Week 5 Fantasy Flames: Ram it! Gurley is about to become the stuff of legend

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 5 Flames in the comments section below.

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Marcus Mariota, Ten, QB (12 percent started, $32 in Yahoo Daily)

Matchup: vs. Buf
At the beginning of the year, most believed Mariota, a talented yet unpolished rookie with limited weapons, was bound to resemble the low-quality, polysorbate-ridden sandwiches he pitches. However, the youngster has been a scrumptious alternative to those who've dealt with hard-to-swallow injuries and Andrew Luck (Don't get me started). In three starts, he's tallied the fifth-best line at the position, totaling 277.7 passing yards per game and an 8:2 TD:INT split. Most surprisingly, the nimble-footed QB has remained pocket tied totaling just 25 rushing yards in three games. This week, it's unlikely he'll suddenly go all Steve McNair '97 on the Bills, but his arm should get quite the workout. Rex Ryan's supposedly rigid defense has surrendered 304.5 passing yards and 2.5 passing touchdowns per game thus far equal to the fourth-most fantasy points allowed to QBs. Ronald Darby and Stephon Gillmore have stood their ground, but it's Buffalo's safeties that have struggled. Corey Graham and Bacarri Rambo together have yielded a 120.0 QB rating and 69.2 catch percentage to their assignments. Fresh off the bye and at home, Mariota is a good bet for QB1 numbers yet again.

Fearless Forecast: 24-38, 264 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 1 interception, 18 rushing yards, 19.4 fantasy points 

Todd Gurley, StL, RB (30 percent started, $10)

Matchup: at GB
Numerous masculine runs are in Gurley's very near future. Coddled for months by Rams coaches and physicians after suffering a gnarly knee injury last November, the rookie was finally unleashed Week 3 in Arizona. Though the Cardinals had surrendered just 3.08 yards per carry entering last Sunday's tilt with the Rams, Gurley exhibited the devastating power, speed and versatility that gave SEC coaches nightmares. On 21 touches, the kid racked 161 total yards, netting 71 yards after initial contact. I'm convinced he's the next Adrian Peterson or Marshawn Lynch. He attacks with the vim and vigor of a rankled boar, catches the ball cleanly and is rock solid in pass protection. In other words, Gurley is a rarity, a legit three-down workhorse in a timeshare era. For those who stashed him, your patience is about to be richly rewarded. To be fair, Green Bay has played extraordinary defense of late. Marshawn Lynch, Jamaal Charles and Carlos Hyde each failed to reach 50 yards on the ground against it. A slimmed down B.J. Raji and Clay Matthews have done a tremendous job sniffing out the run. Overall, the Packers have given up just 4.0 yards per carry to RBs. Still, ball control, featuring a heavy dose of Gurley, is sure to be the point of emphasis in Jeff Fisher's game plan. Another 20-25 touches are a foregone conclusion. At $10 in Yahoo DFS, you won't uncover a better bargain the rest of this season.

Fearless Forecast: 18 attempts, 98 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 14 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 18.7 fantasy points

Dion Lewis, NE, RB (26 percent started, $25)

Matchup: at Dal
If a genie granted me three wishes I would ask for: 1) Jay Cutler's coiffure, 2) Equity stake in the genius 'Kitty Shack,' 3) More shares of Lewis. The Danny Woodhead-clone has been arguably the most shocking out-of-nowhere performer of the early season. The Browns castaway is a better version of Shane Vereen in New England's offense. He's played on 67.5 percent of the team's snaps, posted a ridiculous 139.3 elusive rating (No. 1 among RBs by a mile) and netted a seemingly impossible 64.4 yards after contact percentage, an incredible number considering his 5-foot-7, 193-pound frame. Naysayers contend LeGarrette Blount will eat into his rest-of-season workload, but Lewis' ubiquitous deployment suggests otherwise. He's a unique asset, a true matchup problem whether operating as a rusher or receiver. Dallas has its hands full. The Cowboys, who again lost their best defender, Sean Lee, to a concussion last week, are fading defensively. Thus far, they've conceded 8.0 receptions and 83.3 receiving yards to RBs. As evidenced by C.J. Spiller's spectacular, game-clinching heroics last Sunday night, shifty rushers in the flat give them headaches. Blount will supplant him at times, but Lewis could be Devonta Freeman-lite against Little D. Start him with the utmost confidence.

Fearless Forecast: 9 attempts, 41 rushing yards, 6 receptions, 54 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 18.5 fantasy points

Martavis Bryant, Pit, WR (17 percent started, $21)

Matchup: at SD
Bryant loves the wacky tobacky. He also relishes burning defenders deep. After a four-game hiatus, last year's breakout performer should pick up where he left off. His length and blazing speed make him one of the game's preeminent downfield threats. Yes, Todd Haley scripted an ultra-conservative playbook for Mike Vick last Thursday against Baltimore. The veteran QB attempted only two passes beyond 20 yards, one of those an uncharacteristic end-zone drop by Antonio Brown. However, with extra time to prepare and given Vick's still potent arm, I suspect Haley will dial up a few bombs for Bryant in his return. San Diego has done a marvelous job defending the deep ball this season. The Chargers have allowed only 10 passes of 20-plus yards, the third fewest in the NFL. Still, starting CB Brandon Flowers has surrendered a 133.3 QB rating and 13.3 yards per catch to his assignments. More troubling, he's in post-concussion protocol and ballyhooed DB Jason Verrett remains a question mark with a foot injury. If one or both are unavailable Sunday, fill-in Steve Williams, who gave up 15.5 yards per catch to Browns wideouts in Week 4, could be picked on. With all of that in mind, Bryant is a very enticing WR3 in 12-team and deeper formats.

Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 68 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 14.8 fantasy points

Michael Floyd, Ari, WR (7 percent started, $13)

Matchup: at Det
Floyd's 65-1041-5 self from 2013 is located somewhere on the 'Dark Side of the Moon.' Plagued by injuries and ineptitude since his breakthrough campaign, he's essentially a carbon copy of another Floyd, Malcom, a lanky streak receiver who cranks out largely unreliable numbers. However, given the handful of dependable options on siesta (e.g. Brandon Marshall,Eric Decker, Jarvis Landry), this is the week to plug in the Desert Bird. Bruce Arians has made it no secret his desire to get the wideout more involved. Last week against St. Louis, Floyd posted season-highs in snap percentage (72.0) and targets seen (7). His 5-59-0 line was rather underwhelming, but it's clear he will be an integral part of the club's no-huddle offense moving forward. Expect a highly profitable effort in Week 5. The Lions, the cute, cuddly kittens of the NFC North, haven't earned their Friskies. DBs Darius Slay and Rashean Mathis, an overly accommodating duo, have yielded a combined 80.0 catch rate. The former, toasted often by the competition, has allowed 16.0 yards per catch. John Brown and Larry Fitzgerald will continue to be focal points, but this is a matchup tailor made for Floyd. Shine on, you crazy diamonds.

Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 63 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 14.3 fantasy points 

SHOCKER SPECIAL (Under 10 percent started)

Kamar Aiken, Bal, WR (1 percent started, $14)

Matchup: vs. Cle
Oh how Ravens Nation yearn for the days of Anquan Boldin, Derrick Mason and, heck, Qadry Ismail. This is a team seriously hurting at WR. Down Steve Smith Sr. (back fractures) and Breshad Perriman (knee) and without much experience on roster, the overlooked Aiken is arguably the only game in town. Baltimore did acquire Chris Givens from St. Louis last week, but unfamiliar with Marc Trestman's system, it's improbable he'll step in and make an immediate impact. The fourth-year receiver isn't anything special, but has looked serviceable in spurts. He's seen action on 76.2 percent of Baltimore's snaps, enticed 17 targets and grabbed 11 passes for 165 yards and a touchdown. Marlon Brown is another Raven to weigh, but for those in dire straits for a W, Aiken could notch useful WR3 numbers this Sunday. Cleveland, with or without Joe Haden (finger/ribs), has resembled Pound Puppies against the pass. Brandon Marshall, Amari Cooper, Seth Roberts and Keenan Allen each reached double-digits in fantasy points against them. If Haden is forced to sit, Pierre Desir, who was lit up by Philip Rivers last week (146.1 QB rating/18.5 yards per catch allowed), will again be under fire. Justin Forsett will surely be featured heavily, but Aiken is worth the wheel-spin in challenging formats.

Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 75 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 16.0 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: 13-15

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