Week 8 Fantasy Flames: OC change to make Stafford, Lions roar in London

Roto Arcade

 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 8 Flames in the comments section below.

[Yahoo Daily Fantasy Football: First place wins $100K in our $600K contest for Week 8]

Scroll to continue with content

Matthew Stafford, Det, QB (42 percent started, $37 in Yahoo Daily)
Matchup: at KC (London)
Because of his horrendous start, "Country Jay Cutler," a DISH spokesperson, probably steered many a costumer to DIRECTV. Inside an overheated pressure cooker (under duress 38.4 percent of his dropbacks), he failed to meet even watered down expectations. His No. 33 points per game rank through Week 5 slotted behind such legends as Kirk Cousins, Nick Foles and jelly-armed Peyton Manning. However, due to the Lions' overly generous defense and nonexistent rush attack, Stafford has turned a corner. He rained havoc on division rivals Chicago and Minnesota notching 40.0 and 21.3 fantasy-point performances respectively. Compared to climate-controlled spaces, he's executed poorly outdoors in his 7-year career, evidenced in his 79.6 QB rating and 6.7 yards per attempt. Still, this is the arrow-less Chiefs, one of the league's most forgiving pass defenses. With or without Sean Smith, KC has struggled mightily to ground opponents. It did make strides in Weeks 6 and 7 versus Teddy Bridgewater and Landry Jones, but overall, it has surrendered 7.63 yards per attempt, 279.1 pass yards and 2.1 touchdowns per game to the position. Under the microscope, Smith and Marcus Peters have allowed a 100.9 QB rating to the competition. Without a reliable RB and 'supported' by a transparent defense, Stafford should again chuck it 40-plus times. He and Calvin Johnson will be a highly profitable stack, especially with washboard strummer/newly appointed OC Jim Bob Cooter running the show. Stafford never fit Joe Lombardi's New Orleans-styled offense and should thrive in Cooter's vertical-stretching scheme. Feed the Lion in London.

Fearless Forecast: 24-39, 294 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 1 interception, 7 rushing yards, 19.4 fantasy points 

Charcandrick West, KC, RB (42 percent started, $17)
Matchup: vs. Det (London)
Fantasy owners are very similar to Jerry Seinfeld. After one date, they discover an undesirable idiosyncrasy and immediately terminate the relationship. For many who spent a pretty penny on West in wake of Jamaal Charlesknee-shredding, that's exactly what they did. Boy, was that a mistake. The Abilene Christian product bounced back from an ineffective Week 6 and logged 129 total yards and a score last Sunday versus Pittsburgh. Andy Reid, tried to tell everyone West, and not Knile Davis, would be the featured back moving forward. This week, the coach will again call No. 35 early and often. After Ndamukong Suh's departure, most believed the Lions would transform into cute, cuddly kittens against the run. They've been humiliated on the back end, but up front, they've displayed some resiliency. Still, this is an average at best unit. On the year, Detroit has given up 4.22 yards per carry, 146 total yards per game and nine touchdowns to RBs. In total, five rushers have achieved "Flame" status against it. West's versatility and surprising yards-after-contact power (58.1 YAC% Week 7) should do a number on another 20-plus touches. Also keep in mind, the Chiefs boast the fifth-best run-blocking line in the league per Football Outsiders. Werewolf of London? I think so. Start him with confidence as a RB2 in 10-team and larger leagues. ARROOOOO!!!

Fearless Forecast: 18 carries, 88 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 16 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 17.9 fantasy points


[Week 8 rankings: Quarterback | Running Back | Receiver | Flex | Tight End | All Positions]




Antonio Andrews, Ten, RB (7 percent started, $17)
Matchup: at Hou
To be fair, Tennessee is a barren wasteland for fantasy production. The fields, forests and urban corridors in and around Nashville are black and scorched. Long gone are the days of Billy Volek-to-Drew Bennett hookups and Eddie George goal-line blasts. Still, there's a glimmer of hope for someone to provide even a modicum of fantasy usefulness. Enter Andrews. The burley rusher has shown flashes of serviceability. Recall, thanks to a couple end-zone dives, he posted top-20 lines in Weeks 3 and 5. Granted his 30.5 snap percentage and 3.6 yards per carry mark don't move the meter, but he's gained a very encouraging 55.1 of his yards after initial contact. Equally promising, the Titans rank No. 6 in run-blocking this year. His yardage numbers likely won't excite, but with owners down LeSean McCoy, T.J. Yeldon, DeMarco Murray/Ryan Mathews and whatever rubbish Washington is rolling out, he's an employable RB2 in 12-team and deeper leagues. His opponent, the Texans, have rode donkeys defensively, a shocking development with J.J. Watt on roster. On the year, Houston has given up 4.49 yards per carry, 167.1 total yards per game and nine TDs to RBs, good for the fifth-most fantasy points allowed to the position. Andrews is like scrambled HUEVOS without hot sauce, but the matchup alone should warrant interest. Ken Whistenhunt's "deserves more carries" comment also suggests a possible uptick. 

Fearless Forecast: 14 carries, 56 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 14 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 13.0 fantasy points

[Play Yahoo Daily Fantasy and get a 100% deposit bonus with your first deposit]

Rishard Matthews, Mia, WR (35 percent started, $21)
Matchup: at NE
Scoring a full-sized candy bar Halloween night. That's how owners who plucked Matthews off waivers several weeks back must feel. As many wait on pins and needles for a DeVante Parker breakout, the fourth-year product continues to crank top-notch weekly lines. He's tallied at least 10 fantasy points (.5 PPR) in five of six contests and is on pace for a whopping 69 receptions, 1,168 yards and 11 touchdowns, an output similar to what Mike Evans accomplished last year. A favorite downfield weapon of Ryan Tannehill, Matthews' 12.8 yards per target ranks No. 4 among wide receivers. For the suddenly resurgent Dolphins, he's a blossoming weapon who should carry momentum into this week's mammoth clash in Foxboro. Offenses have achieved much success vertically this year versus New England. Overall, the Pats have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to WRs. Under the surface, DBs Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan combined have yielded a 62.5 catch percentage and 14.7 yards per catch. In a contest that could cramp the hand of the scoreboard operator (51.5 Over/Under in Vegas), Matthews is a highly employable WR2 in 12-team formats. 

Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 79 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 16.4 fantasy points 

Stevie Johnson, SD, WR (11 percent started, $14)
Matchup: at Bal
Not long ago a matchup against Baltimore was a fantasy death sentence. But now more sweet Parakeets than fearsome Ravens, they're arguably the worst pass defense in the league. A limbless Johnson could crack the WR top-30 against them. In total, wide receivers are netting 15.4 receptions, 214 yards and 1.6 touchdowns per game versus Baltimore, equal to the second-most fantasy points surrendered to the position. Corners Jimmy Smith and LaDarius Webb together have allowed a 101.9 QB rating and 62.9 catch percentage to their assignments. Piling on the misery, safeties Will Hill and Kendrick Lewis combined have given up 16.2 yards per catch. In his first game back from a hamstring injury, Johnson was clearly rusty last Sunday against Oakland. Targeted eight times, he caught just four passes for 50 yards. It was far from a memorable effort, but with Antonio Gates a likely Week 8 casualty and given Baltimore's success defending tight ends, Johnson could be a favorite underneath target of Philip Rivers. Recall with Gates suspended earlier this season, Stevie ventured into top-36 territory twice in four games. Keenan Allen is sure to go off, but his receiving accomplice is a safe bet to register starter-worthy numbers of his own. 

Fearless Forecast: 6 receptions, 67 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 15.7 fantasy points 

SHOCKER SPECIAL (Under 10 percent started)

Charles Sims, TB, RB (14 percent started, $15)
Matchup: at Atl
The self-proclaimed 'Dougernaut'  "Swole Mongoose," Doug Martin, has dominated the headlines in Tampa. His shimmy, shake and shuttle has reignited his career and established a consistent ground game for a young Bucs offense. Considering his top-five fantasy production, Martin is Tampa's Batman, but his once-hyped Robin, Sims, shouldn't be overlooked. As PPR zealots can attest, Sims has proven quite serviceable in reception-heavy formats. He runs with C-3PO stiffness at times, but his tacky hands and straight-line speed are plus qualities. Through seven games, he's seen 75 percent of Tampa's snaps, averaged 10.5 touches per game and tallied an outstanding 6.25 yards per touch. Essentially, he's a poor man's Danny WoodheadIn .5 PPR league, he's crossed the 10-point threshold in three of his past four games. This week, the sophomore back could land inside the position's top-20. The short-field is always open against Atlanta. No team has conceded more receptions (9.1) and receiving yards per game (73.4) to RBs than the Falcons. Throw in the distinct possibility Tampa plays from behind over the entire second half and Sims is slated to match his Week 5 production versus Jacksonville (12-51-0, 4-85-0). FLEX him all day in PPR-friendly formats. 

Fearless Forecast: 9 carries, 41 rushing yards, 5 receptions, 43 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 16.9 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: 19-32

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). 

What to Read Next