Each week the Noise highlights seven somewhat obscure, unobvious names who he believes are destined to torch the competition. For those playing the Flames home edition, each player must be started in fewer than 60 percent of Yahoo! leagues to qualify. As an accountability advocate, results, whether genius or moronic, will post the following week using the scoring system listed here. Cyber-bullies, tweet the Noise your often violent rants here.
If Hollywood producers ever make a horror movie about murderous hillbillies (Possible title: “The Hillbillies Have Knives”), Stafford should be cast as the lead role. Seriously, with a pitchfork and scowl he could scare the bejesus out of the most unflappable moviegoer (See profile pic). Sidelined since Week 1 with a separated shoulder, the former top pick declared himself “good” after uncorking a 70-yard bomb in practice on Monday. Based on the friendly matchup, he just might slice and dice the competition. Outside last week’s clinic against Jay Cutler(notes), DeAngelo Hall(notes) and cohorts have struggled containing the pass. On the year, signal callers have averaged 306.4 passing yards and 1.4 touchdowns per game and totaled the second-most 20-yard pass plays versus the ‘Skins. Stafford may be a bit rusty after the extended layoff, but with Calvin Johnson(notes), Nate Burleson(notes) and Jahvid Best(notes) presumably at or near full strength post-bye he should notch top-10 numbers in his return, especially given Megatron’s 7-inch height advantage over Hall. Drink the moonshine.
Fearless Forecast: 23-38, 263 passing yards, 3 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 23 fantasy points
Plagued by a knee setback and general selfishness, Beanie has deceived investors banking on a breakout season. His 6.4 points per game output in standard formats ranks 45th among rushers, far behind prominent jersey sellers Danny Woodhead(notes), Derrick Ward(notes) and Christopher Ivory(notes). However, finally functioning at full capacity, he’s primed for every down work possibly this week and beyond. Ken Whisenhunt hinted Monday Tim Hightower’s(notes) severe bout of fumbilitis will not be tolerated. With Max Hall(notes) unseasoned and somewhat unhealthy, Wells will likely be the center of the Cards‘ game-plan against Tampa. His bruising style should compile large chunks of yards versus a soft-in-the-middle defense. Between the tackles the Bucs have allowed a hefty 5.7 yards per carry. Overall they’ve also yielded the fifth-most fantasy points to rushers. This is the week Beanie finally sheds the “weenie” label.
Fearless Forecast: 19 carries, 84 rushing yards, 1 reception, 7 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 15 fantasy points
For defenses, keeping up with the supposedly geriatric Jones has been quite a chore. On the season, the 32-year-old back has averaged a potent 4.7 yards per carry and 76.8 rushing yards per game, including consecutive 100-yard, 1-TD performances. Those hoping for a hostile takeover by Jamaal Charles(notes) will continue to wait. With his club setting the pace in the AFC West, Todd Haley is in no mood to change the current script. Stated in this space over and over again, the Bills are a disgraceful run defense. Rushers have tallied 4.8 yards per carry, 178.2 total yards per game and seven touchdowns to RBs this year equal to the third-most fantasy points allowed. After this week those who pray exclusively at the alter of the JC of KC will become polytheists. Clearly, there’s more than one rushing God wearing Chiefs red.
Fearless Forecast: 18 carries, 85 rushing yards, 1 reception, 4 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 14 fantasy points
From the wreckage, a solitary, faint Hart-beat can be heard in Indianapolis. The still widely available rusher, not Donald Brown(notes), could ignite a rushing attack clinging to life. Earning an extended look prior to the bye due to injuries to Joseph Addai(notes) and Donald Brown, Michigan’s all-time leading rusher performed admirably averaging a respectable 4.2 yards per carry on 22 totes. Now with the incumbent sidelined presumably for the next 4-5 weeks, Hart is the Colts rusher to own. Brown is superior athletically, but his mediocre interior running and Anthony Gonzalez(notes)-like durability are major slights. Hart’s tough, physical style is better suited for red zone and goal-line duties. Because of Houston’s shortcomings on pass defense, and Peyton Manning’s(notes) remarkable success against it (40 TDs in 17 career games), Hart could be presented with a scoring opportunity or two. The Texans have conceded 138.7 total yards per game and seven touchdowns to RBs this year equal to the 10th-most fantasy points. Brian Cushing’s(notes) shift to inside linebacker could help, but Houston is largely defenseless against Manning even minus key weapons. Slide Hart into the flex in deeper leagues.
Fearless Forecast: 15 carries, 65 rushing yards, 1 reception, 3 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 12 fantasy points
Mike Williams, Sea, WR (Noise Week 8 WR Rank: 18, 23-percent started)
Matchup: at Oak
This year’s shoo-in for Comeback Player of the Year will be one of the few individuals exposed to the Black Death who will actually live to tell about it. Over the past two weeks, the leaner and meaner Williams has finally tapped into his first-round potential, grabbing 21 receptions (31 targets) for 210 yards and a touchdown. Clearly the big winner from the Deion Branch(notes) trade, the preseason All-Mancrush selection remains one of fantasy’s best kept secrets. Most would argue a date with Nnamdi Asomugha(notes) could temporarily blacken the 26-year-old’s breakthrough campaign. Though his yardage totals may suffer, Williams will have opportunities to produce. Asomugha has exclusively shadowed WR1’s more often this year but not for a full 60 minutes. About a quarter of the time he’s dropped back into zone coverage allowing quarterbacks to seize the moment. Larry Fitzgerald(notes) and Michael Crabtree(notes) each reeled in touchdown strikes when such a scheme was employed. Expect Williams to do the same. Don’t be afraid of the matchup. The virtual game’s fastest rising star should again shine.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 72 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 13 fantasy points
Surprisingly, a tertiary contributor could be the difference in the battle for green superiority. With Donald Driver(notes) hobbled a week ago versus Minnesota, Jones turned in one of his finest efforts as a pro snagging four passes for 107 yards (eight targets). The fourth-year weapon, an excellent blend of size and speed, could again receive plentiful targets against a Jets defense bolstered by a fully healed Darrelle Revis(notes). The shutdown corner’s presence sticking Greg Jennings(notes) combined with Antonio Cromartie’s(notes) likely draw of Driver means Jones could square off against talented, but undersized rookie Kyle Wilson(notes). Expect the receiver to have the upper-hand. WR3’s have averaged 67.0 yards per game against New York this season. Combine that with the Jets’ propensity for surrendering explosive pass plays – they rank ninth in most 20-yard connections allowed – and the Packers’ long-bomb specialist could again detonate.
Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 66 receiving yards, 1 touchdowns, 12 fantasy points
Someone must have slipped hallucinogenic powder into Roy Williams’ Gatorade. Saying Tony Romo(notes) is “just as good” as Kitna is equivalent to comparing Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups to these revolting Halloween treats. But for one week only Big Roy’s talent assessment skills may actually be spot on. The well-traveled veteran has proven occasionally useful in previous stints with the ‘Hawks, Bengals and Lions. However, his affinity for holding onto the football and sailing passes are major downsides. If he doesn’t release quickly, he could get killed standing behind a rickety offensive line. Still, with nuclear weapons galore around him, he should prove viable against meek competition. Jacksonville is one such opponent. Quarterbacks of all shapes and sizes have burned the Jaguars often this season, tallying a ridiculous 8.9 yards per attempt. Jack Del Rio’s club has also conceded the most 20-yard pass plays and second-most fantasy points to signal callers. How Mr. Clean waxes the Jags won’t be pretty, but his end-game totals will undoubtedly sparkle. Confidently plug him in Matt Ryan(notes), Jay Cutler, Eli Manning(notes) and Joe Flacco(notes) owners.
Fearless Forecast: 23-39, 311 passing yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 interception, 26 fantasy points
Other potential Week 8 Flames: Carson Palmer(notes), Cin (vs. Mia), Ryan Fitzpatrick(notes), Buf (at KC), Donald Brown, Ind (vs. Hou), Derrick Ward, Hou (at Ind), LeGarrette Blount(notes), TB (at Ari), Blair White(notes), Ind (vs. Hou), Jabar Gaffney(notes), Den (at SF), Nate Burleson, Det (vs. Wash), Steve Johnson(notes), Buf (at KC), Patrick Crayton(notes), SD (vs. Ten), Mike Williams, TB (at Ari)
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