Aug 12, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) in action against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-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 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Speaking as an accountability advocate, I will post results, whether genius or moronic, the following week.

Scoring thresholds (.5 PPR) — QB: 18 fantasy points, RB: 12 fantasy points (10 for shockers), WR: 11 fantasy points, TE: 10 fantasy points.

If you’re a member of TEAM HUEVOS, reveal your Week 1 Lames on Twitter @NoisyHuevos.

Jalen Hurts, Eagles, QB
Started in Yahoo DraftKings DFS Matchup Vegas line Over/under
54 percent $6,400 at Falcons Falcons -3.5 48.5

More polarizing than opinions on over- or under-the-roll toilet paper dispensing, beliefs on Hurts have driven a deep wedge into the center of the fantasy football community. From this simpleton’s view, any disdain toward the second-year passer is highly objectionable. Why? Despite his accuracy flaws (QB42 in adjusted completion percentage in 2020), he’s a tackle-busting dual-threat QB in an improved offense and supported by a likely forgiving defense. On top of that, fears of a trade for tainted Deshaun Watson subsided when general manager Howie Roseman whisked Gardner Minshew away from Jacksonville for a sixth-round pick. It’s Hurts’ gig. Only a collision with an asteroid would place him permanently on the bench.

In a contest between two clubs allergic to playing defense, Hurts, in the backyard of where he grew up, is sure to light up the Falcons in front of several friends and family. Atlanta, which surrendered 319.7 pass yards per game, a 34:11 TD:INT split and THE most fantasy points to signal-callers a season ago, doesn’t have vintage Deion Sanders walking through the door. Its young secondary is arguably the worst on paper entering the regular season. CB Fabian Moreau, who suited up for Washington last fall, provides only the slightest upgrade. In 10 games, he yielded 16.5 yards per reception to his assignments. Picking up where he left off at the end of 2020, Hurts deep-fries the Falcons en route to a borderline top-five Week 1.

Fearless Forecast: 287 passing yards, 1 passing TD, 53 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD, 29.7 fantasy points _

Raheem Mostert, 49ers, RB
Started in Yahoo DraftKings DFS Matchup Vegas line Over/under
50 percent $5,800 at Lions 49ers -7.5 45.5

Talk is cheap, and so is Mostert. Discounted heavily in fantasy drafts due to the arrival of rookie hotshot Trey Sermon, he was often bypassed in the middle rounds, shoved aside for the perceived latest and greatest pretty young thing. Buyer’s remorse, however, may soon kick in. By all beat writer accounts, the journeyman is firmly planted atop the depth chart of a team desiring to run 500-plus times. Kyle Shannahan and Matt Barrows made it no secret their team is predicated on ball control and defense. Trey Lance’s time will eventually come, but Jimmy Garappolo is slated to play the role of Santa Clara Dunder Mifflin branch manager. Do it more competently than Michael Scott and he may earn backers a heaping pile of Schrute Bucks.

Mostert is pure electricity, a former track standout at Purdue who owns gamebreaking speed. His 2.46 YAC per attempt and 12 avoided tackles on 104 attempts from last season don’t leap off the screen, but he ranked No. 1 in the league in yards before contact (3.33). How? It’s all about San Francisco’s road-carving offensive line and brilliant schemes. Against a work-in-progress Hello Kitties front projected to be one of the league’s flimsies, Mostert should bolt his way to top-20 production. Trey Flowers’ return is a nudge in the right direction, but coming off a forgettable season in which the Lions surrendered 164.1 total yards per game and 29 combined TDs to RBs, the Niner is golden nugget with sizable karats.

Fearless Forecast: 14 carries, 86 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD, 2 receptions, 14 receiving yards, 17.0 fantasy points

Melvin Gordon, Broncos, RB
Started in Yahoo DraftKings DFS Matchup Vegas line Over/under
22 percent $5,300 at Giants Broncos -3 41.5

There’s a palpable buzz in the Mile High City. No, another craft brewery offering the finest sour ales and IPAs isn’t about to swing open its doors. Rather, pigskin-minded locals are positively giddy about the shake-and-bake skills of Javonte Williams, affectionately known as “Pookie” around Dove Valley. Their fervor is warranted. In brief preseason appearances, the North Carolina product’s special defender-displacing talents clearly transferred. As a Tar Heel last season, he forced a missed tackle 48.4 percent of the time, an unheard of number at any level. His blend of power, contact balance and around-the-edge churn is sure to gain admirers ... down the road. Gordon is a significant roadblock. The venerable vet is sure to force at least a 55-45 split to begin the season, if not wider.

In a delectable Week 1 matchup, Uncle Melvin exudes ample statistical appeal. The Giants are a projected middle-of-the-pack run defense. Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence comprise a formidable interior duo, but the club’s D-line peripheries are suspect. Gordon may no longer possess plus-burst, but, as he exhibited down the homestretch last season, he owns enough wiggle (22 avoided tackles Weeks 11-17) and power (3.11 YAC/att) to grind out noteworthy gains. In a contest with substantial positive script potential, weigh him at RB2 in 12-team and deeper leagues.

Fearless Forecast: 14 carries, 64 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 16 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 15.5 fantasy points

Robby Anderson, Panthers, WR
Started in Yahoo DraftKings DFS Matchup Vegas line Over/under
54 percent $5,700 vs. Jets Panthers -5.5 45.5

REVENGE GAME, multiplied! In the Sam Darnold Bowl, Anderson joins his former Jets compadre in what could be a Week 1 statement game for the home club. The veteran pass catcher was unfairly discounted in fantasy drafts, often sliding into the 30s among wide receivers. A depressed 2020 output in touchdowns (3) steered many nonbelievers away, despite his 136 targets, 95 receptions and 1,096 yards. But the suppressed scoring was a likely anomaly. Anderson finished WR14 in total red-zone targets and WR5 in total yards after the catch. His reunion with Darnold, who he forged fond fantasy playoff memories in 2018 and 2019, could lead to persistent WR2 production.

The Jets, who shockingly released CB Bless Austin, are in the running for worst secondary in the AFC. Projected starter Bryce Hall posted a 75.0 catch percentage and 103.6 passer rating allowed last season. Meanwhile, Brandin Echols, a sixth-round rookie, is slotted as the other starting corner. Anderson, who has added measurable route polish over the past couple seasons, is likely motivated due to the opponent. Start him with extreme confidence even in 10-team formats.

Fearless Forecast: 7 receptions, 101 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 19.6 fantasy points


Aug 27, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) makes a scoring catch from quarterback Sam Darnold (14) covered by Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Robert Spillane (41) during the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sport

Antonio Brown, Buccaneers, WR
Started in Yahoo DraftKings DFS Matchup Vegas line Over/under
27 percent $5,800 vs. Cowboys Buccaneers -7 51.5

Tom Brady’s former housemate is about to embark on a comeback campaign. Reportedly healthy for the first time in ages and coming off a standout training camp, Brown, at 33 years old, is motivated to prove he can deliver copious results from start to finish. As his off-the-field history denotes, the downsides are obvious. However, if his 131-95-1026-8 17-game pace registered over eight 2020 regular-season contests carries over, he’s bound to be one of the most profitable mid-round picks in fantasy.

Bank on Brown starting off Tampa’s title defense with a bang. Yes, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Tequila Tom's various varieties at TE and RB thin out the targets share, but Brown, against Dallas’ expected unilluminating secondary, should entice enough looks to give backers thoughts of yesteryear. If he's often lined up against Anthony Brown (76.2 catch percentage allowed in ‘20), he will feast. Last season, Brown notched an impressive 131.5 passer rating against man coverage. Whether in DFS or season-long formats with heavy WR requirements, Brown is a Buccaneer worthy of your consideration. Fire off the cannons.

Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 63 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 14.3 fantasy points

Jakobi Meyers, Patriots, WR
Started in Yahoo DraftKings DFS Matchup Vegas line Over/under
8 percent $5,100 vs. Dolphins Patriots -3 43.5

Trusting an unheralded player with a rookie QB in the latter’s first NFL start can be a roller-coaster ride. Sometimes, though, you just have to trust your intuition and the matchup.

Throughout training camp, Meyers’ consistency flashed. Whether with the now-departed Cam Newton or rookie Mac Jones, the slot man came up cherries, catching passes between the hashes and beyond. Essentially, he resembled the same player who ranked WR25 during Weeks 7 through 17 last season, a phase in which he averaged 5.3 receptions and 65.6 receiving yards per game. If it weren’t for an aversion to the end zone (zero TDs over the span), he would’ve entered this fantasy draft season entrenched as a WR3 instead of the WR5-WR6 bench fodder he ultimately was.

In what should be the first of many profitable Sundays, Meyers is a top-36 WR play. At first blush, his matchup against Dolphins slot man Justin Coleman is mouthwatering. The slot corner conceded a 138.0 passer rating to his assignments in coverage with Detroit a season ago. With Byron Jones and Xavien Howard blanketing the edges, it’s Mr. Dependable, Meyers, who will likely emerge as a Jones favorite. A heavy target peppering is in the forecast.

Fearless Forecast: 6 receptions, 60 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 15.0 fantasy points

Shocker Special (under 10% started)

Ty Johnson, Jets, RB
Started in Yahoo DraftKings DFS Matchup Vegas line Over/under
1 percent $4,400 at Panthers Panthers -5.5 45.5

For those masochists in attendance (this endurer of Illinois football included), 20-team leagues are a unique kind of self-inflicted pain. They’re extremely challenging and equally excruciating. Decades pass between picks. Tiers evaporate in a blink. Final rosters are filled with gaping holes. The Medieval rack is a gentler form of torture. Some would claim rostering a Jet of any kind is comparable, especially at RB. Head coach Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur have publicly expressed their wishes to install a full-blown RBBC. Tevin Coleman, Michael Carter and Johnson will split carries; how many for each remains unknown.

Among the three, Johnson is the most reliable, for now. His plus speed (4.45 40-yard), vision and versatility are admirable traits. He only logged 2.26 yards after contact per attempt on 54 carries a season ago, but he’s aiming to become more patient and violent in his execution, both of which he exhibited in the preseason. On roughly 11-13 touches, he’s worth FLEX consideration. Carolina’s front, featuring Derrick Brown and Brian Burns, is widely thought of as middling. Last season, the Panthers allowed 4.89 yards per carry and the 10th-most fantasy points to RBs. Behind an improved O-line, Johnson could surprise.

Fearless Forecast: 12 carries, 52 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 11 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 13.3 fantasy points

Bonus Flames

QB: Baker Mayfield, Browns (at Chiefs; 15% started in Yahoo; DK DFS: $5,900) — The Progressive pitchman was widely acquired as an insurance policy in fantasy drafts. Despite tossing 26 TDs a season ago and with Odell Beckham Jr. back in the fold, Mayfield was purposely circumvented due to the conservative offensive nature of head coach Kevin Stefanski. However, in a game with a soaring 53 total, the highest on the board, Mayfield could drive backers to an out-of-the-gate W. The Chiefs secondary isn’t extraordinary. L’Jarius Sneed is suffocating (53.4 passer rating allowed in ‘20), but other components are beatable. Mayfield, whose season ended with a whimper in K.C. last January, should pack a vengeful bite this time around. (FF: 267-2-0-10-0, 22.3 pts)

RB: Ty'Son Williams, Ravens (at Raiders, 21% started in Yahoo, $4,500 on DraftKings) — It's officially an epidemic in Baltimore. After losing Justice Hill to an Achilles setback and J.K. Dobbins to an ACL injury, Gus Edwards reportedly suffered a similar fate on Thursday. Oh, the menacing injury imp. In a next-man-up league, thrust into the spotlight is Williams, the undrafted BYU product who himself suffered a knee derailment in 2019. Commended for his physical downhill style, useful hands and pass pro resourcefulness, he could become this year's James Robinson, an out-of-nowhere top-15 RB. Against a Raiders defense forecasted to be a bottom-quarter unit, Williams should blast his way to RB2-level production in 12-team leagues. (FF: 16-62-3-14-1, 15.1 pts).

WR/TE: Juwan Johnson, Saints (vs. Packers; 1% started in Yahoo; DK DFS: $3,000) — Before it becomes en vogue to acquire the rare WR/TE-eligible Johnson off waivers, look like the smartest person in the room and plug 'n' play the training camp standout in Week 1. Earning rave reviews from the coaching staff, players and team insiders, the undrafted product from Oregon has a clear path to opportunity. With Jaire Alexander draped on Marquez Callaway and Adam Trautman questionable due to a leg injury, Johnson could become a Jameis Winston favorite straight away. (FF: 4-51-1, 13.1 pts)

Potential Lames

Marquee names I would consider avoiding over players listed above:

  • Justin Herbert, Chargers, QB (at Washington)
  • Saquon Barkley, Giants, RB (vs. Broncos)
  • David Montgomery, Bears, RB (at Rams)
  • Amari Cooper, Cowboys, WR (at Buccaneers)
  • Chase Claypool, Steelers, WR (at Bills)
  • Brandon Aiyuk, 49ers, WR (at Lions)

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