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 KC 0000023020 ***
Tannehill remains a bundle of untapped fantasy potential, but this matchup with a KC defense that's made fantasy starters of both Peyton Manning and Jake Locker should allow him to tap at least some of that upside.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lamar Miller, MIA KC 8012100000 ***
Miller is poised to capitalize on Knowshon Moreno's absence; this matchup with a Chiefs defense that has allowed 210 RB rushing yards to the Titans and Broncos--at better than five yards a pop--can only help.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Wallace, MIA KC 006701000 ***
The Chiefs have surrendered 50-plus yards and/or a touchdown to multiple receivers in each game. Given that Wallace has both of Miami's WR TDs and is the most targeted member of that unit, he'll take his bite off the top.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brian Hartline, MIA KC 005500000 ***
Multiple wideouts have scored and or topped 50 yards in each of KC's first two games; if Miami is to follow that trend, Hartline would be the favorite to join Mike Wallace in the fantasy winner's circle.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Charles Clay, MIA KC 005401000 ***
Despite 14 targets Clay has produced just 58 yards this season. However, that volume suggests he should be able to tap into a Chiefs defense that has surrendered three TE TDs already this year--making him a valuable fantasy commodity in TD-heavy scoring systems.
Update: Clay practiced on a limited basis all week and is listed as questionable. There's some risk to go with his potential reward.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Caleb Sturgis, MIA KC 1133 ***
Sturgis was big at home in Week 1, not so much on the road in Week 2. Settle somewhere in the middle, which puts him on the fence as far as fantasy contributions go.

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 Drew Stanton, ARI SF 0000019011 ***
In this offense Carson Palmer posted matching gems of 298 and 2 and 407 and 2 against the Niners. Stanton is capable of running Bruce Arians' offense, but until we see more--a touchdown pass would be nice, for starters--he can't be banked on for fantasy assistance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Andre Ellington, ARI SF 7003200000 ***
At this point the injury risk--the limited practice time, the questionable status, the game-time decision--is assumed. But thus far Ellington has produced, 181 yards from scrimmage in two games of work. He racked up 131 combo yards and a touchdown on 24 touches in last season's series; with a greater workload his numbers should uptick as well, especially against a San Fran D that served up 143 combo yards to DeMarco Murray in its last road game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Floyd, ARI SF 004601000 **
Floyd has yet to make the love connection with Drew Stanton, but six targets suggest it wasn't due to lack of trying. It's not a tremendously favorable matchup, but Floyd has scored or topped 90 yards in each of his last three matchups with the Niners and can't be discounted here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Larry Fitzgerald, ARI SF 006500000 ****
Fitz loves when the Niners come to town; over his 10 year career he's posted five 100-yard games and scored six times in home games against San Francisco. He may be slipping down the Cardinals' passing game pecking order, but don't dock him due to Drew Stanton helming the club rather than Carson Palmer; after all, he's succeeded with worse.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR John Brown, ARI SF 003400000 ***
Drew Stanton isn't digging as deep into the Arizona receiver depth as Carson Palmer did, which dings Brown's fantasy value. So does a matchup with a San Francisco secondary that has yet to allow a wideout to top 60 yards against them this season.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE John Carlson, ARI SF 003300000 ***
The Cards have yet to generate 100 yards among its tight ends this season; the Niners have allowed but 60. Nothing to see here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Chandler Catanzaro, ARI SF 2122 ***
Catanzaro has multiple field goals in each game this season... but the Niners have allowed but one trey all year. In what will likely be a low-scoring affair, best side with the defense and seek your fantasy kicks elsewhere.

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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