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Upon Further Review - Week 3
David Dorey and John Tuvey
September 24, 2010
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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.

Brandon Pettigrew (AT min) - PROJECTION:  30 Rcv + 1 TD SBL RATING:  B

TUVEY: Pettigrew is coming off a nice game, so he floats to the top of the waiver wire sort and those looking for TE help are ready to plug him into their lineup. I'm not anti-Pettigrew, but in this game I think he's at best the third option for the Lions in a game that isn't going to yield many points for them. Minnesota's defense is playing quite well, holding New Orleans in check and giving up just the one offensive TD to the Dolphins. With a backup QB at the helm, it'll be enough getting Calvin Johnson and Jahvid Best their points. Plus, as noted in the S/BL write-up, the Vikings have pretty much held TEs in check thus far this year. And while Scott Linehan loves to use his tight ends, whatever production the Lions get at the position likely gets split between Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler. Add it all up and I'm pretty confident I can find a dozen or more tight end plays I'd rather have this week.

DOREY: I see this as an extension of last week mostly. Going against the Eagles, Shaun Hill threw the second highest number of passes (8) to Brandon Pettigrew after Calvin Johnson (11) of course. No other receiver had more than four passes in that game. I grant you that the Vikes so far have been good against tight ends but they lost in New Orleans who completed five short passes to the tight ends. Last week in Minnesota, the Fins only passed once to Anthony Fasano who had three passes in the season opener. The Vikes were weak against tight ends last year and I think the two games are not enough to consider them as a measurement. The Lions are going to need to throw and Pettigrew has already been a favorite target for Hill who gets his second start.

CONSENSUS:  The difference is that I see the Lions doing a bit better against the Vikes than John does and bottom line - I only projected 30 yards for him anyway. The touchdown makes a big difference but you should never give the touchdown part of a projection equal weight with the yardage. I have to assign scores somewhere and give them to the most likely given all the variables I consider. But the confidence on a tight end touchdown is always going to be low - even lower for this year that has so few scores by the position. If you can live with 30 yards, then Pettigrew could suffice.

Brandon Marshall (vs NYJ) - PROJECTION:  80 + 1 TD , SBL RATING: S3

TUVEY: S3 might be a bit of an undersell on Marshall, as he should match up well with Antonio Cromartie and/or Kyle Wilson. With a little arm-twisting I could see that bumping up to an S2, more reflective of Marshall's stature as a stud receiver and a borderline must-start every week. Still, it's the Jets—who know how to play a little bit of defense with or without Darrelle Revis—and we're still waiting for Chad Henne to flash that promise he showed at the end of last season. Maybe an S2.5?

DOREY: I still have plenty of respect for the Jets defense whether Revis is there or not. But this is also the first time this season that the Dolphins are at home and that does make a big difference. This is also the first time the Jets are on the road - again that makes a difference. I'll admit, his projections would be far less with Darrelle "the backpack" Revis on him. But given home opener and first road game and the team wants to get that connection going well, I think this is the best game that Marshall will have so far. 80 yards is a decent to good game and the score was because I think he is easily the most likely. No lock of course, but the most likely.

CONSENSUS:  John says that he can see a mini-upgrade on Marshall and take away the score and he's probably more S2-ish. Bottom line - he's probably your top wideout and he has his most favorable situation of the season so far given the venue characteristics for both teams. This is one time that you start your stud regardless of the Jets defense.

Louis Murphy (at ari) - PROJECTION:  80 YDS + 1 TD, SBL RATING:  S3

TUVEY: With Bruce Gradkowski under center the Oakland wideouts see an uptick. But Oakland's biggest offensive advantage over Arizona comes in the running game so that's where I think they'll do their heavy lifting. Murphy should be an okay start, maybe even the S2.5 we just created for Marshall above. But even with Gradkowski's uptick it's still the Oakland passing game, and there's enough threat of Darrius Heyward-Bey being the more productive receiver that I'm uncomfortable labeling Murphy as an S2/solid start.

DOREY: One of the differences here is that I see the Oakland Raiders as having a good chance to win this game. John doesn't think they will. I also like Bruce Gradkowski as a quarterback who I believe has always been underrated. He showed what he could do last week when Murphy went 6-91 with one score. I also think Murphy is underrated because he has never had a decent quarterback in the past that let him show what he could do. In four starts with Gradkowski last year, Murphy scored three times.

CONSENSUS:  Consider the dividing line on Murphy to be what you think will happen in the Cardinals game. If you think the Cardinals are going to win (and they are favored by 4.5) then Murphy is probably just an average start. If you think the Raiders can show up with a better offense and could win the game, then consider Murphy as a very good start.

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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