Week 4 Fantasy Flames: Ty one on, Taylor the ultimate solution for Big Ben backers

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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 4 Flames in the comments section below.

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Tyrod Taylor, Buf, QB (20 percent started, $37 in Yahoo Daily)
Matchup: vs. NYG
Not long in the past, Buffalo's collection of allegedly shoddy quarterbacks was worth approximately one Zimbabwean Dollar. No fantasy investor was willing to shell out a penny for any of them. However, thanks to Taylor's profitable start, many are now debating whether he's worth a weekly nod over high-priced options Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson or Peyton Manning. How quickly views can change. Through three weeks, the Bill has trampled the competition. He's tossed accurate darts (74.4 completion percentage), often deflected intense pressure, made plays with his legs, taken shots downfield (9.15 yards per attempt) and, most importantly for virtual game purposes, has routinely found the end zone. Against AFC foes Indy, New England and Miami he totaled 270 combined yards per game and tallied an 8:3 TD:INT split (1 rush TD), an output good enough for a top-five ranking at QB. We're indeed living in a Bizarro World. At this rate, Screech will soon seal the deal with Lisa Turtle. Tyrod's unpredictable run should continue this week against the visiting Giants. Thus far, New York has given up a 300-yard passer each week along with 7.39 pass yards per attempt. Digging deeper, Prince Amukamura has performed well ranking top-20 in pass coverage according to Pro Football Focus and Doiminique Rodgers-Cromartie should return from a one-week absence due to a concussion, but the secondary remains vulnerable. DRC, Jayron Hosley and Trumaine McBride have surrendered a combined 72.7 catch percentage. With or without Sammy Watkins, the Taylor windfall should continue. 

Fearless Forecast: 22-30, 249 pass yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 35 rushing yards, 0 turnovers, 21.5 fantasy points

Chris Ivory, NYJ, RB (39 percent started, $19)
Matchup: vs. Mia (London)
Though active Week 3 against the Eagles, Ivory served up believers with a string of donuts. And he didn't even garnish them with rainbow sprinkles. Many will have difficulties washing away the bitter taste, but the Jets rusher should get back to his tattooing ways across the pond. When on the the field this season, Ivory has been the mid-range RB2 some projected. Though replaced at times by Bilal Powell, he's levied the boom on early downs (64.8 YAC%), forced missed tackles on 20.6 percent of his attempts, operated as the primary goal-line option and, almost inexplicably, caught the occasional pass. Given the scorched-earth landscape at RB, he is a reliable 15-20 touch per game option in 12-team leagues, when healthy. The Dolphins defense, seemingly trapped in a fishing net, has drowned in misery, a completely unexpected outcome with Ndamukong Suh manning the trenches. They have allowed a modest 4.01 yards per carry to RBs, but, as Karlos Williams proved last week, this is a unit that can be humbled in a hurry. The Bills and Redskins (Week1) had much success on the ground against it. Pay close attention to Ivory's practice reports this week, but the extended layoff should do him wonders. In the Land of Lavishly Treated Welsh Corgis, New York's 'Ripper' shreds Miami. 

Fearless Forecast: 17 carries, 74 rushing yards, 1 receptions, 6 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 14.5 fantasy points


[Week 4 rankings: QuarterbackRunning BackReceiver | Flex | All Positions]


Giovani Bernard, Cin, RB (37 percent started, $22)
Matchup: vs. KC
For Jeremy Hill enthusiasts, the sky is indeed falling. Blame sophomore slumps. Blame the Super Blood Moon. Blame balding supposed fantasy 'gurus' who told he was a safe RB1. Whatever the reason, Hill is free-falling, a tailspin that's suddenly boosted the value of his overlooked compatriot. Right now, Bernard is the most trusted back in Cincy. And he should be. The third-year man from North Carolina has secured the ball, forced more missed tackles (15), been more effective in the pass game and, shockingly, has gained more yards after contact (55.7 YAC%) compared to Hill (51.7). Last week against Baltimore, he nearly doubled his teammate's snap count, seeing action 66.2 percent of the time. Unless Hill sniffs smelling salts, that script will remain unchanged this week against Kansas City, despite Hue Jackson's claim the LSU product continues to be the starter. Evidenced in Aaron Rodgers' 5-TD undressing of KC last Monday, its weakness is clearly defending the pass. With that in mind, it's highly likely Andy Dalton and friends move the ball at will vertically, possibly setting up Gio with several goal-to-go situations. Currently the more sure-handed and trusted option inside the red-zone Bernard should handle the rock near the pylons. Keep in mind, he has five more totes inside the 20 since Week 2 compared to Hill. Count on him as a top-20 RB. 

Fearless Forecast: 14 carries, 63 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 31 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 17.4 fantasy points

Michael Crabtree, Oak, WR (24 percent started, $19)
Matchup: at Chi
It seems as though Tim Brown is masquerading as Crabtree. It's the only reasonable explanation for why the very average receiver has exceeded expectations. In all seriousness, Derek Carr and Amari Cooper deserve major props. The rockin' AC/DC combination has gifted the former Niner with soft, single coverage, situations which he's used to his advantage. On a weighty 32 targets, equal to Brandon Marshall's looks, Crabtree has caught 18 passes for 184 yards and a touchdown. His subsequent 24.4 fantasy points ranks top-36 among WRs, firmly placing the Raider within the WR3 conversation on a week-in, week-out basis. This Sunday, however, he may jump a full tier. Putting it mildly, the Boo-Boo Bears of Chicago are once again an embarrassment defensively. They've surrendered the sixth-most fantasy points to WRs, including a TD hat-trick to Larry Fitzgerald in Week 2. Unbelievably, corners Sherrick McManis, Kyle Fuller and Alan Ball have allowed a 132.6 QB rating and 77.1 catch percentage to their assignments. What remarkable generosity. Similar to what he achieved Week 2 versus Baltimore, Crabtree has a reasonable shot at 100 yards and a score. Throw dollars at him, and any other Raider, all day long. 

Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 68 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 15.3 fantasy points

James Jones, GB, WR (55 percent started, $23)
Matchup: at SF
The veteran's resurrection has been nothing short of amazing. Arguably, THE surprise sensation of the early season, he's transformed from garbage to gold virtually overnight, regaining his top-20 form from 2012. Through three games, Jones and Rodgers have forged an unbreakable bond, particularly near the end zone. He's seen just 15 targets, but the receiver caught 12 of them for 219 yards and four touchdowns, the eighth-best line at WR. His current 64-1168-21 pace is Randy Moss-esque. At some point, he should regress to the mean, but don't anticipate a lapse in Week 4. The Niners' have mined nothing but fossilized dung thus far. Established quarterbacks have blitzed them repeatedly thus far. Ben Roethsliberger and Carson Palmer each compiled 300-plus yard, multi-TD performances against them, totaling an absurd 11.5 pass yards per attempt. Under the microscope, San Fran corners Tramine Brock and Kenneth Acker, who rank outside the top-70 in pass coverage according to Pro Football focus, have yielded a combined 71.4 catch percentage and 14.5 yards per catch. With Davante Adams a probable injury casualty (ankle) and attention focused on Randall Cobb, Jones' comeback story adds another page. 

Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 83 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 16.8 fantasy points

SHOCKER SPECIAL (Under 10 percent started)

Michael Vick, Pit, QB (4 percent started, $30)
Matchup: vs. Bal
The NFL might be the most environmentally conscious professional sports league around. Quarterbacks, previously thought to be washed up and un-renewable, are constantly recycled. Just look at Matt Schaub and Matt Cassel. How either still collects a check is beyond human comprehension. Vick, unlike the clumsy Matts, is a competent, roster worthy QB. Admittedly, the last time he was under center full time with the New York Jets, the veteran was a complete (expletive) show. In three starts, he completed just 58.4 percent of his attempts, tallied 155 combined yards per game and totaled three virtually meaningless touchdowns. At 35, he's no spring chicken and the short week to prepare is a concern, but he's an upside stopgap for ailing Ben Roethlisberger/Tony Romo owners and Tom Brady/Marcus Mariota zealots in the market for a useful one-week filler. Keep in mind, the Steelers offensive line currently rates No. 1 in pass-blocking per PFF, Vick can still scramble with the best of them and has arguably the best 1-2 punch in the league, Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell, to spoon feed. The matchup isn't too shabby either. More featherless Tweety Birds than fearsome Ravens, this year's Baltimore defense has been a pushover. Jimmy Smith and LaDarius Webb have surrendered 15.3 yards per catch to their assignments. As a unit, the AFC North foe has given up a healthy 7.45 pass yards per attempt and the second-most fantasy points to signal callers. Yes, #TequilaThursday is warranted for a reason. The quality of play on TNF typically encourages imbibing. But gut says Vick will be serviceable in a pinch, especially in Todd Haley's offense.

Fearless Forecast: 20-29, 222 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 1 interception, 32 rushing yards, 19.1 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?

Reader Record: 8-13

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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