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Bringin' the Noise: Happy Festivus

Brad Evans
Yahoo Sports

Watch the Noise, and fellow Yahoo! expert Brandon Funston, answer your pressing lineup questions for a full hour every NFL Sunday on the Emmy nominated webcast "Fantasy Football Live" at 9 AM PT/11 AM CT/Noon ET.

I've got problems with people in fantasy. And now you're going to hear about them…

Some households celebrate Christmas, others Hanukkah and some the African tradition Kwanzaa.

But under the Costanza roof of outward hostility and elevated voices, people gather around an aluminum pole and air their year-ending grievances during the greatest of all semi-fictitious holidays, Festivus.

In the spirit of this nondenominational celebration, you are cordially invited to join the Noise for a comfort meal of asparagus, meatloaf and bourbon shots as I reveal my complaints of the 2007 fantasy football season.

Oh, and remember, Festivus doesn't end until someone gets pinned, which in the Yahoo! office is when Brandon Funston submits to a figure four leglock…

Happy Festivus!

Grievance No. 5: Gunslinger Gaffes

Blame that menacing witch Mother Nature. Blame the presence of a dimwitted, busty blonde pop singer. Blame George Mitchell. No matter where you point the finger of your playoff exit, don't forget to include marquee quarterbacks Tom Brady, Tony Romo and Derek Anderson. The three kings of fantasy pain tortured millions of owners in the penultimate frame of the fantasy season. Outscored by such highlight reel mainstays as Cleo Lemon, Shaun Hill, Sage Rosenfels and Brodie Croyle, the flopper trio completed a combined 41.3 percent of their passes for an average of 163.7 yards with zero touchdowns and four interceptions. They may have been the primary reasons why many owners reached the postseason, but with pride and reputations on the line they were miserable letdowns.

Grievance No. 4: Carolina Quarterback Quandaries

From Tommy John-ed Jake Delhomme to queen of the Stone Age Vinny Testaverde to future "All my Children" star David Carr to the forgettable Matt Moore, the Panthers' rotation of motley quarterbacks unfairly transformed Steve Smith from fantasy playmaker to heartbreaker. In the midst of arguably the most tumultuous season of his career, Smith has only surpassed 70 receiving yards four times and is currently mired in a seven-game touchdown drought, his longest dry spell since 2001. Delhomme's recovery is progressing smoothly and he expects to be in uniform for the start of next year, which gives hope for a Smith rebound next season. Smith may stupidly slip in novice drafts come August, but he's unmistakably a top-five receiver who deserves consideration in the third round of conventional 12-team drafts.

Grievance No. 3: Bobby Petrino

Jerious Norwood, the Steve Smith of running backs, was criminally misused by coop flier Petrino. The new Arkansas head coach, who suffers from Nick Sabanosis, an insidious disease that causes the afflicted to manufacture lies indiscriminately, grossly mishandled one of the league's most electric young backs. Not once under Petrino's brilliant leadership did Norwood compile 10 or more carries. When you consider that Atlanta was out of the playoffs weeks ago and that the second-year back averaged an astonishing 6.2 yards per carry under Petrino's watch, it's mind-boggling he didn't receive a minimum of 15 touches per game. Rumors are circulating that former Bears intimidator and current San Francisco defensive assistant Mike Singletary will be the new head coach in Hotlanta. If that happens, dateless Warrick Dunn could finally be demoted to a secondary role. Expect Norwood to be one of the finest draft day bargains in '08. Good riddance brash Bobby.

Grievance No. 2: The Injury Imp

Every year, the demonic imp feasts on the feeble, but this season it was a limitless buffet. A plethora of draft day superstars fell to the wayside for significant chunks of the season. Quarterbacks Marc Bulger, Jake Delhomme and Matt Leinart were bitten. Wide receivers Roy Williams, Andre Johnson, Marvin Harrison, Anquan Boldin and Javon Walker were sidelined. And at running back, Larry Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Steven Jackson, Marshawn Lynch, Brandon Jacobs, Ronnie Brown and Rudi Johnson each missed a minimum of two games. At the plowshare position alone, five players – Earnest Graham, Justin Fargas, Fred Taylor, Chester Taylor and Ryan Grant – largely drafted after pick 100, if at all, are currently ranked in the tugboat top-20. Some define fantasy as a game of skill. But in reality those who survive the onslaught of strains, pulls and breaks are in bed with Lady Luck. Let this year be a reminder that you always draft for depth at running back.

Grievance No. 1: Back Panic Attack

During the fantasy regular season, the otherworldly contributions of Brady, Romo, Brett Favre, Derek Anderson and Drew Brees coupled with the widely perceived running back fallout, have altered owner mindsets and mistakenly challenged conventional drafting principles. Sure the aforementioned names deserve consideration in the early rounds next season. But, as you may recall from '04, Peyton Manning spearheaded a quarterback boom that resulted in an ADP spike at the position the following drafting year. However, running backs reclaimed their dominance in '05, not quarterbacks. Trends in fantasy, like the economy, are cyclical. No consecutive seasons are identical. So instead of paying for career years at quarterback, stick with traditional draft day truths. As any fortunate Brady, Romo, or Anderson owner would attest, they couldn't have advanced to their league championship without headline performances from '07 first-rounders LaDainian Tomlinson, Steven Jackson, Brian Westbrook, Clinton Portis and, unbelievably, Laurence Maroney. Believe me. The running theory is hardly dead. Running backs will rise again next year.

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 12/15

Week 16 Fantasy Flames
Player Team Pos Opp BNRK Y!%
Chris Redman
QB
12 0.29
Lowdown: In the battle of playoff grounded birds, Redman will produce a fantasy Festivus miracle. The vacancy left by starting safety Adrian Wilson has severely burdened an Arizona secondary already mired in a downward spiral. Over the past five weeks the Cardinals have surrendered a league-worst 295.2 passing yards and 2.4 air strikes per game. Since Week 10, gunslingers have thrown for a minimum of 250 yards and two touchdowns against them. Redman was absolutely atrocious in Tampa last week, completing a vomit-worthy 26.7 percent of his passes for 34 yards and two interceptions. But remember, against an equally grievous New Orleans Saints secondary in Week 14 Redman compiled 298 passing yards and two touchdowns. Expect Redman and sudden wideout supernova Roddy White to have banner afternoons versus a Desert Birds defense that has allowed 42 20-plus yard pass plays, the sixth-most in the NFL. Have faith in the journeyman quarterback as a No. 1 in 12-team and deeper leagues.
Fearless Forecast: 258 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions
Laurence Maroney
RB
18 95.8
Lowdown: The King of Kool-Aid bling will have championship-minded owners shouting "Oh Yeah!" in Week 16. The baneful Maroney finally lifted his cheeks off the fantasy schneid last week, racking a season-high 26 carries for 104 yards and a touchdown versus the Jets. Bill Belichick may again feature the run more prominently this week against a fledgling Fins trench team plagued by injuries and tackling ineptitude. Since Week 11, the woeful Dolphins have surrendered four touchdowns, 181.6 total yards per game and 4.5 yards per carry to backs, equal to the sixth-most fantasy points permitted. Maroney tallied a meager six carries for 31 yards against Miami back in Week 6. But, remember it was his first game back after missing three weeks with a mysterious groin injury. Look for Maroney to accumulate roughly 15-20 touches in the Fish slaughter. Insert him into your lineup as a No. 2 or flex play in all 12-team leagues.
Fearless Forecast: 19 carries, 85 rushing yards, 1 reception, 9 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
Ron Dayne
RB
20 19.9
Lowdown: Old Dayne Dingle and his bowlful of jelly will plow through the Colts as though he were seeking a Hillshire Farms deli. Once again playing his best football during the most crucial time of the season, Dayne has steamrolled his way to 89.3 total yards per game and three end zone dives since Week 9. This week, he should be able to shake of the effects of a nagging ankle injury and plow his way to appreciable fantasy numbers. Gary Kubiak is a power running game advocate who will intertwine the thunder of Dayne with the lightning quickness of Darius Walker in an attempt to manage the clock and control game tempo. Indy has yielded a scant 106.5 rushing yards per game and 3.9 yards per carry to tugboats over their past five. But Dayne, who's thrived in the Texans one-cut scheme over the past five weeks averaging 4.6 yards per tote, is the primary goal-line back and warrants a flex start in 12-team leagues. Count on "Candy Cane" Dayne to post peppermint sweet totals.
Fearless Forecast: 15 carries, 67 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 10 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
Anthony Gonzalez
WR
21 24.3
Lowdown: Feliz Navidad Gonzo owners, Feliz Navidad. With Marvin Harrison in street clothes, the former Buckeye has blossomed in recent weeks, scoring a trio of touchdowns while averaging 6.8 targets, 5.0 receptions and 86.8 yards per game since Week 12. His unexpected seven-catch, 86-yard, one-TD effort last week against an Oakland secondary that may well be finest in the league was spectacular. This week, Gonzo will use his nifty, slick route-running skills to create wide-open spaces against a Texans secondary minus premiere cover man Dunta Robinson. Fred Bennett and Von Hutchins were abused by Brandon Marshall last week. Although Gonzo may not be as physical as Marshall, his craftiness and Peyton Manning's mammoth success against the Texans (19 TD passes in his past seven games) will likely lead the rookie to his third 100-yard game since Week 12. Activate him in all 12-team leagues.
Fearless Forecast: 7 receptions, 106 yards, 1 touchdown
David Patten
WR
29 9.3
Lowdown: Under the lucid lights of the Superdome, the Little General will post numbers worthy of a ticker tape parade. Patten has benefited greatly from Reggie Bush's time in the clubhouse spa, registering 13 receptions for 193 yards and two touchdowns in his past two games. With defenses focusing their attention on Marques Colston, Patten has drawn abundant single coverage, exploiting corners in the process. That will likely be the case again this week as the Saints welcome Philadelphia to Bourbon Street. The Eagles have yielded 70-plus yard receivers 11 times this season and four wideout scores since Week 11. Philly did a masterful job of bottling Terrell Owens and confusing Tony Romo last week, but they will have difficulties stymieing the blistering Brees, who has totaled nine multi-TD efforts in his past 10. Lito Sheppard continues to be plagued by a lingering knee issue and if Patten draws him in one-on-one coverage, the good Sheppard will lose a sheep from his flock. Start him with confidence as a No. 3 in all 12-team leagues.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 72 yards, 1 touchdown
Shocker Special of the Week
Player Team Pos Opp BNRK Y!%
Kevin Boss
TE
10 0.02
Lowdown: Move over Springsteen, there's a new Boss in Jersey. The loss of Jeremy Shockey to a fractured fibula casts the spotlight on the obscure rookie from Western Oregon. At 6-foot-6, 253-pounds, Boss is a titanic specimen who has enough natural athleticism and body control to develop into one of the smoothest route-running tight ends in the league. Based on his two-catch, 31-yard, one score effort in Week 15, the unpolished monolith has already become a favored target of Eli Manning. This week, he should post profitable numbers against an undersized Buffalo linebacker unit that has allowed 4.4 receptions per game to tight ends since Week 11, the 10th-most in the league. Look for Boss to generate 5-8 targets in Tom Coughlin's unprogressive scheme and be a featured target near the goal line. Owners in 12-team leagues with suspect options at tight end should call the Boss.
Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 41 yards, 1 touchdown
Week 16 Fantasy Lames
Player Team Pos Opp BNRK Y!%
Eli Manning
QB
19 95.8
Lowdown: After misfiring on 34 attempts in a wind-influenced game last week in the Meadowlands, fantasy owners should file a deceptive advertising lawsuit against the manufacturers of Citizen Eco Drive watches – Manning is hardly "unstoppable." In his past five miserable games, Eli has been unable to hit the broadside of Mark Mangino, completing an appalling 50.5 percent of his passes. His 230.6 yards per game average and 5:6 TD:INT split since Week 11 ranks him behind such fantasy superstars as Sage Rosenfels, Philip Rivers and Kyle Boller in points per game. This week, he travels to the Wing City to battle an improved Buffalo secondary that has conceded only one passing touchdown in its past four contests. Considering the noticeable coverage strides corners Jabari Greer and Terrance McGee have made and given Manning's general inconsistencies, he's untrustworthy in all 12-team leagues. Marc Bulger (vs. Pit), Brodie Croyle (at Det) and Chris Redman (at Ari) are better alternatives.
Fearless Forecast: 211 passing yards, 1 passing touchdown, 3 interceptions
Frank Gore
RB
22 100
Lowdown: Boy Gore-ge really wants to hurt you. Boy Gore-ge really wants to make you cry. The popular first-round fantasy pick has rebounded nicely over the past five weeks by finding paydirt twice while averaging 130.4 total yards per game and 4.4 yards per carry. However, the Tampa Swashbucklers have turned opposing backs into shish kabobs since Week 11, surrendering a lowly 83.8 rushing yards per game, 3.7 yards per carry and zero touchdowns, equal to the fifth-fewest fantasy points allowed. In fact, no rusher has eclipsed 80 yards against Chris Hovan and company in nine consecutive weeks. Because the Bucs run a Cover 2 scheme, open voids in the short-field will be available for Shaun Hill and Gore to exploit. Tampa has yielded the second-most receptions to receiving backs (7.4 per game) in their past five contests. Keep Gore active in all PPR-friendly formats, but expect pedestrian total yardage numbers. Even if he nets five-plus receptions, a tidal wave of pewter will envelope him quickly.
Fearless Forecast: 17 carries, 59 rushing yards, 5 receptions, 28 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns
Clinton Portis
RB
23 100
Lowdown: Choo-Choo Portis will be fantasy's version of the Christmas Poo-Poo. Despite logging his second-best fantasy effort of the season last week versus the Giants, Portis has still managed just 3.2 yards per carry and 90.6 total yards per game in his past five contests. Facing the league's most dominant rush defense will be a frightful task. The Purple People Eaters have conceded the fewest fantasy points to plowshares since Week 11, yielding a meager two scores, 52 rushing yards per game and 3.3 yards per carry. In the Metrodome, no visiting back has surpassed 61 ground yards this season. It will be virtually impossible for Portis to find adequate wiggle room in-between the tackles against running back soul eaters Kevin and Pat Williams. However, look for Joe Gibbs to work Portis extensively out of the backfield as a short-yardage receiver. Minnesota has allowed 6.4 receptions per games to backs over the past five weeks, the fifth-most in the league. Keep the Washington rusher active in all PPR-heavy leagues, but contemplate more favorable options (e.g. Maurice Jones-Drew vs. Oak, Kevin Jones vs. KC and Kolby Smith at Det) in 12-team and shallower standard-scoring formats.
Fearless Forecast: 20 carries, 58 rushing yards, 5 receptions, 27 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns
Derrick Mason
WR
38 92.7
Lowdown: No matter if it's Kyle Boller or Troy Smith behind center, Mason will leave a lump of coal in your fantasy stocking. Surprisingly, Mason has resurged this season in an abortive Ravens passing offense. On the season, he's averaged 6.6 receptions and 65.5 yards per game, good for 19th best among receivers in standard formats. However, this week will be one of Mason's more forgettable performances. Although Marcus Trufant and Kelly Jennings have been vulnerable of late – they've allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to receivers since Week 11 – collectively they've yielded an NFL-low seven touchdowns to wideouts in 14 games. Mason is still a viable option in deep PPR-leagues, but given Boller's incompetence, Smith's callowness and playing in one of the league's most hostile environments; he's expendable in all traditional-scoring leagues. Bench him in favor of Reggie Brown (at NO), Chris Henry (vs. Cle) or David Patten (at Ari).
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 51 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns

Reggie Williams
WR
47 23.3
Lowdown: Near the goal line R-Dubs has been a plenteous producer, crossing the chalk four times in his past five. Williams' recent torrid touchdown streak has transformed him from waiver wire garbage to No. 3 gold. David Garrard has been extraordinarily efficient executing Jack Del Rio's conservative game plan this season. However, the Raiders secondary is a daunting foe. Stanford Routt and Nnamdi Asomugha have surrendered just two wideout touchdowns and the fifth-fewest fantasy points to receivers since Week 11. At 6-foot-4, Williams' tremendous size advantage over defenders has made him Garrard's most trusted red zone target. But, Asomugha, only two inches shorter than Williams, matches up incredibly well with the lanky receiver. Asomugha, amazingly snubbed by Pro Bowl voters, has only surrendered nine receptions to wideouts in 14 games. Consider Williams lucky if he catches one. Bench him in all 12-team leagues.
Fearless Forecast: 2 receptions, 22 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns
SCORING BENCHMARKS
QBs: 15+ fantasy points
RBs: 10+ fantasy points
WRs: 7+ fantasy points
TEs: 6+ fantasy points
D/ST: 10+ fantasy points
*Scoring system:
4 PTs/Pass TD
1 PT/20 pass yards
6 PTs/Rush-Rec TD
1 PT/10 Rush-Rec yards
-1 PT/INT or FL
WEEK 15 FLAMES RESULTS
W: Tony Scheffler = 16 Points
L: Chester Taylor = 4 Points
L: Rudi Johnson = 2 Points
L: Jabar Gaffney = 1 Point
L: Todd Collins = 8 Points
L: Darius Walker = 6 points
Week 15 Flame Record: 1-5
Shocker Specials: 3-11
Season Total: 40-46 = 46.5%
WEEK 15 LAMES RESULTS
W: Edgerrin James = 8 Points
W: Maurice Jones-Drew = 9 Points
W: Bernard Berrian = 2 Points
W: Roddy White = 1 Point
L: Vince Young = 18 Points
Week 15 Lame Record: 4-1
Season Total: 36-36 = 50.0%

NOTABLE NOISE
Upset you don't have a forum to express your disdain for drafting Reggie Bush? 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?

Brad, another great column last week. You've distinguished yourself as "the man." I look forward to your columns each week, as nobody else comes close to your content. Thanks for all you do.

Kevin, Zephyr Hills, FL


“After reading your article about impact rookies in 2008, my opinion of your knowledge immediately advanced from "respectable" to "awe-struck." Your inclusion of Matt Forte was nothing short of genius. As a Tulanian myself, I have witnessed some of his jaw-dropping performances firsthand. Given the fact that the ineptitude of our passing game is mind-numbing, teams would completely sell out to stop the run, yet Forte would continually torch them with his tackle-breaking ability and breakaway speed. I believe Forte will be an excellent fantasy option for years to come and has a great chance to replace Brandon Jacobs as your next man-crush. You are officially the best writer out there, even if you hair is scared of the outside world.

Dan, Colorado Springs, CO


Great column! Get this. I had Drew Bennett that night with about a 30 point deficit. I remember getting so into the comeback that I was calling friends as I watched the numbers roll up. I even was screaming at the trainers when they were giving him oxygen during the second half "JUST GET HIM BACK IN THE GAME!" At the end, I had actually taken a slight lead. Remember who Volek's last pass was to? Yeh, the only guy my opponent for the night had still playing – D. Mason. Ouch, I lost by two that night! Keep up the great work!

Brian, Graham, CA


I've been reading your "who to sit/start" garbage all year Evans, and have not used any of that crap. That is until this week when I got so desperate for a decent TE play that I decided to pick up and start Tony Scheffler as you recommended in your Fantasy Flames last week. I ended up winning my game by 3 points thanks in part to Scheff's 100 yd 1 TD output. I will never again question your genius as a fantasy guru. Thank you and as Les Miles would say, have a great day.

Nick, Allentown, PA

Noise: The Noise and Miles share several similarities. We both are self-described risk takers. And neither one of us would ever leave a perennial top-five program for the sinking ship that is Michigan. However, despite our commonalities, we are different in one way. When Miles takes ludicrous gambles, he amazingly nails them. The Tigers are an inconceivable 12-of-15 (80%) on fourth down conversions this season. Unlike the Noise, the man has unmatched shocker special gifts.

On a side note, thankfully you were persuaded by the lone correct flame prognostication this week. If you would have, say, heeded my advice on Rudi Johnson, your email would surely have been drenched in vitriol. Kind of like this guy…


You said Rudi would play well. He played like crap. Thanks a lot, you butt-hole.

JW, Springfield, MO

Noise: JW, you must have been a Millerite in a previous life. For those not familiar with nineteenth-century religious history, the Millerites were an American Christian sect who believed Jesus would return to Earth on October 22, 1844. They sold all their worldly possessions, went to a hill and waited for their savior to come … and waited … and waited. Shockingly, JC never got the memo.

As much as I would like to believe my words are more powerful than the forces of fantasy nature, they unfortunately are not. You my friend are just as gullible as the Millerites.

Honestly, you should wag the finger at Marvin Lewis. Johnson received six touches in the first half, but didn't touch the rock again until the 14:22 mark in the fourth quarter. Coming into last Saturday's game, the 49ers had allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to running backs. One would think that Rudi, who had scored in three straight games and averaged 20.7 carries per game since Week 12, would have toted the pigskin a minimum of 20 times given the matchup. Johnson netting fewer touches than Kenny Watson in a close contest was utterly baffling. For some sick reason, Mike Shanahan probably had a hand in this…


I just wanted to give a shout out to Brian Westbrook as the smartest and most gracious player in NFL history. Even with mother nature attempting to squash my fantasy season (Brady and Welker), his fall down at the 1-yard line stopped my opponent from getting six more points and catapulted me to a four-point victory to get me to the finals. Westbrook is a god and keep up the good work.

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Noise: As I watched Westbrook selflessly dive at the 1-yard line to preserve the win, in my head, I could hear Phil Hartman narrating "that ladies and gentlemen was a great moment in fantasy sports history." I'm sure Westbrook will receive numerous heart-shaped boxes filled with Fannie May chocolates on February 14. Or dozens of black roses.


To all Tom Brady haters: He deserves a top two spot, regardless of whether or not he is a RB just as Johan Santana demands a top five spot, although he is not a hitter. Yes, you don't HAVE to have him to win, but that goes for anyone. LaDainian Tomlinson's career year last year didn't guarantee that all owners with him won, and all owners without him didn't. But it helped, as does Brady. My running back situation is worse than Fogle's fake ID in “Superbad” (This week Shaun Alexander, Travis Henry, and Darius Walker), yet I am still in second place with Brady and four other Patriots on my starting roster.

Matt, Chicago, IL

Noise: Correction, McLovin. You were in second place. Brady may have gotten you to third base, but as you were heading for home two amusing police officers, who you befriended earlier in the night, shielded the plate by interfering with your booty call.

Matt suffers from what I like to call the Dolly Parton Complex. It’s a mental disorder in which a misguided owner believes their top-heavy team is unstoppable. Approximately 13 fantasy owners are diagnosed with it each year.

In all seriousness, without adequate balance at running back and receiver, teams like Matt's eventually succumb to incongruity. Remember, it's the sum of all parts that makes a fantasy champion, not the dominance of one player. Just like in rotisserie baseball it's imperative to draft and mold a well-rounded team. Given Matt's glaring weaknesses at other key positions, he should have dealt Brady to fill the gaps. Instead, he was lured in my Brady's string of multi-TD games and GQ looks, and got burned. Now he knows how Bridget Moynahan feels.


I hate to break it to you but players like A.P. don't come along every year. Peterson is an exceptional talent. With that said, the league might not see another talent like him for some time.

Axel, Chicago, IL


I understand you trying to fill your time any which way. But listing nine – 9! – runners who could be the next Adrian Peterson? Thanks. I'll keep this list right next to my lucky rabbit's foot come draft day. And know that I have an 11 percent chance of being right. You probably have named, on that list, someone who will be as good, in 2008, as Adrian Peterson. But you have also named several guys who will be as good in 2008 as Adrian Peterson (Bears). And Brandon Jackson. Why don't you print the entire list of 2008 draft-eligible players and guarantee that one of them will be a fantasy stud in 2010? Now you are simply the let-me-throw-some-crap-at-the-wall-and-see-what-is-still-there-when-I-am-done-daydreaming-about-a-healthy-Brandon-Jacobs guy on Yahoo!

Brian, New Paltz, NY

Noise: Actually you're incorrect. Since Jacobs is healthy and punishing defenses as though he were the Abominable Snowman of the North, there is no reason for him to dominate my daytime fantasies. Instead, my current daydreams consist of living vicariously through Tony Romo and frolicking in a field of daisies with Illinois' Rashard Mendenhall.

Axel and Brian have valid arguments, but they misunderstood the point of last week's Noise. When I listed the cream of the collegiate running back crop, describing them as "potential Adrian Petersons" was not suggesting they would attain the stratosphere ceiling of All-Day. Rather, it was simply implying that these were next year's potential impact backs. Of course, maybe two-to-three will be fantasy relevant. But the purpose of the list was to get those in dynasty leagues familiar with what's on the horizon.

As for Axel's comments that the "league may not see another talent like A.P. for some time," let me remind you that several NFL scouts had Darren McFadden rated higher than Peterson last season. If McFadden is fortunate enough to be selected by a team with a robust run philosophy and a formidable offensive line, much like Peterson, he will make a similar splash next season. I said it last week and I'll say it again; McFadden deserves consideration in the late-first, early-second round of your draft next year. No matter where his NFL address is.

I completely agree that exceptional talents are few and far between, but this year's bumper crop of collegiate backs, might be the most talented class we've seen in the past decade, assuming many forgo their senior seasons. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait one more year for Central Florida's Kevin Smith.


Bonjour je suis français je voudrais savoir comment on fais pour faire des match au foot ? Merci.

Besson, Paris, France

Noise: Where is Pepe Le Pew when you need to interpret French? Because I was never schooled in the language of love and only recall the meaning of "Donde esta el bano?" from four years of high school Spanish, I consulted Babel Fish on Yahoo! to translate the sentence. The result: "Hello I am French I would like to know how one make to make match with the foot? Thank you."

If this is a roundabout attempt at asking me a kicker question, I'll never dip a French fry in mayonnaise again…

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 16 contestant: Sean, from Tewksbury, MA

Flames:
Chris Redman, Atl (at Ari): 265 passing yards, 2 TDs, INT
Brodie Croyle, KC (at Det): 250 passing yards, TD, 0 INT
Fred Taylor, Jac (vs. Oak): 17 carries, 110 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 15 receiving yards, TD
Roddy White, Atl (at Ari): 7 receptions, 89 yards, TD
Brandon Marshall, Den (at SD): 5 receptions, 54 receiving yards, TD

Shocker Special:
Mike Vrabel, NE (vs. Mia): 1 reception, 4 yards, TD

Lames:
Rudi Johnson, Cin (vs. Cle): 5 carries, 8 yards, fumble lost
Clinton Portis, Was (at Min): 14 carries, 42 rushing yards, fumble lost, 0 TD
Julius Jones, Dal (at Car): 6 carries, 22 rushing yards, 0 TD
Greg Olsen, Chi (vs. GB): 2 receptions, 17 yards, 0 TD
Torry Holt, StL (vs. Pit): 1 reception, 6 yards, 0 TD

Week 15 Results: Andrew from Sidney, OH
Flames: 2-4, 33% (W – Shaun Hill, Chris Baker (Shocker Special); L – Darius Walker, Josh Reed, Sidney Rice, Miami Defense)
Lames: 3-2, 60% (W – DeShaun Foster, Adrian Peterson, Reggie Wayne; L - Donovan McNabb, Chad Johnson)

Noisers YTD: Flames: 31-40, 43.7%; Lames: 28-32, 46.7%, Shocker Specials: 4-8