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.
DOUG BALDWIN (@ CLE) – PROJECTION: 50 YDS + 1 TD, SBL RATING: B
TUVEY: Just too many ways this could go wrong for me to trust Baldwin. For starters, it could be a wounded Tarvaris Jackson at quarterback, or maybe the untested Charlie Whitehurst. Then there’s Baldwin’s competition for looks with Ben Obomanu (Seattle’s most targeted wideout last week) and Sidney Rice (the Seahawks’ most targeted wide receiver the previous two games). And then there’s a Cleveland secondary that’s allowed only two WR TDs and only two wideouts to top 66 yards—and might get elite cover corner Joe Haden back for this contest. Nothing in that paragraph makes me want to plug Baldwin into a starting lineup.
DOREY: As I wrote in my game page, "With Whitehurst under center it makes predicting who and what much less reliable. I am going to credit Baldwin with the score since he had the one touchdown thrown by Whitehurst in the last game. But consider these wide outs as risky plays this week because of the change at quarterback." I had a touchdown to put somewhere and Baldwin ins slightly more likely but by no means a slam dunk here. I would guess 50 yards alone is a bench to most people.
CONSENSUS: There is undeniable risk in using any of the Seattle players on the road with a new second-string quarterback. Consider Baldwin as a major risk and disregard the touchdown. Can you live with maybe 50 yards? probably someone better this week.
BRANDON MARSHALL (vs. DEN) – PROJECTION: 100 YDS + 1 TD, SBL RATING: S3
TUVEY: Marshall put up an impressive 109 yards against the Jets, part of it against Darrelle Revis. He’s startable here, but Champ Bailey was Darrelle Revis before Darrelle Revis was Darrelle Revis, and Bailey is back in the lineup and close to 100 percent. He was close enough to keep Vincent Jackson in check last week, so I’m dialing back expectations for Marshall here. Like I said, still startable; but 100 and 1 makes him a top-10 fantasy wideout this week, and that’s too aggressive for my blood.
DOREY: I like the fact that Marshall is at home and playing against his old team for the very first time. I must concede that a new quarterback in Matt Moore brings in more risk and unknowns. But he played last week when he threw 13 passes to him in New York against the Jets and gave him 6-109 against Revis and the boys. Revenge, homefield and he is going against defensive players he knows pretty well. He is as good a risk as any for a good game.
CONSENSUS: Consider Marshall as a lot better than a "borderline start" for the reasons stated. He'll be getting a dozen targets or more and will want to show up his visiting ex-employer. He's more a solid start because his risk is balanced out by more than enough upside for this game.
MIKE THOMAS (vs. BAL) – PROJECTION: 60 YDS + 1 TD, SBL RATING: B
TUVEY: I get that it’s tough to sit a guy who’s been targeted more than all but four other wide receivers, but all Thomas has been able to do with those copious looks is a Hail Mary touchdown and crack the top 40 in fantasy wideout scoring. I can think of a whole bunch of other options I’d rather use than wait for Thomas to let me down on Monday night.
DOREY: As I mentioned in my game page, " am putting it (the TD) on Thomas more as a placeholder " so you cam disregard that for comparison sake. I don't like this game for the Jaguars at all facing the Ravens. I projected a low 170 yards and had to divvy it up. I gave 60 yards to Thomas but even that is probably going to be from trash time.
CONSENSUS: Any wideout on a poor passing team facing the 2011 Ravens is a very risky play. The "B" is the safest way to go.
DeMARCO MURRAY (vs. STL) – PROJECTION: 60 + 10 YDS, SBL RATING S2
TUVEY: And the sixth sign of the apocalypse is 2V higher on a Cowboy than DMD. Maybe David’s 10-gallon hat slipped over his eyes as he was typing. There will be a ton of opportunity this week against a bad Rams run defense—yes, even after Tony Romo and the passing game take their share off the top. The Cowboys will want to take a good long look at Murray, especially if they’re up in the second half and want to milk the clock. Truth be told, we’re not all that different in our ranking—though I’d be looking for a few more yards or a touchdown from an S2. We’re pretty close on this one.
DOREY: I like Murray, sort of, and Tashard Choice was almost traded away. This is a home game and the Cowboys have a chance to rout another team for the first time this year. That could end up with multiple goal line opportunities potentially. And if the beat goes on early, maybe the Cowboys end up running the ball most of the second half. I could see that happening. Murray has not been that great so far with only a 3.0 YPC but he has never been the man before, especially at home against the weakest defense of the season thus far.
CONSENSUS: Murray is unlikely to have a monster game but should be a safe play for at least good yardage and a good chance for a score. Consider him as a decent bye week filler, especially as your flex player for instance.
EARNEST GRAHAM (vs. CHI) – PROJECTION: 80 + 30 YDS + 1 TD, SBL RATING S3
TUVEY: Graham had a nice fill-in game at home against a softish Saints defense last week, and I’m okay with him as a bye week plug-in again; hence the S3. I’m not super-comfortable with the touchdown, but I understand David has to give it to someone. I have him at #21 this week in my personal rankings, though I still don’t think “solid matchup” (the definition of S2) applies. Maybe Graham’s a strong S3 or a watered-down S2.
DOREY: As I mentioned in the game page, " I like Graham for one rushing score here though it would be easier to explain why not than why it will happen. " To my line of thinking is that Graham was very good last week against the Saints and - importantly - did not share carries almost at all. The Bucs head to London with a certain simplified game plan that should rely on running Graham and using his as a receiver as well - he has two catches for 22 yards last week. The Bears come off their thrashing of the Vikings and often that makes teams a bit less focused and intense the next game. Is it a risk? Sure - I even admit it is easier to argue against me than for me.
CONSENSUS: There is risk to be certain in a game played over in London but at least it is not supposed to rain. The touchdown can be discarded in your decision making but Graham should at least provide moderate to good yardage as both the exclusive rusher and occasional receiver for the Bucs. Figure this one to be more of an "S2".
|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.