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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Upon Further Review - Week 5
David Dorey and John Tuvey
October 9, 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.

Derek Anderson (at BUF) - Projection: 190 yds, 1 TD, SBL Rating: B

Originally this had Anderson throwing two scores and 250 yards but it was dropped significantly on the news of Braylon Edwards being traded. While Edwards did not have a catch last week, the reality is that he made the defense account for him first and foremost and this is why Mohamed Massaquoi had such a big breakout game. Take away the most talented receiver and it completely changes the dynamic. The Browns will need to throw of course and there is always the chance for trash time yards and scores but played in Buffalo against a desperate team means they will not lose interest . And the Browns who no longer have Kellen Winslow or Braylon Edwards are turning into the Rams only without Steven Jackson.

Consensus: Anderson is not an attractive start this week. More downside than upside here to be sure.

Randy Moss (vs. DEN) - Projection: 5 catches for 60 yds, SBL Rating: S2

Tuvey: I don't have hugh expectations for Moss, but he's still Randy Moss—as in the top option on an offense that can't run the ball and has one of the game's best quarterbacks at the helm. An S2 implies that I think he could get a touchdown this week (he scored twice on the Broncos last year) and should be able to approximate the yardage posted by other go-to receivers like Chad Ochocinco (89 yards) and Braylon Edwards (92). That's not an unrealistic expectation, and there's always the upside of another monster Moss game. Put another way: I feel a lot better putting Moss in my lineup even with the tougher matchup than I would stepping down in class at wideout to play a softer matchup.

Dorey: I completely agree. I see Moss as having a tough matchup and just because he had two scores and 69 yards against the Broncos last year does not mean it happens again - these are better Bronco defenders. And the New England wideouts have only scored combined have only scored one touchdown this year (this is where I hear Will Ferrell's voice shouting in my ear "Doesn't that blow your mind?"). And yet while I see the 60 yards as most likely of many potential outcomes, I would not sit Moss. I built my dynasty team with Moss as my first pick maybe seven years ago and I have never benched him even when he played in Oakland.

Consensus: We may seem to disagree but we really don't. My hard number projection is what is suggested as most likely given everything coming into this game but the upside of Moss always counteracts that.

Steve Slaton (at ARI) - Projection: 50 yds + 30 yds on six catches, SBL Rating: S2

Tuvey: Arizona's stats against running backs can be misleading. They haven't allowed a big rushing yardage game to a single back, but Indy's tandem rolled them for 103 yards and MoJo was averaging five yards a carry before the Jags had to shift to catch-up mode and abandon the run. Plus, the Cards have allowed two RB receiving touchdowns in three games and that's a big part of Slaton's game. Assuming he doesn't put the ball on the carpet again and lose touches to either of his significantly less-talented backups, he's going to reach triple-digit combo yards and probably score.

Dorey: Hmm.. we may need to agree to disagree. The way I see Slaton is to first forget what he did last year. He's not injured, the offense scheme and players are the same. He is what he is so far. And that is a running back who has not gained more than 76 rushing yards in any game and that includes home games against JAC and OAK. He's not yet been much of a receiver either with his first four games never producing more than three catches for 37 yards. And he has played in only one road game this year when he only produced 34 yards on 17 carries in Tennessee. Granted, the Titans are good against the run. But aside from the home stand against JAC, Slaton has been averaging 2.5 yards per carry. The Cards did allow Indy to rush for 103 yards. They also allowed the Colts to kick their butt 31-10. Do you think Houston is going to win 31-10? Let's call up the only other runner to visit Arizona - Frank Gore who opened the season with 30 yards on 22 carries. He had a score rushing and receiving but bottom line he was stuffed on almost every play.

Consensus: Probably the biggest difference between the two is that Tuvey sees a touchdown as likely and Dorey doesn't. The difference between 80 total yards and 100 total yards is marginal at best. The Cardinals have only allowed one rushing score this year and two receiving scores to running backs. Do you think Slaton - this year - is the same as Addai or Gore? Slaton is a decent start for running back but without much upside.

Brandon Pettigrew (vs. PIT) - Projection: 2 catches for 30 yds, 1 TD, SBL Rating: B

Tuvey: DMD points out the Lions are leaning more and more on their tight ends, which is to be expected in a Scott Linehan offense and is one of the reasons I liked Pettigrew as a sleeper coming into the season. I won't argue that the Steelers are somewhat soft against tight ends, but consider that half of their yardage allowed to the position—and two of the three touchdowns—came from Antonio Gates. Pettigrew's a nice prospect, but he's not Gates yet. He gets a B because I think even on a bye week there are better options than a rookie who splits time against the defending World Champions.

Dorey: What's not to like about a rookie tight end on a team that historically never throws to the position and facing the Super Bowl champions? Oh yeah - nothing. I think Pettigrew is getting better and actually exceeding my early expectations but apparently the touchdown is the catch here since 30 yards from a tight end is hardly enough to warrant a start. I had to place the score somewhere and I do like the place for it to happen it is a huge risk to rely on.

Consensus: We agree really. The chance for the touchdown is not that great and you'd be better off relying on another tight end who had better prospects for yardage.

Mark Clayton (vs. CIN) - Projection: 3 catches for 40 yds, SBL Rating: S2
Kelley Washington (vs. CIN) - Projection: 4 catches for 50 yds, 1 TD, SBL Rating: S3

Tuvey: Essentially, DMD and I have Washington and Clayton flip-flopped. I have Clayton over Washington because he's bested the Bengals before (two 100-yard games the past two seasons) and he's clearly a favored target; unless Flacco has lost confidence in Clayton because of that fourth-down drop against the Patriots last week, he's still a brighter blip on the radar than Washington (29 targets to 20 thus far this year). And that's why Washington gets a slightly lower grade; love the revenge angle, but when it comes down to opportunities Washington gets 33 percent fewer looks than either Mason or Clayton. 

Dorey: These two players are pretty much even, the question is where you think the touchdown is more likely to fall. Both players have scored just once this season. They have 14 versus 16 catches (because we don't get fantasy points for targets in my league but I digress). Washington actually has 198 yards to 177 for Clayton. Me - I like guys that do more with a pass thrown to them besides not catch it like Clayton. But I digress. I do like Washington facing his old team again because I am big on "remember me" games. And also the Bengals let Mike Wallace have seven catches for 108 as the #3 receiver.

Consensus: Bottom line these players have about the same outlook. Neither player is likely to have a big game or flop and do nothing. I like Washington as the most likely to score but the Bengals have only allowed one touchdown to a wideout besides the improbable carom shot that Stokley had in week one. You should consider both as a S3 really since the score is a single play event that could favor either during the game if it even happens.

Bobby Wade (vs. DAL) - Projection: 5 catches for 70 yds, 1 TD, SBL Rating: B

Tuvey: Wade already has two touchdowns this year; expecting a third seems gratuitous. It's not as if the Chiefs have to score, after all. If Bowe's healthy he's the go-to guy here, and I wouldn't feel comfortable digging any deeper in this offense for fantasy help.

Dorey: Are there any other arbitrary rules you would like to apply to Mr. Wade? Is he not allowed to gain 72 yards in a game because he has already done that this year? Man - always go second if you get involved with a point-counter point thing. It rocks. But for Wade, his projections were a product of the Cowboys always giving up at least 243 passing yards in a road game and at least one score if not two. The Chiefs will be pressed to run that well but the Cowboys secondary can be beaten since almost every opponent has done just that. Even Byron Leftwich had 276 yards and a score. After last week's fiasco letting Brandon Marshall score the game winning touchdown, I believe the Cowboys will commit heavily to the corners to try and shut down Bowe and Bradley since the rushing game is of little concern. But I like the receivers who go against the Dallas safeties.

Consensus: The reality is that Wade is very risky to get the 70 yards and one score proposed by Dorey who has to distribute yards and score(s) in every game. Wade is much more likely to do little than have a big game and it is a risk you'd be much better off avoiding if you had a more sure thing on your roster.

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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