Week 8 Flames: Patterson, Ingram, Hillman to inch owners closer to playoffs

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 8 Flames in the comments section below.

Alex Smith, KC, QB (10 percent started)

Matchup: vs. StL
Watching Ben Stein recite a lengthy dissertation on the economic policies of Tajikistan. That essentially sums up fantasy owners' feelings about Smith. Due to his ultra-conservative, game-manager style most believe the veteran QB isn't worth 76 million Vietnamese Dong let alone U.S. Dollars. However, he's an efficient quarterback who rarely makes mistakes, the anti-Geno Smith. His 81.2 accuracy percentage ranks No. 1 in the league according to Pro Football Focus. At first glance, he may seem unappealing, but Smith is an underrated statistical asset. His yardage totals haven't exactly incited excitement (6.82 ypa, 211.7 pass yards per game), but he's accounted for three multi-TD performances in his past four contests, besting notable names Matt Ryan, Nick Foles and Matthew Stafford in per game output during that span. St. Louis, which shockingly ranked No. 1 in pass D just two weeks ago, has fallen on hard times. Embarrassed by multidimensional weapons Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson in consecutive weeks, the once prideful Rams now resemble cuddly Lambs. On the year, they've surrendered the second-most fantasy points per game to QBs. In fact, EVERY signal-caller has logged at least two TDs against them. And that includes future Canton inductees Matt Cassel and Josh McCown. Smith may have limited weapons, but his odds of piling up fruitful numbers against Janoris Jenkins (126.0 QB rating allowed) and company are rather significant.

Fearless Forecast: 20-29, 230 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 27 rushing yards, 22.2 fantasy points

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Bryce Brown, Buf, RB (4 percent started)

Matchup: at NYJ
Remember this guy? When LeSean McCoy was felled by injury two years ago, the little-known product from Kansas State burst onto the fantasy scene. In four starts with the Eagles, he electrified the masses, totaling 5.4 yards per carry nearly 90 combined yards per game while scoring three times. Overall that season, he gained an impressive 67.7 percent of his yards after contact. Due to his occasional cases of fumblitis, he isn't someone you should trust holding grandma's fine china, but his explosion, aggressiveness, plus vision and versatility are highly attractive. As Fred Jackson noted Monday, Brown is "an every-down back."Anthony Dixon will remain involved, but there's a reason why the Bills gave up a conditional 2015 fourth-round draft pick for his services. He will be heavily deployed. The once formidable Jets have softened considerably in recent weeks. In their past three games, they've yielded 4.14 yards per carry, 163.7 total yards per game and four touchdowns to running backs. Given the matchup and heightened workload, Brown is worth getting down with in deeper formats.

Fearless Forecast: 13 carries, 62 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 13 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 15.0 fantasy points

Ronnie Hillman, Den, RB (40 percent started)

Matchup: vs. SD
Mea culpa. I was horribly, terribly, woefully wrong about Montee Ball. Please take away my privileges for dispensing shoddy free advice. Sidelined by a nasty groin pull, Ball, who averaged a forgettable 3.13 yards per carry on 55 attempts, likely won't regain his starting gig once available. Hillman, a former bust in his own right, has blossomed into a very useful every-down running back. The former San Diego St. standout, who broke several of Marshall Faulk's records in college, is no longer the weak, fumble-prone rusher from a couple seasons ago. He's mentally and physically stronger, darting through holes, catching passes and, most surprisingly, adequately protecting Peyton Manning. Against a string of normally stout defenses, the Cards, Jets and Niners, he compiled 4.71 yards per touch. He's only gained 40.8 percent of his yards after contact, but plowing over would-be tacklers isn't Hillman's game, nor does it need to be. Because of the nurturing offensive environment, he'll continue to see plenty of wide lanes, including this week. San Diego has been relatively stiff between the tackles, allowing just over 4.0 yards per carry to RBs. However, the Chargers have struggled defending the flat as rushers have tallied 6.8 receptions and 52.1 receiving yards per game. Thursday nights are always an adventure, but Denver's hot hand is highly employable in 12-team leagues.

Fearless Forecast: 19 carries, 84 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 24 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 19.8 fantasy points

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Cordarrelle Patterson, Min, WR (33 percent started)

Matchup: at TB
Norv Turner is obviously not dealing with a full deck. How many excuses can one man make? Allegedly the centerpiece of defensive game-plans, Patterson hasn't even made a squeak over the past three weeks. During that stretch, he's TOTALED six receptions and 32 yards. He did, stunningly, find the end zone last week, but the non-factor has done nothing but mystify the fantasy community. Blame Norm. Two weeks ago, the offensive brain surgeon was reportedly "anxious" to get his deadliest weapon more involved. Because of his lack of vision and creativity that has still yet to happen, prompting many to wonder if Turner failed finger-painting as a kid. Despite Patterson's uneventful production, he's someone worth rolling the dice on in Week 8. No defense has given up more fantasy points to WRs than Tampa. Eight receivers have crossed the 10-point threshold against it in PPR settings. Targeted 63 times, Bucs DBs Alterraun Verner and Jonathan Banks have surrendered 47 receptions (74.6 catch percentage). His toxicity is high, but this has to be the week Patterson burns the competition and not his fantasy owners. Pull head from keyster, Norval.

Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 60 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 8 rushing yards, 15.8 fantasy points 

Terrance Williams, Dal, WR (54 percent started)

Matchup: vs. Was
The sophomore receiver is quickly becoming a modern day Cris Carter. Why? All the dude does is score touchdowns. More than just a deep threat, he's developed into one of the finer red zone receivers in the league. Lined in the crosshairs nine times inside the 20, he's hauled in five receptions, four of those for scores. In total, he's splashed pay-dirt six times. Though he's caught just 19 passes, the end zone dances have placed him No. 18 in per game average among wideouts. That ranking could rise this week against rival Washington. Sans DeAngelo Hall, the 'Skins secondary has floundered. Since Week 3, it's given up eight receiving touchdowns and the ninth-most fantasy points to WRs. Overall, David Amerson is the only Washington CB to rank inside the top-100 in pass coverage. Abominable. With Dallas seemingly unstoppable right now, Williams, who's averaging 17.8 yards per catch, again delivers a standout WR2 line.

Fearless Forecast: 3 receptions, 70 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 15.3 fantasy points 

SHOCKER SPECIAL (Under 10-percent started)

Mark Ingram, NO, RB (10 percent started)

Matchup: vs. GB
Prior to his hand injury, Ingram was a firm RB2 in 12-team leagues. Returning to action last Sunday for the first time in five weeks, he played 26 snaps totaling just 29 yards on 12 touches. Sean Peyton rarely strays from a revolving backfield and will continue to feed Khiry Robinson and Travaris Cadet occasionally, rendering Ingram a 11-15 touch rusher moving forward. But with Pierre Thomas shelved the next 2-3 weeks (shoulder), the ex-'Bama back should wind up on the high side of that range.  With that in mind, he's worth acknowledging in Week 8. Largely due to a couple friendly matchups (Minnesota and Carolina), Green Bay has improved on its once atrocious record against the run. Still, the Packers remain vulnerable in the trenches. On the year, they've conceded 146.5 combined yards and six touchdowns to RBs. In desperation mode, the Saints will turn to their power back, who's tallied 4.67 yards per carry, inside the red zone.

Fearless Forecast: 12 carries, 58 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 11 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 14.4 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: 15-33, 31.2%

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.