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 ARI 10000019010 ***
Quarterbacks have averaged only 229.8 yards and 1.25 TD passes per contest against Arizona in the last four games. Tannehill is too inconsistent to play in any format.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jay Ajayi, MIA ARI 10021100000 ***
Every 20.3 rushing attempts over the last five weeks have resulted in a touchdown when facing Arizona. Other than scoring, this is a tough matchup for yards and receptions.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeVante Parker, MIA ARI 003501000 ***
Parker faces fantasy's seventh softest defense of wideouts over the last five weeks of data -- a group that may not have star cornerback Patrick Peterson or FS Tyrann Mathieu. The athletic receiver has found a way in the past month and a half, so gamers should view Parker as quality WR3.

Update: Parker is questionable but fully practiced and should be fine.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jarvis Landry, MIA ARI 005500000 ***
Landry faces a defense that has given up the fifth most catches per game and sixth highest yardage average over the last five. He has solid PPR appeal in conventional formats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Stills, MIA ARI 001200000 ***
Stills has a tough matchup for scoring touchdowns, and without one, his worth is irredeemable for gamers.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Andrew Franks, MIA ARI 2233 ***
Franks could be a sly fantasy play against Arizona, but he obviously presents risk. The Cards have allowed the fourth highest average of combined kicking chances over the past five weeks.

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 @IND 0000022021 ***
The Colts have given up the highest TD efficiency rate for quarterbacks over the last five weeks, and only seven teams have permitted more fantasy points per contest. There is mild hope for Osweiler, but chancing it in fantasy is asking for it.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lamar Miller, HOU @IND 8003201000 ***
Indianapolis is the toughest matchup, on paper, over the last five weeks' worth of data. Only two touchdowns have been scored on 80 offensive touches. Those plays have led to a grand total of 91.5 combined yards a game. Miller's best fantasy effort (32.8 PPR points) came in Week 6 against the Colts, though.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeAndre Hopkins, HOU @IND 007800000 ***
Receivers have scored eight times on the last 52 catches against the Colts. Indy has allowed the eighth highest per-game yardage average since Week 8. Hopkins is a sound play in all formats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Will Fuller, HOU @IND 005500000 ***
Indy has given up the fifth most fantasy points per game to receivers since Week 8, allowing a TD every 6.5 catches, which is the most feeble defense in this category.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE C.J. Fiedorowicz, HOU @IND 005701000 ***
The Colts have given up only 9.9 PPR points per game since Week 8, but and not one of the 17 catches allowed in that four-game window has found the end zone. Fiedorowicz could be targeted heavily in what may be a comeback bid by the Texans.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Novak, HOU @IND 2222 ***
Novak started the season with a bang but has been in a funk of late. If the stats are to be believed, Indy represents a bottom-four matchup for fantasy kickers.

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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