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.
JULIO JONES (VS PHI) - PROJECTION: 70 RCV + 1 TD SBL RATING: B
TUVEY: Not that I don’t think Jones has potential, but the Falcons are still looking for their first offensive touchdown and now they’re welcoming a team that goes three deep at cornerback to town. The rookie likely avoids Nnamdi Asomugha, but he’ll be squarely in Asante Samuel’s sights… unless Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is healthy. Atlanta has enough other options—a bunch of carries for Michael Turner, veteran tight end Tony Gonzalez against a defense that allowed the most fantasy points to tight ends last season—that I’m looking elsewhere for fantasy help.
DOREY: I will immediately concede relying on anything for a player who has just one game in his career is very risky. But the Eagles on the road go to Atlanta where they are always very, very tough to beat. And I like Matt Ryan to have some success and that is probably not coming much from Roddy White who will assuredly draw Asomugha. I too like Tony Gonzalez in the game but he's not going to do it alone. As always, a TD is just a "singe play event" and cannot rarely be relied on.
CONSENSUS: Jones has no track record yet so consider him a very risky start. He is talented, he has upside and he could certainly surprise but you'll probably be better off going with another option that is more reliable. Give it a few more weeks and you can feel much more confident relying on Jones.
MIKE WILLIAMS (@ MIN) - PROJECTION: 50, SBL RATING: S2
TUVEY: The Vikings have issues in the secondary, and even if Williams draws Minnesota’s best corner, Antoine Winfield he’s still going to win his share of battles. The only reason Vincent Jackson didn’t blow up the Vikings last week is that Philip Rivers was having so much success throwing underneath he only targeted VJax thrice. Williams will see three times that many balls, with plenty of productivity in store.
DOREY: We're not too far off really - maybe a couple of more catches is expected by Tuvey to warrant an S2. My problem is that the Buccaneers - at home - were not sharp against the Lions. The projection of 50 yards is what he had last week at home in a game the team lost and needed to make completions down field. I like Kellen Winslow since the Vikes are always fun for tight ends. I can see some upside for Williams but his last four road games were 50 yards or less.
CONSENSUS: Williams always has some upside but it depends on if you think last week was just a bad opener or indicative of a deeper problem with the Buccaneers. Consider Williams having 50 yards as a floor with a good chance for more. Can you live with just 50 yards? Or do you have another player more certain to exceed that?
DARREN McFADDEN (@ BUF) - PROJECTION: 90+10 YDS, SBL RATING: S1
TUVEY: The Chiefs averaged six yards per carry last week against the Bills; they just stopped running the ball. Oakland isn’t likely to stop playing Hue Jackson’s beloved smashmouth football, and last week’s workload split indicated that it’s less a committee and more a dictatorship with McFadden at the helm. When healthy he’s one of the best backs in the league, and for now at least McFadden’s healthy, so he’s a must start in Buffalo.
DOREY: Not sure what the confusion is. I did project him for 100 total yards and that is S1 in my book. I did not predict a touchdown but he only rushed in a score in four games last year. There were only 13 running backs with 100 total yards in week one of this season. That is definitely starting territory.
CONSENSUS: McFadden is on the road and so far the OAK passing game looks as pathetic as it did last year only there is not even a tight end to catch passes anymore. Whatever happens for the Raiders goes through McFadden - he is a must start.
MARIO MANNINGHAM (VS STL) - PROJECTION: 50 YDS, SBL RATING: S2
TUVEY: With Hakeem Nicks nursing a bruised knee and possibly missing this game, Manningham is the only receiver left on the Giants’ roster Eli Manning is comfortable throwing to. The Rams are nothing special in the secondary, so the 6-102-1 DeSean Jackson dropped on them last week seems like a feasible possibility for Manningham sans Nicks.
DOREY: My projections were made prior to practice reports and since he could not practice on Thursday, I will be downgrading or removing Nicks from the projections after the Friday report. That means Manningham's stock goes way up if Nicks is out. Making him an S2 sounds more appropriate to me now.
CONSENSUS: Figure on Manningham being a decent start this week. He may not huge upside since the Giants should be able to handle the visiting Rams, but he should be a lock for a good showing.
DEION BRANCH (AT NOS) - PROJECTION: 60 YDS + 1 TD, SBL RATING: B
TUVEY: I’ll concede that benching Branch might be extreme. But San Diego offers up a better secondary than the Dolphins, New England’s previous opponent, and there are at least three pass-catching options—Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski—I trust more than Branch. I could live with an S3, as anyone wearing Patriots colors is a threat to score in that offense, but I’m not comfortable banking on productivity from Branch.
DOREY: The only problem with Branch is that he is on the Patriots team and there are so many potential weapons on this team that sure - he could be skipped over. But I see this game as a shootout and one that the Patriots will again be passing for a lot of yardage. Chad Ochocinco is obviously not the second coming of Randy Moss and Branch as the veteran who knows the offense is a better bet. The projection for 60 yards is not that high but Tuvey just does not want any part of Branch. Last week Branch had nine targets - more than anyone other than Wes Welker (12) and Aaron Hernandez (10). He will always carry some risk of a low game but you could say that about most any wideout. And I like a shootout here.
CONSENSUS: Branch is not a high-end starter but to consider him as only bench material means you must have some locks on your roster to use. Consider him a low-end starter but one with some upside.
GREG OLSEN (VS GBP) - PROJECTION: 70 YDS, SBL RATING: S3
There was an error on the database for Greg Olsen. He was projected for 70 yards and no score on the game page and on the Projections by Team. In the Sortable Projections it showed 110 yards and a score for Olsen. That has been corrected and I would always encourage readers to refer to the game page where I will give my reasoning for the projection. Apologies for the unintended error. If 70 yards still seems high to you, realize that Olsen carries plenty of risk having only played one game with a rookie quarterback on a new team. He cannot be considered very reliable yet.
|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.