Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) is tackled by Green Bay Packers cornerback Eric Stokes, right, after catching a pass during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

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.

Adam Thielen, WR, Vikings
Started in Yahoo DraftKings DFS Matchup Vegas line Total pts
54% $5,600 at Eagles Eagles -2.5 50.5

In Minnesota, Thielen is the Carlton Banks and Justin Jefferson is the Will Smith, vengeful slaps applied to Chris Rock not included. There’s no question that Thielen is second fiddle, but after Jefferson’s 184-yard performance against the rival Packers, he is sure to draw coverage almost exclusively by Darius Slay, one of the finer cover men in the league. If that scenario unfolds, expect Thielen to primarily draw the attention of former Giant James Bradberry, a DB who performed admirably in Week 1 by surrendering a mere 40.6 passer rating to his Lions assignments. Still, in a Monday night affair with a projected total exceeding 50, Kirk Cousins should toss tight spirals consistently. Last Sunday, the Eagles conceded 13 receptions for 144 yards and two touchdowns to Jared Goff and Lions wide receivers.

Though Thielen may play an auxiliary role, the crafty veteran remains an elite red-zone weapon. Last Sunday against Green Bay, he lured just four targets, catching three balls for 36 yards. His lowly aDOT (6.8) and zero touchdowns were uninspiring, but the Packers offered little defensive resistance, especially on No. 18. Cousins scored easily on layups as Green Bay DBs were seemingly allergic to defending the most dangerous weapon on the field. Philly won’t be that naive, but given the shootout appeal and Thielen’s penchant for getting space inside the red-zone, a six-point spike is a distinct possibility.

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

Week 2 Bonus Flames

Joshua Palmer, WR, Chargers
Started in Yahoo DraftKings DFS Matchup Vegas line Total pts
3% $4,400 at Chiefs Chiefs -4 54

Electric offense. Galactic-armed quarterback. Elevated role. The evidence pointing to a Week 2 breakout is everywhere. Strangely, despite logging action on 82.4% of team snaps in Week 1 against the Raiders, Palmer registered an insignificant 0.18 yards per route run. Kept at bay in the short field, he caught three passes for a useless five yards. Free the man. Likely to work more often downfield, he is in line to take advantage of the opportunity. The Chiefs sport a quality secondary, but as long as CB L’Jarius Snead isn’t his exclusive adversary, Palmer owns the speed and wiggle to accumulate chunk gains in what should be a prolific chain-moving battle.

Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 66 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 13.6 fantasy points

Evan Engram, TE, Jaguars
Started in Yahoo DraftKings DFS Matchup Vegas line Total pts
3% $3,600 vs. Colts Colts -4 45.5

Yes, over the last few years many have been hoodwinked by Engram on multiple occasions. His untrustworthiness is equal to Nathaniel Hackett dispensing timeouts late in a tight game. Still, fond memories from his rookie season convince believers a revival is bound to occur. Maybe, just maybe, a resurrection of sorts happens this week at home. Engram wasn’t ghostlike in the Jaguars’ opener, participating on 81.0% of the team’s routes while catching all four targeted passes for 28 yards. The final line didn’t dazzle the fantasy community, but the underneath signs were encouraging. Houston’s O.J. Howard snorted smelling salts last week against the Colts. He and his TE cohorts caught four passes for 60 yards and a pair of TDs. If Indy’s struggles defending plus-sized targets continue, it’s feasible Engram generates starter-worthy numbers and rewards the very few who still have faith.

Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 42 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 13.6 fantasy points

Last week: 0-2

  • Rondale Moore: DNP
  • K.J. Hamler: 0.0 fantasy points
  • David Njoku: 1.2 fantasy points

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