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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 Shaun Hill, STL NYG 0000022010 ***
If not for his rushing score in a 52-0 blowout of the Raiders, Hill wouldn't have a single fantasy helper to his credit. Only one of the last six quarterbacks to face the Giants has thrown double-digit touchdown passes; unlikely Hill winds up the second.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Tre Mason, STL NYG 10012100000 ****
Mason continues to get the bulk of the workload, so when there's a favorable matchup--like against the Giants, who have allowed four 100-yard rushers--he's the primary beneficiary.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Stedman Bailey, STL NYG 004601000 **
If Shaun Hill puts up enough yardage to generate a fantasy-worthy receiver--and that's a reasonably big "if"--Bailey is the most likely candidate; he's been the Rams' top receiver three of the past four games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Britt, STL NYG 005700000 ***
Britt remains in the mix, but he's wildly inconsistent and dependent on a quarterback who doesn't exactly churn out tons of helpful fantasy stats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tavon Austin, STL NYG 3002100000 ***
The Rams are becoming more creative in getting the ball to their top pick from a year ago, but he's largely a non-factor as a receiver so you're banking on returns and gimmick plays for him to get you fantasy points--always a risky proposition.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jared Cook, STL NYG 002200000 ***
Cook will be the most targeted tight end in a reasonably favorable matchup, but he still has to fend off Lance Kendricks and Cory Harkey--as well as hope Shaun Hill throws enough for them to be fantasy relevant.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Greg Zuerlein, STL NYG 2222 ***
Aside from his five-field goal outing against the Broncos Zuerlein has been mostly ordinary with no more than two field goals in any other contest since Week 2. It's not an overly favorable matchup, so no need to go out of your way to get Legatron into your lineup.

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 MIN 0000022010 ***
Tannehill has just two passing scores in his last three games, and the Vikings are no pushovers themselves having held Matthew Stafford and Cam Newton to one TD apiece. Moreover, after running more earlier in the season Tannehill hasn't topped 21 rushing yards since Week 10 so he's not augmenting his passing numbers. It adds up to what looks like a pedestrian outing for Tannehill; no fantasy help here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lamar Miller, MIA MIN 7011100000 ***
Miller continues to clock in with a steady dose of 12-15 carries per game, but he's regularly churning out just 50-60 yards with those carries--and he has just one TD in his last six games. The Vikings have held running backs out of the end zone in three straight, though they've allowed four backs to top 50 yards in that span. If you've enjoyed what you've been getting from Miller, this should be no different; odds are you want a little more in championship week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Wallace, MIA MIN 005501000 ***
Both Miami receivers have speed, which the Vikings have struggled to defend this season. Both warrant fantasy starts based on performance, targets, and matchups. But Minnesota is far from a walkover, so don't look for big numbers; more like, just enough.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jarvis Landry, MIA MIN 004700000 ***
If you consider Landry the WR2 to Mike Wallace he may actually be in a better position to score here: over the past three games it's been the WR1s with the yardage, but in two of the three games the touchdowns have gone to secondary targets like Philly Brown and Golden Tate. Does that make Landry a more likely touchdown candidate? Perhaps. Either way he's a decent fantasy start, but Ryan Tannehill's totals limit the upside of any member of the Miami passing game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Charles Clay, MIA MIN 005500000 ***
Used to be the Vikings were suckers for tight ends; under Mike Zimmer they've given up just three TDs all season. They have allowed some yardage of late, however, so the frequently targeted Clay at least remains on the fantasy radar.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Caleb Sturgis, MIA MIN 2222 ***
Sturgis has multiple treys in three straight and eight of the last nine; if his offense would get him some PAT opportunities as well he'd have more double-digit points outings to show for it. He should stay hot in the field goal department against a Vikings defense that's given up 10 treys in the past three games, but expect the lack of PATs to continue against Minnesota, as they've allowed only three TDs in the past three 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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