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 13 Flames in the comments section below.
Matthew Stafford, Det, QB (59 percent started)
Matchup: vs. Chi
Stafford is one stuffing-filled backside shy of being a certifiable turkey. The fantasy gobbler has once again fallen short of my mammoth expectations, rendering this bold preseason prediction a painful reminder of my general incompetence. Back in August, everything seemed to be coming into focus for the QB. Already blessed with arguably the league's best arsenal spearheaded by Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate and sporting refined mechanics, he was expected to pay monster dividends in a Joe Lombardi offense fashioned after the New Orleans Saints. Sadly, he's paid only cents on the dollar. His 16.1 fantasy points per game ranks No. 22 among signal-callers. His stunning imprecision (No. 22 in accuracy percentage) in a system predicated on high-percentage throws is downright baffling. Though he's on pace for another 600-plus attempts, it seems, no matter how ridiculous the volume, he will never return to the elite producer he was in 2011. Glancing at the numbers, he's essentially Derek Carr with two more rushing touchdowns. Yuck. Despite his terribly bland profile and eroding owner confidence, Stafford is someone to trust in Week 13. In four career Turkey Day showdowns, he's averaged 315 passing yards per game and totaled seven touchdowns. In this week's holiday classic, Chicago provides the perfect side dish. The Bears secondary, one of the most giving in the league, has surrendered 287.4 passing yards and 2.8 passing touchdowns per game since Week 4. Against an undersized Tim Jennings (5-foot-8), Stafford and Megatron play pitch and catch. Dig in.
Fearless Forecast: 26-41, 309 passing yards, 3 passing touchdowns, 1 interception, 7 rushing yards, 29.1 fantasy points
Latavius Murray, Oak, RB (3 percent started)
Matchup: at StL
A can of beer in an otherwise empty fridge, Murray was finally cracked open last week against Kansas City. For those who gambled on his services, the sophomore back went down smooth, very smooth. Based on his first carry and prior showing in San Diego (7-59-0), it was obvious to everyone the 6-foot-3, 225-pound athletic marvel with 4.38 40-yard wheels offered exponentially more upside than fossilized vets Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew. Though his night ended way too quickly, his decisiveness, open-field explosion and versatility were clearly on display. His 4-112-2 final line was the definition of efficient. Murray did suffer a nasty concussion, reportedly the first of his football-playing career, but the setback shouldn't derail him in St. Louis. After last week's showing, Tony Sparano would be bat-(expletive) crazy not to feed Murray the rock at least 15 times. Seriously, what do the Raiders have to play for? The Rams have defended the run well, conceding only 3.83 yards per carry to RBs. However, they were shoved around by a makeshift Chargers offensive line in Week 12, giving up over 100 yards to Ryan Mathews on just 12 carries. Yes, Oakland's line would probably find moving a futon difficult, but the kid's talents alone should land him inside the RB top-24.
Fearless Forecast: 15 carries, 78 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 18 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 18.6 fantasy points
Fred Jackson, Buf, RB (20 percent started)
Matchup: vs. Cle
After last week's relentless snowfall, I thought the entire Bills team would need Tauntauns to escape Buffalo. However, making it to Detroit safely, Jackson and cohorts took out their week-long frustrations, flattening the Jets from start to finish. The hardened veteran looked wooden on his 12 carries grinding his way to just 32 yards. However, he powered into the end zone for a 5-yard score and sweetened the deal for PPR zealots catching three passes for 13 yards. Still rounding into form after missing multiple games with a groin injury, he isn't quite back to full strength, meaning Boobie Dixon and Bryce Brown will remain heavily involved. Still, another 14-17 touches are in order for F-Jax this week. Cleveland, which has conceded 4.38 yards per carry, is an exploitable defense. In total, seven rushers have notched at least 13 fantasy points against the Browns. And many of those standout performances were with Phil Taylor, who is on IR with a knee injury, on the field. Presumably back at Ralph Wilson Stadium, the distinguished rusher is a strong bet to penetrate the RB2 class.
Fearless Forecast: 12 carries, 43 rushing yards, 5 receptions, 20 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 16.1 fantasy points
[Week 13 rankings: Quarterback | Running Back | Receiver | Tight End | Kicker | DST]
Malcom Floyd, SD, WR (17 percent started)
Matchup: at Bal
Next to Chris Bosh, there is no neck in professional sports longer than Floyd's. Ostriches find it intimidating. His outstretched head connector makes up a lengthy frame, one that's frequently given defenders fits this season. His 16.8 yards per catch is top-10 among qualified receivers. Ranked No. 38 in WR per game average, he's been rather hit or miss. However, this week's road clash with Baltimore presents a unique opportunity. The Ravens, without Jimmy Smith, have been clipped often downfield. No purple-clad corner ranks inside the top-80 in pass coverage according to Pro Football Focus. Overall, Baltimore has surrendered the third-most fantasy points to the position. It also ranks top-10 in most pass plays of 20-plus yards allowed. Provided San Diego's patchwork offensive line awards Philip Rivers ample time, Floyd should haul in a long bomb or three against LarDarius Webb and friends. His fifth "Flame" worthy effort of the season is on the horizon.
Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 71 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 16.1 fantasy points
Andrew Hawkins, Cle, WR (11 percent started)
Matchup: at Buf
Buttery mashed potatoes, fresh-baked biscuits, moist stuffing, velvety gravy -- most have an uncountable number of options at the dinner table on Thanksgiving Day. But one underrated turkey complement, the green bean casserole, shouldn't be overlooked. Neither should Hawkins. Like the delectable dish, the Browns wideout isn't one to pass over. Owned in just 37 percent of Yahoo leagues, he typically is. Touchdowns have been few and far between, but he's still on pace for a highly employable 80 receptions and 1,110 yards. Wide open on several occasions in Atlanta last week (Tally: 5-5-93-0), he should continue to benefit greatly from Josh Gordon's on-field presence. His precise routes, quick breaks and overall shiftiness underneath will hurt defenses. Gone are his days of 10-plus targets, but on roughly 6-8 looks per game he should inflict heavy damage, especially this week. Down Leodis McKelvin, the Bills' already vulnerable secondary is only weaker. It shined Monday in Detroit, but much of that was due to the Jets' nonexistent execution. Provided Mother Nature doesn't unleash hell again on Western New York between now and Sunday, bank on Baby Hawk soaring once again in PPR.
Fearless Forecast: 6 receptions, 89 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 13.5 fantasy points
SHOCKER SPECIAL (Under 10 percent started)
Donte Moncrief, Ind, WR (<1 percent started)
Matchup: vs. Was
Pour one out for Reggie Wayne. According to local reports, the future HOFer might be nearing the end of the road. The decorated wideout is clearly slowing down. At 36, his separation skills and overall reliability are fading. Last week against Jacksonville, for example, he grabbed just three passes (on nine targets) for 10 yards. Since Week 8, he's crossed the chalk only once and averaged a pedestrian four receptions and 44.2 yards per game. Yippee. Moncrief, who proved earlier this season in Pittsburgh he's capable of handling a sizable workload (12-7-112-1), is a star in the making. He hasn't made a deep impact like other first-year targets (e.g. Sammy Watkins, Kelvin Benjamin, Mike Evans, and Odell Beckham Jr.), but he certainly possesses the physical attributes, press-breaking strength and speed to develop into a high-end WR2, especially in Indy's VERY friendly system. Last week he saw action on 30-of-76 snaps, his highest yield since Week 8. Gifted a generous matchup vs. a Washington secondary that's allowed 13 "Flame" level wide receivers in 11 games, the rookie could supplant Wayne permanently as early as this week. Redskins starting corners David Amerson and Bashaud Breeland have given up a combined 68.9 catch rate and 108.1 QB rating. Deep leaguers looking for a home run at WR3 should seriously debate his services.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 64 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 16.2 fantasy points
BONUS WEEK 13 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?
— Michael Bloodworth (@mikebloodworth) November 25, 2014
Reader Record: 30-51, 37.0%
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). Additionally, tune into 'FFL' radio on Yahoo! Sports Radio Sundays at 9 AM ET.