Each week the Noise highlights seven somewhat obscure, unobvious names who he believes are destined to torch the competition. For those playing the Flames home edition, each player must be started in fewer than 60 percent of Yahoo! leagues to qualify. As an accountability advocate, results, whether genius or moronic, will post the following week using the scoring system listed here. Cyper-bullies, Tweet the Noise your rants here.
Though he has fewer follicles, bucks and blond bombshells at his side, Kitna is nearly identical to Tony Romo(notes) in every way – at least, statistically speaking. Do a side-by-side comparison of the QBs’ numbers this season and there’s little difference. As Berry Tramel of the Oklahoman suggested earlier this week, it’s time to give the 38-year-old his due. Leading a much-improved Cowboys team, Kitna has averaged 239.2 passing yards per game and posted a 10:4 TD:INT split since Week 10. More surprisingly, the spry passer has chipped in 24 rushing yards per contest. His subsequent 22.8 points per week ranks No. 5 at his position. Another top-tiered effort should be expected in Week 15. In nearly every phase of the game, Washington has rarely challenged the opposition, especially vertically. Signal callers have compiled 270.5 yards and 1.5 touchdowns per game against the ‘Skins, equal to the fifth-most fantasy points. Minus LaRon Landry(notes) and with Carlos Rogers(notes) nursing a tender hamstring, Washington is in a disadvantageous position against an explosive offense. Romo threw for 284 yards and a TD Week 1 in the nation’s capital. Expect Kitna to be even better in the encore. Ride ‘em Cowboy.
Fearless Forecast: 23-36, 287 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception, 23 rushing yards, 23 fantasy points
The Football Frankenstein’s freakish mixture of size, speed and strength is as unique as a Slash guitar riff. His burst around the edge and between the tackles brawn are remarkable for a player that stands at 6-foot-5, 260-pounds. Nagging injuries have limited Jacobs the last two years, causing Ahmad Bradshaw(notes) to seize carries. Now healthy, he’s once again imposing his will on would-be tacklers, running with considerable power and purpose. Since reacquiring the starting job in Week 10, he’s pulverized defenders, averaging 102 yards per game and an insane 8.5 yards per carry. Over that span, he’s also reached the pylons three times. The fresh rusher admitted Monday he’s “never felt this good at this point in the season.” Earlier this season, the Giants had evolved into a pass-centric team. But injuries and Eli Manning’s(notes) turnover woes have forced Tom Coughlin to get back to what the G-Men do best, pound the rock. Expect that formula to continue against Michael Vick’s(notes) Eagles. With Steve Smith and Mario Manningham(notes) unlikely to play this week, Jacobs and Bradshaw will be featured prominently in a critical NFC East battle. Though Philly has only allowed 3.7 yards per carry to rushers over the past five weeks, it has struggled mightily in red zone defense. Since Week 9, the Eagles have given up seven touchdowns to RBs. Look for the Giants to dominate the line of scrimmage with defensive leader Stewart Bradley(notes) out for the rest of the season. Fantasy’s reanimated monster will continue to be a playoff beast.
Fearless Forecast: 15 carries, 88 rushing yards, 1 touchdown, 14 fantasy points
Stewie Beef is making a strong case to open 2011 as the starter in Charlotte. Since returning to full strength three weeks ago, the between-the-tackles bowling ball has rolled his way to a 107.7 rushing yards per game average, including an impressive 133 yards against one of the league’s stingiest run defenses, Atlanta. More incredibly, he’s racked 6.3 yards per carry over that stretch. The Oregon product credits the offensive line for the ground game’s stunning turnaround. Discombobulated earlier this year, the gelled unit has dominated the line of scrimmage, regularly opening up massive lanes for Stewart and Mike Goodson(notes) to burst through. This week, creating walrus-wide holes will hardly be a chore. Humiliated often this season, Arizona has failed miserably in gap execution. Since Week 10, the Cards have conceded a mind-blowing 4.7 yards per carry, 174.2 total yards per game and eight TDs to rushers, equal to the third-most fantasy points. Due to Jimmy Clausen’s(notes) ongoing incompetence and ‘Zona’s respectable pass defense, Stewart and Goodson will be featured prominently. For the former, eclipsing the century mark for the second straight week seems inevitable. Light the powder keg.
Fearless Forecast: 20 carries, 121 rushing yards, 1 touchdown, 18 fantasy points
Hightower is the Kristen Bell of running backs. Similar to the smokin,’ yet constantly dissed on hot lists, actress, he is terribly underrated. Even when gifted a favorable matchup, most owners house indifferent feelings for the rusher. This unworthy treatment explains why he’s currently rostered in only 50 percent of Y! leagues. However, those who’ve bought into Hightower just might laugh their way all the way to the bank. Last week, he gashed the Broncos for a season-high 148 yards and two touchdowns. Most impressive to Ken Whisenhunt, 97 of those yards came after the back was temporarily benched for losing a fumble early in the fourth quarter. Assuming Hightower can firmly grip the rock, another fantasy points bonanza could be in store in Carolina. No defense has yielded more points to plowshares since Week 10. Over that span, the Panthers have allowed 4.6 yards per carry, 174.8 total yards per game and 12 touchdowns. Because of John Skelton’s(notes) inexperience, naysayers will argue Hightower will constantly face stacked boxes. Though true, it will be no different than any other week. And don’t worry about Beanie Wells(notes). The combustible back, who was limited last week by a gastrointestinal issue (Feminine cramps?), continues to fail in the little things department. Another stellar performance and Hightower will don a cape. Get with the hero.
Fearless Forecast: 17 carries, 92 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 10 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 16 fantasy points
Crumpets, tea and plenty of fantasy points are on the menu for Britt this week versus Houston. Fully recovered from a hamstring injury which cost him four games, the early season standout was immediately reinserted into the starting lineup a week ago, catching four passes for 39 yards (eight targets). After shaking off the rust, the ultra-talented wideout should regain his pre-injury form. Recall from Weeks 3-7 he scored in every game and averaged a very healthy 78.6 yards per contest. As noted endlessly this season, the Texans secondary is a defensive sieve. Only fellow Lone Star representative, Dallas, has given up more fantasy points to receivers. Corner Glover Quin(notes), though light years better than teammate Kareem Jackson(notes), will provide little resistance to the athletic pass catcher. Jeff Fisher has hinted Randy Moss(notes) could lineup beside Britt on occasion. But let’s be frank, the veteran’s epitaph was written weeks ago. The younger, more explosive receiver will be Kerry Collins’(notes) favorite target. Titanic numbers are in the offing. ‘Ello guv’nor!
Fearless Forecast: 6 receptions, 93 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns, 21 fantasy points
Mike Williams, Sea, WR (Noise Week 15 WR Rank: 12, six-percent started)
Matchup: vs. Atl
This time two years ago, Williams was crushing fruitcakes at an astonishing pace. Now leaner and meaner, Matt Millen’s biggest “bust” has shed the degrading label. When healthy, Left Coast Mike has performed admirably totaling nearly 60 yards per game, including three 100-yard efforts. Hampered by a foot injury over the past couple weeks, Williams is slated to return to practice Wednesday. Barring a setback, he should draw the start against a very vulnerable Atlanta secondary. On the year, the Falcons have surrendered the fifth-most fantasy points to wide receivers. With a six-inch height advantage over Dunta Robinson(notes), Williams will undoubtedly be the apple of Matt Hasselbeck’s(notes) eye – 12-15 targets are not out of the question. Because of Seattle’s problems running the ball and Atlanta’s ability to defend it, the ‘Hawks must look skyward if they want to move the chains. The end zone has been elusive for the 26-year-old, but this week, a pay-dirt splash or two is very possible. Step up to the Mike.
Fearless Forecast: 8 receptions, 108 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 16 fantasy points
Deep down we’ve harbored a many man-crush for Jennings. The product of Samkon Gado(notes)-U (Liberty) is a fabulous mixture of power, speed and versatility. If not buried behind Maurice Jones-Drew(notes), the second-year back would be a fantasy star. On just five carries last week against Oakland he rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown, a performance which gave locals Fred Taylor flashbacks. Though he's accumulated double-digit touches only twice this season, his role is set to expand this week against Indy's pliable front. This season, the Colts have given up 4.8 yards per carry, 164.2 total yards per game and 14 touchdowns to RBs equal to the sixth-most fantasy points. Considering the Jags' shortcomings in pass defense, Jack Del Rio will likely follow a run-early, run-often philosophy in an attempt to keep the ball out of Peyton Manning’s(notes) hands. If the strategy proves successful, MoJo and Jennings could carry the rock a combined 40 times. Owners in deeper leagues willing to gamble on a high-risk, high-reward flex play, Jennings is worth the dice roll.
Fearless Forecast: 10 carries, 51 rushing yards, 1 reception, 6 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 11 fantasy points
Other potential Week 15 Flames: Kerry Collins (vs. Hou), Sam Bradford(notes) (vs. KC), Felix Jones(notes) (vs. Wash), Tashard Choice(notes) (vs. Wash), LeGarrette Blount(notes) (vs. Det), Ricky Williams(notes) (vs. Buf), Ronnie Brown(notes) (vs. Buf), Mike Goodson (vs. Ari), Deion Branch(notes) (vs. GB), Anthony Armstrong(notes) (at Dal), Louis Murphy(notes) (vs. Den), Bo Scaife(notes) (vs. Hou), Anthony Fasano(notes) (vs. Buf)
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