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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Upon Further Review - Week 14
David Dorey and John Tuvey
December 10, 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.

Steve Johnson (vs cle) - PROJECTION:  100 yds + TD SBL RATING:  S3

TUVEY: This is a case of a receiver trending in the wrong direction—maybe teams are paying more attention to him, maybe they just have more film on him and Fitzpatrick, maybe Fitzpatrick finds David Nelson intriguing—and an improving Browns defense. The most recent of those five monster games DMD references occurred in Week 7, prior to the Browns' bye; in the five games since they've allowed three WR TDs and none to top 76 yards. I wouldn't abandon Johnson entirely, but as the S3 suggests I can find a bunch of other matchups I'd be much more excited to plug into my lineup.

DOREY: I wouldn't walk away from Johnson at all. He has literally only had two "bad" games all year and that was against the Lions when Fred Jackson had a season high 133 rushing yards and last week in Minnesota when the Vikings were all hopped up from dumping Brad Childress. The Browns defense has seemed better against the pass because they were giving up the run in those games. The Bills are not likely to have a game like Maurice Jones-Drew (23-133) or even the Carolina backs (26-153) and Johnson remains the best option in that offense.

CONSENSUS:  Johnson is worth a start to be sure and here later in the season playing the studs over the matchups makes more sense in most cases. If you have another wideout that has less risk then use him but Johnson should post no worse than decent stats with a chance at a big game.

Vernon Davis (vs sea) - PROJECTION:  80 yds + TD SBL RATING:  S3

TUVEY: We always seem to be disagreeing on Davis, probably because I don't trust his quarterbacks enough to regularly make him more than an S3 or maybe on special occasions an S2. But this matchup comes against a Seattle defense that has allowed fewer fantasy points to tight ends than all but six other teams, with a quarterback that got benched. Yes, Davis was more targeted by Alex, but in seven games (compared to five with Troy at the helm) that only led to one of VD's top three yardage games. He's a starter, he has upside, but I'm not getting my hopes up for a big game.

DOREY: The last four games that Davis played with Alex Smith as the starter he had a touchdown - every game. His yardage varied from 35 yards to 104 yards but he always scored. And the Seahawk stats allowed to tight ends has to factor in who they have gone against. In receding order for each team's best TE: CAR Dante Rosario (3-26), KC Tony Moeaki (1-6, TD),NO Jimmy Graham (5-72), NYG Kevin Boss (1-15, TD). ARI Stephen Spach (1-3). Not exactly Antonio Gates (who incidentally had 7-109, TD in week 3) in terms of the teams they have faced. And my argument every week when we differ on him - he's not really a tight end. Recall that in Seattle Davis caught 8 passes for 73 yards this year. This time he is at home.

CONSENSUS:  The Seahawks are no road warriors and Davis gets his buddy back so they can try to make it five games in a row with a touchdown. Davis is a solid start this week.

Matt Hasselbeck (at sf) - PROJECTION:  200 yds + td SBL RATING:  S2

TUVEY: If Hasselbeck is going to be without both Mike Williams and Ben Obomanu, no question he needs to be dialed back from an S2; that'll be something for the Friday update, though neither has practiced thus far this week and it's not looking particularly good. But even if Hass gets just one of those two back this week I like his chances facing the one team he's had success against. Let's say S3 sans BMW and Obo, but if one or both practice Friday I'm back on board the Hass train.

DOREY: I am tracking with him as well but I had to put it into numbers and the risk of not having a healthy Williams or Obomanu is why his projections are low. WIlliams makes a major difference to the offense and Obomanu at least fills in for him to a decent level. Beyond those two guys there is no one but the ghost of Deion Branch.

CONSENSUS:  Hasselbeck is not an attractive start this week without his best targets and it appears both are not likely to be healthy if they even play.

Mark Sanchez (vs MIA) - PROJECTION:  240 yds + 2 TD SBL RATING:  b

TUVEY: Four of Sanchez' five multi-TD games have come against defenses in the top half of the league in fantasy points allowed to QBs (Nos. 1, 2, 14, and 15, to be precise). Obviously, Miami was the aberration—in fact, they've since cut the corner that gave up Braylon Edwards' long TD, among other chunks of yardage—and I'm willing to bench Sanchez in support of that belief. Doesn't hurt that he's posted back-to-back clunkers and he catches Miami on a hot streak, either. I'd rather cast my fantasy playoff fate elsewhere.

DOREY: I was impressed that one of those games where they allowed multiple touchdowns was against Mark Sanchez in week three when he had 256 yards and three scores in Miami. So I really backed that off a touchdown and a few yards in the home version. Last year when the Jets hosted the Fins, Sanchez passed for 265 yards and two scores. Divisional matchups almost always happen in a way outside of how the team performs otherwise. Each franchise knows each other very well and there is always a history. So Sanchez's last two games against the FIns were more than my projection and the Jets need to beat someone up after last week.

CONSENSUS:  Any time you have a Jets quarterback you have to be concerned that their defense and/or rushing game could end up taking over the game and reducing the need to pass. But Sanchez has a history against the Dolphins that says he should have a good game here AND get to use Santonio Holmes against them for the first time.

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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