Week 10 Fantasy Flames: Bibbs to party hard on Bourbon Street

Every Wednesday the Noise highlights 12 under-started 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 (Thresholds – QB: 18 fpts, RB: 13 fpts, WR: 11 fpts: TE: 10 fpts; .5 PPR). If you’re a member of TEAM HUEVOS, reveal your Week 10 Flames in the comments section below.

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Jay Cutler, Chi, QB (2 percent started, $30 in Yahoo DFS)
Matchup: at TB
The amount of Parliaments Smokin’ Jay has “virtually” consumed over the past several years is equal to that of a single “Mad Men” episode. His glum facial expressions and mopey body language are all too familiar visuals. However, a confident, poised and practically stoic Cutler took the field, presumably masked, on Halloween night. Over four quarters of mistake-free football, he completed 64.5 percent of his attempts for 251 yards and a touchdown. His nearly impeccable effort combined with Jordan Howard’s ground pounding humbled a Vikings defense many felt impenetrable. Most importantly, the previously maligned passer fed Alshon Jeffery, a rare occurrence this season. This week, the emphysemic QB travels to the Sunshine State for a battle against the Bucs, a sickly defense primed for a torching. Five passers have exceeded 20 fantasy points versus Tampa this year, including Derek Carr who became the 18th signal caller in NFL history to toss 500 yards in a game. Overall, it’s given up 8.2 yards per attempt, 294.9 pass yards and 2.3 passing touchdowns per game. Mining for nuggets, corners Brent Grimes, Vernon Hargreaves and Alterraun Verner have conceded 10.5 fantasy points per game to assignments on the year. Yes, it’s Cutler, an inconsistent contributor who, like this writer, generally fails to measure up, but the matchup and the club’s renewed confidence in him suggest he’s an undervalued asset in Week 10.

Fearless Forecast: 283 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 1 interception, 11 rushing yards, 19.4 fantasy points

[Week 10 rankings: Overall | FLEX | QB | RB | WR | TE | DEF | K]

Chris Ivory, Jax, RB (10 percent started, $14)
Matchup: vs. Hou
Last week when Ivory ran up the left sideline at Arrowhead and obliterated Chiefs safety Ron Parker en route to a 42-yard gain, a collective “DAAAYUUUM!” rang out in the Yahoo Studios green room. The rusher’s truck-stick, the highlight of his 107-yard day, showcased the demoralizing power he often exhibited last season with New York. Though an ugly goal-line fumble marred an otherwise marvelous day, Ivory appears to have gained the upper hand in Jacksonville’s tandem backfield. His tag-team partner, ‘Total Junk’ Yeldon, routinely stuffed by the opposition this season, deserves to ride in the sidecar. If newly appointed offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett continues to feed Ivory, a likely occurrence to help alleviate pressure on Blake Bortles and provide balance, additional top-20 lines are on the horizon, Week 10 included. Sunday, the Jags exchange pleasantries with Vince Wilfork and the Texans, a run defense that’s allowed 4.3 yards per carry, 106.0 rush yards and 1.1 touchdowns per contest to RBs. On the season, nine RBs in eight games have scored at least 11 fantasy points against them. Ivory, who posted an eye-popping 3.6 YAC in Week 9, is worth entertaining as a FLEX or RB2 option in 12-team leagues.

Fearless Forecast: 16 carries, 78 rushing yards, 1 reception, 5 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 14.8 fantasy points

Darren Sproles, Phi, RB (58 percent started, $18)
Matchup: vs. Atl
A squirrel coated in butter. That’s Sproles in a nutshell. For years, the diminutive dynamo has toyed with would-be tacklers. His low-center of gravity, cartoon wheels, explosiveness and sharp cuts have made him an indispensable commodity as a rusher, receiver and returner. Despite the RB’s advanced age, Doug Pederson finally came to the conclusion Sproles needs to be heavily deployed in all facets. Last Sunday against the Giants, the rusher totaled a season-high 16 touches churning out an appreciable 71 total yards (4.4 ypc). He also out-snapped Ryan Mathews 60-to-8. If he receives another sizable workload in Week 10, which seems likely after Pederson remarked Monday the little guy is his primary back of the present, his finest fantasy performance this year is sure to follow. Atlanta, gashed routinely earlier in the year, has stiffened up front in recent weeks. On the year, the Dirty Birds have surrendered a mere 3.8 yards per carry to RBs. However, containing rushers on dump-offs, screens and flares continues to be a problem. Four times this season, opposing backfields have tallied 10 receptions in a game against them, including Tampa in Week 9. Knowing that shortcoming, look for the Eagles staff to design plays to get the bottle rocket in space. Execute flawlessly, and Sproles is sure to blaze a trail to mammoth numbers. Salivate freely at his prospects.

Fearless Forecast: 14 carries, 62 rushing yards, 5 receptions, 33 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 18.0 fantasy points

J.J. Nelson, Ari, WR (3 percent started, $18)
Matchup: at SF
Remember when everyone was ready to smooch Michael Floyd’s inevitable Hall-of-Fame bust? Almost incessantly hyped by the metrics community and novice fantasy players alike, it appears the wide receiver is officially circling the drain. His persistent inconsistencies and nagging injuries have worn Bruce Arians thin, clear in the wideout’s benching prior to Arizona’s bye week. As is always the case in any sport, one man’s flop is another man’s fortune. Nelson (5-foot-10, 156 pounds), who is roughly the size of “Half Baked” Dave Chappelle, stepped up in a major way Week 8 at Carolina. On a career-high 12 targets, he reeled in eight catches for 79 yards with a pair of touchdowns. Most importantly, he logged 65 snaps, the most of any Arizona receiver. His combination of speed (4.28 40-yard), sharpened routes and tacky hands present matchup problems for defenders, which Arians plans to take advantage of whether downfield, over the middle or on screens. Next to Larry Fitzgerald, he may be the steadiest performer in the Arizona WR corps rest of season, keeping John Brown in his usual No. 3 role with Floyd relegated to only sporadic action. This week matched against a San Francisco team he registered just three snaps against in Week 5, the UAB product is worth deploying at WR3 in 12-team leagues. The Niners, utterly dreadful in almost every category defensively, have conceded the fifth-most fantasy points per game to WRs on the season. Start him with confidence.

Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 61 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 14.1 fantasy points

Rishard Matthews, Ten, WR (16 percent started, $17)
Matchup: vs. GB
Thumbing through the annals of NFL history there are several wide receivers who simply haven’t received enough adulation – Isaac Bruce, Rod Smith and Derrick Mason immediately come to mind. Similar to how historians and journalists overlook old school titans, fantasy fans have largely ignored Matthews’ statistical prominence. The man is a conveyor belt of touchdowns, cranking out six points at an almost frenetic pace. The beneficiary of Marcus Mariota’s remarkable red zone efficiency, the receiver has totaled 0.48 fantasy points per opportunity in PPR formats, the 13th-best output at the position. He’s also crossed the chalk at least once in four of his last five contests. Additionally, he ranks No. 6 in fantasy points per target. Bottom line, on pass plays near the goal-line, Mariota is locked in on Matthews or Delanie Walker. This week, another TD hookup is entirely possible. Green Bay’s secondary, battered by various injuries, is extremely vulnerable. It’s given up 7.9 pass yards per attempt and the 10th-most fantasy points to WRs. Beneath the surface, current CB starters, Quentin Rollins and LaDarius Gunter, have conceded a combined 101.8 passer rating. Sketchy play at safety, particularly Micah Hyde (82.7 passer rating allowed), has only added to the misery. Quit giving Matthews the cold shoulder. He has the look of a WR2/WR3 this week and beyond.

Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 58 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 14.3 fantasy points

WEEK 10 SHOCKER SPECIAL (Under 10 percent started)

Kapri Bibbs, Den, RB (2 percent started, $10)
Matchup: at NO
The Devontae Booker era was certainly fun, wasn’t it? The rookie’s tenure as featured back may have lasted a ‘lengthy’ three weeks. His general ineffectiveness in consecutive weeks, one against an Oakland front that entering the week had allowed close to 4.7 yards per carry to RBs, signaled a change. Though it occurred with the game essentially out of reach, Bibbs had arguably the highlight of Week 10. On a designed screen, he bobbed, weaved and burst his way to a 69-yard score, embarrassing several wearing Silver and Black. The local undrafted product, who posted galactic numbers at Colorado St., is a well-built, talented runner equipped with useful versatility. He isn’t a cheetah by any stretch, but his sharp vision, decisive cuts and better than advertised power are qualities needed to be successful in Gary Kubiak’s zone-blocking scheme. Assuming Bibbs is rewarded with roughly 40 percent of the Broncos timeshare, a strong likelihood according to Broncos insiders, he’s a must-FLEX in season long and must-buy in DFS. Denver has serious run-blocking issues, but no opponent rights the ship like New Orleans. Indicative in DuJuan Harris’ breakthrough effort Week 9, the Saints simply refuse to follow basic gap principles. Ten, that’s right TEN, RBs have achieved ‘Flame’ status against them. On the year, they’ve allowed a ridiculous 4.5 yards per carry, 155.3 total yards and 1.8 touchdowns per game. Saddle the kid up.

Fearless Forecast: 10 carries, 49 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 16 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 14.0 fantasy points


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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?

Reader record: 21-43

Noise season record: 36-59 (Week 9 – 6-5; W: Dak Prescott, Tim Hightower, Kenny Britt, Cameron Brate, San Diego D/ST, Davante Adams; L: Devante Parker, Charcandrick West, Sam Bradford, Corey Coleman, Antone Smith; DNP: Derrick Henry)

Follow Brad on Twitter (@YahooNoise) and check out his new TV show, ‘The Fantasy Football Hour,’ Wednesdays on Altitude TV (Channel 681 on DirecTV, 412 on DISH).