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Upon Further Review - Week 4
David Dorey and John Tuvey
October 2, 2009
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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.

Pierre Thomas (vs. NYJ) - Projection: 90 yards and 1 TD, SBL Rating: B

Tuvey: Starting Chris Johnson against the Jets and their shutdown D is one thing, but banking on Pierre Thomas to have similar success is another. The Saints don't run the ball as much or as well as the Titans and are down an offensive lineman; Thomas is sharing carries with at least one and possibly more backs; and he padded his resume with one half of success against a soft run defense. With four teams on the bye you could twist my arm to use him in a larger league this week, but I'd be willing to bet I could find other options.

Dorey: The Jets have a great defense - no argument. But they opened in Houston when the Texans clearly had nothing to go on about the new defense and were crushed. The next two wins over NE and TEN were in New York where the Pats ran for 81 yards and the Titans gained 124 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Now the Jets have their first road game and have to face the most diverse offense in the league. I like Thomas because the Jets cannot possibly load up against him and even if they want to commit someone to shadow a running back, they'd more likely be covering Bush as the receiver. I like the touchdown - the Jets allowed one by Lendale White last week and are on their first road game where the opponent has a clue about what the defense will be like. The workload by Thomas also reflects that I think the Saints can get a 7+ point lead and will run more later in the game. Lynell Hamilton doesn't count to me since Thomas was already far better. Bush is a receiver and minimally a runner. I still like Thomas from his game situation.

Consensus: The safest play would be to assume the Jets could limit Thomas who will have to share carries as well. But any running back in that offense has instant upside every week and playing at home nudges it a little higher despite the apparent horrible matchup. If you think the Jets can nearly shut down the Saints rushing game, then Thomas is a "B". If you believe the Saints can get a lead and gain an advantage from playing at home, then Thomas becomes more worthy of a start.

Julius Jones (@ IND) - Projection: 40 yards, SBL Rating: S2

Tuvey: I'll concede that Jones runs better at home than on the road, but the blueprint to beating the Colts is keeping Peyton Manning off the field (and even that doesn't always work). The Cardinals abandon the run with predictable results; Greg Knapp won't be so fast to pull the plug. And Jones isn't leaving the field on third downs, either; he's the only back with catches in all three games so I'm not conceding that receiving yardage to Forsett. Maybe I'm not as sentimental as DMD in giving Edge the touchdown; I see Jones putting up a poor man's Steve Slaton sort of game against Indy with a few catches and serviceable rushing yardage as well as a possible touchdown.

Dorey: I just do not like the way this game feels. Seattle is without Hasselbeck and the pass is not going to work against the Colts, so sure the Seahawks will want to run. But that does not mean they will be able to run. And I do think Seattle is one of those teams that is much different at home versus on the road. I see that the only other road game had Jones running for only 11 yards on eight carries in San Francisco. He salvaged his fantasy value with a touchdown and yes, he had three catches but they netted a two yard loss. Justin Forsett had six catches for 57 yards in that game. The only time they used him was in the road game. The fast track inside the dome is also kinder to Forsett. Throw in that it would not surprise me at all to see Edgerrin James show up in his first return to Indianapolis and I think Jones carries too much risk to consider this week. Trust me - I own him on about half of my teams and would love to feel good about using him. I don't.

Consensus: Viewing this game from the perspective of Jones going against the softer Colts defense, it would suggest that he could have at least minor success and perhaps a pretty decent game here. But he is a higher risk to accomplish that because Seattle is on the road across the country and on top of that could potentially be some extra playing time for James who returns to Indy for the first and likely only time. Jones has risk this week.

Mike Sims-Walker (vs. TEN) - Projection: 7-100 and 1 TD, SBL Rating: S3

Tuvey: There's no question Sims-Walker is a fantasy starter this week, but let's not crown him just yet. Jacksonville hasn't had much success passing on the Titans, and Tennessee's pass-against numbers have been inflated by teams like Pittsburgh and Houston who simply abandon the run. The Jaguars won't do that, not with Maurice Jones-Drew, so the stat pool from which Sims-Walker will draw from won't be as deep as the Titans' passing points allowed might suggest.

Dorey: I would agree that the Jaguars are hardly planning on passing on every play but I as I see the game, the Titans win this and at least eventually push this to the air. Throw in that the Titans are playing against the run as well as any defense. Jones-Drew will still have some success but not so much he takes over the game by any means. The Titans secondary has been exposed more this year by the Texans and Steelers and their best cornerback Cortland Finnegan has not practiced this week and may not play because of his hamstring. The Titans have allowed at least one opposing receiver to gain more than 100 yards every week. I like the situation and think the Jaguars will need to throw more than Tuvey does.

Consensus: The difference relates to the Jags historically not passing well on the Titans versus the chance that 2009 will be different as it has for the past Titans opponents. It also depends on how well you believe the rushing game will work for the Jaguars. But the Titans secondary has become suspect and now the best cornerback will probably miss the game as well. Sims-Walker is starter quality this week.

Mark Sanchez (@ NO) - Projection: 240 yards and 2 TD, SBL Rating: B

Tuvey: The Jets win by playing defense and running the ball. That's going to leave Sanchez with a bunch of stat lines like 200 and one, which is usually bench fodder. The Saints shut out two quarterbacks and it took Kevin Kolb 50 throws to put up decent numbers in the other game. Sanchez will throw 20 times less, with ordinary at best results. In other words, I'm expecting exactly the kind of game DMD is predicting in the final paragraph of his write up; I'm just putting him at the low end of 210-240 yards and giving him one TD instead of two.

Dorey: This is more a situation of my wanting to establish a certain game score and how it is most likely to occur. I almost gave the Jets a defensive score and remained with just one touchdown for Sanchez. I will readily admit that I am thoroughly impressed with what Sanchez has done so far. He has much exceeded my expectations in all three games so I am tending toward giving him the benefit of extra yards and scores because he's bee pretty good at doing just that. The Saints defense is much improved, almost sad that it is from a fantasy standpoint. This game also has some unknowns in it since it is a new defense and offense in New York on their first road game (not counting opening in Houston) so how they will play remains somewhat speculative. And quarterback production is always tied to game situation. The better the Jets defense does, the less passing for both teams.

Consensus: Using only past stats, Sanchez is in a worse situation than we would have though just a couple of weeks ago. He is likely not going to be your best pick this week but he has upside and has delivered so far as a rookie. If you want risk and upside, then Sanchez is a potential play this week but there are probably a lot of quarterbacks that have their most likely production higher than Sanchez.

Trent Edwards (@ MIA) - Projection: 210 and 2 TD, SBL Ranking: B

Tuvey: After facing Matt Ryan, Peyton Manning, and Philip Rivers, the Dolphins are going to fear Trent Edwards? He threw for 227 and 0 against them last year; a similar yardage total and a touchdown still makes him at best a fringe starter in larger leagues. DMD chooses to give him a shot at two touchdowns; I'm limiting that to one at best, which likely constitutes the difference between start and bench.

Dorey: This is another deal where I wanted a particular game score and needed to distribute touchdowns. I do not like the chance of a rushing score in Miami so that makes them both a pass reception. As I mention in my write up, "Look for much better passing yards this week and a shot at two touchdowns." Scoring twice is merely a possibility here and not a probability. Would I want to start Trent Edwards this week? With only 210 yards he is not very attractive to me. The majority of quarterbacks are going to throw for at least 210 yards and one touchdown. So really my projections say he'll be about average this week plus a chance of one other score.

Consensus: Edwards certainly has not generated much consistency or reliability so far. He is a greater risk of having a lesser game than the projections suggest. He's an average starter this week only in the best case scenario.

Bernard Berrian (vs. GB) - 4-60 and 1 TD, SBL Ranking : B

Tuvey: Percy Harvin is the go-to receiver in Minnesota's run-first offense. There's bound to be a second touchdown from Brett Favre; DMD has to put it somewhere, so he picks Berrian because he doesn't have one yet. That's a chance he has to take, but I'm not as willing to take that chance with your fantasy team. He's a risky start, and I think you can do better.

Dorey: I would agree. Berrian has become about average in the last two games with 6-46 and 4-56 and the yardage pays some homage to just what he has been doing. The touchdown pass was allocated to him since he is the only wideout so far without a touchdown catch but there is no supervening reason why he would catch it. If you can live with a 60 yard game from your wideout, then he could be started but there's probably more upside somewhere else on your roster.

Consensus: Berrian is due for a decent game and a touchdown but that doesn't compel this week to be the one by any means. He's a marginal start at best.

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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