Week 9 Flames: Recharged Mathews must-start in D.C.

Roto Arcade

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 9 Flames in the comments section below.

Terrelle Pryor, Oak, QB (19-percent started)
Matchup: vs. Phi
When running in the open field Pryor looks like Chazz Michael Michaels on ice, an effortless glider. Including last week's rushing effort against the Steelers, almost all of it on one 93-yard record-setting TD run, the former Buckeye has totaled at least 31 ground yards in every game this season. Evident last Sunday against the stiffest secondary in the league, he remains a work in progress as a passer, but, to the QB's credit, he's made noticeable strides in his delivery, touch and accuracy. On the year, he's completed 63.1 percent of his attempts, a rate Tom Brady could only dream of. This week, his odds of hitting the mark are substantial. In eight games, five quarterbacks have totaled multi-TD efforts against the Eagles. Overall, they've given up 316 passing yards per game and 7.2 yards per attempt. Equally encouraging for TP, starting CBs Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher have yielded a combined 59.4 catch percentage to their assignments. Peyton Manning and Matthew Stafford owners in the market for an adequate bye-week filler should bet on the Silver and Black.

Fearless Forecast: 232 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 0 interceptions, 58 rushing yards, 0 rushing touchdowns, 21.4 fantasy points

Ryan Mathews, SD, RB (28-percent)
Matchup: at Wash
If you're sick and tired of the relentless Mathews man-love, it's understandable. Over the past several seasons, more time and energy has been wasted in this space about the RB than anyone else. It's disturbing, I know, but it's time to give the guy some props. Prior to the Chargers' bye week, Mathews strung together consecutive 100-yard games for the first time in two years. Though he hasn't dominated on a weekly basis and has been occasionally poached by Danny Woodhead at the goal-line, the Bolt has displayed excellent burst and toughness between the tackles. Most importantly, his clavicles have remained intact. However, fresh off the bye, he should again be a focal point of Mike McCoy's game plan. On the year, the Redskins have surrendered 4.45 yards per carry, 153.8 total yards per game and 10 touchdowns to RBs, equal to the third-most fantasy points allowed. In fact, a rusher has scored at least 11 standard-league points against them in every game this season. Mathews has seen 41 fewer snaps than Woodhead, but odds are strong he'll log his third-straight game with 20-plus carries. The No. 24 RB in per game average in traditional scoring formats, he's quickly becoming an every week RB2. Rekindle the bromance.

Fearless Forecast: 20 carries, 91 rushing yards, 1 receptions, 7 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 16.5 fantasy points

Chris Ivory, NYJ, RB (24-percent)
Matchup: vs. NO
As Don Corleone would say, revenge is a dish best served cold. Ivory, dealt from New Orleans to New York in exchange for a fourth-round pick last April, will be plenty motivated to offer a healthy serving. Off a throwback 34-carry game in Week 7, the Jets' battering ram barely saw the field a week ago, a victim of in-game circumstances. With New York buried early by Andy Dalton and the Bengals, he played on just 12 snaps, carrying the rock six times for 11 yards. If Antonio Cromartie and Dee Milliner leave their hard hats at home again this week, a similar scenario could develop. New Orleans, after all, is the league's most prolific passing offense. But in order to keep Drew Brees on the sidelines, Rex Ryan will surely dial up Ivory's number early and often. Under brother Rob Ryan's direction, the Saints have excelled defending the pass, but remain vulnerable in the trenches. On the season, they've allowed 4.47 yards per carry to RBs, five rushing TDs and 90.8 rushing yards per game. If the Jets D can stave off a large early deficit, Ivory is in position to splash six for the first time this year and finish well-inside the RB top-20.

Fearless Forecast: 18 carries, 75 rushing yards, 0 receptions, 1 touchdown, 13.5 fantasy points

Dwayne Bowe, KC, WR (52-percent)
Matchup: at Buf
A deceased skunk on the side of the road. That's the odor Bowe has emitted this year. KC's $55 million man has floundered, failing to gain adequate separation from defenders and, as a result, attracting targets from noodle-armed QB, Alex Smith. On the year, he's found the end-zone twice, has yet to surpass 70-yards in a game and ranks No. 74 among WRs in per game average. Barf. However, this week's matchup springs optimism. The Bills, coming off a five-TD thrashing at the hands of Drew Brees, have conceded 54 pass plays of 15-plus yards, the fourth-most in the NFL. Even when healthy Leodis McKelvin and Stephen Gilmore have largely rolled over against the pass. Nick Robey is the only Bills corner to rank inside the top-40 in pass coverage according to Pro Football Focus. Overall, Buffalo ranks No. 1 in most fantasy points allowed to WRs. Smith has attempted just 16 passes beyond 20 yards in eight games, but given the delectable matchup, he may uncork, connecting with Bowe more than once downfield. Yes, your faith in him is practically nonexistent, but give RainBowe Bright one more chance.

Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 73 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 17.0 fantasy points

Kendall Wright, Ten, WR (12-percent)
Matchup: at StL
Very quietly Wright has donned a plumed hat, fur coat and bejeweled cane, developing into a sure-fire PPR P-I-M-P. Jake Locker's main man has enticed at least six targets and hauled in five passes in every game since Week 2. The Lambs D was caught many off-guard Monday night against Seattle, stuffing the run early and often. However, pass coverage continued to be a major bugaboo, evident in Golden Tate's monster night. No Ram, not Trumaine Johnson, Cortland Finnegan or gum-flapper Janoris Jenkins, ranks inside the top-70 in pass coverage according to PFF. Combined the trio has given up a catch rate of 66.7 percent and QB rating of 100-plus to their assignments. In total, 11 wideouts have achieved 'Flame' status against St. Louis this year. Wright, who typically operates underneath averaging 10.8 yards per catch, is sure to nickle and dime the Rams all day long, especially with Locker playing so exceptionally of late. Count on him as a WR3 in 12-team and deeper PPR formats.

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

SHOCKER SPECIAL (Under 10-percent started)

Case Keenum, Hou, QB (1-percent)
Matchup: vs. Ind
Admittedly, the majority of fantasy owners would rather watch ‘The Conjuring’ alone in a dark room than entertain the services of a former practice squader about to go under center for only his second career NFL game. However, the FBS all-time leader in total offense isn’t your every day recently promoted backup. Prior to Houston’s Week 8 bye, he compiled terrific numbers on the road against a nasty Chiefs defense. Working primarily out of the 'gun, the Houston product resembled Kurt Warner at times, releasing the ball quickly and accurately. Though sacked five times, he averaged an impressive 10.84 yards per attempt totaling 271 yards, a touchdown and zero interceptions. His subsequent 110.6 QB rating was the fifth-best that week. Led by Vontae Davis, the Colts secondary, for the most part, has executed brilliantly this season. Russell Wilson and Peyton Manning are the only quarterbacks to tally multi-TD days against it. However, given the umbrella-like nature of Indy's scheme, Keenum, a mobile passer who typically makes his hay in the intermediate field, could gash it underneath. With Andre Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins, Garrett Graham and, hopefully, Arian Foster at his disposal, don’t be surprised if he shines under the prime-time lights.

Fearless Forecast: 264 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 1 interceptions, 9 rushing yards, 21.1 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?

Week 8 Reader Record: 2-5; Year to date: 19-35

Want to bull rush Brad? Find him on Twitter. Also, check out the Yahoo! Fantasy and Rotoworld crew every Thursday on 'Fantasy Football Live' starting at 6:30 PM ET on NBC Sports Network (Find channel here) and online at Yahoo! Sports (Watch here)

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