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.
DUSTIN KELLER (@ BAL) – PROJECTION: 80 YDS + 1 TD, SBL RATING: B
TUVEY: Keller is off to another fast start, but he’s taken advantage of two of the softer defenses against tight ends (Dallas and Jacksonville) to do so. Against his toughest matchup to date, an Oakland D that ranks in the middle of the pack in fantasy points surrendered to tight ends, he posted his worst numbers of the year. Now he’ll face a Baltimore defense that has allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to tight ends. I don’t believe Keller is matchup-proof, so I’d rather roll with one of the TE targets I noted above in the Fred Davis write-up than take my chances with Keller against a Ravens defense that held him to two catches for 13 yards last year.
DOREY: I am struck with the fact that Dustin Keller is the Jets #1 receiver with 16 catches for 249 yards and two scores. The next best is Santonio Holmes with just 10 catches for 132 yards and one score. Also, The Ravens have not faced a receiving tight end this year. The most productive was Heath Miller with three catches for 42 yards. Otherwise Jared Cook and Lance Kendricks was all. None of those tight ends have done anything in any game. I like this game to have some bigger passing stats. The Ravens already gave up 280 yards to the Steelers and 358 yards to the Titans. A tight end that has never had less than 13.7 points in a PPR league and who has two touchdowns with an average of five catches for 81 yards per week is a guy I have a problem sitting. And the Jets are not going to run.
CONSENSUS: Tuvey just does not like the matchup and thinks other tight ends would do better while Dorey thinks the passing yards will be there and it has so far always trickled down mostly to Keller. Playing in Baltimore is going to be a risk given the defense can focus and shut down any aspect they want. Hard number stats cannot really denote the risk involved so decide if you can live with say 50 yards and no score.
ANQUAN BOLDIN (VS. NYJ) – PROJECTION: 70 YDS + 1 TD, SBL RATING: B
TUVEY: The short answer would be, “Revis Island.” And the numbers on Revis are utterly insane: he’s been thrown at nine times this season, allowed just three completions, and the quarterback rating on passes directed his way is—you have to squint to see this—a microscopic 7.9. Yes, that’s seven. Point. Nine. Boldin won’t necessarily draw Revis every play, but as the Ravens’ WR1 he’ll get him more often than not. And after running up 110 yards in last season’s opener against the Jets and a hobbled Revis who had just ended a prolonged contract squabble, Boldin will be subjected to enough of Revis’ wrath that I’m looking for other options this week.
DOREY: I can understand the risk element and even appreciate it. But in needing to assign hard numbers to the projections, I know that Revis doesn't always cover the same guy. In week one, Dez Bryant had 3-71 and a score and Miles Austin turned in 5-90 and a touchdown.. Boldin is clearly the #1 wideout here and perhaps that will get 100% of Revis (though BAL will try to get a better matchup). I doubt that Torrey Smith is going to light it up again this week and his deep speed could make the Jets have to respect him. Is there risk here? Of course, but unlike last year wideouts are having success against the Jets.
CONSENSUS: If you have other options, they are undoubtedly less risky. The 70 yards and a score are certainly in line with what Boldin has done and what the Jets have allowed. But they could throw Revis and even more at Boldin potentially so you are taking a risk to rely on him this week. This early in the year - avoid risk if you can.
CEDRIC BENSON (VS. BUF) - PROJECTION: 70 YDS, SBL RATING: S2
TUVEY: Now this is more like it, me defending my cell mate… um, Bengals running back Cedric Benson. The suspension is off the table, at least for now, leaving Benson to face a Buffalo defense that is softer than the stats suggest. In Cincy, Ced will get his 20 touches; he’s handled that workload in 11 of his last 14 home games, and with that workload produced eight 100-yard games and eight TDs. He gouged the Bills for 124 and a touch in last year’s meeting, which with 80 total points was as much of a shootout as this year’s tilt projects to be. If you’re not playing Benson this week you have no need for him on your roster.
DOREY: The way I see it, the Bills have not allowed any team to rush for more than 72 yards and that was Darren McFadden. The problem is that the Bills have the highest scoring offense and the only runner with more than 10 carries against them was that 72 yards on 20 runs by McFadden. Do you expect Benson to outplay McFadden? Benson does not catch the ball. He ran for 64 yards on the 49ers last week. He only had 59 yards on the Broncos. My assumption is that most of you think an "S2" is more than 70 yards? Nothing so far says that is going to happen to me.
CONSENSUS: There is a downside to Benson this week in that the Bills could throw the points on the board early and then Benson would not get nearly enough carries to matter. He only had 16 in Denver and 17 versus the 49ers. And he is going to be better this week? Probably not going to happen. Consider the 70 yards and no score as the high side of what you will get.
NATE WASHINGTON (@ CLE) – PROJECTION: 100 YDS + 1 TD, SBL RATING: S3
TUVEY: Have you seen Joe Haden play cornerback? Because he’s in Cleveland and not New York you don’t hear about “Haden Island”, but Haden leads the NFL in passes defended (6) and has a completion rate of passes thrown at him of 45%. Nate is now the Titans’ WR1, so he draws the top cover guy. I’m not saying bench Washington, because I don’t know that Haden gets him all game long, but you have to at least dial back the expectations.
DOREY: I am still trying to figure out the Titans as well as they too are not sure what they have post-Britt. Love Washington as the #2 there but as the #1 it remains to be seen how he holds up. Washington caught eight passes for 92 yards and one score on the Broncos though he had the touchdown prior to the Britt injury. And he only had 34 yards after Britt was out. I am actually planning on dialing Washington back a bit in the Friday night update. Right now it is hard to see where passing yards are going to end up for the Titans other than Washington. He got the bigger yardage because he is the only known commodity there and certainly the most likely to score though with lower confidence than you would like to have to rely on.
CONSENSUS: Washington is in line to have projections reduced just to better signify the risk involved here. The Browns secondary is underrated and Haden is a very good CB. Consider Washington as a risky lower end play this week to be safe.
PERCY HARVIN (@ KCC) – PROJECTION: 50 YDS + 1 TD, SBL RATING: B
TUVEY: First you have to sweat out what malady will plague Percy this week. Will it be the migraines? The stomach flu? Sprained pudendum? It’s always something with Harvin—and if it’s not his health, it’s a coaching staff that had him on the field for fewer than half the snaps in Week 2 or a quarterback that’s struggling with things like accuracy. When you have to hope for a kick return touchdown to get fantasy value, in my opinion you’re best served looking elsewhere.
DOREY: I am in the uncomfortable position of defending Harvin when I would not start him. The bottom line is that I have no faith in the Vikes passing game really but if something is going to happen, Harvin will do it. He had 7-76 against the Buccaneers as a high game. He has been running for 20 to 40 yards per week. But he has not scored yet so the touchdown was more of a placeholder which I mentioned on the game page.
CONSENSUS: Harvin is a huge risk even against the Chiefs. Forget about the score which could go anywhere. Can you live with 50 receiving yards? You probably have someone on your roster with more reliability. Sadly this should be a great matchup and yet The Vikes and Harvin are not inspiring any confidence.
FRED DAVIS (@ STL) – PROJECTION: 80 YDS + 1 TD, SBL RATING: B
TUVEY: Davis has taken over as the Redskins’ “starting” tight end, but last week Chris Cooley still saw more targets and had more catches. This week the Davis/Cooley combo is facing a Rams defense that’s allowed seven tight end receptions—that’s a three-game total, folks. So Davis gets half of a total reduced by the matchup… I can find other better options; off the top of my head: Scott Chandler, Vishanthe Shiancoe, Anthony Fasano, James Casey.
DOREY: Ah, but the thing with Davis last week was that the Cowboys intentionally schemed to take him out of the game (and given that they won, it worked). Why else would he go from 5-105 and 6-86 and a touchdown to only one catch for 23 yards? The Cowboys spoke to this after the game and the Rams are not likely to do that or have the linebackers that can help out. Last week was not part of a trend, it was an aberration stemming from Davis being the focus of the defense. Last year it was Cooley with 6-80 and 5-62 and a touchdown. The Cowboys have long been stung by Redskins tight ends. Cooley has a chronic knee condition and is not getting better or a bigger part of the offense. Davis had one bad game thanks to the game planning of Rob Ryan. The Rams had only faced Brent Celek, Jake Ballard and Ed Dickson (5-51) so far. Davis is better than those.
CONSENSUS: Don't over value the one game last week for Davis. He has value this week and while a touchdown is always hard to rely on,. he should bounce back with yardage from last week. Unless you have a top name, highly reliable tight end, Davis is as good of a start as most.
|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.