November 29, 2008
Each week the Noise will guide desperate, deep-thinking owners into the dark corners of the waiver wire to mine a last-minute diamond. Turn on your helmet light and pack a pickaxe. We're digging for drop-jaw surprises owned in less than 10 percent or started in five percent and less of Yahoo! leagues.
Whenever Davone Bess watches "Rudy" the waterworks probably flow.
Undrafted last April, the Dolphins rookie has overcome almost insurmountable odds to not only make the active roster, but develop into an impact player. In other words, he's a classic overachieving Ruettiger.
Outside of loyal WAC followers, Bess was largely unknown entering the season. Despite being Colt Brennan's most productive wideout in Hawaii's hyper-spread offense, many scouts were not convinced the smallish 5-foot-10, 195-pound receiver had the size or speed to be effective at the next level. But scouts never accounted for the youngster's most important attribute: his heart.
A tireless worker in college, Bess routinely worked out hours before 7:00 AM practices catching 150-200 balls from a JUGS machine. More astonishing, team psychologists labeled his personality/performance type as ESTP (Extra-verted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving), a demeanor shared by megastars Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning.
"I'm getting more and more confident each week. I'm continuing to work hard. Now, I feel like I need to stay ready. I know every position on the field. That goes for all of the receivers, just in case something like this (Camarillo's injury) happened. So we're all prepared."
A crafty slot receiver with tender hands, Bess's brainy play and ability to run sharp routes has forged a budding chemistry with Chad Pennington. Over the past two weeks, he's averaged seven targets, four receptions and 68.5 yards per game.
Although he'll have to accommodate Ernest Wilford by dividing time between slot and split end, the unsung rookie is primed to notch another 6-9 targets this week in St. Louis. The rancid Rams have yielded the 11th-fewest fantasy points since Week 8, but their seventh-most 20-yard pass plays allowed this season lends a truer picture. Because offenses have throttled them in the trenches and built up enormous early leads, teams haven't needed to pass to score points which skew the numbers. Yes, Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams will be the focal point of the Miami gameplan, but against soft run defenses this season (Hou, Den and Oak) Pennington has averaged 29 pass attempts per game.
Owners with suspect WR3 options in Grand Canyon-deep leagues may want to acquire and play the 21 percent-owned (five percent-started) former Warrior.
With playoff dreams on the line, Bess's effort this week may just make you stream tears of joy.
Week 13 Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 73 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
Who is your Week 13 Shocker Special? Post your selection with projection in the comments section below.
Previous Shockers: Hank Baskett (2-102-TD), Brian Griese (160-1-0), James Jones (1 drop, injury), Lance Moore (7-101-2TDs), David Martin (1-25-0), JaMarcus Russell (159-0-1-11 rsh yds), Donnie Avery (4-55-TD), Ryan Fitzpatrick (155-0-2-42 rsh yds, FL), Rashied Davis (6-64-TD), Justin Gage (4-47-TD), Koren Robinson (1-12-0), Fred Jackson (9-56, 2-20)
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