week? Is it because he is 43-percent owned? He has to be a great option here; Addai might not play and let’s not forget Indy plays DETROIT!!! Justin, Osseo, Wis.

Noise: Justin, the reason why Rhodes wasn’t mentioned in this weeks POW is due to his 75-percent ownership in Y! Plus leagues. To say he’s a “great” option is an incorrect assertion – he’s a “spectacular” option. A one-eyed, three-legged moose could hobble its way to substantial yardage against Detroit’s destitute run defense.

Even though Tony Dungy remarked Addai was “OK” after suffering a minor shoulder injury last week, the signing of Najeh Davenport on Tuesday suggests the Colts are not confident their star back is healthy or will remain upright the rest of the season. At this point, Rhodes should be considered a borderline top-10 play versus the Hello Kitties. Since Week 10 the loathsome Lions have surrendered 5.6 yards per carry, 218 total yards per game and 12 end-zone dives to rushers, equal to the most fantasy points allowed.

Even if Addai suits up, Rhodes is far more trustworthy to play. It wouldn’t be a shock if he outscored Steve Slaton (vs. Ten), Adrian Peterson (at Ari), Marshawn Lynch (at NYJ) and Ronnie Brown (vs. SF) this week.

Gates’ recent string of disappointments has his owners verklempt
(US Presswire)
What’s going on with Antonio Gates? His last four games: 10, 28, 27, 0 yds and 0 TDs – 75 freaking yards!!!David, Folsom, Calif.

Noise: If Gates’ fantasy value were a holiday cartoon character, it would definitely be Charlie Brown’s emaciated Christmas tree.

Gates’ remarkable decline is symbolic of the tight end position as a whole. Last year, appropriately dubbed the “Year of the Tight End,” nine players averaged six or more fantasy points per game and five eight-plus points, the highest single-year output in the position’s history.

But this season TE production has tumbled. Seven players have accumulated six-plus points per week and only one, consistency king Tony Gonzalez, has averaged over eight fantasy points per game.

Despite his career-worst 6.9 FPPG, Gates still ranks third overall at his position. Still, his recent disappearing act is puzzling. Although there isn’t a specific reason why he’s disappeared, it seems likely he still hasn’t fully recuperated from offseason toe surgery. Sources claim he’s only playing at roughly 80 percent capacity. Plus, he’s recently dealt with an undisclosed leg injury. Because he hasn’t regularly gained adequate separation from defenders Rivers has targeted other players. Gates’ sharp decline in looks per game (First nine weeks: 6.2, Last four: 4.5) supports this claim.

Considering the lack of quality options in many free agent pools, it’s sage to stick with Gates. Against Kansas City in Week 10, he burned them for eight catches, 66 yards and a score. Additionally, the Chiefs have yielded 65 yards per game to tight ends in their past five games, the fourth-most in the NFL. Expect a healthy dose of targets for the Bolts’ banged up monolith this week.

Brad, I wanted to say thanks for talking me out of starting Chester Taylor in place of Pierre Thomas. Your animated rant on Fantasy Football Live saved my playoff season! Thanks! Bob, Kenosha, Wis.

Brad, I would like to thank you for single handily winning my playoff game this week. I changed my lineup at 12:55pm ET and put in Pierre Thomas and took out Ronnie Brown. You were so adamant about starting Thomas in your conversation with Funston that I had to listen to your advice. I won 128.36-113.30 because of what you said. Thank you again. You are by far the best on the show and even better then (competitor’s site) which I usually use to get most of my information. Reza, Toronto, Ontario

Noise: Reza, with a name similar to hip hop pioneer RZA, you must regular bump Wu Tang classics on your IPod. To take liberty with a memorable Wu rhyme: Pierre Thomas is C.R.E.A.M…Dolla dolla bill ya’ll!

For those that missed the final segment of last week’s “Fantasy Football Live,” the Noise engaged in a heated exchange with colleagues Brandon Funston and Chris Liss over Thomas’ Week 14 prospects. To the casual viewer, my animated gyrations looked as though a gerbil was scurrying through my pants. Agitated by my coworkers’ apathetic views on Thomas, I pleaded to the camera for viewers to grip the PT Cruiser’s wheel.

For those that listened, my passionate petition paid off. Thomas rolled through Atlanta totaling 109 yards and two touchdowns, the second-highest RB fantasy output of the week. Every so often, the Noise uncannily nails a projection. Unfortunately it never happens when I’m in Vegas.

Thomas, who’s getting an extended look down the stretch with diuretic Deuce McAllister not expected to don black and gold next season, will likely be the cornerstone on several championship rosters. His matchup this week in Chicago is unfavorable on paper, but, for reasons that will be detailed in tomorrow’s Noise, he’s still an elite play this week. Plus, he gets the pleasure of facing Detroit next week and Carolina in the Crescent City in Week 17. Combined the Lions and Panthers have yielded 5.0 yards per carry, 183 total yards per game and 17 touchdowns to rushers since Week 10.

As I stated on last week’s “NFL This Week” RB segment, the mere mention of Thomas whisks the Noise away to a happy place filled with severalscantily clad Adriana Limas wading in giant Guinness pints, endless CiCi’s buffets and skateboarding bulldogs (Hey, a meat-hound with Tony Hawk skills is high entertainment).

Man, I love me some Pierre.

Yo Brad. Your fantasy calls are pretty good, but your delivery leaves something to be desired. Tone it down a bit, bro. I’d rather watch Gilbert Gottfried guest host The View.P-Tex, Costa Mesa, Calif.

Noise: P-Tex, there’s a reason why they call me the Big Noise. Even if Dick Vitale shouted “super, scintillating, sensational” through a bullhorn it couldn’t reach the decimal heights my voice natural projects. If a fire ever broke out in a crowded theater, you definitely would not want me around.

On anther note, Gilbert Gottfried on “The View” would be the best thing that ever happened to the show. Drowning out Elizabeth Hasselbeck’s mindless rants with AFLAC duck quips would significantly boost ratings.

Brad "The Big Noise" Evans has obsessed about his fantasy teams since the days when Jeff George had value. Yahoo! Sports fantasy’s resident baseball, football and bracketology expert, Brad also lends advice on the two-time Emmy-nominated webcast "Fantasy Football Live" each NFL Sunday.
Follow him on Twitter. Send Brad a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.
Updated Wednesday, Dec 10, 2008