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.
We’re in utter shock Ryan Reynolds and not the world’s greatest neckbeard fashioner was named People’s Sexiest Man Alive. With a per week average second only to Philip Rivers(notes), spurred by five multi-TD and 300-yard games, he’s one delicious piece of fantasy man-candy (Mandy perhaps?). Despite our infatuation with the former Chicago party boy, he is untrustworthy this week against an underappreciated San Diego defense. On the season, the Bolts have electrocuted QBs, conceding just 6.5 yards per attempt, 203.1 yards per game and eight touchdowns equal to second-fewest fantasy points. Vince Young(notes) is the only signal caller to throw for multiple scores against them. Orton has benefited from terrific frontline protection, but against a recharged D fresh off the bye, he could get badgered often in the pocket. Shaun Phillips(notes) and friends have tallied 27 sacks this season, the second-most in the league. Also, the Chargers have given up few explosive pass plays ranking second in fewest 40-yard pass plays allowed. Handcuffing Brandon Lloyd(notes) won’t be that tall of a task. Except for those in deeper formats, saddle someone else.
Fearless Forecast: 20-34, 236 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception, 14 fantasy points
Goodness, gracious, owners who start The Burner this week better have “Great Balls of Fire.” The Rams, once a laughable run defense, have improved by leaps and bounds this season. Excelling in gap responsibility and control, they’ve surrendered a lowly 117.8 total yards per game and four scores to backs equal to the ninth-fewest fantasy points. Most impressively, 38.4-percent of RB runs against them have resulted in zero or negative yards, the third-best mark in the league. At home, St. Louis is very unwelcoming. No rusher has exited the Edward Jones Dome with 70 or more rushing yards this year. The Falcons are a very balanced offense known for keeping defenses off-kilter. But, as seen versus Baltimore in Week 10, they will abandon the run if necessary. Considering the Rams’ success against North-South runners, Turner’s style doesn’t match up favorably. Containing Jason Snelling’s(notes) multiplicities will be a more difficult assignment. Spags’ bunch has yielded 5.8 receptions per game to RBs, the seventh-most in the league. Extinguish The Burner in shallow formats.
Fearless Forecast: 21 carries, 83 rushing yards, 1 receptions, 3 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 8 fantasy points
If there was ever a week Run DMC were to trip over his phat Adidas laces, this is it. The former first-rounder’s transformation this season has been nothing short of remarkable. No longer apprehensive tap-dancing behind the line, McFadden is attacking opponents more vigorously and, as he noted, has become more elusive on the second level. His increased aggressiveness has led to extraordinary results. With seven straight 100-plus total yard performances, he’s second only to demigod Arian Foster(notes) in points per game among RBs. Pittsburgh is a bruised defense. Troy Polamalu(notes) and cohorts are battling various physical ailments. But this still one of the league’s most suffocating units, particularly against the run. The Steelers have surrendered just 2.9 yards per carry, 95.4 total yards per game and three TDs to RBs this year. BenJarvus Green-Ellis(notes) “gashed” them for a season-high 89 yards last week. It won’t happen two weeks in a row, especially at home. Keep McFadden active in PPR formats, but owners in standard leagues with a suitable crutch should strongly consider the alternative.
Fearless Forecast: 18 carries, 68 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 21 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 8 fantasy points
Even with an enticing matchup, Benson’s odds of exceeding the century mark are equal to Chad Ochocinco’s engagement surviving the season. The Bengals’ offensive line, now minus Andre Smith(notes), has struggled mightily creating running lanes for the plodding rusher. Fantasy’s 22nd-best RB has averaged a pedestrian 3.6 yards per carry and 80.8 total yards per game. Increased reliance on Terrell Owens(notes), Ochowhino and Jermaine Gresham(notes), especially inside the red zone, has drowned Benson’s overall value. He’s truly become the Matt Forte(notes) of the AFC, sans the receptions. His horrific 51 total yards last week against one of the league’s softest defensive fronts, Indianapolis, is a prime example of his futility. Don’t expect a miraculous turnaround. Yes, the Bills are exploitable in the trenches. They’ve surrendered 4.6 yards per carry, 178 total yards per game and eight scores to RBs this season. But Cincy’s emphasis on the pass and continued run-blocking issues suggest another letdown is in store for Benson. An undisclosed foot injury, which cost him practice time Wednesday, only increases the likelihood. Ced’s dead, baby. Ced’s dead.
Fearless Forecast: 16 carries, 62 rushing yards, 3 reception, 11 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 7 fantasy points
In almost all phases of the game, Carolina would get owned by most UFL teams. It truly is a franchise in complete disarray. However, similar to last year, the club’s lone silver lining remains its secondary. Only one receiver, Mario Manningham(notes) back in Week 1, has reached 80-yards against Chris Gamble(notes) and company this year. They’ve also conceded just seven touchdowns to wideouts and an outstanding 6.4 yards per pass attempt. Boldin likely won’t be the second. This game screams early blowout. With third-stringer Tony Pike(notes) behind center for the Panthers, the Ravens defense could feast. Unless Carolina, miraculously, is competitive, Ray Rice(notes) and Willis McGahee(notes) will likely shoulder the offensive workload. When passing opportunities inside the red zone are presented, resurgent tight end Todd Heap(notes), not Boldin, may become Joe Flacco’s(notes) weapon of choice. The Panthers have allowed the third-most fantasy points to TEs this year. A disappearing act similar to Week 9 (2-28-0 vs Mia) could be forthcoming for the WR1.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 46 receiving yards, 0 touchdown, 4 fantasy points
The Bengals’ bracket scheme will be Kryptonite to Captain Consistent. Not even the power of the mohawk will be able to stop it. Johnson has been a revelation in his third season. Chan Gailey’s yards-consuming spread offense and Ryan Fitzpatrick’s(notes) confidence in him are the primary reasons for his ascension. Averaging a stout 10.6 fantasy points per week in standard formats, he ranks alongside Boldin and ahead of notable names Reggie Wayne(notes), Greg Jennings(notes) and Miles Austin(notes) in overall value. Most would predict Johnson, coming off a disappointing three receptions for 37 yards against Detroit, won’t post consecutive duds. However, Jonathan Joseph and Leon Hall(notes) have defended the intermediate field, an area where the receiver typically operates, extremely well. Only three wideouts have tallied 70-yards or more against the Bengals this season. Because of the Buffalo’s defensive inefficiencies, racking points in garbage time is always a possibility, but, on paper, starting Johnson this week is a risky proposition.
Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 41 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 4 fantasy points
Possible WR Alternatives: Nate Washington(notes) (vs. Was), Danny Woodhead(notes) (vs. Ind), Mohamed Massaquoi(notes) (at Jac), Mike Thomas(notes) (vs. Cle), Danny Amendola(notes) (vs. Atl), Santonio Holmes(notes) (vs. Hou)
Other potential Week 11 Lames: Tom Brady(notes) (vs. Ind), Matt Ryan(notes) (at StL), Joe Flacco (at Car), Matt Schaub(notes) (at NYJ), Knowshon Moreno(notes) (at SD), LeGarrette Blount(notes) (vs. SF), Matt Forte (at Mia), Jahvid Best(notes) (at Dal), Ronnie Brown(notes) (vs. Chi), Andre Johnson(notes) (at NYJ), Brandon Marshall(notes) (vs. Chi), Larry Fitzgerald(notes) (at KC), Santana Moss(notes) (at Ten), Wes Welker(notes) (vs. Ind), Hines Ward(notes) (vs. Oak)
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