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.
Malcom Floyd (vs DEN) - PROJECTION: 50 yds SBL RATING: S2
TUVEY: Floyd returns—healthy, evidently, after a couple full practices—as the No. 1 receiver for a quarterback on pace to set the NFL record for single-season passing yardage. Still no Gates, maybe no Naanee... just means that much more for Floyd. And while last week may have been an aberration for Champ, it also takes at least some of the fear of starting a WR1 against him. A Floyd/Rivers reunion is worth a starting spot in any self-respecting lineup, Bailey or no.
DOREY: I am not disagreeing so much as I am just always concerned with a player who has been out for four weeks being able to return and play at a high level while also being shadowed by Champ Bailey. While Bailey seemed mortal last week, the Broncos are not nearly as likely to jump out to a 35-0 lead and change the defensive formations and motivations for the rest of the game. I like Floyd coming back and I almost gave him a touchdown. I see more risk and the lower projection reflects that.
CONSENSUS: If you think that Floyd has no rust and that Bailey will play it softer in Denver, Floyd is a decent to good start. He has upside to be sure especially Gates a big question mark. He is a gamble pick this week.
Larry Fitzgerald (at kc) - PROJECTION: 80 yds + TD SBL RATING: S3
TUVEY: Despite having an inaccurate, unreliable quarterback, Fitz is talented and targeted enough that he needs to be started every week. But while previously Anderson was throwing almost everything at Fitz, now he's actually throwing stuff near Breaston and Doucet as well—specifically, touchdowns. The Chefs haven't allowed double-digit fantasy points to a wideout at home since Week 1 in the rain, and with no QB Fitz is fighting an uphill battle to buck that trend. He's an S1 talent with a B quarterback and a tough matchup; when you add it up it works out to a low S2, and I rounded down. Great googly-moogly.
DOREY: Might as well dump Fitzgerald then because he's not going to find a new quarterback and opponents are going to load up against him every week. Four of his last five games ended with 93, 72, 107 and 91 yards. He had two scores in Tampa Bay. Sure, it is very easy to say why Fitz won't do well and yet he has been pretty good despite his reality. If you would bench Fitzgerald here, where are you planning on starting him?
CONSENSUS: Fitzgerald is a must start player unless he is facing a top secondary. If you do not consider him as such, you should not own him. He is one of the most talented players in the game and has been at least moderately effective despite his team situation..
Wes Welker (vs ind) - PROJECTION: 60 yds SBL RATING: S2
TUVEY: Where David sees last week as an exception, I see it as Tom Brady and the Patriots figuring out how to work with what they've got. And that means Welker getting back near the numbers he was putting up last year—not S1 levels, at least not until Tate or Branch or somebody emerges as a consistent deep threat a la Moss (read: not likely), but solid S2 levels. Hey, not EVERY touchdown pass can go to the tight ends.
DOREY: Well, I already did give Welker a benefit of the doubt. If he gains 60 yards, it will be his second best game (next to last week) in the past month. He only has three games with more than 60 yards all season long and the first two came when Moss was on the team. Yeah, I am not buying that Welker is magically turning into his 2009 form because I do not think he possibly can this season. And the 60 yards is an optimistic projection.
CONSENSUS: When the Colts and Pats play, it often goes down differently than other games they have played and one player can have a big game on either side. But S2 would be saying that Welker is sort of stuck in the middle of your starters with not much upside or downside. The Colts have been very good at covering wideouts and who else are they going to focus on? Welker at 60 is a decent expectation.
Mike Williams (at sf) - PROJECTION: 80 yds + TD SBL RATING: S3
TUVEY: I'm a Williams fan, and I maybe could have gone S2 on this one. But Freeman doesn't do big numbers—solid, but not big—and the Niners don't give up big numbers in San Fran; Brandon Lloyd's 169 and 1 came in the Niners' "home" game in London. So I came in on the low end of the ledger here. Looking over the existing S2s there are only a handful I'd bump him up over, but it's a thin S2 class this week anyway. Bottom line, Williams is a starter in most typical leagues.
DOREY: Hard to imagine you have a better starter than Williams but smaller leagues or shrewder owners could have that nice problem. Williams last three games on the road were against ATL (4-89, TD), ARI (4-105, TD) and CIN (7-99, TD). He really comes to life in road games. Five players have already surpassed the 80 projected yards and eight different ones have scored on them. Williams is about all the Buccaneers have so Freeman doesn't have to throw that much when it mostly goes straight to him.
CONSENSUS: A touchdown is always an "iffy" thing to happen so consider him as a solid S2 since John says he should have gone higher and David projects healthy yards.
|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.