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
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
QB Austin Davis, STL @TB 0000023012 ***
Just can't muster much fantasy enthusiasm for the Rams' third-string quarterback on the road against Lovie Smith's defense.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Zac Stacy, STL @TB 7001100000 ***
Stacy did little in the season opener; he should find more room against a Bucs' D that allowed 103 RB rushing yards to the Panthers last week, but temper your enthusiasm by noting the uptick in touches Benny Cunningham is receiving.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Benny Cunningham, STL @TB 3004300000 **
Cunningham is carving out a role as the Rams' pass-catching back. It's not a particularly rewarding role fantasy-wise, however.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tavon Austin, STL @TB 1004400000 ***
There will be a couple games where Austin will surprise us with fantasy value. There's nothing to suggest this will be one of those games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Britt, STL @TB 002400000 ***
Britt is still looking for his first catch as a Ram; let's let him crawl before he walks, fantasy-wise.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brian Quick, STL @TB 003400000 ***
Quick saw more targets than all the rest of the Rams' wideouts combined last week, and it still was barely enough to get him onto the fantasy radar. It would be a stretch to reach for him again in Week 2.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jared Cook, STL @TB 005701000 **
Cook was heavily targeted last week, and the Bucs showed a weakness in defending the tight end by giving up 8-83-1 to Greg Olsen. If you're forced to start a member of the Rams' passing game this week, Cook is your best bet.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Greg Zuerlein, STL @TB 2211 **
Legatron is a weapon; he just needs an offense that can get him close enough on a more consistent basis.

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 @BUF 0000024021 ***
Tannehill has never topped 200 yards in four career outings against the Bills, and five of the six TDs he's scored against them have come in South Beach. Fresh off 178 yards against the Patriots--another divisional foe, and one he's had more success against than the Bills--it's tough to pencil him in for anything more than pedestrian yardage; cross your fingers that a touchdown or two salvage his fantasy day.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Knowshon Moreno, MIA @BUF 7002200000 ***
The Bills have allowed 100-yard rushers in three of their last five games--and in one of the other two held the Dolphins to a total of 14 rushing yards. That was pre-Moreno, of course, and given the success the Phins had on the ground last week you have to like their chances of producing in Buffalo. Moreno emerging as the lead dog in this committee last week makes him the better fantasy play this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lamar Miller, MIA @BUF 4004300000 ***
Miller has lost ground to Knowshon Moreno in the backfield battle, but he still appears to be the primary RB pass-catcher; against a defense that just gave up 87 receiving yards to Matt Forte, that's enough to at least keep Miller on the fantasy radar.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Wallace, MIA @BUF 008701000 ****
Wallace was targeted 21 times in two games against the Bills last year, catching nine for 114 yards. He's being moved around more this season and could slide into the spot that generated two TDs for Brandon Gibson in last season's series--or at least the spot that generated a TD for Brandon Marshall last week. Maybe if he changed his name to Brandon...
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brian Hartline, MIA @BUF 004500000 ***
Hartline was a distant WR2 to Mike Wallace last week, targeted four times compared to 11 for Wallace. This offense doesn't project to provide an abundance of passing yardage, and with Wallace taking more than his share there's not nearly enough to make Harline fantasy relevant this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Charles Clay, MIA @BUF 005601000 ****
Clay scored on limited looks against the Bills last season, and he wasn't much more involved in Week 1--to the point that asking him to match Martellus Bennett's 8-70-1 (on 10 targets) from last week is aggressive at best, foolhardy at worst.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Caleb Sturgis, MIA @BUF 3322 ***
Sturgis has never kicked a field goal against the Bills as a member of the Dolphins--he missed his lone attempt in the two-game set last year--but coming off a four field goal game last week it's about time he got on the board.

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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