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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
WR Kenny Britt 2-30
WR Chris Givens 2-40
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
QB Austin Davis, STL @SF 0000018011 ***
Peyton Manning is the only quarterback to do anything of fantasy note against the Niners in the past month--a stretch that includes Austin's own 236 & 1 against San Francisco--and Davis clearly ain't Peyton Manning.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Tre Mason, STL @SF 500000000 ***
Mason has emerged as the lead dog in this backfield triumvirate, but the trio was ineffective in an earlier meeting with the Niners--78 rushing yards, 41 receiving yards and a Benny Cunningham TD dive--and there's no reason to expect things to change in San Francisco this time around.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Benny Cunningham, STL @SF 2002200000 ***
These teams met back in Week 6, at which point the Rams unveiled their three-pronged running back approach. Cunningham scored but it was the only glimmer of fantasy help amongst the bunch, and you shouldn't bank on a repeat on the road this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Britt, STL @SF 004400000 ***
WR TDs come in bunches against the Niners--four by the Broncos in Week 7, two for John Brown back in Week 3, three for Brandon Marshall in Week 2. What the Rams have is a bunch of receivers, none of whom can be counted on for a fantasy contribution. Britt's 39 yards paced the pack the last time these teams tangled; hopefully you have a better fantasy option at your disposal.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tavon Austin, STL @SF 004300000 ***
The Rams still haven't figured out how to use Austin, and an epiphany is unlikely this week in San Francisco.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Lance Kendricks, STL @SF 001101000 ***
The Rams have ordered a Code Red Zone in three straight and four of the last five games, including the earlier meeting with San Francisco. It's not as if the St. Louis wideouts threaten to steal looks, so if you're desperate for tight end help in a TD-heavy scoring system you could do worse than Kendricks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jared Cook, STL @SF 005600000 ***
Cook's 74 yards in the earlier meeting were the most the Niners have allowed to an opposing TE all year. He's the yardage guy in the Rams' TE equation and with no real WR threat to speak of there's no reason he couldn't push for a repeat in the back end of the season series as well.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Greg Zuerlein, STL @SF 1111 ****
Legatron's been more of a Micro Machine this season, with one field goal in the past four games and no double-digit points efforts in the past five. You could build a better fantasy kicker out of parts from guys cut by the Lions.

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

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 SD 50000024011 ***
Tannehill has multiple TD tosses in three of his last four, including his last two at home. The Chargers are certainly softer on the road, surrendering multiple scoring strikes in three of four away from home. It all makes Tannehill at least worthy of consideration in a six-team bye week, though there's a cap to his upside.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lamar Miller, MIA SD 6013300000 ****
Over the past three games the Chargers have allowed three 80-yard rushers and four RB TDs. With no one challenging Miller for carries, he should at least threaten both of those opportunities and kick in another 20-plus receiving yards as well--more than enough to make him fantasy-relevant this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Wallace, MIA SD 005801000 **
Over the past three weeks the Chargers have allowed seven WR TDs and three 100-yard receivers; as the most targeted Dolphin Wallace is far and away the front runner for both of those marks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jarvis Landry, MIA SD 004500000 ***
Landry has bumped ahead of Brian Hartline in the Miami passing game pecking order, and with San Diego's pass D softening as of late he's at least worthy of fringe fantasy consideration.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Charles Clay, MIA SD 003300000 ***
Not only is this a tough matchup with a San Diego defense that's allowed only one TE TD all year, Clay is battling Dion Sims on his own roster for TE looks in the Miami passing game.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Caleb Sturgis, MIA SD 2222 ****
Sturgis has flirted with double digits the past two weeks but hasn't actually hit that mark since Week 1. He's a decent option, but there appears to be a ceiling to his fantasy prospects.

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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