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
RB Frank Gore 110,2 1-10
WR Danny Amendola 6-80,1

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 Bryce Petty, MIA @KC 0000017012 ***
Petty has one of the worst matchups of the week and doesn't belong anywhere near a fantasy roster in single-year formats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Brock Osweiler, MIA @KC 0000018002 *
Despite a quality showing in Week 15 relief, the starting job is up in the air at this point. The Broncos appear headed toward starting Paxton Lynch (ankle), should he be healthy enough to go. It matters nothing either way.

Update: Lynch fully practiced Friday and split reps with Osweiler. No starter has been named as of Friday evening, but it leans in the veteran's favor.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Kenyan Drake, MIA @KC 9015400000 ***
Drake has been a fantasy goldmine in the last three weeks, going for at least 23 PPR points in each contest. Over the past five weeks, KC has yielded five offensive TDs in as many games. The matchup is soundly neutral, which works in Drake's favor.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Frank Gore, MIA @KC 6002100000 ***
Gore has scored once over his past 82 offensive touches, and he isn't much of a threat for aerial contributions. Since Week 10, Baltimore has granted a rushing TD at the second-easiest rate, and this is the best place for an offensive touchdown (one every 15.9 touches). It's also the seventh-worst matchup for offensive touchdowns.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeVante Parker, MIA @KC 004500000 ***
Since Week 10, wideouts have one touchdown in five games against the Chiefs. That rate of one every 59 catches is the third toughest to exploit in football. This matchup sits 22nd for yardage and 15th for receptions on a weekly basis.

Update: Parker (ankle) is questionable, though he should be fine after fully practicing Friday.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Danny Amendola, MIA @KC 003300000 ***
Amendola has one touchdown to his credit in the past 10 games, and he was limited to a 2-34-0 line in the Week 13 meeting at Buffalo. The Bills rate among fantasy's toughest defenses of his position.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Stills, MIA @KC 002300000 ***
While Stills is always the scoring threat from anywhere on the field, KC has done a masterful job of limiting receiver touchdowns in the past five games. Only one of the last 59 catches by the position has found the end zone, and this is a bottom-six matchup in both scoring formats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Albert Wilson, MIA @KC 003300000 ***
Wilson flashes from time to time but has a poor matchup and shouldn't be utilized in conventional setups.

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 DET 0000021011 **
Detroit has averaged a pick per game and has allowed a touchdown pass every 14.9 completions (20th). This is the No. 7 matchup to exploit for yardage (265.8). All told, the struggling Dalton has fantasy's fifth-best matchup of the week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Joe Mixon, CIN DET 6011100000 *
Mixon should be ready this week after fully going in Wednesday's session, which is usually a telltale sign of an imminent return. Detroit is among the four-best matchups of the week in both scoring formats. Running backs have scored once every 20 carries, which is No. 6, and this is a great matchup for versatile RBs.

Update: Mixon practiced in full all week and will play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Giovani Bernard, CIN DET 2003300000 ***
Bernard should take a backseat as Joe Mixon is poised to return after fully practicing Wednesday. The projections will be updated accordingly later in the week. The Lions present the fourth-best PPR matchup and second-easiest in standard.

Update: Mixon practiced in full all week and will play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR A.J. Green, CIN DET 005701000 ***
Detroit has been content to give up top-12 weekly figures in receptions (13) and yardage (167), but this defense has clamped down against permitting scores. None of the 65 opportunities over the last five months scored. Only Baltimore has been stronger. Look for Green to draw Pro Bowl corner Darius Slay.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandon LaFell, CIN DET 003400000 ***
The veteran possession man in this offense has two TDs in his last six games. Sanu has been targeted at least five times in each of those contests, and Detroit offers a promising matchup for his style of play. The Lions have permitted receivers to average 13 receptions (11th) for 167 yards (7th) a game. Zero of those 65 snares found the end zone, however.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Tyler Kroft, CIN DET 003400000 ***
Detroit has been among the best tight end matchups to exploit for much of the season. In the past five games, TEs have scored once, on average, and this is a top-12 matchup for receptions and yards per game. It was Week 12 the last time he scored, and Kroft has taken advantage of good matchups, so there is hope he outplays his projection.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Randy Bullock, CIN DET 2222 ***
Kickers have found great success with extra points against the Lions, but Cincinnati has struggled putting the ball into the end zone. This is only the 22nd-best matchup for three-point opportunities.

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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