Each week the Noise highlights six unobvious names who he believes are destined to morph into human torpedos. For those playing the Lames home edition, each player must be started in at least 50 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, feel free to tweet your hindsight jabs here.
Goldilocks won’t devour bowls of porridge this week in Pittsburgh. Brady supporters have clung to the side of the Stetson-smelling quarterback through thick and thin. Occasionally, he’s rewarded their dedication with a top-10 performance or two, but, for the most part, investors have been forced to absorb mundane efforts. Since Randy Moss’(notes) departure, he’s eclipsed 250 passing yards (Week 6 vs. Bal) and thrown for multiple scores in a game (Week 9 at Cle) once. Owners who continue to trot Brady out on Sundays need to come to the realization he’s in the same QB class as David Garrard(notes), Josh Freeman(notes) and Donovan McNabb(notes), a matchup-only play. This week the Brady bus of statistical mediocrity refuels in Pittsburgh. Over the past five weeks, the once invincible Steelers D has been exposed, surrendering 269.4 passing yards and 1.4 air scores per game. Vulnerable in the short-to-intermediate field, they’ve been nickel-and-dimed to death. It may seem like the ideal scenario for Brady, but without much of a running game and explosive downfield weapons, the Steelers will likely tighten the screws defensively on the perimeter. Throw in a sprained foot, and the decorated passer is only useable in deeper formats. Smell the coffee.
Fearless Forecast: 20-37, 234 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception, 14 fantasy points
This week, LT stands for “Light Total.” According to sources close to Jason LaCanfora, the Jets appear to be slowly phasing out Tomlinson’s role as the primary rusher. Based on his string of vanilla performances over the past three weeks, a stretch in which he’s averaged just 3.5 yards per carry and 82.3 total yards per game, the more effective Shonn Greene(notes) (5.0 ypc since Week 4) deserves a promotion. The future HOFer will still see plenty of work on third downs, but roughly 12-15 touches per game will likely become the norm, potentially crippling his value in non-PPR formats. Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has done a masterful job revamping a defensive line that ranked 28th against the run a year ago. This season, Cleveland has yielded just one rushing touchdown and limited backs to only 4.0 yards per carry. Yes, the Jets boast arguably the league’s best offensive line, but the Browns have allowed only one RB, Michael Turner(notes) in Week 5, to surpass 90 rushing yards. This week the geriatric back shows his age.
Fearless Forecast: 12 carries, 46 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 24 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 7 fantasy points
Steven Jackson, StL, RB (Noise Week 10 RB Rank: 18, 60-percent started)
Matchup: at SF
Let’s be frank about Jackson. He’s an absolute warrior. If the Spartans employed him at the Battle of Thermopylae, “300” would have had a much happier ending. Despite his toughness, favorable workload and consistent double-digit fantasy performances, every once in a while he’s shutdown. Week 10 could be one such instance. Fresh off the bye, the 49ers are determined to conquer the NFL’s worst division, as most predicted preseason. San Francisco’s defensive strength is clearly in the trenches. On the year, the Gold Panners have allowed a mere 3.4 yards per carry, 129.5 total yards per game and three touchdowns to RBs equal to the eighth-fewest fantasy points. No rusher has reached the century mark against them. Jackson, who’s tallied only 3.9 yards per tote, likely won’t be the first. Because of his prominent role as a dump-off receiver, the Clydesdale is unbenchable in PPR leagues. But in standard, TD-heavy formats, he could sag. Patrick Willis(notes) has his number.
Fearless Forecast: 22 carries, 73 receiving yards, 5 receptions, 22 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 9 fantasy points
To quote Beck, Forte’s effort against the resurgent Vikings will be equivalent to “voices of evil in a Bozo nightmare.” Yep, the Bears rusher will be a certifiable “Loser.” On the surface, what Forte has achieved fantasy-wise is truly remarkable. Despite averaging only 3.8 yards per carry and 16.6 touches per game, sporadic outbursts have skewed his perceived worth. Netting 13.5 points per week in standard formats, he currently ranks No. 12 among RBs, one spot ahead of The Burner. Still, this is a Bears offensive line that can’t create a hole for a cockroach. The Williams Wall has shown signs of cracking, but the Vikes have conceded just 3.8 yards per carry and 127 total yards per game to tugboats. Forte has racked large chunks of yards running off left tackle (8.2 ypc), an area where the Vikings are exploitable. If Mike Martz chooses to run to that side, the volatile rusher could post decent numbers. However, last week’s lame effort against the Bills (17 touches, 61 yards, 0 TDs) doesn’t instill much confidence. Plus, Chester Taylor(notes) will continue to wrest away goal-line touches. Be bearish.
Fearless Forecast: 13 carries, 44 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 25 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 6 fantasy points
Loyal citizens of Fantasyland who support the Capital of Texas this week will be taxed … heavily. A certain 38-year-old quarterback with a penchant for turnovers and sacks who operates behind a rickety offensive line will again hinder Austin’s fantasy contributions. Against the Giants, an aggressive defense which ranks fourth in the league in sacks, Jon Kitna(notes) simply won’t have the time to launch passes downfield, similar to what unfolded last week at Lambeau. The Packers pressured the pocket with much success, limiting the talented wideout to two catches for 16 yards without a touchdown. Even when the Giants have called off the dogs, the secondary has performed well. On the year, only four wideouts have recorded 70-yards or more in a game against corners Corey Webster(notes) and Terrell Thomas(notes). In an apocalyptic season for the ‘Boys, another asteroid hits the ground. Austin really should revisit Dr. Kardashian’s clinic of curves to find solace.
Fearless Forecast: 3 receptions, 26 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 2 fantasy points
Too often this season, Marshall has brought NERF pistols, not Colt revolvers, to the gunfight. Yes, in PPR formats he’s remained quite productive. He’s currently on pace for 104 receptions and 1,236 yards. However, with only one touchdown on the season, the popular second-round pick has disappointed greatly in standard leagues. For conventional players, expect another bland effort. Miami has become the dysfunction junction of the South. Players on both sides of the ball, some apparently well-versed in feminine history, have outwardly voiced their frustration. Marshall has also expressed his displeasure. He should. Offensive coordinator Dan Henning could get out-coached by a 10-year-old in Madden. The changing of the Chads is a smart team move, but it won’t necessarily rectify Marshall’s value. Pennington is an intelligent, accurate passer with a noodle arm. Historically, downfield attempts have been an adventure. In order to find the end-zone, Marshall will have to do it on his own. Because of the QB’s shortcomings and given the matchup, another uneventful tally (non-PPR) should be expected. Keep in mind No. 1 targets have averaged 63 yards per game and totaled only one touchdown against Cortland Finnegan(notes) this year.
Fearless Forecast: 7 receptions, 64 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 6 fantasy points
Possible WR Alternatives: Mike Sims-Walker(notes), (vs. Hou), Derrick Mason (at Atl), Mike Williams, Sea (at Ari), Nate Washington(notes) (at Mia), Mike Thomas(notes) (vs. Hou), Steve Johnson(notes) (vs. Det)
Other potential Week 10 Lames: Brett Favre(notes) (at Chi), Matt Ryan(notes) (vs. Bal), Knowshon Moreno(notes) (vs. KC), Ryan Torain(notes) (vs. Phi), Mike Williams, TB (at Car), Chad Ochocinco(notes) (vs. Ind), Steve Smith, Car (at TB)
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