September 21, 2011
Each week the Noise highlights six unobvious names who he believes are destined to morph into human torpedos. For those playing the Lames home edition, each player must be started in at least 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues to qualify. As an accountability advocate, results, whether genius or moronic, will post the following week using the revamped scoring system listed here. If you're a player on TEAM HUEVOS, list your Week 3 Lames with projections in the comments below. Finally, in honor of three decades of great music from the now defunct R.E.M., forced references to the band have been included for your enjoyment.
Ben Roethlisberger(notes), Pit, QB (Week 3 Noise QB Rank: 16, 62-percent started)
Matchup: at Ind
The two-time Super Bowl champ recovered from the Ravens' vicious Week 1 attack, throwing for 298 yards and a touchdown against the sorrowful Seahawks in the followup. Off that high, most would automatically assume he's must-start material at Indy. The Colts, who are neck-n-neck with the Seahawks and Chiefs in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes, are an abomination in just about every facet of the game. However, it's quite conceivable, this contest could unfold similarly to the Colts/Texans clash in Week 1. Recall in that game, Matt Schaub(notes) executed well early, but, once the Texans built an insurmountable lead, he became a victim of circumstance, finishing No. 25 among QBs that week in scoring (230-1-2). Plus, the Colts could again be without the services of LBs Gary Brackett(notes) and Ernie Sims(notes), softening an already vulnerable run defense. Rashard Mendenhall(notes) is bound to be the centerpiece of the Steelers offense, limiting Ben's scoring opportunities. Yes, Indy has allowed an uncharacteristic 7.7 yards per attempt through the first two weeks, but, this week, look for Mike Tomlin to follow a ground-heavy approach. Sorry No. 7 zealots, Week 3 could be the end of the world as you know it.
Fearless Forecast: 19-28, 206 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 0 interceptions, 14.3 fantasy points
Frank Gore(notes), SF, RB (Week 3 Noise RB Rank: 22, 84-percent started)
Matchup: at Cin
It's been a war of attrition so far this season for Gore. His workload, as usual, has been burdensome, but he's slammed into an unhealthy amount of stone walls, evident in his awful 2.5 yards per carry on 42 totes. Some of his troubles can be attributed to poor blocking up front, but most of it is due to the always worthless Alex Smith, and unfortunate matchups against above average run defenses Seattle and Dallas. The latter will again be the brunt of his problems. After stuffing Peyton Hillis(notes) Week 1, the Bengals were gashed by Willis McGahee(notes) last week, allowing the mediocre veteran to tally his first 100-yard game since January 3, 2010. Despite the step back, Cincy should regain its identity from opening week action. Linebacker Rey Maualuga(notes) has shown glimpses of becoming an excellent run stopper. He and his defensive compadres have yielded just 3.6 yards per carry to RBs. Unless Smith miraculously morphs into Steve Young circa '95, Gore is destined to be orange crushed. Consider him a fringe RB2 in 12-team leagues.
Fearless Forecast: 21 carries, 67 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 15 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 10.5 fantasy points
Beanie Wells(notes), Ari, RB (Week 3 Noise RB Rank: 27, 58-percent started)
Matchup: at Sea
Historically, Seattle is an environment where every visiting back hurts. And not just sometimes. Only two backs, Chris Johnson and Jamaal Charles(notes) (Brief moment of silence for the JC of KC's deceased fantasy value), have surpassed the century mark on the ground against the 'Hawks in their last 18 games at CenturyLink Field, a span stretching back to 2008. As expected, Wells has benefited greatly from the Cardinals' acquisition of Kevin Kolb(notes) and preseason loss of Ryan Williams(notes). Over his first two games he's run with impressive power and conviction posting consecutive 90-yard, 1-TD games. However, Red Bryant(notes) and Alan Branch(notes) are impenetrable enforcers against the run. Gore and Mendenhall combined for just 3.1 yards per carry against them in Weeks 1 and 2. This season should be a breakout campaign for Beanie. But in a hostile setting and faced with an unfavorable matchup, his "Weenie" side will likely make a cameo. Don't bite.
Fearless Forecast: 17 carries, 58 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 7 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 8.0 fantasy points
Greg Jennings(notes), GB, WR (Week 3 Noise WR Rank: 22, 99-percent started)
Matchup: at Chi
Rarely does Jennings record a Lame-worthy effort. Stretching back to last season, he has scored at least nine points in standard formats in 11 of his past 13 contests. Suffice it to say, the consistency king has planted firm roots in Rockville. Chicago corners Tim Jennings(notes) and Charles Tillman(notes) definitely have a difficult assignment ahead. Still, Jennings' recent history against the hated Bears has been far from spectacular. Over his past three meetings, he's scored only once and averaged a mere three receptions for 57 yards. Yes, accounting for Jordy Nelson(notes), Donald Driver(notes) and Jermichael Finley(notes) is a monumental task for a Bears unit that was torched last week by another spread juggernaut, New Orleans, but, every once in a great while, top targets in a socialist system tend to disappear. Last week, it was Nelson's turn (for 3.5 quarters). This week expect Jennings to pull a Houdini.
Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 63 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 9.3 fantasy points
Reggie Wayne(notes), Ind, WR (Week 3 Noise WR Rank: 29, 86-percent started)
Matchup: vs. Pit
Talk of Jeff George, the greasiest mullet/'stache combo in NFL history, returning to Indy may sound ridiculous, but for a team quickly losing its religion, the forty-something might be an improvement over Kerry Collins(notes) and Curtis Painter(notes). This week, unfortunately, Wayne will be forced to catch passes from Collins — that is, if the Revolutionary War hero can actually get him the ball. After it was humiliated in Week 1 by the rival Ravens, the Pittsburgh D rediscovered its mojo last week versus Seattle, sacking Tarvaris Jackson(notes) five times while holding the 'Hawks to a dismal 164 total yards. Considering the decrepit state of the Colts offense, particularly the O-line, Collins will likely be swarmed under early and often, inhibiting Wayne's chances for even an average day. It's possible the three-time Prow Bowler could accumulate a fair amount of points in garbage time, but Ike Taylor(notes), the Steelers' best defensive back, is talented enough to keep No. 87 under wraps. Go "Nightswimming" with Wayne, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon may devour your soul, and your chances of victory in Week 3.
Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 36 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 6.6 fantasy points
BONUS WEEK 3 LAMES
Image courtesy of the AP