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Week 2 Fantasy Flames: Ain't nothin' but a Jimmy 'G' thang

Brad Evans
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Jimmy Garoppolo leads top overlooked players for Week 2

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 2 Flames in the comments section below.

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Jimmy Garoppolo, NE, QB (4 percent started, $28)
Matchup: vs. Mia

Garoppolo’s debonair appearance may be fit for a cologne ad, but his near impeccable execution at Arizona was the primary reason why New England stunned the football world in Week 1. Unfairly criticized throughout the preseason due to constant comparisons to Tom Brady, the pride of Tony Romo U body slammed his critics completing 72.7 percent of his attempts for 264 yards and a TD against a hostile Cardinals defense. His 8.0 yards per attempt was also very attractive. For the most part, Garoppolo operated where he’s most comfortable, in the short-to-intermediate field. He leaned on Julian Edelman drag routes to set up sporadic deep shots to Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Hogan, one which connected for a 37-yard scoring strike. His stirring performance conjured memories of Matt Cassell’s ascension post-Brady knee shredding in 2008. Blessed with a friendlier matchup this week, it’s entirely possible he cracks the position’s top-10, especially if Rob Gronkowski (hammy) is cleared. Collectively, the Miami defense greatly exceeded expectations last week in Seattle, but Byron Maxwell (14.8 yards per route allowed Week 1) and Bobby McCain (131.8 passer rating allowed) netted only average coverage scores in the opener. On another 30-35 attempts, possibly more if Pats corner Logan Ryan gets manhandled again, anticipate an efficient and fantasy-effective showing by the QB. Tyrod Taylor owners distraught over Sammy Watkins’ fragile foot should immediately employ ‘The Godfather’s’ services.

Fearless Forecast: 273 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 0 turnovers, 9 rushing yards, 19.8 fantasy points

Jimmy Garoppolo will have investors grinning from ear to ear this week. (Getty)
Jimmy Garoppolo will have investors grinning from ear to ear this week. (Getty)

Tevin Coleman, Atl, RB (3 percent started, $13)
Matchup: at Oak
Sometimes it’s coachspeak (See Kelvin Benjamin/Matt Forte). Other times it’s the cold, hard truth. Summer rumors of a full-blown RBBC turned into reality after Devonta Freeman and Coleman saw nearly identical snaps against Tampa, a nightmare scenario for those who shelled out an exorbitant pick for fantasy’s reigning RB king. This writer, in a rare stroke of brilliance, tried to warn the masses months ago. Coleman was dynamite last Sunday. Though largely pedestrian between the tackles, he exhibited remarkable receiving skills, impressively adjusting to inaccurate throws while showcasing his blazing open-field wheels. In total, he amassed 117 combined yards against Tampa notching an exhilarating 19.0 yards per route run. Freeman did register more action inside the red-zone (six touches to two), but managed a hideous 2.7 yards per touch overall. It’s clear the slumbering rusher hasn’t snapped out of his 2015 second-half funk (3.1 ypc after Week 9). This week, look for Coleman to seize control, much like Freeman did at the same point on the fantasy schedule last year. Oakland mostly contained Mark Ingram Week 1 in New Orleans, but still surrendered an unsavory 4.8 yards per carry to the back. Its interior transparency, visible throughout the preseason, carried over. In a clash where points should be more of a premium, Atlanta’s ground game will be emphasized. Coleman outpacing marquee names Eddie Lacy (at Min), Doug Martin (at Ari) and Carlos Hyde (at Car) this week isn’t a tequila-influenced hot take.

Fearless Forecast: 12 carries, 50 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 33 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 16.3 fantasy points

T.J. Yeldon, Jax, RB (21 percent started, $20)
Matchup: at SD
Creed. Nickelback. Limp Bizkit. Yeldon, like those crappy 90s/early-2000s bands, is the definition of mediocrity. Take his Week 1 performance for instance. Thrust into the lead role after Chris Ivory was hospitalized with a mysterious illness, he achieved the Matt Asiata – totaling double-digit fantasy points despite a puke-worthy yards per carry average (1.9; 1.6 YAC). What a milestone. Thanks high volume (90 percent opportunity share). Despite his uninspiring effort, another vigorous workload is on the horizon for “Total Junk.” Ivory was finally released from the hospital Tuesday, but his availability for Sunday’s tilt in SoCal is very much in doubt. Unless the former Jet makes a miraculous recovery, Yeldon, is in line for 20-plus touches. Unlike last week’s contest against Green Bay, the rusher’s matchup is exponentially better. Regardless if Joey Bosa suits up, chunk plays will seem routine for Yeldon. Though Spencer Ware is a tougher inside runner and more talented overall compared to the Jag, his 199 combined yards on 18 grips last week versus the Bolts offers encouragement. Inserting even average backs into your lineup against San Diego will reap major benefits the entire season. The Chargers’ gap assignment and short-field coverage are horrendous to say the least. Similar to Ware in Week 1, Yeldon is an exceptional, low-dollar option who is practically must-buy/start material. He could crawl his way to 80 total yards and a score.

Fearless Forecast: 18 carries, 74 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 40 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 19.4 fantasy points

Tajae Sharpe, Ten, WR (7 percent started, $15)
Matchup: at Det
Sharpe is a prime example why preseason football is meaningful, not meaningless. Anyone with a pair of functional eyes could’ve seen his potential in exhibition play. His length, across-the-middle willingness, and sticky-trap hands jumped off the screen. It’s no wonder Marcus Mariota favored him in August and Week 1. Against the Xavier Rhodes-less Vikings, the rookie picked up where he left off in the preseason. On a team-high 11 targets, he hauled in seven receptions for 76 yards. His reliability on sideline and midfield routes is extraordinary for an inexperienced player. His 0.6 RAC (run after catch average) left much to be desired, but as long as the volume continues, he should be a WR3 staple in PPR settings, particularly this week. Similar to supposed shutdown corners Marcus Peters and Sean Smith, Detroit’s Darius Slay was uncharacteristically generous in the opener. Against Donte Moncrief and T.Y. Hilton he surrendered 19.8 yards per route. His coverage partner, Nevin Lawson, was equally susceptible giving up a 118.8 passer rating to his assignments. No matter who Sharpe lines up against, he should grind his way to an appreciable fantasy day.

Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 67 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 15.2 fantasy points

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Dennis Pitta, Bal, TE (1 percent started, $10)
Matchup: vs. Cle
If someone informed me Pitta retired years ago and is now running a winery in Chile, I probably would’ve bought it. Besieged by various injuries, he’s suited up in only eight games since his breakthrough 2012 campaign. But after registering a team-best 56 snaps – 29 on pass downs – along with three receptions for 30 yards (on four targets) Week 1 versus Buffalo, the forgotten tight end is again a player of fantasy interest. Seriously. It’s clear Marc Trestmen favors him over Maxx Williams and Crockett Gillmore, a trend that’s likely to continue provided the six-year vet doesn’t get hurt again. On defense, the Factory of Sadness is cranking out urine cakes by the hundreds. Whether at linebacker or defensive back, the Browns’ coverage last week against Carson Wentz, a player with 1.5 quarters of preseason play under his belt, largely against second and third-stringers, was laughable. Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor and Zach Ertz (7-6-58-0) operated freely on intermediate routes. If Cleveland’s porous execution continues, the ONE percent owned target could resurrect his top-10 form of yesteryear. Ertz owners combing the wire for a suitable replacement should give him a long, hard look.

Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 52 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 13.2 fantasy points

WEEK 1 SHOCKER SPECIAL (Under 10 percent started)

Michael Thomas, NO, WR (4 percent started, $14)
Matchup: at NYG
Overshadowed in the Willie Snead and Brandin Cooks bonanza last week against Oakland, Thomas tallied admirable numbers. He logged a snap count comparable to his more fantasy-handsome teammates (Cooks – 62, Thomas – 55, Snead – 52), caught all six of his intended looks for 56 yards and notched a quality 5.2 RAC. His 0.36 fantasy points per opportunity was equal to Donte Moncrief. Overall, his performance was laudable. Because of the Saints’ socialist nature on offense, the roulette wheel will sometimes land on lucky No. 13. Week 2 could be one such occasion. The Giants’ secondary still has many unanswered questions. Don’t be seduced by its containment of Dez Bryant last week. Despite limiting one of the game’s premier weapons to a single catch, Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie and Eli Apple conceded a combined 65.0 catch percentage and 112.3 passer rating to Dallas targets according to Player Profiler. Janoris Jenkins, picked on just three times, didn’t allow a reception, but collectively the unit will likely settle in the bottom quarter of the league when 2016 concludes. With the added attention Cooks and Snead will presumably draw, the 6-foot-3 Thomas could become the apple of Drew Brees’ eye. Consider him an upside WR3 in 12-team and deeper formats.

Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 68 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 15.3 fantasy points

BONUS WEEK 2 FLAMES

BonusWeek2Flames16a
BonusWeek2Flames16a

#TEAMHUEVOS PICKS OF THE WEEK
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: 4-3

Noise season record: 5-7 (Week 1 results. W: Spencer Ware, Will Fuller (SS), Jameis Winston, Theo Riddick, Melvin Gordon; L: Dak Prescott, Tavon Austin, Marvin Jones, James White, Corey Coleman, Virgil Green, Tennessee)

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).