FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 5
2012
ARI at STL (THU) CHI at JAC MIA at CIN *TEN at MIN
ATL at WAS *CLE at NYG PHI at PIT *HOU at NYJ (MON)
BAL at KC *DEN at NE *SD at NO Bye:
*Updated BUF at SF GB at IND SEA at CAR DAL, DET, OAK, TB

Prediction: MIA 20, CIN 27 (Line: CIN by 4.5)

Players to Watch: Brain Hartline

The 1-3 Dolphins are on a two game losing streak though they gave the Cardinals all they could handle last week. The 3-1 Bengals have been on a roll since the season opening loss in Baltimore. Once again, the Bengals are playing better than we expected and the Dolphins are good but not good enough.

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 21-24 13 NE -----
5 @CIN ----- 14 @SF -----
6 STL ----- 15 JAC -----
7 BYE ----- 16 BUF -----
8 @NYJ ----- 17 @NE -----
9 @IND ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
MIA @ CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Tannehill 220,1
TE Jordan Cameron 3-20

Pregame Notes: Losing the last two games by just three points means the Dolphins are improving but are limited by their defense that has allowed 23 points or more in three games this year. This is not a "catch up" sort of offense despite Ryan Tannehill throwing for 431 yards in Arizona. His previous best was only 219 yards and he still only managed to score once. So far Tannehill has two touchdowns against six interceptions but at least is gaining yardage in chunks with the wide receivers.

Reggie Bush was active last week and gained 67 yards on 17 runs in Arizona. But he was never used as a receiver and was not overused in his first game since the knee sprain. He left the game without any issues and should be 100% this week. Not only are both Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas splitting the relief work, but the Fins allowed Jorvorskie Lane to punch in the short touchdown for the second week in a row. Hopefully that goes away with Bush healthy again.

No matter that there were 431 pass yards in Arizona, Anthony Fasano still is held to fewer than 50 yards every week and has not fantasy merit.

The big story last week was Brian Hartline being thrown 19 passes for 12 catches and 253 yards including the 80-yard touchdown. That makes two of the last three weeks that Hartline ended with nine carries or more. And the problem is that he sandwiched those monster games with a one catch effort against the Jets. Opponents can game plan Hartline away but if they do not he has made them pay. Davone Bess also caught seven passes for 123 yards in that game but Hartline's 80-yard score has been the only touchdown by any wideout this year. That's two games by Hartline and one by Bess that were impressive and nothing else in four weeks. Cover the two and not much is going to happen. For that matter, cover Hartline and take your chances. This offense only has two passing touchdowns this year. What Hartline can do this week will help define the Miami passing game.

The Bengals are weaker on defense than most 3-1 teams but facing CLE, WAS and JAC has helped. All teams have thrown at least one score on them and most have at least some rushing success against them as well. But the passing is not going to be good enough here to get the win.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 26 3 21 27 27 16
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 24 26 9 24 17 26

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Matt Moore, MIA NE 0000022011 ***
This is the second worst matchup a quarterback will find in Week 17 when using data from the past five games. New England has allowed averages of a TD and only 15.9 fantasy points per outing.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Kenyan Drake, MIA NE 3011100000 ***
Drake is talented but sees limited work. New England isn't a great matchup, but maybe his change-of-pace nature can overcome the hurdle.

Update: Drake could see a few more utilization with Jay Ajayi listed as questionable.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jay Ajayi, MIA NE 4001100000 ***
New England has dominated running backs of late, albeit mostly inferior competition. This is the second worst matchup using data from the last five games. Only one of the last 118 touches by a running back has scored on the Pats.

Update: Ajayi is questionable but practiced in full Friday and should be active.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Stills, MIA NE 001301000 ***
New England has turned it around against wideouts of late. Stills is a weekly TD flier play in non-PPR formats, but gamers considering him must be willing to accept a paltry performance when taking the risk.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeVante Parker, MIA NE 005600000 ***
Matt Moore is under center again, and Parker has done fine with the quarterback switch. The Patriots gave up 106 yards on eight catches to Parker in Week 2, but the position has scored only three times in the last five games versus this defense.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jarvis Landry, MIA NE 004500000 ***
The Patriots have given up only three TDs in the past five games to receivers. Landry had a big PPR day in Week 2 by catching 10 of 13 targets for 137 yards from Ryan Tannehill. Matt Moore gets a crack at the visiting Pats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Dion Sims, MIA NE 003300000 ***
Just one of the last 23 receptions by tight ends against the Patriots has found the end zone. Sims doesn't deserve a shot in any conventional format.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Andrew Franks, MIA NE 2222 ***
Four teams have been worse against the position than New England in the last five weeks. The Patriots have given up only five XPAs and 7-for-10 from long range.

Cincinnati Bengals
Homefield: Paul Brown Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @BAL 13-44 10 NYG -----
2 CLE 34-27 11 @KC -----
3 @WAS 38-31 12 OAK -----
4 @JAC 27-10 13 @SD -----
5 MIA ----- 14 DAL -----
6 @CLE ----- 15 @PHI -----
7 PIT ----- 16 @PIT -----
8 BYE ----- 17 BAL -----
9 DEN ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
CIN vs MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Andy Dalton 10 300,3
WR A.J. Green 7-120,2
WR Brandon LaFell 3-40

Pregame Notes: The Bengals finish three road games in the first four weeks with a 3-1 record but the schedule is not getting much better anytime soon. The defense has been a problem most weeks but at least Andy Dalton has been able to produce three scores each week and remain ahead on the scoreboard. He has thrown for over 300 yards twice and rushed in a touchdown last week in Jacksonville.

The rushing game here remains just as lackluster as it was with Cedric Benson. BenJarvus Green-Ellis rarely has a role as a receiver and he has only gained 286 yards on 82 runs. That's a 3.5 yard per carry average and a moderate fantasy output every week. He's not winning anyone games but he is not why you lose either. Just like Benson before him, the Bengals have an average run game that just lacks any sparks or big performances. Green-Ellis gets almost all the action here. It just never matters that much.

Jermaine Gresham is the tight end version of Green-Ellis. He has one score, he always has at least 30 yards but never more than 64. Middle of the road for a tight end and worthy only of filling in for a bye week player.

Dalton continues to ignite an improving set of receivers. A.J. Green scored in each of the last three games and has been good for six or seven catches per week. The last two weeks produced 183 yards against the Redskins and 117 yards in Jacksonville. He is a strong play and currently the #1 wideout in most fantasy leagues. But he is not alone. Armon Binns scored once and was catching about four passes per game until being blanked last week. Andrew Hawkins is making the slot mean something. He has two touchdowns on the year and produces 50 or 60 yards in almost every game. He adds a dangerous element that can break a long gainer on any play.

This offense has a decent rushing game that supports a good passer in Dalton. Green is the #1 fantasy wideout because teams cannot devote too much against him without paying a price from the other receivers. This week they go against a Miami defense that has allowed over 300 passing yards to the last three opponents and all teams score at least once against them via the pass. The rushing defense is actually top notch and going against a mediocre run offense.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 10 26 1 21 12 15
Preventing Fantasy Points MIA 20 15 27 15 24 23

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Andy Dalton, CIN BAL 0000024012 ***
The Ravens have given up the ninth highest yardage average (272.8) since Week 11, but that is about where the fun ends for quarterbacks. Seven interceptions later, we're looking at a low-end matchup for quarterbacks in better positioning to succeed than Dalton. The Red Rifle threw for an unimpressive 283 yards, one TD and no picks in Week 12.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Rex Burkhead, CIN BAL 4003200000 ***
Burkhead is not even a fringe play in the deepest of leagues. He doesn't factor enough into the game play to deserve attention.

Update: Burkhead could see more work if Jeremy Hill (questionable) is limited.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jeremy Hill, CIN BAL 3002200000 *
Hill managed six catches in the last one to salvage some PPR value, which is uncharacteristic. He's a weak play against an otherwise strong defensive opponent.

Update: Hill is a game-time decision but is expected to see the field. He could be limited.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandon LaFell, CIN BAL 005601000 ***
LaFell has put together a fine season. In Week 12 versus the Ravens, he snared only three of nine targets for 38 yards in what was one of his worst showings of the season. He has been too good to ignore, so slot him as a WR2 or a third.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tyler Boyd, CIN BAL 005700000 ***
The rookie caught six balls for 70 yards in Week 11 against the Ravens in Week 12. A.J. Green won't play again, so Boyd has a more prominent role. He is a PPR flex play against this midrange matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE C.J. Uzomah, CIN BAL 004300000 ***
Uzomah gets to showcase his skills with Tyler Eifert on IR. The Ravens have given up the eighth most catches, yards, and fantasy points per game, as well as being eighth in TD efficiency, since Week 11.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Randy Bullock, CIN BAL 2211 ***
The Ravens consistently have been one of the toughest groups against kickers in fantasy this year. Over the last five weeks, only seven teams have been stronger against the position.

WEEK 5
2012
ARI at STL (THU) CHI at JAC MIA at CIN *TEN at MIN
ATL at WAS *CLE at NYG PHI at PIT *HOU at NYJ (MON)
BAL at KC *DEN at NE *SD at NO Bye:
*Updated BUF at SF GB at IND SEA at CAR DAL, DET, OAK, TB

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