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
WR Brandon Gibson 3-40
WR Brian Hartline 6-60
WR Mike Wallace 6-90,1

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 Ryan Tannehill, MIA @DEN 0000024021 ***
For all the Dolphins' recent success Tannehill remains a fantasy outsider, especially on the road; he's had one passing TD in three of five away from Miami, including his last two. Tough to see him offering up much of note in Denver this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lamar Miller, MIA @DEN 5003200000 ***
Miller took it to a pretty good Buffalo run D last week, racking up 86 yards on 15 carries. Looks like his shoulder shouldn't be a concern. The Broncos are tougher to run on at home so keep your expectations in check, but if Miami follows the Rams' blueprint from last week Miller should see more than enough touches to be fantasy relevant.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Wallace, MIA @DEN 005600000 ***
Wallace sees the targets, so by and large he's the Dolphins receiver with the most fantasy upside. It's not a particularly good matchup, but Wallace has done enough to at least be flirting with every-week starter status.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jarvis Landry, MIA @DEN 004600000 ***
Mike Wallace remains the most targeted Dolphin, but Landry is fast becoming the guy the team turns to when plays need to be made. It's not a great matchup, but that playmaking ability keeps Landry on the cusp of fantasy relevancy.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Charles Clay, MIA @DEN 00000000 **
The Broncos have allowed four TE TDs in as many games, and with Clay back to his heavily-targeted role in the lineup he's a decent fantasy play this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Caleb Sturgis, MIA @DEN 2222 ***
Sturgis has prospered in the wake of the improving Miami offense, with at least eight points in five straight games. However, eight is the top total for a visiting kicker in Denver this year so there's a ceiling to his upside this week.

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 Greg Little 4-70,1
TE Jermaine Gresham 5-50
PK Mike Nugent 2 FG 3 XP

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 @HOU 0000023022 ***
Dalton bounced back from his choke-job against Cleveland with three TDs in New Orleans. A Houston defense that's allowed multiple passing scores in seven of eight and 250-plus yards in six straight should allow Dalton to squeeze out another fantasy helper this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jeremy Hill, CIN @HOU 5002200000 ***
Hill is more than capable of carrying the load himself if Giovani Bernard can't go again; even if Gio's back, Hill has carved out enough of a share of Cincy's backfield touches to warrant fantasy consideration.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Giovani Bernard, CIN @HOU 4003200000 ****
You'd like to think Gio returns at full go here, but he'll likely have to split the workload as he eases himself back into the mix. Still, it's a favorable enough matchup that sharing touches or no Bernard is back in your starting lineup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR A.J. Green, CIN @HOU 0061101000 ***
Green has scored twice in three games since returning to action; safe to say he's regained his every-week-starter card.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mohamed Sanu, CIN @HOU 005601000 **
The Texans have allowed multiple receivers to either score and/or top 90 yards in three of four and five of the last seven, so even with AJ Green back in the mix Sanu warrants fantasy consideration.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jermaine Gresham, CIN @HOU 005400000 ***
The Bengals--and fantasy owners--rediscovered Gresham just in time to have him face one of the tougher tight end matchups on the board. Don't chase last week's two TDs.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mike Nugent, CIN @HOU 1122 ***
Nugent has been good not great; the Texans, on the other hand, have been stingy in allowing just one game with double-digit points over the past two months. You can probably do better, but at least with Nugent you're reasonably safe.

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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