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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 6
2012
PIT at TEN (THU) *DET at PHI *MIN at WAS *STL at MIA
BUF at ARI *GB at HOU *NE at SEA *DEN at SD (MON)
*CIN at CLE *IND at NYJ *NYG at SF Bye:
*Updated DAL at BAL *KC at TB OAK at ATL CAR, CHI, JAC, NO

Prediction: STL 16, MIA 20 (Line: MIA by 3.5)

Players Updated: Reggie Bush, Lamar Miller, Daniel Thomas

Players to Watch: Any Rams receiver who even remotely makes you think of Amendola

The 3-2 Rams are breathing the sweet air of a winning record and took down the previously unbeaten Cardinals to get there. Their two previous trips away from St.. Louis were both losses though and the Dolphins come off a win in Cincinnati. No doubt a close game here that will be decided by turnovers and the lack of Danny Amendola.

St. Louis Rams
Homefield: Edward Jones Dome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @DET 23-27 10 @SF -----
2 WAS 31-28 11 NYJ -----
3 @CHI 6-23 12 @ARI -----
4 SEA 19-13 13 SF -----
5 ARI 17-3 14 @BUF -----
6 @MIA ----- 15 MIN -----
7 GB ----- 16 @TB -----
8 NE ----- 17 @SEA -----
9 BYE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
STL @ MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Sam Bradford 220,1
QB Brady Quinn 210,1
RB Daryl Richardson 20 2-10
WR Kenny Britt 2-30
WR Chris Givens 2-40
WR Austin Pettis 2-20
TE Jared Cook 3-30,1
TE Lance Kendricks 2-20
PK Greg Zuerlein 3 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: The only bad news that came out of the Thursday win over the Cardinals was that Danny Amendola has a dislocated clavicle and will not return until week 12 at the earliest. Given that the chances that the Rams are going to go deep into the playoffs is minimal, it means that their best receiver will miss over half of the remaining games. The problem too is that left behind is absolutely no one that has the look of a #1 wideout.

Brandon Gibson scored in the first two games but has not produced more than two or three catches per game for more than 33 yards. The rookies Brian Quick and Chris Givens have been complete nonfactors so far other than the one touchdown catch by Givens against the Cardinals who obviously did not see him as a viable receiver when he was all alone forty yards downfield. Steve Smith is a flop. Austin Pettis should get more work but overall what does it mean? Probably not much since the opportunities have been there unfulfilled all season.

Lance Kendricks caught his first touchdown of the year against the Cardinals but that was his only catch in the game. The lack of passing offense is going to become more obvious in road games, particularly in the second half of the season.

Sam Bradford has only the Redskins game to separate him from abject mediocrity. After five games, Bradford only has six touchdowns against five interceptions. He has topped 221 yards only once this year and never had more than 200 in a road game so far. And... he just lost his only best receiver in Amendola.

The Rams still have never scored a touchdown by any running back. Steven Jackson's value has to reply exclusively on his rushing production where he just had a season high of 76 yards. He is averaging just 54 yards per game and that ain't winning anyone's fantasy league. Daryl Richardson is used just enough times to ensure that Jackson remains largely unproductive and yet Richardson has only the Washington matchup (15-83) where he did anything.

This team is living off limiting errors and playing good defense at home. On the road they have not yet won or held an opponent to fewer than 23 points. But losing their best weapon in Amendola is going to be hard to compensate since all the other receivers have already spent the last month showing that they were not up to the task.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points STL 29 29 16 29 9 11
Preventing Fantasy Points MIA 16 11 26 16 23 22

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Zac Stacy, STL @SEA 7002100000 ****
Stacy rolled up a season-high 134 yards when the Seahawks visited St. Louis in Week 8, and he's scored in both Arizona and Carolina. Not much more to be proved, so while a TD in Seattle is a tough get Stacy has the resume to suggest he'll snag one.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tavon Austin, STL @SEA 2003400000 ***
If you're forced to start a member of the St. Louis passing game, at least Austin has return-game upside. If he's healthy, that is.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Austin Pettis, STL @SEA 002200000 ***
To identify which wide receiver could have success in St. Louis, we suggest a dart, a coin, and a 20-sided die. Good luck.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jared Cook, STL @SEA 003400000 ***
Cook is sharing looks with Lance Kendricks in an unfavorable matchup with the Seahawks; none of that sounds like much in the way of fantasy assistance.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Greg Zuerlein, STL @SEA 1100 ***
The Seahawks don't give up much to kickers, even less at home, so despite the nine Zuerlein mustered in the earlier meeting you'll want to get your kicks elsewhere.

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 17-13 14 @SF -----
6 STL ----- 15 JAC -----
7 BYE ----- 16 BUF -----
8 @NYJ ----- 17 @NE -----
9 @IND ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
MIA vs STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Tannehill 10 230
RB Lamar Miller 30,1
RB Daniel Thomas
WR Brandon Gibson 4-60,1
WR Brian Hartline 5-60
WR Mike Wallace 5-80,1
TE Dustin Keller 3-30

Pregame Notes: The Dolphins need a win here to reach .500 for their bye next week and this should be a very "winnable" game against a team with little offense like the Raiders who showed up and were sent packing. Ryan Tannehill had his monster 431 yard effort against the Cardinals but came back down to earth with just 223 yards in Cincinnati. Tannehill has just two passing touchdowns on the season against six interceptions. The Arizona fluke aside, he is just a game manager with around 200 yards every week and only passes to set up Reggie Bush rushing attempts. Literally. He is on a pace to end with six passing touchdowns on the year and he has taken every single quarterback snap for the Fins.

Reggie Bush remains the main weapon here though his road games were light on the yardage and he has not been used as a receiver much at all since week two. Worse yet is how the Dolphins insert Jorvorskie Lane or Daniel Thomas or Lamar Miller at the goal line as all have scored and combined for five touchdowns to just three for Bush. Still, Bush is the best bet for any consistent production for the team.

Anthony Fasano has one score but just bounces around between 20 and 50 yards per week with no fantasy relevance. Brian Hartline was scraped off every waiver wire in the world after his 253 yard game in Arizona but then went right back to just 59 yards on four catches last week. Hartline tends to be feast or famine with just two big games this year. Davone Bess has never scored and while he too had a nice showing in Arizona with 123 unusual yards, he was back to only two catches for 49 yards last weekend. The problem too is that not only is Hartline the only receiver with more than one good game, predicting when he pops out of his shell is hard to do.

The Rams on the road should be a bit less formidable and they are below average against the run anyway. That means plenty of Reggie Bush and likely another down game for Tannehill. If Sam Bradford cannot generate much passing with the absence of Danny Amendola, this game could end up with mostly just rushing which favors the Bush owners.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 28 5 25 27 26 14
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 10 19 7 14 9 23

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Ryan Tannehill, MIA NYJ 20000029021 ****
Tannehill threw for 331 & 2 in last month's meeting with the Jets, and with a playoff berth on the line he's expected to bounce back form the injury (and ineptitude) that knocked him out of last week's embarrassing shutout loss in Buffalo.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Knowshon Moreno, MIA NYJ 5004400000 ***
Three Broncos backs combined for 166 yards and a score in the earlier meeting with Oakland. Expect something similar this time around, with maybe a lighter load for Moreno as Denver rests him for the postseason. Still, his share of the work against an Oakland defense that's allowed 796 RB yards from scrimmage and 11 RB TDs the past month should be more than enough for him to be a fantasy helper.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Daniel Thomas, MIA NYJ 201000000 **
Thomas missed the earlier meeting with the Jets, but has two TDs and a 100-yard rushing game since. Assuming the Dolphins can shake off whatever ailed them in last week's embarrassing shutout loss to the Bills, Thomas should find room to rumble against a Jets defense that's allowed RB TDs in three straight, with two backs topping 150 combo yards in that span. UPDATE: Thomas is listed as questionable and was limited in practice Thursday and Friday. That likely reduces the share of carries he swipes from Lamar Miller.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lamar Miller, MIA NYJ 5002200000 ***
After being a stout run D most of the season the Jets have given up RB TDs in each of the past three games. Just prior to that streak starting, Miller produced 85 yards from scrimmage against the Jets in Week 13. He hasn't done much since, while Daniel Thomas has scored twice and had a 100-yard rushing game. But seeing the likes of Edwin Baker get to the end zone against the Jets at least provides hope Miller can do the same.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Wallace, MIA NYJ 007901000 ****
Wallace and Brian Hartline both scored in the earlier matchup with the Jets; both saw double-digit targets last week; and both have scored once in the three games since the last Dolphins/Jets game. With the Dolphins still clinging to a slim playoff chance, both are definitely in play against Gang Green this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brian Hartline, MIA NYJ 005600000 ***
Hartline and Mike Wallace both scored in the earlier matchup with the Jets; both saw double-digit targets last week; and both have scored once in the three games since the last Dolphins/Jets game. With the Dolphins still clinging to a slim playoff chance, both are definitely in play against Gang Green this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Rishard Matthews, MIA NYJ 003200000 ***
Sometimes a third receiver emerges behind Brian Hartline and Mike Wallace. It used to be Brandon Gibson, now it's Matthews, and in most cases it's a desperation fantasy play at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Charles Clay, MIA NYJ 006801000 ***
The Jets have been better against tight ends the second half of the season, but they've still surrendered two 80-yard games and a touchdown to the position over the past month. Clay hit the 80 mark on them in the earlier meeting, and with the Dolphins playing for their postseason lives he's as good a bet as any to be an offensive contributor.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Caleb Sturgis, MIA NYJ 1133 ****
Sturgis has double digits in three of his last four, including three weeks back against the Jets. At home, needing a win for a hope at a playoff spot, Sturgis should have ample opportunity to get his kicks.

WEEK 6
2012
PIT at TEN (THU) *DET at PHI *MIN at WAS *STL at MIA
BUF at ARI *GB at HOU *NE at SEA *DEN at SD (MON)
*CIN at CLE *IND at NYJ *NYG at SF Bye:
*Updated DAL at BAL *KC at TB OAK at ATL CAR, CHI, JAC, NO

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