Each week the Noise highlights 12 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 revamped scoring system shown here . If you're a member of TEAM HUEVOS, post your Week 12 Flames in the comments.
Vince Young, Phi, QB (Week 12 Noise QB Rank: 7, 14-percent started)
Matchup: vs. NE
Young's return to the starting lineup in nearly a year was at times rocky, other times spectacular. Admittedly jittery at the onset, he misjudged schemes, under-threw receivers and nailed Giants' jerseys square in the numbers. But once he found a groove and felt comfortable, vintage Vince resurfaced. In Tim Tebow fashion, he orchestrated a demoralizing 8-plus minute fourth-quarter drive, capped by an 8-yard TD strike to Riley Cooper, which sent Eli Manning and cohorts back to the locker-room with mopey faces. Overall, his 258-2-3 line was quite useful. This week, with Michael Vick still a major question mark, he could elevate his game against the league's second-friendliest pass defense. New England's secondary is tattered and torn. Injuries and ineffectiveness have battered the unit throughout the season. So desperate for fresh bodies, Bill Belichick deployed special teamer/WR Julian Edelman in a couple defensive packages Monday night. Even at full-strength quarterbacks have feasted on the Pats. Seven QBs have thrown for at least 250 yards and two touchdowns against them in 10 games. Sure, you wouldn't want the clicker in Mr. Wonderlic's hand in a Quiz Bowl competition, but versus a feeble defensive opponent he's a signal caller that could provide all the right answers, especially with Jeremy Maclin likely back.
Fearless Forecast: 24-38, 274 passing yards, 3 passing touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 14 rushing yards, 25.1 fantasy points
Kevin Smith, Det, RB (Week 12 Noise RB Rank: 16, 19-percent started)
Matchup: vs. GB
Running with the determination of a soccer mom hot after a FurrReal feline on Black Friday, "Silent Bob" made plenty of noise in his 201 total-yard, 3-TD shellacking of the Carolina Pansies, undeniably one of the greatest out-of-nowhere fantasy performances ever. Post-game Smith, like the one-percent of fantasy owners who had the HUEVOS to start him, was awestruck by what he accomplished. For a ground game which had struggled to establish consistency earlier this year, his stellar effort was just what the doctor ordered. On Turkey Thursday, don't be surprised if the slicing and dicing continues. As LeGarrette Blount showed last week, Green Bay has rarely stuffed the run this season. Over its past five games, the Pack has yielded 5.5 yards per carry, 131 total yards and four touchdowns to RBs. The still only 24-year-old Smith, displayed remarkable vision, versatility and surprising power last week. Incredibly, 84 of his 140 rushing yards were racked after contact. Given his fresh legs, prominent role within the offense and Green Bay's struggles in the trenches, he should be counted on for at least midlevel RB2 numbers in what should be a shootout. Only three weeks ago, Smith was watching football in his barcalounger. Now, he's in a prime position to carve up the NFL's only unblemished team in arguably the Motor City's biggest Thanksgiving tussle in decades.
Fearless Forecast: 15 carries, 76 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 26 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 19.2 fantasy points
Jonathan Stewart, Car, RB (Week 12 Noise RB Rank: 19, 34-percent started)
Matchup: at Ind
Alongside Michael Bush and Ben Tate, Stewart is a back who deserves an every-down, every-week gig. On the season, the grossly underused rusher has averaged a mere 11.6 touches per game. No longer just a power complement to DeAngelo Williams, the sidekick has become an indispensable check-down option for Cam Newton. Over his first three seasons in the league, he hauled in just 34 catches. In 2011, he's already grabbed 33. This week, his combination of power and versatility should prove problematic for the My Little Ponies. In terms of yielding fantasy points to running backs, Indy is a giver. On the year, it's conceded a staggering 178.6 total yards and 1.1 touchdowns per game to rushers equal to the third-most fantasy points allowed. Because the Colts offense is a heaping pile of suck, blowout potential in this contest is great. If Carolina does indeed build an insurmountable early lead, Stewart, D-Will and the ghost of Fred Lane, have terrific odds of racking RB2-level numbers. Yes, the Cam poach factor is a deterrent, but Stew Beef should garner at least 14-16 touches, a workload that could do serious damage against the Colts' D.
Fearless Forecast: 14 carries, 66 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 25 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 18.1 fantasy points
Vincent Brown, SD, WR (Week 12 Noise WR Rank: 25, 13-percent started)
Matchup: vs. Den
Ballyhooed rookies A.J. Green and Julio Jones, as expected, have met or, in the case of the Bengal, exceeded preseason expectations. Though his overall numbers pale in comparison, the less-publicized Brown is making a strong case to earn the rookie WR bronze. With Malcom Floyd sidelined by a hip injury, the homegrown product, who was a standout at Marshall Faulk-U (San Diego St.), has stepped in and showed up. Over the past three weeks, Philip Rivers has targeted him 19 times, connecting on 10 of those attempts for 184 yards and a touchdown. His subsequent 8.1 per game output in standard leagues checks in at No. 29 among WRs during that stretch, and that includes last week's 1-8-0 dud in Chicago. Likely to draw corner Andre' Goodman, who ranks 77th in coverage according to Pro Football Focus (58.3 catch percentage-allowed), Brown and his "very natural instincts" and "good abilities," as Norv Turner describes them, will likely be showcased. Based on his matchup, Denver's suffocating play against the run and the Chargers' inefficiencies on defense suggest Rivers will turn to the air early and often. Brown goes to town in Week 12.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 72 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 16.9 fantasy points
Jermaine Gresham, Cin, TE (Week 12 Noise TE Rank: 10, 21-percent started)
Matchup: at Cle
Gresham, standing at 6-foot-5, 261-pounds and blessed with bruising power and 4.7 40-yard speed, is an athletic version of Shrek. As Ravens strong safety Benard Pollard said last week, he's an offensive threat who can practically do it all. Despite his intimidating prowess and excellent on-field production – he currently ranks 10th in per game output among tight ends – many in the fantasy community have continued to give him the Heisman, indicative in his low start percentage. Mark my words, those who don't trust the Bengal this week will sorely regret it. Outside Joe Haden, Cleveland's pass defense is exploitable, especially for tight ends. Six plus-sized targets, including little used Marcedes Lewis last week, have scored double-digits in the Flames format against the Browns. Call it the Anti-Haden Effect. With A.J. Green expected to be in uniform, and likely to draw the Cleveland corner to his side, Gresham should wreak havoc across the middle. Recall in the first Buckeye Battle Week 1, he grabbed six balls for 58 yards and a touchdown. Expect the encore to be equally fruitful.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 55 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 15.3 fantasy points
Jake Locker, Ten, QB (Week 12 Noise QB Rank: 15, 1-percent started)
Matchup: vs. TB
What exactly is in Jake's Locker? For starters, he's an exceptional leader who teammates gravitate toward. He also possesses a cannon arm. And, similar to fellow rookie Christian Ponder, he's very mobile, a true dual-threat. Replacing Matt Hasselbeck in the second-half last week in Atlanta, the Washington standout was superb throwing for 104 yards and two touchdowns, an impromptu performance Nate Washington called "awesome." If the veteran's sprained throwing elbow, an injury Mike Munchak calls "day-to-day," keeps him on the sidelines, Locker could get an opportunity to show-off his wares against one of the league's softest defenses, Tampa. The Bucs have allowed a league-worst 8.5 yards per attempt. More importantly, eight quarterbacks, including the likes of Curtis Painter and Alex Smith, have tallied at least 20 points in a game against them. Yes, occasional recklessness and poor accuracy are not Locker's finer attributes, but his competitive zeal, versatility and Howitzer arm are enough for him to shock the fantasy world, especially versus a meek opponent. Deep leaguers, the rookie could be Week 12's version of Kevin Smith.
Fearless Forecast: 17-33, 243 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 28 rushing yards, 20.9 fantasy points
BONUS WEEK 12 FLAMES
Image courtesy of the AP