Week 5 Flames: Fiery expectations for under-started Flacco, Crowell and Quick

Brad Evans

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 5 Flames in the comments section below.

Joe Flacco, Bal, QB (12-percent started)
Matchup: at Ind
Every time the "elite QB" discussion is broached by mainstream analysts, it's always hilarious when Flacco is mentioned in the same breath as Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers. A Super Bowl ring isn't an automatic qualifier for greatness, nimrods. You gotta have stats to back up such a bold declaration. Numbers-wise the signal-caller is nowhere close to top-shelf, but through four weeks he hasn't exactly lived down to his mediocre fantasy reputation. Thanks to Steve Smith's rebirth, Flacco, despite averaging just 6.89 yards per attempt, ranks No. 12 among passers in per game output. He's already surpassed the 300-yard mark twice and tallied a pair of multi-TD games. Due in large part to a restrictive offensive line – he's been under duress only 25.8 percent of the time this year – he's dropped bombs more precisely and frequently. Last year, his 26.1 accuracy percentage on chucks beyond 20 yards ranked No. 39 of 40. Raising that rate to 50.0 percent through four weeks, he's cracked the top-five in the category. Down LaRon Landry due to a failed drug test (SHOCKER!), an already vulnerable Colts secondary is even more exploitable. Indy has yielded 7.95 yards per attempt and the 10th-most fantasy points to QBs so far. In a game with shootout appeal, Flacco is a fantastic plug 'n play option for streamers. 

Fearless Forecast: 26-41, 296 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 1 interception, 21.8 fantasy points

[Join FanDuel.com's $1.5 million Week 5 fantasy league: $25 to enter; $150,000 to first]


Matt Asiata, Min, RB (56-percent started)
Matchup: at GB
Fat Albert on a motorized scooter. That's what Asiata looks like every time he moves with the football. The elevated backup is a traditional north-south smasher, a pedestrian runner (3.38 yards per carry) with considerable power (55.8 yards after contact percentage), but minimal speed. However, he's an exceptional pass-blocker and useful receiver, attributes which should keep him routinely on the field. Though he's nowhere near as flashy as electric teammate Jerick McKinnon, the starter has been a waiver wire godsend. Boosted by a TD hat trick last week vs. Atlanta, he's cranked out the eighth-best line in PPR formats though four games. The rookie upstart will slowly wrest away carries, but Asiata should continue to see 55-65 percent of team snaps and 15-18 touches per game, especially this week. Green Bay offers little resistance at the point of attack. Highly exploitable in the trenches, the Packers have surrendered 4.24 yards per carry, 176.7 total yards per game and five touchdowns to RBs on the season, equal to the fourth-most fantasy points allowed. Last week, Matt Forte and Ka'Deem Carey alone accounted for 194 ground yards against them. In terms of skill set, Asiata is about as exciting as a TV dinner, but count on him as an RB2 in Week 5.   

Fearless Forecast: 15 carries, 58 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 20 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 16.1 fantasy points

LeGarrette Blount, Pit, RB (5-percent started)
Matchup: at Jax
Pittsburgh's OG Kush to its Sour Diesel (Le'Veon Bell), Blount has proven occasionally useful through four games. He's found the end zone twice and, in a blowout win against Carolina, rolled his way to 118 yards on just 10 carries. When awarded opportunities he's slammed his way over and through opponents, evident in his 76.4 yards-after-contact percentage. Averaging just 5.3 carries per game, he's clearly a complementary piece, but his workload could expand this week against the hopeless Jags. Outscored 157-to-58 through four games, the NFL's new Hello Kitties have fallen into deep holes early and often. As a result, many secondary and even tertiary rushers have thrived in garbage time. Darren Sproles, Silas Redd and Branden Oliver each recorded serviceable numbers against them. Heck, even Trent Richardson registered a pulse in his Jags matchup, impossibly crossing the 4.0 yards per carry threshold. It's always a risk to entrust a light-working RB, but Blount has serious FLEX appeal in deeper leagues.

Fearless Forecast: 10 carries, 74 rushing yards, 1 touchdown, 0 receptions, 13.4 fantasy points

[ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Hockey: It's time to join a league today! ]

Brian Quick, StL, WR (17-percent started)
Matchup: at Phi
If Quick lived in a zipcode tied to major market teams like the Jets/Giants, Niners or Bears, even the most novice fan would recognize him. But sequestered in St. Louis, he's gone virtually unnoticed in shallow leagues. The third-year wideout is a name to know. His 16-253-1 line checks in at No. 16 among wide receivers in PPR, outpacing the likes of Brandon Marshall, Roddy White and Pierre Garcon. Despite his established rapport with Austin Davis and strong overall start, he's regularly left on owner benches. Don't make that mistake this week. Philly DB Brandon Boykin, when on the field, has played well slotting in at No. 15 in pass coverage according to Pro Football Focus. However, starters Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams have conceded a 99.4 QB rating thus far, pushing the duo outside the top-55 in pass coverage. Rejuvenated after the bye, Quick, tallies his third game of five-plus receptions this year with little fanfare. 

Fearless Forecast: 6 receptions, 78 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 18.3 fantasy points 

Malcom Floyd, SD, WR (10-percent started)
Matchup: vs. NYJ
The "other" Floyd may have the neck of a diplodocus, but unlike the prehistoric reptile, he's no thundering plodder. Different from teammate Keenan Allen, his game is tailored almost exclusively for the deep ball, indicative in his ridiculous 20.8 yards per catch average. That long-range explosiveness could prove problematic for a Jets secondary ravaged by injuries and ineptitude. With Dee Milliner saddled by a bum quad and ankle, schlubs Darrin Walls and Antonio Allen have given up a 62.7 catch percentage and 107.1 QB rating to their assignments. Most weeks, due to his unsavory volume (3.7 targets per game), Floyd isn't a recommended play in PPR, but the fruit is hanging low. He and Philip Rivers are sure to connect on a big gainer or two. For the fourth time in five weeks, the Charger cracks the WR top-30. 

Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 71 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 16.1 fantasy points

SHOCKER SPECIAL (Under 10-percent started)

Isaiah Crowell, Cle, RB (7-percent started)
Matchup: at Ten
In many instances, players wind an unconventional path to the pros. Crowell is a prime example. A coveted five-star recruit out of high school rated top-four by both Scout and Rivals, the Columbus Carver (GA) product signed on the dotted line with nearby SEC power Georgia. His career with the Bulldogs, however, was abbreviated. He earned SEC Freshmen of the Year honors in 2011, totaling 915 yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns in 12 games. But arrested on a felony weapons charge the following year, he was dismissed. Earning a second chance at Alabama St. and with the charges eventually dropped, he continued to develop and excel netting 5.97 yards per carry from 2012-2013. Now in Cleveland, the college vagabond is planting firm pro roots. With Ben Tate inactive, he played second fiddle to Terrance West, but made the most of his limited opportunities. Powerful, dynamic and tough, he's tallied 5.2 yards per carry and the second-highest breakaway percentage (48.9) among RBs, an effort which has triggered "feed the Crow" demands from locals. Even with Tate expected back in uniform this week, the rookie should dig in against a Titans front that's surrendered nearly 114 rushing yards per game and five ground scores to RBs, equal to the ninth-most fantasy points allowed. Bank on 10-12 carries and a FLEXY sexy day. 

Fearless Forecast: 12 carries, 63 rushing yards, 1 reception, 5 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 13.5 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: 8-19, 29.6%

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.