Week 2 Flames: Don’t drop the ball, start Edelman

Roto Arcade

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 2 Flames in the comments section below.

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Jay Cutler, Chi, QB (6-percent started)
Matchup: vs. Min
In his 2013 debut, His Smugness looked like a brand new man in Marc Trestman's high-flying offense. Against a rock solid Cincinnati defense, he released the ball quickly, spread the wealth and, get this, wasn't sacked once, a development that surely delighted Bears fans. His 21.7 fantasy point day wasn't earth-shattering. It ranked No. 19 among Week 1 passers. Still it was certainly encouraging. This week, Cutler, hosting a Vikings defense dismantled by Matthew Stafford and the Lions last week, could achieve a statistical scorgasm. Corners Chris Cook, Josh Robinson and Xavier Rhodes yielded a combined 111.4 QB rating and 68.7 catch rate, burned repeatedly by their assignments. The trio, again dealing with one of the league's better receiving corps, could have skin that resembles the color of their uniforms from the bruises inflicted by Cutler and company. Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and especially Matt Forte, who could do his best Reggie Bush impersonation, will be a handful. If you're an unconfident Tony Romo owner, throw the Bear a bone.

Fearless Forecast: 22-34, 275 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 8 rushing yards, 22.5 fantasy points

Ryan Mathews, SD, RB (39-percent)
Matchup: at Phi
It's no secret, Mathews and I have an open relationship. We're devoted to one another long-term, but feel it's not necessary to focus the man-love solely on one person. But when he flashes glimpses of his former 2011 self, as he did against Houston early on Monday night, it's difficult for me not to want to see him exclusively. Off a strong preseason, Mathews regained some face among prospective investors. Running behind an improved offensive line, his displayed vintage burst and strength between-the-tackles. Though he looked good on the Chargers opening drive Monday against Houston, his rest-of-game play left a lot to be desired. Again replaced by Ronnie Brown in no-huddle packages, he saw only 20 snaps (Brown 25). Apparently Nonsense Norv's specter has possessed the mind of Mike McCoy. Rumblings out of camp suggested a committee, but earning only 15 touches in a game the Chargers led three-plus quarters is a bit baffling. Even if he tallies a similar workload this week, Mathews should be deployed as a RB2 in 12-team leagues. Philly's defensive front greatly exceeded expectations against the 'Skins. Alfred Morris totaled just 3.8 yards per carry on 12 totes. Still, I have reservations the Eagles will continue to control the line of scrimmage. And it's very likely McCoy will emphasize the ground game to prevent his defense from getting gassed. Charger up.

Fearless Forecast: 17 carries, 68 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 10 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 15.3 fantasy points

Lamar Miller, Mia, RB (52-percent)
Matchup: at Ind
Ten lousy carries for three yards. For the un-mathletic that calculates to an All-Pro-worthy 0.3 yards per carry. Depressingly, that's what Miller, a much hyped sleeper by yours truly, managed against a better-than-advertised Browns front. What the bloody hell?! Many over-reactive owners are already jumping ship on the once buzzy rusher. When prompted, naysayers will yell Daniel Thomas, who played only four fewer snaps than Miller Week 1, isn't going anywhere and the 'Fins offensive line, which ranked dead last in run-blocking last week, sorely misses four-time Pro Bowler Jake Long. Though they do have a point, it's only a matter of time before Miller asserts himself as Miami's go-to back. His cut-back ability, open-field speed and versatility are far superior. When the ball is in his hands, Thomas resembles a fat penguin. He's slow to the line, straight-forward and generally awful. Darren McFadden tallied a mere 2.8 yards per carry against the Colts last week, but the Raiders O-line will soon prove it's much worse than Miami's. And come year's end, Indy's flexible front will likely rank as one of the league's most generous versus RBs. To keep pace with New England, Joe Philbin must establish Miller. That doesn't happen soon and Brent Musburger opens up for Eminem on his next tour.

Fearless Forecast: 15 carries, 64 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 17 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 16.3 fantasy points

Julian Edelman, NE, WR (26-percent)
Matchup: vs. NYJ
No Gronk? Check. Danny Amendola already down and out? You don't say. Shane Vereen dinged? Sadly. Zach Dudfeld Sudfeld and Kenbrell Thompkins still finding their way on the field? Hello Julian. Edelman, the least discussed Patriots target during the preseason, has officially entered must-start territory. Positively radiant last week against the Bills, the fifth-year vet was a surprising favorite of Tom Brady's near the goal-line. On nine targets, he finished with seven receptions, 79 yards and two touchdowns, equal to a top-seven Week 1 performance among WRs. With Amendola and Gronk inactive, the slippery underneath weapon will be heavily utilized. Thompkins, too, should net another notable workload (14 TGTs last week), but because he'll likely draw Antonio Cromartie, Brady will turn to the veteran. With rookies on the outside (Aaron Dobson is expected to play), Rex Ryan will certainly game-plan for Edelman underneath, possibly shadowing him with an extra safety. Still, the crafty receiver will be shifted around to create mismatches. Recall last week, he worked out of the slot only 31.4-percent of the time.  If he draws inexperienced corner Dee Milliner, who surrendered 16.3 yards per catch last week against the Bucs, on the wing he is sure to win many battles. Expect double-digit targets and plenty of PPR goodness en route to a top-15 fantasy day.

Fearless Forecast: 8 receptions, 79 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 19.9 fantasy points

Michael Floyd, Ari, WR (14-percent)
Matchup: vs. Det
Watch the replay of Floyd's ridiculous one-handed grab last week against the Rams and you can see why he was a staple on draft day sleeper lists. No doubt, the 44-yard haul was the highlight of the week. Additional jaw-dropping plays are in Floyd's immediate future. Pass-happy coach Bruce Arians will likely dial up the long-distance plays this week against Detroit. The Lions secondary, a perpetual weakness, surrendered an unhealthy 8.4 yards per attempt to Christian Ponder. That's right, an 8.4 YPA to the middle man on the QB centipede (Blaine Gabbert is the unfortunate caboose). Corner Darius Slay was used and abused by Ponder and Jerome Simpson on numerous explosive pass plays, giving up a whopping 18.8 yards per catch. A more dangerous downfield threat compared to the egg-headed Viking, Floyd will feast when gifted single coverage. Coming off a sensational training camp, preseason and 6-4-82-0 effort in St. Louis, the Notre Dame product should take another step forward in what will be a breakout season. Activate him.

Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 88 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 17.8 fantasy points

SHOCKER SPECIAL (Under 10-percent started)

Brandon Bolden, NE, RB (0-percent)
Matchup: vs. NYJ
When the Vereen bombshell detonated in Fantasyland Monday, Ridley zealots immediately rejoiced. To them, their prized No. 2 pick, benched for a costly fumble against Buffalo, is destined to recapture the lead role. But they shouldn't automatically assume that will be the case. This is Bill Beelzechick after all, a sinister, indecipherable coach who could give two (expletive) what the fantasy populace believes he should do. Unlike Tom Coughlin in New York, the Hoodie has options at RB. LeGarrette Blount, though sluggish against the Bills, is a proven NFL commodity and little Leon Washington, even at 31, remains a reliable receiver out of the backfield. However, it's Bolden who could carry the flag for New England's newly formed committee, provided his knee ailment doesn't limit him. He did struggle with ball security in preseason play, but he didn't cough up the pill once on 67 touches last year as a rookie and averaged a laudable 4.9 yards per carry. Unlike the stone-handed Blount, he's also an adept pass-catcher. When presented with goal-line opportunities this week against the Jets, Bolden, not The Riddler, could net those opportunities. Deep leaguers seeking an upside FLEX play should entertain the passed over RB's services.

Fearless Forecast: 13 carries, 55 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 13 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 15.1 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?

Week 1 Reader Record: 1-5

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