FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 1
2012
DAL at NYG (WED) *IND at CHI *PHI at CLE STL at DET
ATL at KC *JAC at MIN *PIT at DEN *WAS at NO
*BUF at NYJ *MIA at HOU *SEA at ARI *CIN at BAL (MON)
*UPDATED *CAR at TB *NE at TEN SF at GB *SD at OAK (MON)

Prediction: MIA 10, HOU 27 (Line: HOU by 11)

Player Updates: Arian Foster, Owen Daniels, Ben Tate

Players to Watch: Ryan Tannehill, Reggie Bush

The Dolphins ended with a 6-10 record last season and were only 2-6 in road games. The Texans posted a 10-6 standing that won them the division and got them into the playoffs where they beat the Bengals before later falling to the Ravens. The Houston defense was the main success factor in their first playoff run and now eight months later it will be why they win this game.

The Texans won 23-13 in Miami last year.

Miami Dolphins
Homefield: Dolphins Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @HOU ----- 10 TEN -----
2 OAK ----- 11 @BUF -----
3 NYJ ----- 12 SEA -----
4 @ARI ----- 13 NE -----
5 @CIN ----- 14 @SF -----
6 STL ----- 15 JAC -----
7 BYE ----- 16 BUF -----
8 @NYJ ----- 17 @NE -----
9 @IND ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster

Pregame Notes: The Dolphins have undergone another change at the top with Joe Philbin comes over as head coach after spending nine years in Green Bay and the last five as the offensive coordinator - that bodes well for fantasy purposes. Mike Sherman left Texas A&M to become the offensive coordinator and reunites with Philbin to produce the West Coast offensive scheme. Since quarterback has long been a problem spot, the Fins drafted Ryan Tannehill who was Sherman's quarterback last year. That will give him an advantage over most rookie quarterbacks since he is familiar with the system already.

Reggie Bush is one to watch because this offense will use him extensively at least while the passing attack is still coming together. Bush is in a situation where he could end up with plenty of rushing and receiving yardage. How durable Bush will prove is key to what success there will be in this first year of the rebuild. He lasted for all but one in 2011 and that included 216 carries for 1086 yards and 43 receptions for 296 yards. This offense will revolve around Bush so his role and workload will dictate much for the team and his fantasy value.

Sadly for fantasy fans, the new offense was described as not needing a true #1 wide receiver. Brandon Marshall left for Chicago and in his place is little more than Davone Bess and Legedu Naanee which is every bit as bad as it sounds. The Dolphins continue to look for more help here and the lack of talent is not going to be of any help in Tannehill's development. At current rate, there is a decent chance that the leading receiver will end up as Reggie Bush.

Anthony Fasano remains the starting tight end but he's little more than a blocker. Even if the Fins want to make more use of him, there is no guarantee he is up to the task. This entire passing offense has perhaps the least amount of fantasy value in the entire NFL. Even Blaine Gabbert was given tools to work with this year. Not so Tannehill.

On the road with a new offense and a rookie quarterback to face the Texans... not ideal. If there was any shut out in week one, this would be it.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 20 9 24 27 8 30
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 5 2 8 4 12 3

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Ryan Tannehill, MIA CLE 20000033030 ***
Tannehill racked up 31 points in garbage time last week and faces a Cleveland defense that ranks 14th in points surrendered to his position. Carson Wentz produced 22 points, while Joe Flacco was good for 23.2. Tannehill should dwarf those numbers in what is a mismatch of talent all around.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Kenyan Drake, MIA CLE 5003200000 *
Drake saw 15 percent of the snaps once Arian Foster went out last weekend, and his role will increase with the vet once again on the mend. Drake is likely to be the lightning to Jay Ajayi's thunder, making him a more valuable PPR commodity. The Browns have given up only seven catches for 56 yards to RBs, though. Play with caution.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jay Ajayi, MIA CLE 4004200000 **
Arian Foster saw 10 offensive snaps before leaving Week 2 with an injury. The touch breakdown concluded with Ajayi seeing 57 percent of the plays, while Kenyan Drake received 15 percent. A week after being inactive, Ajayi lead Miami's offense in action. The Browns are respectable against his position, ranking as the 11th toughest in two weeks (PHI, BAL as opponents). Slide Ajayi into your flex spot this week, only if you must play him.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jarvis Landry, MIA CLE 0081202000 ***
Ten teams have been easier on the position than Cleveland. The Browns have given up the second most TDs to wideouts this year. Landry is obviously a PPR threat any given week, but this one could be an extremely fruitful matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeVante Parker, MIA CLE 006801000 ***
It may surprise you to realize Parker has just one fewer point than Jarvis Landry in PPR over the past seven games, dating back to 2015. Cleveland has permitted four touchdowns on only 23 catches to wide receivers, good for the 11th softest matchup for the position. Parker played 92 percent of the snaps in Week 2.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Stills, MIA CLE 002300000 ***
Stills was on the field more any any Dolphins receiver in Week 2's furious but failed comeback bid against New England. The PT translated to only four targets, but one of which found the end zone. Play him in DFS and as a traditional flex or risky WR3.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jordan Cameron, MIA CLE 004400000 **
While the Browns haven't given up a tight end touchdown yet, they are allowing the sixth most points to the position by way of the highest number of receptions (17) and yardage (193). A "bend but don't break" defense indeed. Cameron is a solid sleeper play in Week 3.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Andrew Franks, MIA CLE 2233 ***
Franks is barely playable but could turn in a good outing for brazen fantasy owners.

Houston Texans
Homefield: Reliant Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 MIA ----- 10 @CHI -----
2 @JAC ----- 11 JAC -----
3 @DEN ----- 12 @DET -----
4 TEN ----- 13 @TEN -----
5 @NYJ ----- 14 @NE -----
6 GB ----- 15 IND -----
7 BAL ----- 16 MIN -----
8 BYE ----- 17 @IND -----
9 BUF ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster

Pregame Notes: The demise of the Colts left the door open for the Texans to take the AFC South for the first time and win their first playoff game. Arian Foster started the year slowly for a few weeks because of a hamstring strain but he was unstoppable the rest of the way and ended with 1841 total yards and 12 touchdowns. He made the offense hardly notice when Andre Johnson was lost for nine games and Matt Schaub missed six. Between the defense and the rushing offense, passing became a novelty.

Foster returns along with Ben Tate who himself nearly topped 1000 rushing yards and is likely gone next year. With a tremendous offensive line, the Texans rushing attack will be at least good no matter who lines up and remains elite with Foster back there.

Andre Johnson is healthy again, for the moment, and claims he is not injury prone or losing a step. At 31 years of age, he should still be in his prime though he has missed 12 games over the last two years, needed a knee scope as recently as May and then pulled his groin in camp. Johnson is really the only wideout of any note that has ever played for the Texans. Kevin Walter has never been more than a mediocre complement. Rookies Jean Lestar, Keshawn Martin and DeVier Posey may develop into something in the future but none of them could win the #2 spot in training camp. Besides, with a good defense and dominating ground game, the Texans are never going to throw that much anyway. And when they do, they want Andre Johnson to catch it.

Owen Daniels has been a tight end that always seemed about to breakout and yet never quite did. He is 30 years old now and has missed 14 games over the last three seasons and been locked in around 600 yards per season lately. He remains a factor, just not a very big one.

First week out the Texans should look in midseason form with the Dolphins visiting along with their rookie quarterback. Nice chance for a defensive score in this game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 24 2 31 8 6 13
Preventing Fantasy Points MIA 20 5 23 23 10 20

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Brock Osweiler, HOU @NE 0000027021 ***
On the road, at Bill's house, you have to be desperate for Osweiler to be used in traditional starting lineup. DFS gamers may want to take a chance, however.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lamar Miller, HOU @NE 8004200000 ***
Miller is a respectable start and better in PPR. The Patriots rank 16th against the position, allowing two TDs on the ground this year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeAndre Hopkins, HOU @NE 0071201000 ***
Hopkins is an elite player with special attributes. New England has yielded the fourth most fantasy points to the position in the first two weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Will Fuller, HOU @NE 006901000 ***
The rookie has enjoyed a strong start to his career and is rewarding fantasy owners, or at least those of whom brave enough to start him in the first two weeks. He's a WR3 with upside against the fourth easiest statistical matchup for wide receivers.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Novak, HOU @NE 2222 ***
Novak has been too good to get away from, especially on the road against a quality defense where his offense may sputter.

WEEK 1
2012
DAL at NYG (WED) IND at CHI PHI at CLE STL at DET
ATL at KC JAC at MIN PIT at DEN WAS at NO
BUF at NYJ MIA at HOU SEA at ARI CIN at BAL (MON)
  CAR at TB NE at TEN SF at GB SD at OAK (MON)

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