Each week the Noise highlights 12-13 somewhat obscure, un-obvious 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. If you're a member of TEAM HUEVOS, reveal your Week 12 Flames in the comments section below.
Matchup: vs. Min
Growing up in downstate Illinois, my ever-wise Bears-loving father always stressed, "Son, always pay your bills on time and never, ever date a Packer." Yes, Pops, the credit card payment was delivered punctually this week, but against your better judgement, I'm straying away from the latter piece of advice. Sorry, but the matchup is unquestionably favorable and Tolzien's Carson Palmer-like looks (Really it's uncanny) are simply too irresistible to ignore. The Wisconsinite has hardly badgered opponents since taking over for Aaron Rodgers. In two starts, he's exceeded 280 passing yards in each contest, but posted an appalling 1:5 TD:INT split. Though his decision making has been far from stellar, he's completed nearly 66-percent of his passes, averaged 8.48 yards per attempt and displayed better-than-advertised arm strength. Minnesota, already in shambles defensively, lost another starter in its secondary, Josh Robinson, last week. Essentially a skeleton crew on D, the Vikes are inching their way closer to the No. 1 overall pick in next May's NFL draft. Over the past five weeks, the Purple Pansies have surrendered 269 passing yards per game and a 12:1 TD:INT split to signal callers, equal to the second-most fantasy points allowed. Rodgers rolled up 316 combined yards and two scores in the Packers' first tango with Minnesota back in Week 8. Sure, if A-Rod is the new X-Box One, Tolzien is an Atari 2600 with a sticky joystick, but it's no stretch to think he can't match the All-Pro's previous numbers versus the Vikes. Take a chance.
Fearless Forecast: 274 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 12 rushing yards, 21.9 fantasy points
Matchup: at Hou
Sullen, sulking expressions like the one visible on MJD's face (see left) have been commonplace for the rusher this season. You can't blame him. Trapped in an endless nightmare, he and his Jaguar teammates have become the butt of several jokes around Fantasyland. Though his superficial numbers have left a great deal to be desired (2.87 ypc, 61.0 typg, 4 TDs, No. 30 RB rank), the Oompa-Loompa has played admirably this year. When given time and space to operate, he's bowled through would-be tacklers on a regular basis. Impressively, he's gained 68.5 percent of his yards after initial contact. He's reached the 100 total yard mark only once this season, but he's been at least FLEX-useful of late, finding the end-zone in three of his past five games. Matched against a Houston team 'led' by a coach who's clearly lost his marbles (Matt Schaub couldn't ignite an offense with a flamethrower and a bucket of napalm, Gary), he could deliver his finest performance of the year. Uncharacteristically forgiving in the trenches, the Texans have allowed 4.69 yards per carry to RBs since Week 7. Last week, Rashad Jennings ground Toro into burger, dropping 150 rush yards on his beloved club. Buy your boo-boo a Jag.
Fearless Forecast: 19 carries, 78 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 14 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 17.4 fantasy points
Matchup: at Atl
Ingram, similar to another ex-Alabama back who claims he's still a "good" player, is quite possibly the most ordinary rusher in the league. In his first two seasons with the Saints, he averaged a mere 3.9 yards per carry, often playing second fiddle to better-rounded options Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles. His merely adequate combination of power, speed and vision only dazzle when an extremely favorable matchup is on the docket. Two weeks ago that opponent was Dallas, a victim the rusher racked a career-high 160 total yards and a touchdown against. This week, it's Atlanta, an equally exploitable matchup. Dissected routinely in all facets of the game, the Falcons have been especially generous in the trenches. Over their past five games the Dirty Birds have given up 4.89 yards per carry, 153.8 rushing yards per game and five rushing TDs to RBs. Ingram crashed back down to earth last week, netting just 22 snaps and seven touches for 29 yards, but, in what should be a lopsided affair, expect a workload uptick. FLEX the man in deeper formats.
Fearless Forecast: 11 carries, 58 rushing yards, 1 receptions, 6 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 13.1 fantasy points
Matchup: vs. TB
Widely considered a hero in the pizza community after sacrificing a limb to rescue a pepperoni in distress, Burleson is on the verge of seeing his first action since Week 3. Barring a setback in practice this week, expect the Lions' No. 2 to sink his teeth into the competition. A primary weapon of Matthew Stafford pre-injury, Burleson averaged 7.7 targets and 6.3 receptions per game over the first three weeks of the season. If he goes, count on a near identical output. Tampa has struggled immensely against slot machines this year. Owners who pulled the lever on Harry Douglas (twice), Rishard Matthews and Doug Baldwin against the Bucs hit jackpot. Combined the trio averaged 7.5 receptions and 119.5 yards per game, totaling five touchdowns. Burleson may be a bit rusty, but because the injury didn't impact his lower body, he should be in relatively good football shape. With Darrelle Revis likely to shadow Calvin Johnson, the crafty veteran should have little difficulty dominating Leonard Johnson and Jonathan Banks, a duo that's surrendered a combined 66.3 catch rate. Order extra cheese.
Fearless Forecast: 6 receptions, 68 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 17.3 fantasy points
Matchup: at Oak
If there's an album name that best describes Wright, it has to be the Rolling Stones classic "Sticky Fingers." Yes, he's rarely found the end-zone this season, but the tacky-handed wideout has logged eight games with at least five receptions. A targets hog with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, he's attracted 21 looks the past two weeks, a number sure to rise this week against Oakland. The strength of the Raiders defense is clearly in the trenches, a characteristic that will surely encourage Mike Munchak to lean heavily on his quarterback's arm. Discussed previously in this space, Tracy Porter is the highest ranked Oakland corner in pass coverage according to Pro Football Focus. And he checks in at No. 66. Bombarded often through the air, the Raiders have conceded the sixth-most fantasy points to wide receivers. Since Week 8, at least one wideout has totaled 11-fantasy points or more against them. The perfect underneath complement for an average-armed QB, Wright should again satisfy the appetite of PPR owners.
Fearless Forecast: 8 receptions, 77 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 13.7 fantasy points
SHOCKER SPECIAL (Under 10-percent started)
Matchup: vs. Ind
A popular breakout candidate on many pundit preseason lists, Housler, like the playoff-tracking Cardinals as a whole, is just now starting to take shape. Running crisper routes and benefiting from soft coverage, he’s attracted 14 targets over the past two weeks, catching 10 passes for 127 yards and a touchdown. Housler is a brutishly strong, athletic weapon many thought would establish an instant chemistry with Palmer, similar to what Brandon Myers accomplished with the QB as a Raider last year. Gaining the confidence of his quarterback and the coaching staff, he could indeed become that player down the homestretch. Outside a Week 16 confrontation with Seattle, he doesn’t have any tough matchups remaining, including this week against Indy's umbrella defense. Carving up the Colts secondary underneath last Thursday, Tennessee's Delanie Walker caught 10 passes for 91 yards and a score. If your TE slot has beleaguered you most of the season, the Cardinal is worth a long look
Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 52 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 14.2 fantasy points
BONUS WEEK 12 FLAMES
TEAM HUEVOS 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?
— Bob Lancaster (@BobLancaster2) November 19, 2013
Week 11 Reader Record: 6-1; Year to date: 30-45
Want to bull rush Brad? Find him on Twitter. Also, check out the Yahoo! Fantasy and Rotoworld crew every Thursday on 'Fantasy Football Live' starting at 6:30 PM ET on NBC Sports Network (Find channel here) and online at Yahoo! Sports (Watch here)
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