Week 10 Fantasy Flames: Starks to have owners rolling in Green

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 Every Wednesday the Noise highlights 12-13 somewhat obscure, un-obvious names who he believes are destined to torch the competition. To qualify, each player must be started in fewer than 60 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Speaking as an accountability advocate, I will post results, whether genius or moronic, the following week using the scoring system shown here (Thresholds – QB: 18 fpts, RB: 13 fpts, WR: 11 fpts: TE: 10 fpts). If you're a member of TEAM HUEVOS, reveal your Week 10 Flames in the comments section below.

[Yahoo Daily Fantasy Football: First place wins $100K in our $500K contest for Week 10]

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Jay Cutler, Chi, QB (21 percent started, $28 in Yahoo Daily)
Matchup: at StL
Admittedly, Cutler owns a punchable face. Couple that with his wry smirks and slumping body language and it's understandable why he has a sullied reputation in real and fake football. But no matter what your view, it's hard to dispute his recent statistical persistence. Instead of Marlboros, Jay is "Smokin" defenses. Over his past five games, the gunslinger has eclipsed 21 fantasy points in Yahoo leagues each week, including his clutch 345-2-1 Monday night in San Diego. His 22.2 points per game average since Week 4 has outpaced the likes of Matt Ryan, Russell Wilson and arch-nemesis Aaron Rodgers. Chicago's ongoing defensive inefficiencies combined with a robust offensive line (9.6 sack percentage) and his increased comfort level within Adam Gase's aggressive vertical offense have maximized the passer's fantasy production. Compared to Week 9's generous matchup, Cutler's trip to St. Louis is a taller task. Enemy QBs are averaging an uneventful 6.79 yards per attempt and tossed five total touchdowns in eight games against the Rams. Surrendering just 13.7 fantasy points per game, they rank No. 2 in fantasy points allowed to the position. Despite StL's rigidity, this isn't a foolproof secondary. Starting corners Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Jonhnson together have given up a 68.6 catch percentage. He won't smash records, but for Philip Rivers, Andrew Luck and Ryan owners in need of a quality stand-in, Cutler shouldn't fizzle. 

Fearless Forecast: 25-39, 265 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 1 interception, 18 rushing yards, 19.4 fantasy points

James Starks, GB, RB (15 percent started, $18)
Matchup: vs. Det
The Big-Boned Manatee, Eddie Lacy, is floating on the surface, belly up. Bloated from excessive kelp consumption, the popular preseason top-5 pick has drowned in a river of disappointment. Enough with the tender ankle, or now groin, excuses. He's a plodding back with the elusiveness of a parked car, as evidenced in his precipitous drop-off in missed tackle percentage ('14: 20.2, '15: 10.8). With a full head of steam, he can still carry would-be tacklers, but he's a shell of his former self. Starks, who owns more bounce (57.1 YAC%, 14.1 MT%), explosiveness and versatility, is the Ryan Mathews of Green Bay, a runner who greatly deserves more reps. Finally, it seems, his opportunity is on the immediate horizon. Despite his tender groin, Lacy is expected to be active Sunday, but he's completely unreliable. Considering Green Bay receivers' deteriorating separation skills, it's only sensible for Starks to take on a larger role as rusher/receiver, particularly given his spectacular execution last week in Carolina (122 total yards, TD). The matchup is awfully appealing too. Detroit has given up 4.28 yards per carry, 149.7 total yards and 1.5 touchdowns per game to RBs this season, good for the third-most fantasy points allowed to the position. To alleviate the massive weight on Aaron Rodgers' shoulders and jumpstart the offense, Starks should be leaned on. A top-15 line isn't unreasonable. Do what's right, Mike McCarthy

Fearless Forecast: 15 carries, 67 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 20 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 16.2 fantasy points

Shane Vereen, NYG, RB (30 percent started, $18)
Matchup: vs. NE
Fantasy owners complaining about backfield situations in Denver, Philly or Green Bay shouldn't even bother attempting to decipher what's transpired in New York. Tom Coughlin's maddening four-man rotation is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma and cooked in a conundrum. Generally speaking, trying to read the tea leaves is a weekly exercise in futility. Though the revolving door continues to spin, Vereen's role is starting to come into focus. He's consistently registered between 23-28 snaps over the past four weeks totaling 10 touches in a game in two of those contests. Rashad Jennings, Andre Williams and Orleans Darkaw will remain involved, but this week's setup is ideal for the sticky-fingered back. Catch-up mode is always a strong possibility against the Patriots who are favored by seven this week per Sin City (54.5 over/under). As a result, it's no surprise RBs are averaging 5.6 receptions and 41.6 receiving yards per game against them. The motivational ploy facing his former employer also plays into his Week 10 upside. Splashing six in consecutive games, Vereen extends the streak and lands inside the RB top-20 once again. FLEX him with confidence. 

Fearless Forecast: 3 carries, 10 rushing yards, 6 receptions, 58 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 15.8 fantasy points

DeSean Jackson, Was, WR (44 percent started, $27)
Matchup: vs. NO
In his first game back since pulling up lame Week 1 D-Jax was greeted by New England's not so warm welcome committee. On a minuscule five targets he was limited to three receptions for 15 yards. Yippee skipee. But with a game under his belt and gifted an incredibly friendly opponent, Jackson should shake off the remaining rust. More Sinners than Saints defensively, New Orleans' secondary is a nonstop Mardi Gras party for all vertical weapons who line up against it. Since Week 4, no unit has surrendered more fantasy points to WRs than The Fleur dis lis. Over that stretch, opposing WRs have crossed the chalk 11 times. Delvin Breaux has performed brilliantly at times but teammate Brandon Browner has been funny bad, to put it mildly. His on-field "efforts" and locker-room tirades are cringe worthy. On the season, the heavily-flagged corner has conceded a 100.2 QB rating and 66.7 catch percentage. It's amazing Rob Ryan continues to trot him out there. Jackson, who still possesses elite speed, is sure to torch the opposition a time or three. Jay Gruden said earlier this week he wants to "see more balls flying [Jackson's] way." Bet on that happening Sunday. 

Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 79 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 15.9 fantasy points 

[Week 10 rankings: Quarterback | Running Back | Receiver | Tight End | Flex | All Positions]

Kamar Aiken, Bal, WR (8 percent started, $21)
Matchup: vs. Jax
No matter if it's a member of the Ravens dance squad, mascot "Poe" or that morbidly obese dude who proudly sports a Trent Dilfer jersey in Section 529, someone has to catch the ball in Baltimore. Though Chris Givens' volume is sure to rise, Aiken is the safest bet among Joe Flacco's WR battery to emerge in light of Steve Smith's season-ending Achilles injury. He's far from an extraordinary talent, but he's beared fantasy fruits at times this fall. He's surpassed 75 yards in a game three times and ventured into WR3 territory in 12-team formats on four occasions. Most impressively, he's caught 25 of 26 catchable balls. On approximately 8-10 targets, he's a top-30 option worth slotting in. Jacksonville is a sieve on the back end. In total, eight wideouts have achieved "Flame"-worthy numbers against the Jags. Pinpointing the blame, starting corners Davon House and Aaron Colvin have conceded four TDs and a 93.8 QB rating to their assignments. Primary backup Dwayne Gratz, deep-fried often this year, is significantly worse. Trust the matchup. Trust the anticipated workload. 

Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 70 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 15.5 fantasy points

SHOCKER SPECIAL (Under 10 percent started)

James White, NE, RB (2 percent started, $10)
Matchup: at NYG
Bill Belichick's mind is a dark place filled with plots, psychotic clown images and endless volumes of vague responses to tough reporter questions. Attempt to crack that nut and you're sure to walk away permanently scarred. Figuring out what the heck is going on in "The Leftovers" is probably an easier task. Still, White, who was inactive last week, could emerge the primary replacement for IR'ed pass-catcher Dion Lewis. Brandon Bolden slid into the role post-Lewis knee blowout last week, but, due to his special teams prowess, he was Belichick's only option at the time. White, an adept receiver who logged 43 snaps when Lewis was sidelined Week 7, is an upside FLEX option for the PPR masses. Though deployed sparingly this season, he's caught seven passes on 10 targets. Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman will continue be used as "run" extensions and LeGarrette Blount is locked into early-down/goal-line carries, but White is a sound bet for 9-12 touches per game moving forward. Yes, there are no guarantees given Belichick's treachery, but gut says the ex-Badger is the presumed next-man up. If that's the case, he's a FLEXY sexy asset in another bye-impacted week. On the year, the Giants have surrendered 6.1 receptions and nearly 50 receiving yards per game to RBs. Roll the dice if you need a stopgap. 

Fearless Forecast: 4 carries, 12 rushing yards, 5 receptions, 53 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 15.0 fantasy points



Each week one fortunate guest prognosticator will have a chance to silence the Noise. Following the rules stated above, participants are asked to submit their "Flames" (1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 1 D/ST) by midnight PT Tuesdays via Twitter @YahooNoise. How large are your stones?

Reader Record: 27-40

Want to bull rush Brad? Find him on Twitter. Also, check out the Yahoo! Fantasy and Rotoworld crew every Tuesday-Thursday on 'Fantasy Football Live' starting at 6:30 PM ET on NBC Sports Network (Find channel here). 

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