Each week 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. If you're a member of TEAM HUEVOS, reveal your Week 10 Flames in the comments section below.
Carson Palmer, Ari, QB (34 percent started)
Matchup: vs. StL
True story. Several weeks ago while aimlessly walking the streets of Las Vegas, I popped into the Hard Rock Hotel's sportsbook to peruse Super Bowl odds. The usual suspects, Denver, Seattle and Green Bay were heavy favorites, unattractive options for individuals looking to score a windfall. However, one team, Arizona, listed at 42:1, caught my eye. Off a 10-win campaign and loaded with talent on both sides, I glanced at the number, briefly debated and promptly plopped down a crisp Andy Jackson on the Cards to take the whole enchilada. Ten weeks later, Arizona, largely due to Palmer's brilliant play, is the best team in the NFL at 7-1. Unreal. Despite losing Darnell Docket and Calais Campbell to injury, the "Red Storm" defense has lived up to its moniker. However, it's the offense, spearheaded by a 35-year-old QB whose season hung in the balance just weeks ago due to a painful nerve condition impacting his shoulder, that has the Desert Birds flying high. Head-scratchingly disrespected in fantasy circles, Palmer has tossed at least two touchdowns in every start. His 20.0 points per game output ranks No. 9, ahead of starting staples Philip Rivers, Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford. Under pressure just 33.3 percent of the time (down from 40.3 in '13), he's picked apart the opposition short and especially long. His 50.0 accuracy percentage on throws beyond 20 yards ranks No. 7 among QBs. The Rams, for the most part, have been abysmal in coverage. Four quarterbacks in their last seven contests have scored at least 20 fantasy points against them. Possibly down Janoris Jenkins another week, they remain ripe for the picking.
Fearless Forecast: 22-36, 272 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 3 rushing yards, 21.9 fantasy points
Jeremy Hill, Cin, RB (59 percent started)
Matchup: vs. Cle
Unleashed against the Jags, Hill shook off a brief knee injury and bulled his way to an eye-popping 154 rushing yards and a pair of scores on 24 carries. Reduced to a secondary role behind Gio Bernard, the youngster from LSU has only occasionally flashed the vision, versatility and brutalizing power that invoked many to spend a handsome draft pick on the kid back in August. But the promise he delivered on Sunday was all that and a bag of Doritos. Some will lower expectations for the rookie given the short week, but don't buy into their blindness. Because he was used only sparingly leading up to last week's coming out party, his legs are farm-to-table fresh. Most encouragingly, whispers out of the Queen City suggest Bernard's odds of returning are rather small. Another hefty workload could be in the offing for Hill. Good times. The Browns have packed little bite against the run. On the year, they've given up 4.62 yards per carry and 157.5 total yards per game to RBs. Overall, eight rushers have scored at least 13 fantasy points in the "Flames" format against them. Hill, likely sans Bernard, will add to his Mark Ingram-like midseason run.
Fearless Forecast: 21 carries, 106 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 9 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 19.0 fantasy points
Steven Jackson, Atl, RB (21 percent started)
Matchup: at TB
Jackson's existence might possibly predate the Egyptian pyramids. At 31 and with "a mere" 3,098 career touches to his name, he's an antique. No doubt, his advanced age has slowed him down. On a light 13.1 touches per game, the former rush king has managed just 3.63 yards per carry in eight games. Why then feature him on this list? It might sound cliche, but fantasy is entirely a game of matchups and Jackson is blessed with one of the finest in the land. Someone has stolen the Buccaneers' booty. A feared defense led by the likes of Warren Sapp and Simeon Rice roughly a decade ago, they've become a depressing ragtag bunch. To be fair, Tampa has surrendered a laudable 3.87 yards per carry to RBs, but routinely playing from behind, it's been swarmed under by persistent volume. Teams are netting nearly 27 rush attempts per game against the Bucs. Overall, they've allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to RBs. Jackson sloughed his way to 54 yards and a TD in the first clash back in Week 3. Fresh off a long bye, he bests that line in the follow-up. Consider him a back-end RB2 with upside, albeit marginal, in 12-team leagues.
Fearless Forecast: 15 carries, 62 rushing yards, 1 receptions, 5 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 13.4 fantasy points
Martavis Bryant, Pit, WR (32 percent started)
Matchup: vs. NYJ
Ben Roethlisberger's record-smashing 12 touchdown passes over the past two weeks must have Steelers zealot Snoop Dogg/Lion on the highest of highs. Oooo-eeee! One of the primary reasons for Big Ben's sudden eruption is unequivocally Bryant. Routinely inactive over the regular season's first half, the Clemson product has quickly developed into a TD tour de force. His five scores in his first three games has been duplicated by only Eric Green, another Steeler, in the NFL's 90-plus year history. His lanky 6-foot-4 frame and drag racer speed (4.42-yard dash) pose serious problems for defenders. The extra step he gains, in similar fashion as Cleveland's Josh Gordon, is downright deadly, particularly when working in conjunction with a terrific deep-ball quarterback. This week his scoring streak should continue against the funny bad Jets. Corners Antonio Allen and Darrin Walls continue to stake their claim as the worst coverage combo in the league. In total, they've surrendered 14.9 yards per catch and a 128.8 QB rating, rotten production which explains why they rank outside the top-70 in pass coverage among CBs according to Pro Football Focus. Bryant, now must-start material, is a viable WR2 in 10-team leagues.
Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 68 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 15.8 fantasy points
Davante Adams, GB, WR (5 percent started)
Matchup: vs. Chi
The forgotten man in a loaded Packers offense, Adams, yet another rookie WR making waves in his inaugural season, is rapidly gaining traction. His yardage contributions have been a bit erratic, but with a pair of touchdowns and two 75-plus yard games to his name over his past four, he’s offered borderline WR3 value in 12-team leagues. Most importantly, he's played on 84 percent of Green Bay's snaps during that span. With defenses exhausting resources to contain Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Eddie Lacy, the youngster should continue to benefit from single coverage, drawing the eye of Aaron Rodgers downfield. Down several key players on defense, the Bears are hardly ferocious. When not physically limited, Kyle Fuller has played exceptionally well. Tim Jennings, however, not so much (63.6 catch rate and 110.2 QB rating allowed). In a contest with plenty of shootout appeal (53 over/under in Vegas), Adams, who should clean up in the short field, is an employable WR3 in 12-team leagues.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 77 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 17.4 fantasy points
SHOCKER SPECIAL (Under 10 percent started)
Kenny Stills, NO, WR (5 percent started)
Matchup: vs. SF
Given his spread-it-around nature, when Drew Brees plays roulette he always places stacks on multiple numbers. However, based on his recent tendencies, he's opted to invest consistently and sometimes heavily in No. 84. Stills, a lost extra from the Mad Max films, has seen an uptick in targets of late. Over the past three weeks, he's garnered 17 looks from Brees, catching 14 balls for 232 yards and a touchdown. His subsequent No. 23 ranking among wide receivers during that span is certainly attention-grabbing. His effort this week could be too. San Fran's strength is clearly in the trenches, but it's far from restrictive on the back end. In total, 10 wideouts have scored at least 11 fantasy points in the "Flames" format against the Niners. Digging deeper, Perrish Cox has locked down yielding only a 48.9 catch rate to his assignments, but Chris Culliver and Jimmie Ward have given up a combined 110.4 QB rating. Back in the bayou, an environment where the New Orleans offense is typically unstoppable, Stills delivers a strong WR3 line.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 72 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 16.9 fantasy points
BONUS WEEK 10 FLAMES
#TEAMHUEVOS PICKS OF THE WEEK
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?
— K (@K_P_M) November 4, 2014
Reader Record: 22-38, 36.6%
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