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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Upon Further Review - Week 4
David Dorey and John Tuvey
October 1, 2010
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In order to help our members better use the starting information that The Huddle provides, the intent of this page is to discuss perceived differences between The Start Bench List and Predictions and Projections . The players below were identified by multiple members. The two reports are written by two different people so differences are always possible, but at least this page should help you make up your mind about these players on your roster.

Davone Bess (vs NE) - PROJECTION:  70 Rcv + 1 TD SBL RATING:  B

TUVEY: Bess' split highlights the blessing—and the curse—of two guys who have been doing this for a long time looking at the same picture from different angles. While David sees the Pats giving up WR TDs to secondary targets (Jerricho Cotchery, Steve Johnson), I see them going to bigger, more physical receivers (Cotchery and Johnson as well as Chad Ochocinco and Braylon Edwards). With the Miami passing game tilting heavily towards Marshall already, I see him taking such a big bite that there won't be enough left over for Bess to be much of a fantasy helper this week. He's a fringe guy who could be bumped up to S3 if need be, but that just puts him in a big group with the almost 30 other wideouts who received an S3 this week. I'd rather have you looking through that group for a guy who's not such a minority shareholder in his team's passing game; hence the B

DOREY: My projection for Bess was related to many things. First - he already had 117 yards and a score last year against the visiting Patriots and that was with a less experienced quarterback or anyone else that would garner the focus of the secondary. With only three games played, focusing on the size of the receiver is incomplete since there has not been enough samples to measure from. The way I see it, the Fins are at home in a must win game (of sorts) and Marshall is going to be the most heavily targeted and defended receiver. And I see enough spillover to benefit another receiver - Bess has the best chance at that slightly over Hartline.

CONSENSUS:  Any time you start a secondary receiver (meaning not the #1 for his team), you accept a lot of risk. The top guy is always going to get his targets and has the confidence of the quarterback. The second receiver is far less consistent. In this case, I see Bess in a nice position because Marshall comes off a big game and Bess will get single coverage. For a week that many are searching to cover bye week starters, I like Bess but recognize that he will have a lot of risk naturally.

Legedu Naanee (vs ari) - PROJECTION:  40, SBL RATING: S2

TUVEY:It's a very favorable matchup for the San Diego passing game; the question is, how much goes to Gates, how much goes to Floyd, and what's left over for Naanee. Even David concedes in his writeup that Naanee could very well end up with better numbers than Floyd, but he doesn't have the luxury of a relatively ambiguous grade like I do; he has to throw hard numbers out there. My S2, on the other hand, suggests that the matchup and the Chargers' offense conspire to make Naanee a guy who should be in your lineup this week.

DOREY: I'd agree with John. And it is more about being the secondary receiver (and on the Chargers, it is really the third guy at best). I just see more risk with it all trickling down to Naanee because the Cards can be beaten without him and the run should be decent in this game with Mathews returning.

CONSENSUS:  Plenty of risk here as with Bess only Naanee is even less used as a receiver in a game that should be more easily won against the visiting Cardinals. More risk here than with Bess but yeah - wide variance on what could happen here.

Mark clayton (vs sea) - PROJECTION:  100 YDS + 1 TD, SBL RATING:  S3

TUVEY :I blame my lineman fingers for this one; even my favorable writeup suggests Clayton is at minimum an S2 this week so I'm calling it a typo and upgrading Clayton on the spot. I'm not comfortable enough with a rookie quarterback and a wide receiver with three solid games after years of disappointment to make Clayton an S1, but an S2 puts him among the 20 best fantasy plays at his position this week.

DOREY: John upgrades Clayton and I guess I am more impressed with Sam Bradford first and foremost. In my opinion with only a few games to measure, Bradford is maybe the best rookie quarterback I can recall since Peyton Manning. Again - only three games in and I am NOT saying he is Peyton Manning II. Not yet anyway. Anyway, he has been very successful relying on Mark Clayton. I don't understand it either. Clayton was mostly a flop as a first round pick in Baltimore but not he already has two touchdowns on the season and opened his career in STL with 119 yards. The Seahawks are coming with their #24 ranked defense against wide receivers. Since Steven Jackson is likely out, that means Bradford throws more. That means he looks at Clayton more. The Seahawks are back to being good at home, bad on the road. In their only road game so far, they let Demaryius Thomas have 97 yards and a score in his first game ever and Eddie Royal turned in 65 yards with a score as well. Sometimes you just have to accept that something happened despite how it doesn't follow the past at all. And that is what Clayton being good with a rookie quarterback is all about.

CONSENSUS: John upgraded him to an S2 and I like him a lot this week. Consider him as starter worthy. Particularly with Jackson possibly missing the game.

Peyton Hillis (vs cin) - PROJECTION:  70+30 YDS + 1 TD, SBL RATING:  S3

TUVEY: Again, grades rather than numbers allow me to take into account things like, do I really trust Eric Mangini to keep giving Hillis carries just because he had a good game? Mangini's yanked guys in and out of the lineup like a coked-up puppeteer, and it sounds like he'll have a healthy Jerome Harrison at his disposal this week as well; I like Hillis' chances, but the Bengals aren't a bad run D and I've been burned too many times by coaches decisions that come out of left field to completely trust a one-hit wonder—especially when it's Mangini behind the scenes.

DOREY: I would never want to rely on a Cleveland back if I could avoid it. You have Peyton Hillis - do you really think he is a starter quality back? - turning in a surprise game last week. That should buy him a start this week and be left alone since Jerome Harrison is once again not making friends with the coaching staff which is not a good career move. I gave him a score because I think there will be two touchdowns and only like one passing score. He comes out as a decent play by the hard numbers and as I said "don't expect a big game from Hillis this week." The confidence is low on the projections but he could get that high depending on trash time and what the Bengals allow.

CONSENSUS:  I'd be more comfortable considering him as the "S3". He plays on a very bad team and that means widely varying performances with plenty of risk. Throw in how Mangini likes to randomly changes things around and Hillis is and probably always will be a risk and more of a S3 kind of player.

DeAngelo Williams / Jonathan Stewart (at NO) - PROJECTION:  UR / 70 Yds, SBL RATING:  S2 / s3

TUVEY:Is Jimmy Clausen really that much worse than Jake Delhomme or Matt Moore? That's who was at the helm last year when the Panthers rushed for 37-188-2 and 36-179-1 (in a 13-point loss, it should be noted) against the Saints. I see no reason for John Fox to suddenly change his philosophy and have Clausen air it out; dude can't even find Steve Smith, for crying out loud. Carolina will run early in an attempt to stay in the game, and they may end up running late in hopes of getting the game over quickly. But I have little doubt that they will run; more importantly, they'll run enough for Williams to salvage some of his fantasy value, and for Stewart to be a viable option during a bye week, especially in TD-heavy scoring systems. 

DOREY: Trust me, I would love to consider both runners as viable starters this week. I've had Williams on my personal dynasty team for years and he's been breaking my heart. The hardest thing to do in forecasting is deciding what is a true trend and what is an aberration. What is a team in a slump and what is a team you should dump. The Panthers are far less this year than they have been. Inescapably. Matt Moore that much worse than Delhomme? Absolutely. Clausen just as bad? So far - yes. He is a rookie on a suddenly bad team. He is not, at least so far, Sam Bradford. No one is respecting the pass in CAR because they have yet to go above 188 yards or one score. Now they are on the road to play the NFL champion Saints who are sort of ticked after losing last week. Jonathan Stewart ran for 12 yards in the only other road game. He had 13 yards last week on eight carries against the visiting Bengals. I don't project running backs who cannot crack the lofty 20 yard barrier in most of their games. Williams, who is now riding the pine for Dorey's Deguellos, has been good for around 60 yards each week and only once had passes thrown to him. I am giving him 70 total yards and that is almost a season high for him coming on the road in New Orleans.

CONSENSUS:  Perhaps agree to disagree. The Saints have given up some decent yardage to Adrian Peterson, Frank Gore and Michael Turner so far. But the duo in CAR are struggling and their team is not helping. Consider Williams a S3 is probably safer. And relying on the one play of Stewart scoring a touchdown to happen is too risky to rely on unless you have no other starters this week.

Start Bench List Ratings:
S1: Start 'em Tier One (Stud / Great matchup) U: Upside player (Possible sleeper)
S2: Start 'em Tier Two (Solid matchup) X: Unclear situation / Could go either way
S3: Start 'em Tier Three (Borderline / Barely) B: Bench 'em (Bad Matchup / Too much risk)
Predictions and Projections:
The projections are what is mostly likely to occur given everything that has recently happened added to the current team dynamics. They consider total rushing and passing yardage and scores and then distribute them between the most active starting players based on how the track record of the offense and the opposing defense along with variables like injuries, depth chart changes, venue, weather and so on.

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