FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 4
2012
CLE at BAL (THU) *MIN at DET *OAK at DEN *TEN at HOU
CAR at ATL *NE at BUF *SD at KC *WAS at TB
*CIN at JAC *NO at GB *SEA at STL *CHI at DAL (MON)
*Updated *MIA at ARI *NYG at PHI *SF at NYJ Bye: IND, PIT

Prediction: MIA 13, ARI 27 (Line: ARI by 6)

Players to Watch: Ryan Williams

Player Updated: Reggie Bush, Beanie Wells, Ryan Williams

The 1-2 Dolphins are still struggling with their rookie quarterback still learning the ropes and the defense not quite good enough make up the difference. The 3-0 Cardinals are already one of the biggest surprises of the season having beaten the Seahawks, Patriots and Eagles. And doing it with a vastly underrated defense. Each week brings big upsets but this one seems far too unlikely to give the Fins a chance.

Miami Dolphins
Homefield: Dolphins Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @HOU 10-30 10 TEN -----
2 OAK 35-13 11 @BUF -----
3 NYJ 20-23 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
MIA @ ARI Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Tannehill 10 190,1
RB Lamar Miller 10 2-10
RB Daniel Thomas 20
WR Brandon Gibson 3-40
WR Brian Hartline 5-40
TE Dustin Keller

Pregame Notes: The offense is still trying to come together with Ryan Tannehill at the helm but he only has one passing touchdown on the season while hanging around 200 pass yards every week. To his credit, he has only thrown one interception in the last two games and been sacked just once as well. But the problem is that this offense requires a very capable quarterback that can use a multitude of average receivers. The Fins just are not there yet.

Reggie Bush has been the star of the offense but suffered a knee sprain last week. He has no structural damage and is even expected to practice this week and play. If Bush cannot go, the Fins rely on both Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller. Practice reports will clear up the status for Bush but it appears that he dodged a bullet and will return this week. Bush is averaging just over six yards per carry and his absence was one reason why the Jets beat them last week.

The receivers here about as productive as the ones in Jacksonville but without all that talent and potential. Brian Hartline has the sole decent game with 111 yards against the Raiders but there has only been one passing touchdown all year and that went to Anthony Fasano. Davone Bess offers moderate yardage at best and there are no other receivers of any consequence on the roster. The entirety of the passing game is throwing to Hartline, Bess and Reggie Bush with maybe one or two completions to Fasano.

The only fantasy value here is Reggie Bush. The only real weapon is Bush. He is probably already planning on his holdout next summer (pssst - Reggie. Talk to MJD first).

This week heading into Arizona is not going to be pretty. The Cardinals defense is playing at a high level and now are at home against the worst passing attack in the league. We can only hope that Bush survives the game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 32 3 31 27 29 22
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 7 4 10 7 21 9

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Ryan Tannehill, MIA NYJ 0000028021 ***
Tannehill comes off a four-TD outing and back-to-back 300-yard affairs to host a Jets' defense that's allowed multiple passing scores in six of seven road games and 11 of 15 overall. Expect a significant upgrade over his 235 and zero from a month ago.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lamar Miller, MIA NYJ 5004300000 ***
The Jets are a formidable run D, but Miller scored on them in the last meeting and has scored or topped 89 combo yards in every home game this season so don't bet against him here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Wallace, MIA NYJ 006701000 ***
WR TDs have been hard to come by of late against the Jets, but if there is to be one it will most likely go to Wallace; he's scored three in the last two games. Otherwise settle for decent yardage against a Jets secondary that's allowed 10 100-yard receiving games this year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jarvis Landry, MIA NYJ 0081000000 ***
Landry and Mike Wallace both clocked in just shy of 70 yards in the earlier meeting with the Jets. Expect both to see a bump up in yardage at home, with Landry on equal footing with Wallace since the Jets have been just as friendly to WR2s (9 TDs vs. 5 by WR1s, 4 100-yard games vs. 6 by WR1s).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Charles Clay, MIA NYJ 006501000 ***
Clay missed the earlier meeting with the Jets due to injury; Dion Sims filled in admirably with 4-58. Now, coming off a 6-114 showing against the Vikings Clay has an opportunity to get his against a Jets' defense that's allowed a league-high 13 TE TDs on the year.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Caleb Sturgis, MIA NYJ 2222 ***
Sturgis tallied 10 points when the Dolphins beat the Jets in New York a month ago, and with multiple treys in eight of his last 10 he's a reasonable bet to approach that number in the rematch.

Arizona Cardinals
Homefield: University of Phoenix Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SEA 20-16 10 BYE -----
2 @NE 20-18 11 @ATL -----
3 PHI 27-6 12 STL -----
4 MIA ----- 13 @NYJ -----
5 @STL ----- 14 @SEA -----
6 BUF ----- 15 DET -----
7 @MIN ----- 16 CHI -----
8 SF ----- 17 @SF -----
9 @GB ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
ARI vs MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Carson Palmer 270,2
RB Beanie Wells
WR Larry Fitzgerald 8-100,2
WR Michael Floyd 2-30
TE Todd Heap 3-30

Pregame Notes: The offense may not be explosive quite yet but at 3-0 it does not need to be. The Cardinals defense has been dominating and Patrick Peterson is becoming the new Darrelle Revis (the one with intact ligaments before last week). This has become a dominating defense and that was against the Patriots in their stadium. The Eagles came down last week and was outscored by the Cardinals defense on one play.

Kevin Kolb is now 3-0 and John Skelton is going to have to wait because there is no chance the Cardinals upset an offense that is already working. Kolb has thrown a score in every game but only posts game manager sort of yardage. Then again - he still has not thrown an interception. He's not the fantasy darling we all want but he is a winning quarterback running the Cards well enough to be undefeated.

Beanie Wells left with a toe injury last week that is now thought to be a turf toe. That can can him out of games and linger for many weeks. The big news here though is that Ryan Williams had been marginal in sharing with Wells and alluded to his old patella injury as being on his mind and making him a little tentative. But once Wells last the Eagles game, Williams ripped off several nice runs and ended with 83 yards on 13 carries. In Arizona, that is equivalent to Jamaal Charles gaining 233 yards. Should Wells miss games or just play them even worse than he would anyway, the door may be opening for Williams to take charge. It won't take much to dislodge oft-injury Wells and Williams had the talent coming into the league.

Larry Fitzgerald finally showed up for 2012 when he gained 114 yards and a score on nine receptions against the Eagles. He is still the only real receiver for the Cards though Michael Floyd has his first NFL catch go for a touchdown last Sunday. It was his only catch this year.

A dominating defense, the promise of better rushing with Williams means Fitzgerald won't be all alone trying to win games. It also means defenses won't load up on him and only him. The Dolphins are bringing in a weaker offense that should be chewed up by the defensive effort. That means the Cardinals offense should remain in the drivers seat this week. I like a defensive score in this game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 23 31 20 23 16 4
Preventing Fantasy Points MIA 14 20 14 15 27 21

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Logan Thomas, ARI @SF 0000020011 *
If rookie Derek Carr can throw for 254 and 3 against the Niners, why not Thomas? Well, Carr was 13 games into his rookie season; Thomas has thrown nine NFL passes--and completed exactly one.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Kerwynn Williams, ARI @SF 800000000 ***
Despite Williams being the more effective back the Cardinals have turned to Stepfan Taylor with Andre Ellington out of the mix. Maybe they'll need to lean on both with Logan Thomas under center, but against the 49ers there's not much fantasy value--certainly not enough to be split two ways.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Stepfan Taylor, ARI @SF 3002200000 ***
Andre Ellington did minimal damage (18-62 rushing, 3-13 receiving) in the earlier matchup with San Francisco; Taylor had two yards on one carry. The ground game will need to step up in support of rookie QB Logan Thomas, but it certainly isn't a favorable matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR John Brown, ARI @SF 005601000 *
Brown scored twice in the earlier matchup with the Niners, and it's not uncommon for depth receivers to have success against San Fran: among the tertiary targets who have scored against them are Paul Richardson and Wes Welker. Plus, with Logan Thomas at the helm you can expect Bruce Arians to take some deep shots. Just know that there's a tremendous amount of risk with anything associated with the Arizona passing game with a first-time starter at quarterback.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Floyd, ARI @SF 004600000 **
Floyd's speed gave the Niners problems in the earlier matchup, and QB Logan Thomas' one NFL completion did go for 81 yards so if you're grasping at straws you could hope for a home run completion. But considering Thomas is also 1-for-9 career, there's plenty of risk of strikeout.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jaron Brown, ARI @SF 002200000 ***
Brown is better known as "The Other One" when he swipes a touchdown from erstwhile third receiver John Brown. Such a tertiary target isn't a fantasy option with a first-time driver at the wheel for the Cards.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Larry Fitzgerald, ARI @SF 002200000 **
Fitz was an afterthought in the earlier meeting, catching just three balls for 34 yards while Arizona bombed away to John Brown and Michael Floyd. Logan Thomas might be more inclined to look at Larry as a security blanket, but considering the matchup, the quarterback, and Fitz's struggles this year you can find better fantasy options elsewhere.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Chandler Catanzaro, ARI @SF 2211 ***
The good news is, Arizona's offensive struggles have mean nine field goals for Catanzaro over the past three games. The bad news is, Arizona's offensive struggles have yielded one PAT for Catanzaro in the past five games. If you believe in Logan Thomas, making his first NFL start in San Francisco, go ahead and chase Catanzaro's threes. Maybe.

WEEK 4
2012
CLE at BAL (THU) *MIN at DET *OAK at DEN *TEN at HOU
CAR at ATL *NE at BUF *SD at KC *WAS at TB
*CIN at JAC *NO at GB *SEA at STL *CHI at DAL (MON)
*Updated *MIA at ARI *NYG at PHI *SF at NYJ Bye: IND, PIT

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