FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

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 Shaun Hill, STL OAK 0000021010 ***
Hill is oh-for-recent memory when it comes to producing fantasy relevant games; no reason to expect one here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Tre Mason, STL OAK 11021100000 ***
Only three teams have allowed more fantasy points to opposing running backs than the Raiders. And since the Rams can't/won't/don't pass, it's a prime opportunity for Mason to go off.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Britt, STL OAK 005801000 **
Britt's still in the mix in St. Louis, but sharing minimal productivity with Stedman Bailey makes him a difficult fantasy start at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Stedman Bailey, STL OAK 004500000 ***
Bailey may have usurped Kenny Britt as the Rams' go-to receiver, so if you're interested in a chance at the slim pickings the St. Louis passing game offers he's your guy.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Lance Kendricks, STL OAK 001101000 ***
Oakland has surrendered three TE TDs in the past three games, and with Kendricks being the guy the Rams tend to call when they order a Code Red Zone he's almost as viable a fantasy option as Jared Cook. Which is to say, risky at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jared Cook, STL OAK 003300000 ***
The Raiders have allowed three TE TDs in the past three games, and Cook remains the more targeted of the Rams' tight ends so he has a mildly better chance of being a fantasy factor.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Greg Zuerlein, STL OAK 2233 ****
Over the past two months Legatron has had one big game and a whole bunch of meh. There's a little upside to facing the Raiders, but it's still the same old Ram offense not getting him the opportunities.

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 @NYJ 20000028030 ***
Tannehill hasn't had the privilege of facing the league's worst pass defense yet; he'll rectify that situation this week, coming in with back-to-back multiple TD outings. You have to like his chances here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lamar Miller, MIA @NYJ 4003200000 ***
Miller is losing some goal line looks to Daniel Thomas, and he's not getting enough touches--or doing enough with the ones he's getting--to offset the loss of his scores. With the Jets a reasonably stout run D you can probably find a more favorable fantasy option elsewhere.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jarvis Landry, MIA @NYJ 007901000 ***
The Jets have given up seven 100-yard receiving games already this year, and with Landry the most-targeted Dolphin maybe he's the best bet to be the first Dolphin over the century mark this year. He's scored in two straight and three of four, and anything's possible against a shaky Jets secondary so at minimum he warrants fantasy consideration.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Wallace, MIA @NYJ 005801000 ***
Wallace is neck-and-neck with Jarvis Landry as the Dolphin most likely to blow up against the hapless Jets secondary. Both doing so isn't out of the question, either.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brian Hartline, MIA @NYJ 003400000 ***
Hartline is a depth option in the Miami passing game. It's about as favorable a matchup as you'll find, but with Jarvis Landry and Mike Wallace taking their cuts off the top it's tough to see enough left over for Hartlline or the others.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Charles Clay, MIA @NYJ 005401000 **
The Jets have allowed a dozen tight end touchdowns already this season. If there were ever an opportunity to dust off Clay (assuming he's healthy), this is it.
Update: Clay is still banged up, and he didn't practice on Friday so you should begin executing your alternative plan sooner rather than later.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Caleb Sturgis, MIA @NYJ 1133 ***
Sturgis had a streak of five straight multiple field goal games snapped last week; no reason he can't start a new one against a Jets' D that's allowed multiple treys in three of five, or at least pad his stats with copious PATs agaisnt a defense that's allowed at least three TDs in eight of the past nine games.

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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