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Upon Further Review - Week 15
David Dorey and John Tuvey
December 18, 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.

Arian Foster (at STL) - PROJECTION: 70 rush + 40 Rcv yds + TD, SBL RATING: s3

TUVEY: I see the upside in Foster, I really do. It's a great match-up, but I fear those banking on 110 yards from scrimmage from Foster failed to read the fine print in the PP: "Understand that Foster's numbers are really more like the total numbers since there is no way of knowing the split roles." And that's why Foster gets an S3 instead of an S2 or better: because I don't trust Shanahan disciple Gary Kubiak to give Foster all the carries. Chris Brown could steal a goal line look; Ryan Moats might see some pass-catching work; heck, Chris Henry might be activated and take a couple carries. Kubiak tells us Foster will be showcased; I see the upside, but anything Kubiak says I'm taking with a grain of salt.

DOREY: I can certainly see the risk in Foster - we are talking about a player that no one has seen in an NFL game until last Sunday when he only gained 2.6 yards per carry against the visiting Seahawks but did have four catches. Relying on him at all is a major risk and there is no way to be sure what will happen. The Texans never said anything last week to suggest that the undrafted rookie was about to get 17 touches in the game. There is also major upside here since the Rams regularly give up 100+ rushing yards and a score to opponents and Kyle Boller has the flu and Steven Jackson is sore sore he can barely roll out of bed. There are a lot of reasons why the Texans should be able to have a nice rushing game here and most likely it will be Foster who gets a chance to shine as has been indicated by Kubiak.

CONSENSUS: Dorey is somewhat more optimistic than Tuvey about what will happen regarding Foster. The Texans should get some decent numbers from their running backs this week as have almost every team to face the Rams. Foster is a swing for the fence with the knowledge that he may offer only mediocre numbers and not even end up as the primary. For a guy that is available on the waiver wire this week, he is attractive since no one else likely has that sort of upside on your waiver wire. But the risk is big. Using Foster says that you must not have any other decent options like fantasy teams that just like Kevin Smith.

Kenny Britt (Vs mia) - PROJECTION: 70 YDS + TD, SBL RATING: B

TUVEY: Britt is definitely the best option among Tennessee's wideout, but that's not exactly a ringing endorsement. He'll be catching balls from an injured Vince Young, a rusty Kerry Collins, or some combination thereof, and while the Dolphins aren't a shutdown secondary they aren't handing out passing scores either. So the upside is about what the PP sets the line at, with no guarantee that Young will be healthy enough to resume his relationship with Britt. Collins has never thrown a touchdown to Britt; who's to say he doesn't have a fondness for Nate Washington or Justin Gage? In a larger league where the options are limited I could see reaching for Britt, but ultimately there are too many question marks and not enough upside for me to feel good about recommending Britt for a fantasy start with the season on the line.

DOREY: I will not deny that I am impressed by Britt who is starting to become the primary wideout that the Titans have missed since Derrick Mason left. He has scored in three of the last four games and had 75 yards on two catches last week against the Rams when he did not score. Vince Young is looking more likely to play which helps Britt and he has passed for at least one score in each game and Britt is clearly his preferred target to score. And the Dolphins are most likely to give up a touchdown to their opponents #1 wideout is. That doesn't mean that Britt scores, just that he is most likely. I also liked Britt because the Dolphins have always allowed an opposing wideout to rack up at least 70 yards against them. Again - Britt is just the most likely.

CONSENSUS: Given that Chris Johnson could take over the game and eliminate nearly all need to pass, Britt is a risk to start. His projections are the product of what is most likely to happen and who is most likely to do it but we are not talking about the Colts or Saints where there is so many passing yards and scores that you can be very sure that good things are going to happen to several guys. When you are expecting just one player to be good, then it is a far higher risk to rely on.

pierre thomas (vs dal) - PROJECTION: 40 rush + 30 rcv YDS, SBL RATING: s2

TUVEY: It's the diametric opposite of Arian Foster, only there's a little more evidence to go on with regards to what share of the workload Thomas might have. A mere 70 yards would represent Thomas' worst game in a month, and we know he's getting double-digit touches because he's received double-digit touches in each of the past seven games. In this case the S2 represents at least some degree of confidence that Thomas will have a chance to put up helpful yardage, with an outside shot at a touchdown.

DOREY: I don't argue that much. My concern was the return of Mike Bell and Reggie Bush playing so well recently that the sharing could really get in the way. I can answer this one pretty easily - my projection for Thomas is the least that I would expect from him and he plays in an offense that gives the players weekly upside.

CONSENSUS: Thomas is a safe start who should produce at least solid numbers and of course could have a big game since he will be at home and remains the primary ball carrier. He is a solid start in what should be a high scoring game.

Chad ochocinco (AT sd) - PROJECTION: 40 YDS + TD, SBL RATING: s2

TUVEY: Not sure what the confusion is here; the PP has Ochocinco as the 24th best WR play, which makes him a starter in just about any league larger than 10 teams that uses at least two wide receivers. And "S2" implies a solid start. So...? The SBL indicates the Chargers are tough to score on but not impossible, and Ochocinco is the Bengals best bet; the PP indicates the Chargers are tough to score on but not impossible, and Ochocinco is the Bengals best bet.

DOREY: Ochocinco gets a touchdown in my projection in much the same vein as discussed for Britt - he is easily the most likely wideout to score. I have not changed the projections but am very intrigued by Ochocinco this week because he was friends with Chris Henry and was deeply emotional about his passing. The projections are what I like to happen given the trends and such. The death of Henry throws a huge variable in that cannot be calculated since everyone reacts differently to such a situation and Ochocinco cannot throw the passes to himself.

CONSENSUS: Ochocinco is almost always a solid start because he brings so much upside with him in most games. Short of playing in very small leagues, it is hard to imagine that a team has many better options that Chad. Consider him as a solid start this week and with unusually higher upside because he is going to be emotional about the loss of Chris Henry.

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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