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 8 Flames in the comments section below.
Tyrod Taylor, Buf, QB (33 percent started, $32 in Yahoo DFS)
Matchup: vs. NE
Similar to Marcus Mariota, T-Mobile is a poor man’s Cam Newton, a multidimensional passer who pads the bottom line with his legs. Despite being without the services of Sammy Watkins and most recently Robert Woods, the Bills’ passer has played unfazed, repeatedly bombarding DBs with deep-ball attempts. Not only is he the current pacesetter in rushing yards at the position (38.6 per/gm), he also ranks top-five in average depth of target (10.2) and fantasy points per dropback (0.53). He’s only hurdled the 20-fantasy point line once in four career games versus the division rival Pats. In his first battle against them Week 4 at Foxboro, he didn’t earn Flame membership, totaling a decent, but not spectacular 246-1-0-28 line. Equally discouraging, the Fighting Beelzechicks have conceded just 6.9 pass yards per attempt. Still, the setup is tantalizing. Extremely thin at receiver (Woods and Marquise Goodwin are major question marks) and likely without LeSean McCoy, who unconscionably was given the green light last week with a delicate hamstring, Tyrod will be relied upon heavily as a runner. Couple that with New England’s pass defense weaknesses outside Malcolm Butler – Logan Ryan and Jonathan Jones have given up a combined 12.7 fantasy points per game – and Tyrod is a recommended QB1 play, especially if presented with an extended garbage-time opportunity.
Fearless Forecast: 249 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 1 interception, 52 rushing yards, 22.2 fantasy points
Devontae Booker, Den, RB (13 percent started, $12)
Matchup: vs. SD
When Lucifer Shanahan roamed the sidelines in Denver, a number of previously overlooked running backs were bats out of hell. Terrell Davis, Mike Anderson, Rueben Droughns were just a few deep sleepers who seized the moment and bedeviled the competition. Under Gary Kubiak, a Shanahan disciple, another unheralded rusher is quickly ascending. Mark my words, Booker is on the precipice of fantasy greatness. Yes, C.J. Anderson has pinballed off tacklers and occasionally displayed remarkable lateral agility, but the rookie out of Utah is wonderfully talented in his own right. His bulldozing power, burst, vision and quick cuts are skills necessary for Kubiak’s one-cut scheme. Those skills were visible Monday night against Houston as Booker totaled 87 yards on 18 touches with a TD. He also out-snapped CJA 35-to-28. Including that effort, he ranks inside the position’s top-20 in juke and breakaway rates. If the Broncos offensive line continues to jell, a Devonta Freeman–Tevin Coleman like rotation could develop. With that in mind, Booker, in a rough bye week, definitely exudes FLEX appeal. San Diego, which lost another defender, DL Caraun Reid, is hurting in many places. On the year, the Chargers have held RBs to 4.1 yards per carry, but their vulnerability against versatile backs has plagued them. As a unit, they’ve allowed 147.6 total yards per game and the sixth-most fantasy points to RBs. If Booker can secure roughy 40-45 percent of the opportunity share he’ll yield top-24 numbers. (UPDATE: Multiple reports out of Denver arrow to Anderson missing extended time with a bone bruise. It’s Booker’s show with Kapri Bribbs likely mixed in. The rookie is a highly trustworthy RB1 in Week 8).
Fearless Forecast: 19 attempts, 87 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 23 receiving yards, td, 19.0 fantasy points
Jacquizz Rodgers, TB, RB (58 percent started, $26)
Matchup: vs. Oak
Only weeks ago, the pint-sized rusher sat at home presumably kicked back in his barcalounger crushing Cheetohs. Terminated by Chicago, Rodgers was a free agent running back waiting for his next opportunity. Signed by Tampa in September to add depth with Doug Martin hamstrung, he began his Bucs stint buried on the depth chart. However, one Charles Sims knee tweak and Martin injury aggravation later and ‘Quizz is stunningly the ship’s captain. Evidenced by his terrific showing in San Francisco, he’s taken full advantage of the situation. The short, stocky running back, who looks like a mini-fridge with feet, possesses slick evadability, a skill that typically leaves defenders frozen in their tracks. Over his past two contests, he’s forced 14 missed tackles and notched a dynamite 3.4 YAC. He’s also cranked out the 10th-most valuable line among RBs. Rodgers’ swelled volumes and versatility arrow to additional RB1-level lines until Martin returns. This week, with six teams on siesta, it’s not nutty to think he reserves a seat among elites. The Raiders are a wonderfully accommodating opponent. Littered with holes, Oakland’s front line is made of cheesecloth. On the season, it’s surrendered 5.1 yards per carry and the 10th-most fantasy points to RBs. Even behind a below average offensive line – Tampa checks in at No. 27 in run-blocking according to Football Outsiders – the stealth back should find numerous creases to scoot through en route to a triple-digit day.
Fearless Forecast: 24 carries, 127 rushing yards, 2 receptions 9 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
Tyler Lockett, Sea, WR (12 percent started, $15)
Matchup: at NO
He may not have leathery skin, wield a claw hand or own an affinity for stripped shirts, but Lockett is a fantasy Freddy Krueger who’s sure to be a Nightmare on Bourbon Street. Pegged a breakout candidate by many preseason, the wideout has only haunted dreams this season. Over six games, he’s enticed a putrid 11.5 percent targets share and has only once accumulated 25 or more receiving yards. A PCL injury which sapped his burst, and Seattle’s incoherent vertical execution are to blame. Most owners issued him walking papers weeks ago, but now is the time to reacquire and reestablish a working relationship with the wideout. Pete Carroll made it no secret his desire to get the second-year weapon more involved before the Arizona game. His downfield explosiveness and shiftiness on designed screens is sorely missed. What better way to snap out of a funk than against the always forgiving Saints. New Orleans’ defense is once again comprised of friendly ghosts, particularly its injury-ravaged secondary. Slot corner B.W. Webb, who will be busy attempting to contain Doug Baldwin, has performed suitably, but compatriots Ken Crawley and Sterling Moore have certainly exhibited transparency (combined 10.1 fantasy points allowed). Not to be outdone, safety Von Bell has also swooned. Overall, the Saints have allowed 8.0 yards per attempt and seven 80-plus yard wide receivers this year. In a make or break week, Lockett taps into his once promising potential.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 63 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 9 rushing yards, 15.7 fantasy points
Jamison Crowder, Was, WR (17 percent started, $18)
Matchup: at Cin
Similar to the house around the corner that rewards trick or treaters with full-sized Snickers, Crowder is a potential Halloween weekend hero. For those who’ve dropped a quarter into the slot machine, he’s cashed consistent double-digit payouts in PPR leagues. Benefiting greatly from Jordan Reed’s absence the past two weeks, he’s become an even greater focus of the offense. Last week against the Lions, for example, he generated 23.1 percent of the targets share and hauled in a season-high seven passes for 109 yards. Another five-plus catches are on the horizon this week even if Reed returns. Slot receivers have had their way against Cincinnati this season. Jarvis Landry, Cole Beasely and Quincy Enunwa each crossed the 10-fantasy point line in receptions-heavy formats versus the Bengals this year. Corner Joshua Shaw, who’s manned the slot 22 percent of the time, has played admirably giving up only a 19.0 passer rating to his assignments. But with DeSean Jackson struggling, Pierre Garcon fading and the ground game inefficient, Crowder is Kirk Cousins’ lone trustworthy option. On another 7-9 targets, the plucky receiver declaws the Queen City Cats.
Fearless Forecast: 6 receptions, 72 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 16.2 fantasy points
WEEK 8 SHOCKER SPECIAL (Under 10 percent started)
Knile Davis, GB, RB (1 percent started, $11)
Matchup: at Atl
Inside his laboratory, mad scientist Mike McCarthy has created a Frankenstein. Ty Montgomery is a patchwork of styles – part Julian Edelman, part Le’Veon Bell, part Tavon Austin. His blend of soft hands, patience, acceleration and power has transformed him from special teamer into hybrid sensation. But the Montgomery experiment may gradually end. Davis, acquired from Kansas City just before Green Bay’s Week 7 exchange with Chicago, is the reason why. While a Chief, the SPARQ freak only occasionally flashed as a lead back. The last time he received a sizable workload was 2014. That year, in five games in which he amassed 10 or more touches, he averaged a laudable 88.2 total yards per game and 4.3 yards per carry with four touchdowns. More impressive, he totaled a 2.3 YAC and 0.18 tackles avoided per attempt rate over the stretch, outputs that landed inside the position’s top-12. At 5-foot-10, 237 pounds and equipped with 4.37 40-yard speed, Davis is certainly an exciting prospect, one who’s role will only ramp up, potentially starting this week. Atlanta isn’t exactly a concrete wall in the trenches. It’s surrendered only 3.9 yards per carry, but five rushers, including Melvin Gordon last week, have crossed the 11-point line against it. In total, it has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to RBs. Montgomery is sure to be a featured player this week given the Falcons’ persistent issues defending the short field, but gut says Davis nets at least double-digit touches en route to a FLEX worthy tally. He’s admittedly a lottery ticket, but in a BYE apocalypse, chances need to be taken.
Fearless Forecast: 13 carries, 61 rushing yards, 1 reception, 5 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 13.1 fantasy points
BONUS WEEK 8 FLAMES
#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?
— Matthew Marsella (@mattmarsella) October 25, 2016
Reader record: 17-33
Noise season record: 30-54 (Week 7: 5-7; W – Ty Montgomery, Tavon Austin, Spencer Ware, Andy Dalton, Tevin Coleman; L – James White, Marcus Mariota, Tennessee D/ST, Cameron Meredith, Matt Jones, Colin Kaepernick, Hunter Henry)