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

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 SD 50000024011 ***
Tannehill has multiple TD tosses in three of his last four, including his last two at home. The Chargers are certainly softer on the road, surrendering multiple scoring strikes in three of four away from home. It all makes Tannehill at least worthy of consideration in a six-team bye week, though there's a cap to his upside.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lamar Miller, MIA SD 6013300000 ****
Over the past three games the Chargers have allowed three 80-yard rushers and four RB TDs. With no one challenging Miller for carries, he should at least threaten both of those opportunities and kick in another 20-plus receiving yards as well--more than enough to make him fantasy-relevant this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Wallace, MIA SD 005801000 **
Over the past three weeks the Chargers have allowed seven WR TDs and three 100-yard receivers; as the most targeted Dolphin Wallace is far and away the front runner for both of those marks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jarvis Landry, MIA SD 004500000 ***
Landry has bumped ahead of Brian Hartline in the Miami passing game pecking order, and with San Diego's pass D softening as of late he's at least worthy of fringe fantasy consideration.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Charles Clay, MIA SD 003300000 ***
Not only is this a tough matchup with a San Diego defense that's allowed only one TE TD all year, Clay is battling Dion Sims on his own roster for TE looks in the Miami passing game.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Caleb Sturgis, MIA SD 2222 ****
Sturgis has flirted with double digits the past two weeks but hasn't actually hit that mark since Week 1. He's a decent option, but there appears to be a ceiling to his fantasy prospects.

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
WR Larry Fitzgerald 8-100,2
WR Michael Floyd 2-30

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 Carson Palmer, ARI @DAL 0000027020 ***
Palmer has delivered multiple TD tosses and at least 250 yards in every game thus far. Dallas is the toughest he's faced to date, but it's still tough to see him failing to make his appointed rounds.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Andre Ellington, ARI @DAL 6006300000 ***
Not that Ellington can't score, but it's a good thing he does enough yardage wise that he doesn't usually need to to be a fantasy factor. The Cowboys have surrendered just four RB TDs all year but do give up more than 120 combo yards to opposing backs. Give Ellington a big dollop of the latter, don't sweat the former, and call it a day.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR John Brown, ARI @DAL 003601000 ***
Brown's another speed guy who could give the Cowboys fits, a la Odell Beckham and DeSean Jackson the past two weeks. He outgunned Michael Floyd last week, but Floyd is typically more targeted so it's a bit trickier to bank on Brown this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Floyd, ARI @DAL 004501000 **
Lately it's been speed guys killing the Cowboys: Odell Beckham Jr. scored twice on them and DeSean Jackson went for 136 yards last week. Floyd took a back seat to both Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown last week, and it's a little tough to trust him after posting a goose egg. But it's tough to see him posting another dog here--he has yet to go more than one week without scoring or topping 100 yards--so take that leap of faith this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Larry Fitzgerald, ARI @DAL 005600000 ***
Yes, Carson Palmer knows where to find Fitz. He just doesn't do it consistently, or much at all on the road. If you're parsing Arizona wideouts this week the speed guys have an edge, which puts Fitz at the low end of the pecking order. Plan accordingly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE John Carlson, ARI @DAL 002200000 *****
Carlson had his hands on a ball in the end zone; had he hung on it would have maybe brought the total of fantasy-relevant games by Cardinals tight ends since the Jackie Smith era to one. Look elsewhere for fantasy help.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Chandler Catanzaro, ARI @DAL 2222 ***
After a fast start Catanzaro has had back-to-back outings with just one field goal, and he's facing a Dallas team that hasn't been overly friendly to kickers this season. However, Chandler hasn't dipped below the six-point mark this season so at least his baseline isn't a killer.

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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