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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Upon Further Review - Week 8
David Dorey and John Tuvey
October 30, 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.

HAKEEM NICKS (AT PHI) - PROJECTION:  70 YDS + 1 TD, SBL RATING:  S3

TUVEY: Last week I took heat for defending Nicks, this week evidently I don't like him enough? Nicks has TDs in four straight, though last week's score was unquestionably fluky. I don't know that we've seen any Giants receiver step up enough to be separated from the others; force me to prioritize them fantasy-wise this week against Philly and I'd say Smith, Nicks, Manningham—but again, there's not enough there to push one out ahead of the pack. As the write-up states re: Nicks, sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. Or as Crash Davis once opined, don't mess with a streak.

DOREY: I’d tend to agree and I have Nicks as slightly more productive than Smith or Manningham because he has been on quite the roll as of late and he tends to get his best yards when he gets matched up against a safety from the slot. I just see the Eagles corners able to handle Smith and Manningham slightly better and I like two passing scores in this game. Nicks is easily the lowest risk to catch one lately and if anything he may be a risk only because he’s not broken his string of scoring games yet.

CONSENSUS:  There is going to be a risk using a wideout from the Giants because all three have already had their big games and can do it again with the proper amount of attention from Eli Manning.  The “S3” pays homage to the risk involved and the projection is the upside. Nicks is at least as likely to be the best scorer for the Giants, but in a three man race you could be disappointed.

JOHNNY KNOX (VS CLE) - PROJECTION:  50 YDS, SBL RATING: S2

TUVEY: Reading both write-ups, DMD and I are pretty much in agreement. We both like Hester, and we both think how much more production is afforded the passing game depends on how successfully the Bears run on the Browns. He has a second Cutler TD going to Olsen, and the S2 designation I have on Knox suggests I think it will go his way. The Browns have allowed other speed receivers (Percy Harvin, James Jones) to score, and I see a Knox TD as more likely than one to Olsen or one of the other wideouts.

DOREY: The thing with Knox is that his real value has just been scoring and he’s only done that once in the last three weeks. The 50 yards that I predict would actually be his best game since week two.   I liked Greg Olsen to catch the score since the three weakest teams that he has faced were when he had his three touchdowns. Now Cleveland comes to town.  Knox has only had 13 catches for 114 yards over the last four games.  Cutler has moved to distributing the ball around more than he did when Knox had his better games.

CONSENSUS:  You really cannot consider Knox has having upside beyond the “S2” since he hasn’t done much since week two other than catch a few short touchdowns. Problem with Knox is that when he doesn’t catch a score as he didn’t in week 4 and week 7, he only had 31 and 42 yards that week. You are accepting risk with Knox without all that much potential reward.

ROY WILLIAMS (VS SEA) – PROJECTION: 70 YDS + 1 TD, SBL RATING: B

TUVEY: Williams has done nothing to suggest he warrants a fantasy start. DMD himself says it will take pressure from the owner's box in an attempt to make the trade look less awful just to get Williams looks here; okay, maybe I'm paraphrasing a bit. But it's pretty obvious the pecking order for Tony Romo starts with Miles Austin and goes through Jason Witten and maybe even Patrick Crayton before getting to Williams. And then there's a pretty good chance that Williams drops the ball anyway. A look at what kinds of WRs have scored against Seattle suggests they get killed by speed (Hester, Knox, Collie, Breaston) and studs (Wayne, Fitzgerald). Since Williams doesn't fall into either class and has put up a stat line that actually pales in comparison to Terrell Owens', I just don't see him as a viable starter.

DOREY:  The projection for Williams is admittedly fraught with risk and as I wrote about his touchdown -  “I'll credit it to Williams but it could go to Patrick Crayton just as easily. It seems more reasonable that they would want to get Williams a score in what should be an easier game like this.” That’s about all this projection is about. The Cowboys will want to show up big at home before heading off into a tough part of the schedule. And with the success of Miles Austin lately, Williams no longer gets the double coverage as the #1. I think the Cowboys will want to involve Williams for a variety of reasons and this game should provide the opportunity at least.

CONSENSUS:  Compared to his recent stats, the projection is highly optimistic. Williams has only had two games with more than 35 yards and no scores since week one. Going by history, he is definitely a bench player. Dorey’s game forecast calls for the Cowboys being able to win the game and involve Williams because he won’t be in a pass-intensive situation.  Leave Williams on your bench unless you think the Cowboys can win easy enough to dictate what they do in the passing game, not just what Seattle allows them to do.

MAURICE JONES-DREW (AT TEN) – PROJECTION: 30 RUSH YDS + 30 RCV YDS + 1 TD, SBL RATING: S2

TUVEY: Simply put, you're not benching MoJo. The S2 designation suggests a confidence in him to find a way to score despite facing a pretty good defense on the road—much like he did in the earlier meeting. DMD's projected 60 yards from scrimmage and a score puts Jones-Drew on the fringe of the top 10 running back plays of the week. Sounds S2ish to me.

DOREY: The Titans at home without a win will be tough since they already are outstanding against the run. The projection is almost exactly what Jones-Drew did in the first match-up – 40 total yards and one touchdown. Not sure what “S2” means if 60 yards and a score doesn’t fit.

CONSENSUS:  As Tuvey mentioned – you are going to start Jones-Drew. His upside alone makes him an every week started and scoring seven times in the last four weeks only proves the point. Start him for what he could do but be prepared for a lower week more likely.

LEE EVANS (VS HOU) – 80 YDS + 1 TD, SBL RATING:  S3

TUVEY: As the write-up states, I'm on board with Evans being the more productive of the receivers in Buffalo, especially with regards to yardage. And if there is to be a touchdown from Ryan Fitzpatrick, Evans is the most likely recipient. Does that mean I'd stick my neck out for him as a solid fantasy play? Not really. He's more of a "six teams are on the bye and one of my regulars is hurt so I'm throwing him into the lineup and crossing my fingers" kind of play. That's more of an S3.

DOREY: I like the Bills getting a score on the Texans and  if not Evans- who? Terrell Owens is like an old pitcher gone to the minors and Josh Reed is just Josh Reed.  Ryan Fitzgerald has connected very well with Evans and the projection is right in line with what he did In Carolina and in New York against the Jets. This time he is at home against a weaker Houston secondary.

CONSENSUS:  This is sort of the difference between the two reports. The Start Bench considers Evans relative to other wideouts in the NFL and don’t seem him as more than a WR3 kind of starter. The Predictions and Projections report breaks down the game and no doubt that Evans is the most likely to score of this crew.  He makes a decent bye week replacement to be sure and that’s more the least of what he will do. He has upside beyond just being a fill-in.

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.

Other Features
Fantasy Six Pack
Start / Bench List
Game Predictions
Player Projections
Weekly Cheat Sheet
Free Agent Forecast
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