Aug 26, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; New England Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson (38) carries the ball against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. The Raiders defeated the Patriots 23-6. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Each week, the Noise highlights under-started names who he believes are destined to torch the competition. To qualify, each player must be started in fewer than 60% of Yahoo leagues. Speaking as an accountability advocate, I will post results, whether genius or moronic, the following week. Scoring thresholds in .5 PPR format are — QB: 18 fantasy points, RB: 12 fantasy points (10 for shockers), WR: 11 fantasy points, TE: 10 fantasy points.

Rhamondre Stevenson, Patriots
Started in Yahoo DraftKings DFS Matchup Vegas line Total pts
45% $5,500 at Dolphins Dolphins -3 46.5

Perceived by most drafters as a second fiddle over the last month, Stevenson is likely to come out of the gate ferociously strumming like the violinist on The Who classic “Baba O’Riley.” With James White sipping Pina Coladas on a sun-drenched beach somewhere and rookie Pierre Strong very much resembling his number of logged years in the league, it’s Rhamondre and Damien Harris locked in to supply a 1-2 punch. Stevenson is expected to be the primary passing-down back. Bill Belichick, who usually speaks in humble tones only, recently commended the rusher’s route-running ability. Not only is Rhamondre capable of reeling in passes, he’s also an exceptional power runner in the open field. Last season, he compiled 3.46 yards after contact per attempt (RB15) and totaled a 23.3 missed tackle rate. In other words, he inflicts damage with the ball in his hands, especially behind a Pats O-line that should again rank in the top 10.

Given the offseason moves made, hopes are high on South Beach. Besides obvious questions surrounding Tua Tagovailoa, observers wonder exactly how stout the Dolphins will be defensively. Due to the club’s interior D-line talent — Christian Wilkins and Zach Sieler were terrific last year — it’s likely Mac Jones and company will attack the edges, which is prime Stevenson territory. Yes, Miami allowed 4.39 yards per carry to RBs a season ago and Harris topped 100 yards against the Dolphins in Week 1, but on roughly 11 to 13 touches, Stevenson is an excellent candidate to sprint off the blocks. FLEX him with confidence in 12-team leagues, particularly those that score handsomely for receptions.

Fearless Forecast: 9 carries, 39 rushing yards, 4 receptions 27 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 14.6 fantasy points

Week 1 Bonus Flames

Dameon Pierce, Texans
Started in Yahoo DraftKings DFS Matchup Vegas line Total pts
29% $4,800 at Colts Colts -7 45.5

More scorching than a freshly poured black top under the baking Texas sun in July. That’s the temperature emitted by Pierce’s current fantasy stock. He’s a hot commodity, oozing with RB top-20 potential on volume alone. Yes, his vision, cutback ability, burst and tackler-displacing finishes were displayed throughout the preseason, but Houston’s likely scoreboard deficits say pump the brakes, slightly. Darius Leonard and friends, who allowed 3.99 yards per carry to RBs last year, are an excellent test. DeForest Buckner, in particular, is an interior menace. Still, if the Texans can remain at least somewhat competitive, Pierce should register at least 15 touches in his regular-season debut, a workload more than viable for FLEX or RB2 duties in challenging formats.

Fearless Forecast: 15 carries, 54 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 2 receptions, 11 receiving yards, 13.5 fantasy points

Shocker Special

Mike Davis, Ravens
Started in Yahoo DraftKings DFS Matchup Vegas line Total pts
7% $4,800 at Jets Ravens -7 44.5

J.K. Dobbins still is working his way back. Gus Edwards is on the PUP. And Kenyan Drake just joined the team. Unless Lamar Jackson is running it 20 times (he’s not), someone is going to carry the rock. And it’s clearly not Justice Hill. Enter Davis, a veteran with a three-down skill set who has displayed break-tackle form in previous environments. He won’t suddenly transform into a Clydesdale, but 12 to 14 touches are achievable on a team that finished 10th in run rate (45.8%) last season. Behind a top-half offensive line and against a projected middling Jets defense, Davis has FLEXY SEXY appeal in 12-team-plus leagues.

Fantasy Forecast: 12 carries, 44 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 3 receptions, 14 receiving yards, 13.3 fantasy points

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