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You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
He may not have a mouthful of lumber like George Washington. His likeness may not be fashionable on T-shirts like Che Guevara. And he may not drive "Little Red Corvettes" like Prince's backing band.
But in the cutthroat world of fantasy football, Tom Brady is a revolutionary.
Brady, on pace to obliterate Peyton Manning's single-season passing touchdown record, has been a one-man fantasy wrecking crew. He has tossed at least three touchdowns in every game this season and has eclipsed 250 passing yards in seven of eight contests. Ironically, his lowest output of the season came in Week 4 when he threw for a lowly 231 yards, three scores and a pick against the shameful Bengals D. Even on that down day, his 22.3 fantasy points tally in standard leagues was the fifth-best quarterback performance of that week.
It's no shocker that of the fantasy teams ranked in the top 500 of Y! public leagues, a whopping 38 percent of them are boastful owners of the most famous butt chin in America. And, unequivocally, a vast majority of them will defy conventional wisdom and consider Brady, along with other notable quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Tony Romo, in the first-round of drafts next year.
Why wouldn't they?
In a year where a large number of revered plowshares (e.g. Frank Gore, Shaun Alexander and Rudi Johnson) have tortured owners, several quarterbacks have been rocks of consistency, durability and dependability. It's because of their fruitful efforts traditional methods of drafting will be challenged.
Many notable pundits have already called for a revision of the running theory. But for the Noise, the controversial strategy is still hotter than a snapshot of Gisele Bundchen splashed in body paint.
The impact of historic quarterback performances on the fantasy landscape has been noted before, in 2004.
When Peyton Manning and Daunte Culpepper almost single-handedly carried owners to the pinnacle of their fantasy leagues that season, it was deemed "The Year of the Quarterback." The following August, conformist owners placed both cheeks squarely on the QB bandwagon and purchased Manning and Culpepper in a bull market. For most, it turned out to be a terrible mistake.
In '04 eight quarterbacks averaged 20 or more fantasy points per game in standard performance leagues (4 points per passing TD). In '05 that number plummeted to two. And of that pair neither was named Manning or Culpepper.
Anticipate a similar drop-off in 2008.
Of course, Brady deserves every imaginable accolade. And his projected record-setting season will revolutionize how people draft come August. But with injuries, personnel changeover and coaching adjustments ever-present in the NFL, it seems highly unlikely he'll reach 50 or even 35 touchdowns again next year – even with veritable weapons Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Donte' Stallworth and Ben Watson likely to return.
Overshadowed by Brady's blistering efforts, Adrian Peterson, LaDanian Tomlinson, Brian Westbrook and Joseph Addai are also having sensational seasons. Because it's almost always imperative to have two marquee backs in conventional non-PPR fantasy leagues any one of these celebrated runners must be taken over any quarterback.
You could argue that the inescapable presence of committees and the heightened propensity for certain backs to get injured makes drafting the position a risky proposition in the first round. And for that reason, selecting Brady is not unwise.
For those traditionalists who avoid Brady in favor of Marshawn Lynch, there's always a very lucrative Romo, Brett Favre or Derek Anderson waiting to be discovered in the mid-to-late rounds of drafts every year. As I’ve uncovered in previous investigations, unlike quarterbacks, rarely will you strike it rich and score a top 20 running back after Round 7 in 12-team drafts.
Like your high school history teacher always said, "Those who fail to understand the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them." So if you're an owner currently wallowing in the basement of your league and are already looking forward to next year, think long and hard whether you believe Brady will be even half as good.
For the Noise the running theory is still gonna be alright, (guitar break) alright…
Here are this week's flames, lames and stars of video games:
*BNRK = Big Noise weekly position ranking
*Y!% = Percentage owned in Yahoo! leagues through 11/3
|Week 10 Fantasy Flames|
|Lowdown: Mr. Brenda Warner is going to party like it's 1999 against a not-so-loathsome Lions secondary. Undeniably, Fernando Bryant and his battery mates have shown marked improvement over the past couple of weeks, but despite their sudden transformation they've still allowed an appalling 287.5 passing yards and 2.3 air strikes per game away from Ford Field. Way too often this season the Lions have been shredded by dink-and-dunk offenses – a system Warner and his ultra-talented receivers normally run efficiently. Warner, back at home after a disastrous display in Tampa where he completed an uncharacteristically inaccurate 33.3 percent of his passes, should post headliner numbers under the dome lights. In his Cardinals career he has completed a precise 65.9 percent of his passes at home. Look for the Sultan of Stubble to connect with Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald on several short timing patterns en route to a borderline top 10 day. Tom Brady owners hoping not to lose 60 percent of their fantasy production should plug n' play the former Super Bowl MVP.|
|Fearless Forecast: 257 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions|
|Lowdown: Holmes will prove to injury-bitten teammate Larry Johnson, an aspiring hip-hop artist, that he's more than a "Pri-Ho." On Monday, a source within the Chiefs organization told a Fox TV affiliate in Denver that LJ’s mid-foot sprain is actually a fracture. No major site has confirmed or denied the report. If true, Johnson would be sidelined for the rest of the year. As for Holmes, LJ's absence sets the stage for a storybook return. But remember he's 33 years-old and hasn't started a game since Week 8 of 2005. Still, his Week 10 matchup is very enticing. Denver has yielded the tenth-most fantasy points to running backs over the past four weeks surrendering 174.5 total yards per game and 5.3 yards per carry. The KC offensive line is no longer the intimidating foe it once was during Holmes' heyday, but they should be able to create wide running lanes against an undersized Denver defense. Expect Holmes, a quality No. 2 play in 12-team leagues, to shoulder roughly 70 percent of the load with Kolby Smith netting 10-12 carries.|
|Fearless Forecast: 16 carries, 71 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 25 receiving yards, 1 touchdown|
|Lowdown: Fargas should sparkle against a Chicago defense that has played like a sloth of Paddington Bears. Last week versus the Texans, Fargas touched the rock 25 times piling up an impressive 119 total yards and a touchdown. The five-year veteran has always had the size, speed and tenacity to be a banner back, but on a Madden scale his break tackle ability has normally scored below 50. This year that number is on the rise as he's running with more strength and conviction, averaging an eye-popping 5.4 yards per carry. Fargas, now the primary carrier, should be the focus of Lane Kiffin's attack. Chicago has conceded 192.3 total yards and 1.3 rushing touchdowns per game – equal to the second-most fantasy points allowed – to rushers since Week 6. Kiffin is a play-action stickler who will call Fargas' number early in an attempt to establish offensive continuity. Look for Fargas to again accumulate 20-plus touches while tallying top 15 running back numbers.|
|Fearless Forecast: 23 carries, 101 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 19 receiving yards, 1 touchdown|
|Lowdown: In this environmentally friendly version of the Noise – freaky images of Cris Collinsworth not included – it's only appropriate to include a "green" player. Brett Favre has bathed in the Fountain of Youth this year and will present a lopsided challenge for a Vikings defense that has yielded 25 pass plays of 20 or more yards, the tenth-most in the NFL. Look for Favre to connect with Jones, a rookie from San Jose State who racked up four catches for 49 yards and a score versus Minnesota in Week 4, on a couple of explosive pass plays downfield. The Vikings have surrendered the seventh-most fantasy points to wideouts since Week 6 and eight 70-plus yard receivers on the season. Count on Jones as a No. 3 in all 12-team leagues.|
|Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 66 yards, 1 touchdown|
|Lowdown: Henry, who wins the award for the NFL player that looks most like a Saluki, must be foaming at the mouth. The Bengals travel to Baltimore to face a bruised Ravens defense that has allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to wide receivers since Week 6. The Baltimore secondary continues to battle a plethora of injuries. Starting corners Chris McAllister and Samari Rolle are questionable again this week and with Ed Reed nowhere near 100 percent the Bengals could have a field day through the air. Although the Ravens are a blitz-happy bunch who could cause headaches for a Cincy frontline also plagued by injuries, Palmer should have enough time to connect with Henry on a couple of long bombs. Even if Chad Johnson, who is very questionable with a neck sprain, starts, Henry is a trustworthy No. 3 in 12-team and deeper leagues.|
|Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 74 yards, 1 touchdown|
|Shocker Special of the Week|
|Lowdown: With Cedric Benson training to be a backup dancer for the off-Broadway version of "Happy Feet," the other Adrian Peterson could get an extended look in Week 10. During the Bears' bye week a report surfaced in the Chicago Tribune mentioning Lovie Smith's intentions of reinstituting a more run-heavy approach. Despite his perpetual ineffectiveness, Benson will still be option one, but expect Lovie to experiment with Peterson this week. Oakland has surrendered 5.8 yards per carry, 166.8 rushing yards and 2.0 ground scores per game – equal to the most fantasy points allowed – to plowshares over the past four weeks. The Bears offensive line will need to sustain blocks with more consistency to create running lanes. Even if that doesn't occur, Peterson can tally plenty of yards through the air – he has averaged a stout 3.9 targets per game under Brian Griese and has recorded at least 28 receiving yards in five straight games. Insert AP into the flex spot in Grand Canyon-deep PPR formats.|
|Fearless Forecast: 7 carries, 37 rushing yards, 5 receptions, 35 receiving yards, 1 touchdown|
|Week 10 Fantasy Lames|
|Lowdown: The former Oregon State Beaver will get waxed by Steely McBeam. Anderson's ascension into the pantheon of quarterbacks has been remarkable. But this week, the Steelers will once again have Anderson's number. In Week 1, the D.A. completed a paltry 46.4 percent of his passes for 184 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Amazingly, in four home games the Steel Curtain has limited quarterbacks to an atrocious 140.8 yards and 0.50 passing touchdowns per game. Because Anderson moves in the pocket like a wounded three-legged wildebeest, defensive genius Dick LeBeau will bring relentless heat in an attempt to disrupt the young quarterback's rhythm. Pittsburgh sacked Cleveland quarterbacks six times in their first clash. Playing in one of the most hostile environments in the NFL and with AFC North title hopes on the line, Anderson is someone to avoid this week. Kurt Warner (vs. Det), J.P. Losman (at Mia) and Damon Huard (vs. Den) are more dependable options.|
|Fearless Forecast: 207 passing yards, 1 passing touchdown, 2 interceptions|
|Lowdown: If Henry, who hasn't crossed the goal-line since Week 3, sniffs the end zone at Arrowhead, A-Rod will don Royals blue next summer. The once-feared Denver rushing attack has mysteriously vanished. Over the past three weeks, Henry has averaged a horrific 3.5 yards per carry and 49.0 rushing yards per game. That trend will continue. Arrowhead supplies one of the most intimidating atmospheres in the league for running backs. In KC's past 20 home games only electric rookie Adrian Peterson has reached the century mark in rushing yards against them. Since Week 6, the Chiefs have allowed the eighth-fewest fantasy points to rushers, conceding a miniscule 88.3 rushing yards per game. With Jay Cutler a potential injury casualty this week and given the lack of success backs have had historically at Arrowhead, Henry deserves a bench demotion.|
|Fearless Forecast: 18 carries, 69 rushing yards, 1 receptions, 8 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns|
|Lowdown: Chatman will play like another Jesse, Spano, coming down from a caffeine pill high. Relatively unnoticed, the Bills rush defense has improved dramatically in recent weeks. Over their past four they've limited backs to 3.9 yards per carry and 76.5 rushing yards per game. In fact, only one back has surpassed 70 yards against the Bills since Week 4. The Dolphins offensive line has performed respectably this season, but Buffalo's diminutive, speedy D-line should engulf Chatman quickly. Because Cleo Lemon will target Chatman often he is still a reasonable flex play in PPR leagues. But those in shallow 12-team formats that don't require an extra starting position should not be deceived by what some would consider a friendly matchup.|
|Fearless Forecast: 18 carries, 68 rushing yards, 4 reception, 25 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns|
|Lowdown: No defense has blanketed receivers better than the Raiders since Week 6. Over that four-game span, Oakland has yielded a microscopic 17 receptions (4.3 per game) and one touchdown to wideouts. Pass strangler Nnamdi Asomugha is one of the smartest corners in the league who seemingly has a clairvoyant power in reading routes. He can blacken any wide receiver's good name and Berrian will be no exception. The Bears' top vertical threat continues to suffer from a severe case of banana hands, catching just 56.7 percent passes thrown his way. He has yet to eclipse the century mark this year in a single game, and since Oakland has not allowed a receiver to compile 85 yards in a home contest this season, it's very likely Berrian will notch his worst stat line thus far. Bench him in all 12-team leagues.|
|Fearless Forecast: 3 receptions, 27 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns|
|Lowdown: Not even Mr. Wilson could save the Dennis the Menace clone from registering a disheartening day against Sean Taylor and LaRon Landry. Curtis will have difficulty finding operable space against a Washington defense that has conceded 19 pass plays of 20 or more yards, the eighth-fewest in the NFL. Strike their annihilation at the hands of Tom Brady from the record and the Redskins have surrendered only two scores to wideouts this year. Donovan McNabb has been pressured mercilessly in recent weeks and will again have minimal time to deliver the ball downfield against a blitz-heavy Redskins defense. Curtis has cooled over the past three weeks registering 4.3 receptions, 63.0 yards per game and zero touchdowns. In his Week 2 encounter with Washington he managed to catch just four passes for 28 yards despite being targeted 11 times. Anticipate another trivial performance.|
|Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 31 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns|
Upset you don't have a forum to express your disdain for drafting Carnell Williams? Do you question why on earth you're not a fantasy expert? This is the place for you to vent your thoughts, tirades and frustrations. Can you bring the noise?
Your references to pop culture every week are absolutely priceless. I've been watching in the past weeks and have noticed you missed the largest Conehead look alike. Check out Anthony Gonzalez of the Colts. Does the guy have a dome or what?? Please keep everything up and disregard the haters.
Jesten, Ramstein, Germany
Noise: Jesten, great to hear the Noise has a David Hasselhoff reputation in Deutschland. You're right. Gonzalez has a bone polish worthy of a Tony Kornheiser "bald brotherhood" obsession. After his football days are over, Gonzo could have a second career as Bruce Willis' body double. Every time I stare at his mugshot I swear he says, "Yippee ki-yay mother…"
Wow Brad, I'm not going to critique your choice to put Peterson as your Lame this week, but I want to send a guess that the number of emails you have received calling you very mean names and those containing death threats is extremely high. Good call on JP though, helped the worst team in our league knock off one of the best, course he has been starting him the last 9 weeks, but that's ok. Good luck the rest of the way.
Mike, Boston, MA
Noise: The current count of demeaning, belittling "All-Day" emails that have tainted my inbox rivals the number of suspension days the NFL has levied on players named Chris Henry. Here's one of those humiliating gems…
Evans, I hate to be so blunt but you're a jackass. I listened to your Fantasy Flames and Lames column and got totally screwed over. You had Adrian Peterson as a fantasy lame and he ended up with 296 yards and 3 TDs. Thanks for nothing, (expletive)!
Adam, Mason, OH
Noise: When I'm on, I'm on (e.g. J.P. Losman). But when I'm off, well, NFL records are jeopardized.
Naturally, my grossly inaccurate prediction of Peterson inspired readers to send a host of vitriolic emails in hindsight. People suggested Yahoo! should fire me, force me to tender my resignation or, hilariously, demote me to office janitor. Of course, not a single reader criticized my Peterson lame designation prior to kickoff.
In my defense, heading into Week 9 San Diego had held running backs to a lowly 3.9 yards per carry, so, on paper, the pick wasn't completely preposterous. However, labeling the most electric back in the league a "lame" was more idiotic than leaving my wife locked in a room alone with Isaiah Thomas. Never again will I question the awe-inspiring power of the Purple Jesus – especially running behind the often overlooked Minnesota offensive line, which is undoubtedly the best in the league.
When a guy racks arguably the greatest single-game performance in fantasy sports history it slightly tarnishes a positive 7-4 pick day. Live and learn…
You want a sports figure that resembles She-Ra? It just so happens that while drafting a fantasy NBA team the other night, I stumbled upon a player that actually DOES somewhat resemble the Princess of Power. His name is Walter Herrmann.
Mike, Pittsburgh, PA
Noise: Once again my loyal fan base didn't disappoint. Several Noisers uncovered a handful of male athletes that have a "Princes of Power" likeness. Here are some of my favorites:
Your pickups of the week are always a joke. You base most of them on one time wonders and half your stats are a joke! David Patten averaging 83.7 per week last 7 weeks? Try around 48.7. He's had two respectable weeks with no touchdowns and the other games he had no production.
Dan, Apple Valley, MN
Noise: Dan, you must have bombed the reading comprehension section of the ACT. To clarify, I said "over the past three weeks, Patten has tallied the seventh-most yards among receivers averaging 83.7 yards per game." If you would've taken my advice and snagged the Little General off waivers you would have netted 14 fantasy points.
Real men (and women) play in leagues deeper than eight teams where guys like Patten are valuable. Your obtuse perception that the Pickups column is worthless is the real joke.
"Grant is the latest installment in the Packers' on-going backfield soap opera. The 6-foot-1, 218-pound undrafted rookie out of Beluga Whale-U (Notre Dame)" Where did that come from? You're an ass. Normally, I regard you at the top of the crowd of fantasy sports writers (which as a group I don't think too highly of), but I don't need to read random cheap shots like that.
Sean, San Francisco, CA
Noise: Sorry Sean. That was a typo. It should have read "Shamu-U."
Luckily for cupcake Charlie, Kansas head coach Mark Mangino holds the esteemed honor of being the blue whale of the collegiate blubber brass. Could you imagine a pay-per-view buffet face-off between Weis and Mangino? It would be completely disgusting, yet totally engrossing.
It’s still amazes me that the storied Irish are 1-8 while the historically decrepit Jayhawks, benefiting from a soft schedule, are a flawless 9-0.
Wow. You're one scary dude. My nephew was sitting next to me when I was watching your QB Sit or Start segment and you started rocking out about "Judas Priest" Losman and he started crying. It was terrible! He was afraid to go out for Halloween after that.
Joel, Baltimore, MD
Noise: I tend to have a similar effect on attractive women.
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 flames, lames and shocker special via the link in the column footer no later than midnight central time on Tuesdays. Oh, and please, no long dissertations to justify your picks. All that's required are your player selections and projections. Good luck!
Week 10 contestant: Lisa from Boston, MA
Brian Griese, Chi (at Oak): 30-43, 303 passing yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs
Marshawn Lynch, Buf (at Mia): 25 carries, 135 yards, 3 receptions, 32 yards, 2 TDs
DeShaun Foster, Car (vs. Atl): 18 carries, 101 yards, 2 receptions, 10 yards, TD
Isaac Bruce, StL (at NO): 8 receptions, 85 yards, TD
Calvin Johnson, Det (at Ari): 6 receptions, 110 yards, TD
Najeh Davenport, Pit (vs. Cle): 10 carries, 42 yards, 2 receptions, 15 yards, 2 TDs
Derek Anderson, Cle (at Pit): 22-35, 200 passing yards, TD, 3 INTs
Brandon Jacobs, NYG (vs. Dal): 17 carries, 47 yards, 2 receptions, 12 yards, 0 TD
Julius Jones, Dal (at NYG): 11 carries, 28 yards, 0 TD
Brandon Marshall, Den (at KC): 4 receptions, 52 yards, 0 TD
Dwayne Bowe, KC (vs. Den): 3 receptions, 33 yards, 0 TD
Week 9 Results: Ben from Chapel Hill, NC
Flames: 2-4, 33% (W – Brandon Marshall, Quinn Gray (Shocker Special); L – Alex Smith, Shaun Alexander, Adimchinobi Echemandu, Chris Chambers)
Lames: 2-3, 40% (W – Edgerrin James, Reggie Wayne; L – Ben Roethlisberger, Willis McGahee, Terrell Owens)
Noisers YTD: Flames: 16-20, 44.4%; Lames: 17-13, 56.7%, Shocker Specials: 1-5