October 22, 2009
Brad and Andy return live this week to answer your questions and discuss their flames, lames and deep names for Week 7. Submit your questions for Friday night's "Fantasy Freak Show" on The Score via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.You can also dial the studio line starting at 8 PM PT/10 PM CT/11 PM ET at 312-644-6767 or text us at 67011. You can also follow the show, and the Noise, via Twitter.
Each week the Noise highlights eight somewhat obscure, unobvious names who he believes are destined for flame madness or lame sadness. Being an accountability advocate, he will tally his hits and misses and post the results, whether genius or moronic, each week using the scoring system posted here.
More Noise: Ricky's Redemption Song
FLAMES (Started in less than 60 percent of Y! Plus leagues)
Matchup: vs. Ari
Based on the Noise's rather pathetic Flames performance over the past couple weeks, he's donning Eli's jersey to "feel like a winner." Coming off a sour homecoming in New Orleans, the younger Manning is must-start material in Week 7. Arizona, which dismantled Seattle at Qwest Field last week, repeatedly disrupted Matt Hasselbeck(notes) with a barrage of blitzes. Due to the Hawks' makeshift line, applying pressure was achieved. However, the Cards' heat will be cooled against arguably the NFC's finest trench units, giving the Giants quarterback ample time to deliver passes downfield. Ken Whisenhunt's club has yielded 270.6 yards per game and nine scores to passers this season, equal to the fifth-most fantasy points allowed. Throw in 'Zona's stout run defense and the G-Men's difficulties in the ground department, particularly Brandon Jacobs',(notes) and Eli could accumulate top-10 totals under the prime time lights.
Matchup: vs. Buf
Over the first five weeks of the season, Carolina's rushing attack resembled a group of obese Garfields. But against a vulnerable Tampa front, DeAngelo Williams(notes) and Stewart were jumpstarted, both eclipsing the 100-yard mark for the first time this season. John Fox's powder keg should explode again this week. The banged-up Bills have conceded 205.7 total yards per game, 5.3 yards per carry and nine total touchdowns to rushers, equal to the most fantasy points surrendered. They also top the list in 20-yard run plays allowed (10). Due to Jake Delhomme's(notes) gross inadequacies and Steve Smith's nonexistence, defenses will continue to overload the box to stop the run. But as Stewie's tag-team partner told the AP earlier this week, the offensive line was "just moving guys" when presented with a similar obstacle against the Bucs. With the passing game underperforming, Fox will lean heavily on his ground game to turn the Bills into jerky. Expect Stewart to tally at least 12-15 touches.
Fearless Forecast: 14 carries, 73 rushing yards, 1 reception, 7 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 14 fantasy points
Matchup: vs. TB (in London)
A fantasy Phoenix of sorts, Maroney rose from the ashes last week surpassing the 100-yard mark for the first time since 2007. Plowing through the snow, he exuded patience and ran with noticeable conviction, an effort that earned the admiration of Bill Belichick and scorned owners. The subject of much discussion in the virtual sports community this week, Maroney is a back many pundits and novices alike are uncertain what to make of. But with a friendly matchup against Tampa in the Land of Quarrelsome Gallaghers, Sir Laurence should live up to his knightly nickname. The sorrowful Bucs have yielded 4.8 yards per carry and 171.5 total yards per game to plowshares, equal to the fifth-most fantasy points surrendered. Based on Tom Brady's(notes) ability to stretch defenses thin, he should prove RB2 useful despite splitting touches with BenJarvus Green-Ellis(notes) and Kevin Faulk(notes). Believe in the renaissance.
Fearless Forecast: 15 carries, 74 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 12 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 14 fantasy points
Matchup: at StL
By now, many fantasy aficionados expected Brown to be the lead horse in the Colts' backfield. But, as team president Bill Polian said this week, the veteran will remain the primary option in the rotation over the foreseeable future in order to maximize the rookie's freshness for the long haul. Spectacular achievements haven't yet surfaced for Brown, but he's been flex serviceable against susceptible defenses. That scenario could unfold once again this week. The rancid Rams have shown significant improvement against the run this season, limiting backs to 3.9 yards per carry. But offenses continue to wear them down late in contests. Overall, St. Louis has allowed 149.7 total yards per game and nine scores, equal to the sixth-most fantasy points conceded. Because Peyton Manning(notes) will be able to operate uninhibitedly through the air, Brown could be worked extensively in garbage time. Don't be surprised if he breaks the 15-touch plane for the first time in his young career.
Fearless Forecast: 11 carries, 46 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 23 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 12 fantasy points
Matchup: vs. Atl
Fresh off the bye and two weeks removed from his record-setting performance in Kansas City, the Capital of Texas will levy burdensome taxes on the visiting Falcons. For the most part, Atlanta has performed admirably against the pass surrendering only one score and the ninth-fewest fantasy points to wideouts. But for the most part, the Dirty Birds have been a bend-don't-break secondary. They've conceded eighteen 20-yard pass plays, the seventh most in the league. With corner Brian Williams(notes) IR-bound (torn ACL) and given Austin's recent promotion, the third-year wideout, in an attempt to expose the Falcons' primary weakness, will be targeted often downfield by Tony Romo(notes). If provided single coverage, a long touchdown or two could be in store.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 87 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 14 fantasy points
Matchup: at Mia
Hamstrung over the first four weeks of the season, Sir Lance-a-Lot, finally 100 percent healthy, skewered the Giants in last week's Bourbon Street beatdown, snagging six passes for 78 yards and a score. Because amnesia is a prevalent problem in the fantasy community, Moore was largely dismissed by the impatient weeks ago. How soon people forget. Recall last season he was one of the game's finest waiver finds, totaling 79 receptions, 928 yards and 10 touchdowns. His 9.6 points per game output ranked No. 14 among receivers, one spot behind teammate Marques Colston(notes). Obviously, Colston is Drew Brees'(notes) main flame, but in the Saints' seemingly unstoppable spread-the-wealth attack he should continue to net at least 6-9 targets per contest. Miami has performed marginally against the pass allowing the seventh-most 20-yard pass plays. Throw in the Fins' inflexibility up front, and Moore could be a vertical slayer on South Beach.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 87 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 14 fantasy points
Matchup: vs. Min
Featured as a Shocker Special two weeks ago, The Reporter hasn't quite delivered front-page news. Though he's averaged a respectable 49.3 yards per contest, he's splashed pay-dirt just one time in six games. The latter number could increase this week. The Purple People Eaters have manhandled opponents (sans Ray Rice(notes)) in the trenches, limiting rushers to just 3.8 yards per carry. However, vertically they've left a lot to be desired. Opponents have totaled the second-most explosive pass plays (20-yards plus) against the Vikes. Foot-sprained corner Antoine Winfield's(notes) likely absence only intensifies their situation. Suffice to say, Ben Roethlisberger(notes) will party like Jeff Reed. Look for the Steelers' speedster to take advantage of his opponent's downfield shortcomings.
Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 62 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 12 fantasy points
Matchup: at Cin
Over the first few weeks of the season, Olsen was more She-Ra than He-Man. But with his role increasing in the Bears' offense and riding the crest of a three-game scoring streak, he should post his finest effort of the season this week in Cincinnati. Because the Bengals employ bracket coverage, numerous voids are presented in the short-field, a hindrance which was exploited endlessly by Matt Schaub(notes). Last week, Steve Slaton(notes) and Owen Daniels(notes) were provided abundant space within five yards of the line. When the dust settled, the duo combined for 180 receiving yards and three scores. Expect Ron Turner to attack the Queen City Kitties similarly. Olsen should entice double-digit targets and surpass the 60-yard mark for the first time this season.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 64 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 11 fantasy points
LAMES (Started in over 60 percent of Y! Plus leagues)
Matchup: at Was
In his most recent gaffe, the absentminded McNabb not only forgot the number of remaining timeouts, but also who he was playing last week. After tallying only 269 yards without a touchdown against the rancid Raiders, McRib is a suspect play this week in Washington. Surprisingly, the ‘Skins have not allowed a multi-TD passer this season, limiting gunslingers to a mere 182.5 yards per game and five scores, equal to the fourth-fewest fantasy points conceded. In his recent history against ‘Skins, the veteran has struggled. Last season, he averaged just 213 yards per game with zero scores in two contests against them. Dragged to the turf six times by Oakland last week, McNabb will likely be badgered incessantly again this week. Unless the Eagles fix their "fundamental breakdowns," it could be another dose of disappointment for the dimming Philly star.
Fearless Forecast: 20-34, 248 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions, 14 fantasy points
Adrian Peterson, Min, RB (Noise RB Rank: 20, NO BENCH, 99% started)
Matchup: at Pit
For those who subscribe to the "Always start your studs" theory, listing the Purple Jesus as a lame is complete sacrilege. Their argument: his otherworldly abilities could lead to banner numbers regardless of opponent. Although their reasons are justified, Peterson isn't immune from poor performances. Remember Weeks 3 and 5 last year? Mike Tomlin admitted All Day is "the best football player in the world right now." Translation: he will be the focal point of mastermind Dick LeBeau's gameplan. An aggressive, run-blitz crazed scheme will surely be implemented, especially with Troy Polamalu(notes) healthy. Pittsburgh hasn't allowed a 100-yard rusher in 28 straight games. This year, they've also held tugboats to just 3.3 yards per carry, 90.3 total yards per game and two scores, equal to the fewest fantasy points allowed. Demoting Peterson is unthinkable, but the odds are somewhat favorable he posts bland totals.
Fearless Forecast: 20 carries, 72 rushing yards, 1 reception, 9 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 8 fantasy points
Matchup: at Mia
For one week only, the Noise is calling off his long-running bromance with the PT Bruiser. Unsettling matchups can be a home-wrecker. Miami has swarmed rushers with the instinct of blood-thirsty sharks, not helmet-wearing porpoises. In five games, they've conceded a mere 3.2 yards per carry, 106.8 total yards per game and four scores to RBs, equal to the seventh-fewest fantasy points allowed. Thomas is clearly more talented than Mike Bell(notes), but the goal-line poacher's moderate success inside the five last week is very disconcerting. Similar to the Ray Rice-Willis McGahee(notes) situation earlier this year, PT will have to break runs to score six, a frightening prospect for those in TD-heavy formats. Despite the concern, there is hope he could regain touches near the chalk. Sean Payton remarked earlier this week the backfield formula "isn't exact." In a bye-heavy week, he's still a suitable flex and RB2 option in deeper formats, but for those in shallower leagues, Joseph Addai(notes) (at StL), Marshawn Lynch(notes) (at Car) and even Leon Washington(notes) (vs. Oak) are safer plays.
Fearless Forecast: 14 carries, 66 rushing yards, 2 reception, 11 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 7 fantasy points
Brandon Jacobs, NYG, RB (Noise RB Rank: 29, Bench: 8-12 team leagues, 80% started)
Matchup: vs. Ari
Angry mobs equipped with pitchforks and torches are starting to build. The Football Frankenstein has been an abysmal failure. Drafted on average around pick No. 12 overall, the freakish runner, openly frustrated by his performance, has appeared timid and unassertive. The results support this observation. Jacobs ranks 30th in points per game at his position, averaging just 3.6 yards per carry and 64.7 rushing yards per game. Shockingly, the Cardinals boast the league's top run defense limiting rushers to a horrid 2.7 yards per carry. They've also yielded the fourth-fewest fantasy points to plowshares. Eventually, Jacobs will tally profitable results, but based on the unfriendly matchup and his recent mellow performances, he's pine worthy in Week 7.
Fearless Forecast: 19 carries, 67 rushing yards, 1 reception, 5 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 7 fantasy points
Matchup: vs. Buf
Despite Carolina's consecutive wins, Smith has expressed "bittersweet" emotions over the teams' recent surge and his lack of involvement in the passing game. He's even gone as far to say "I'm no longer an asset to the team." Whining has always been one of Smith's finer talents. With a competent quarterback, the multi-time All-Pro would still be a fantasy baron, but because a Jake Delhomme pass couldn't pierce tissue paper, he will continue to wallow, especially this week against the Bills. As John Fox described with an excellent basketball analogy earlier this week, he would rather shoot layups (run) than rely on 3-pointers (pass). Due to Buffalo's gross inadequacies between the hashmarks, Williams and Stewart will be fully utilized. Overcoming a plethora of injuries - and because most teams have demoralized them via the ground - the Bills have performed terrifically against the pass, surrendering the fewest fantasy points to wideouts and the third-fewest 20-yard pass plays. Smith, who has caught just 45.7 percent of passes thrown his direction, is due for another major letdown.
Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 48 receiving yards, 0 touchdown, 4 fantasy points
Matchup: at NYG
Boldin stated Wednesday he's a game-time decision with an ankle sprain, saying his availability for Sunday's pivotal clash against the Giants is "up in the air right now." Because he's a warrior – remember he refused to take pain killers for his shattered face last year – there's a very strong likelihood he will suit up Sunday. However, he shouldn't for your fantasy team. When Boldin played through a similar setback Week 1 versus San Francisco, he completely vanished, totaling just two catches for 19 yards. On paper, he may be slated for No. 2 action, but Steve Breaston(notes) will be Kurt Warner's(notes) true primary second option. As the Giants secondary proved last week, they're not nearly as good as the numbers may indicate. Recall they faced several UFL caliber quarterbacks (i.e. Jason Campbell(notes), Josh Johnson(notes)/Byron Leftwich, Matt Cassel(notes) and JaMarcus Russell(notes)) before being dissected by Brees. Still, the incredibly tough veteran is unemployable even if he avoids the inactive list.
Fearless Forecast: 3 receptions, 34 receiving yards, 0 touchdown, 3 fantasy points
Matchup: at Oak
Don Flamingo's brief revival on South Beach was exactly that – brief. Due to Mark Sanchez'(notes) inefficiencies and, as Rex Ryan noted earlier this week, the increase of two-deep coverage schemes being used against the Jets, Edwards' acquisition has been "good news-bad news." Offensive coordinators have creatively shifted around top targets to avoid the Black Death, Nnamdi Asomugha(notes). As a result, No. 1s have performed 12.1 percent above the league average against Oakland according to Football Outsiders. However, only one receiver has reached the 80-yard mark against the Raiders this season. Given the struggles of the Silver and Black's run defense and Sanchez, Thomas Jones(notes) and Leon Washington will be the focus of the gameplan, stymieing scoring opportunities for Edwards. Austin Collie(notes) (at StL), Hakeem Nicks(notes) (vs. Ari) and Sidney Rice(notes) (at Pit) are better plays.
Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 42 receiving yards, 0 touchdown, 4 fantasy points
Matchup: at Hou
Davis, timid and apprehensive in his route-running two weeks ago against Atlanta, hasn't quite conquered the demons of inconsistency. Expect another rollercoaster ride this week. Though deplorable up front, DeMeco Ryans(notes) and his cohorts have routinely stuffed tight ends this season. They've surrendered just one touchdown along with 3.2 receptions and 40.8 yards per game equal to the fifth-fewest fantasy points conceded. With Frank Gore(notes) back at full-strength and Michael Crabtree(notes) slated for action, opportunities for Davis will be few-and-far between, especially in Jimmy Raye's largely conservative system. Emerging talent Brian Cushing(notes) will have his hands full, but his superb speed and dexterity should be able to keep Davis at bay. You're still playing VD in most leagues, particularly PPR formats, but the end-zone could be elusive.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 50 receiving yards, 0 touchdown, 5 fantasy points
Following the new rules above, who are your flames/lames of Week 7? Discuss below.
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