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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Upon Further Review - Week 10
David Dorey and John Tuvey
Nevember 13, 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.

Rashard Mendenhall (VS. CIN) - PROJECTION: 120 Total yd + 1 TD, SBL RATING: S3

TUVEY: The S3 may be a tad conservative; as I run through the rankings Mendenhall is definitely at the top of the S3 grouping, and I might even use him ahead of a couple S2s. I'm still buying the Bengals as a legit run defense—Jerome Harrison's 121 is a 50-yard outlier for anything that's come since, and that includes two games against the Ravens—but I'm willing to concede that Mendenhall's play might warrant a little more respect than an S3 at home implies.

DOREY: I am obviously high on Mendenhall for several reasons. He was just a machine against the Broncos in the second half and I was very impressed with how the Steelers ran the ball in Denver. Like a boxer who senses his opponent is woozy, the Steelers went into battering mode and Mendenhall was nearly unstoppable. In the previous meeting with the Bengals, Willie Parker ran for 93 yards on 25 carries, added 36 yards on two catches and scored one touchdown. My projection for Mendenhall is nearly the same only this time the Steelers are playing far better than they were in week three when they lost in Cincy. Mendenhall has taken over and should be able to at least match what Parker already did in Cincy. Playing in Pittsburgh is probably the worst venue in the NFL and the Bengals face an improved Steelers team who want some revenge for the previous loss and, oh yes, this is for the command of the AFC North.

CONSENSUS: Tuvey really has no problem considering Mendenhall as an S2 of sorts while Dorey looks at him more like an S1. Bottom line is that Mendenhall is a safe and solid start this week that has a very good chance of stepping up into very good numbers has he did last week and in reality, like Parker already did in Cincy.

Percy harvin (VS. det) - PROJECTION: 50 yds, SBL RATING: s2

TUVEY: All the Vikings' wideouts are good plays against Detroit, though it's unlikely all of them will score.  would imagine DMD can't project a touchdown for every Minnesota receiver, so the PP can't convey the possibilities that lay before each of the Viking wideouts. Harvin seems to be the one guy Favre goes out of the way to get the ball to, so of Minnesota's trio of wideouts he's the one I like the most—especially with the success speedy slot guys have had. Not that I don't like Rice or Berrian, either, since they're both S2s as well. Again, this comes back to the PP being beholden to a final score while the SBL takes a more theoretical approach.

DOREY: It is always tempting to start a receiver against the Lions because you know someone - and maybe two or three someones - is going to turn in some nice fantasy points. But like Tuvey points out - they cannot all have a big game. One of the complicating factors to me in projecting is that Harvin has not done that much since week two other than last week in Green Bay where corner play prompted Favre to use his slot receiver instead of Sidney Rice. The Lions are not presenting the same quality of cornerbacks that Green Bay did so Favre can - and probably will - make both Sidney Rice and Bernard Berrian decent plays this week. I am lower on Harvin because Favre is not going to need him.

CONSENSUS: Going against the Lions is always an upside to factor in for all receivers. Players like Harvin tend to either catch the long pass and score the long touchdown or they have a very pedestrian game. The best way to consider Harvin is that this is the best matchup he has on his remaining schedule. If you do not start him here, you will not probably start him again. As a third or fourth starting wideout (depending on your league), his upside is probably bigger than the other guy you are looking at.

Matt hasselbeck (at ari) - PROJECTION: 200 YDS + 1 TD, SBL RATING: S3

TUVEY: Hasselbeck just went to Dallas and threw for 249 and two against a defense that statistically should be tougher for him to score on than the Cardinals. Certainly S3 isn't going out on a limb for Hass, but it does imply that there's some upside here. What would the PP need to be to be considered an S3—another 25 yards? another touchdown? I'm on the glass-half-full side of Hass, while the PP might be on the glass-half-empty side. But the sides are definitely not that far apart.

DOREY: Yeah, I am more the half-empty guy on this because the Cardinals already crushed Hasselbeck back in week six in Seattle where the Seahawks are always far better. He only had 112 yards and no touchdowns in that beat down that got out of hand quickly. But while I admit Hasselbeck will do more this time, I would not be high on using him this week because the Cardinals are starting to turn it up again this season and they are very familiar with Hasselbeck anyway. They played each other once last year and Hasselbeck only produced 170 yards and one score - again in Seattle. This is the time of year that the contenders are stepping up and the bad teams will be falling away. Seattle is not a contender.

CONSENSUS: Tuvey thinks that Hasselbeck is not a great play but one that will produce enough fantasy points to not kill you if you have to start him. That could happen with trash time yards and a score easily even in the scenario painted by Dorey. Consider him a weaker play this week in Arizona but likely to have at least marginal fantasy points.

randy moss (at indy) - PROJECTION: 70 YDS, SBL RATING: s2

TUVEY: First... is anyone seriously considering benching Randy Moss this week against Indy? Moss is an S2 almost by default; he's going to be in your lineup regardless of opponent or venue. So he didn't have a ton of success against Darrelle Revis or Champ Bailey in a couple of tough road losses and didn't get his before the Pats went into run out the clock mode against the Bucs in London; you're going to let that temper your expectations against a secondary that is down multiple regulars? Would it help if I told you that the last time Brady and Moss were in Indy he scored and had 145 yards? Did you bench Moss at home during the 2007 run because he scored in all eight road games but was shut out in three home tilts? Again... is anyone seriously considering benching Randy Moss?

DOREY: I'd think that S2 and 70 yards would be pretty close but I am assuming that the perception is that Tuvey likes Moss better than I do. The Colts have a very good secondary and even more so at home in a big game. If any team can hold Moss down - and if Moss gets 70 yards and no touchdown here it would actually still be his best road game of the year. Playing @NYJ, @DEN and @TB has resulted in a total of just ten catches for 129 yards and no scores. And five receptions for 69 yards in Tampa Bay has been his road best game. I think Colts can match the Buccaneers. I feel pretty good that they are capable. Moss has been a monster in every home game this year and then just mediocre in every away game.

CONSENSUS: When you drafted Moss, you did it for his high scoring, his consistency and his ability to be a difference maker for your team. Considering what you probably paid for him - a first or second round pick? - the only time you should not play him is when he has the worst of all matchups and even then, probably not. Because Moss is always going to represent a ton of upside and if anyone can go against the connect-the-dots of statistical projection, it is Moss. There is not enough risk taken here that could possibly outweigh the upside that Moss has - just start him and be happy you own one of the elite wideouts in your league.

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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