FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 9
2012
KC at SD (THU) CAR at WAS *DET at JAC TB at OAK
*ARI at GB CHI at TEN *MIA at IND *PHI at NO (MON)
BAL at CLE *DAL at ATL MIN at SEA Bye:
*UPDATED *BUF at HOU DEN at CIN *PIT at NYG NE , NYJ, SF, STL

Prediction: MIA 17, IND 20 (Line: MIA by 2.5)

Players to Watch: Andrew Luck

Players Updated: Coby Fleener, Donald Brown, Ryan Tannehill, Brian Hartline, Dwayne Allen

The 4-3 Dolphins are on a three game winning streak with a 2-2 road mark. The 4-3 Colts are on a two game winning streak and have a 3-1 home record. The Fins have the better defense to be sure but the Colts offense playing at home already took down the Vikings, Browns and Packers.

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 17-14 15 JAC -----
7 BYE ----- 16 BUF -----
8 @NYJ 30-9 17 @NE -----
9 @IND ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
MIA @ IND Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Tannehill 230,1
RB Daniel Thomas 40,1
WR Brian Hartline 4-60,1
WR Mike Wallace 5-80,1

Pregame Notes: The Dolphins are winning mostly thanks to a defense that has not allowed more than 24 points to any opponent. The offense is one of the worst when it comes to passing and even the success rushing the ball has declined from earlier in the season. Ryan Tannehill underwent an MRI that was diagnosed as a left knee bone bruise and a deep thigh bruise. HC Joe Philbin has not yet committed to either Tannehill or Matt Moore as if it was a secret that would yield too much information to the Colts. Bottom line - no matter who is the quarterback this is not an offense that will throw often or that well.

After seven weeks, they have collectively only passed for five touchdowns which is a pace that might end up in the double digits. Maybe. They have never thrown a touchdown in two consecutive games and aside from the freak show in Arizona when Tannehill threw for 431 yards, this is one of the most mediocre passing offenses in the league. By no means is this an offense that can make up points with any speed.

Brian Hartline started his season with the two magical games but that's all disappeared by now. When Hartline or Davone Bess ends up with more than 50 yards in a game it is because a cornerback fell down, Jabar Gaffney has joined this crew as of last week and fit in immediately with just one catch for 30 yards in New York. On the entire season the wide receivers have accounted for only two touchdowns and one went to Marlon Moore who rarely gets to play.

Reggie Bush powers the offense but he's being held under 20 carries each week and working less as a receiver as well. Since his 172 yards against the Raiders, Bush has never rushed for over 67 yards or ended with more than 72 total yards. Twice Jorvorskie Lane came in just to score a short touchdown and now Daniel Thomas is healthy again and getting 10 to 15 carries per week. Thomas does not produce fantasy relevant yardage but scored in each of his last two games. The rushing effort is watered down now between Bush and Thomas with neither producing more than moderate fantasy points in any game.

What this team cannot do is fall behind. The Colts are a negative image of this team in that their passing is their strength. The Fins are going to run the ball and probably throw one touchdown. It's all about stopping Andrew Luck.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 31 5 28 26 26 16
Preventing Fantasy Points IND 14 25 28 1 8 14

  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.

Indianapolis Colts
Homefield: Lucas Oil Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @CHI 21-41 10 @JAC -----
2 MIN 23-20 11 @NE -----
3 JAC 17-22 12 BUF -----
4 BYE ----- 13 @DET -----
5 GB 30-27 14 TEN -----
6 @NYJ 9-35 15 @HOU -----
7 CLE 17-13 16 @KC -----
8 @TEN 19-13 17 HOU -----
9 MIA ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
IND vs MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck 10 230,1
QB Andrew Luck 10 300,2
RB Vick Ballard 30 3-20
RB Ahmad Bradshaw 60,1 2-10
RB Trent Richardson 100,1 2-20
WR T.Y. Hilton 2-40
WR Hakeem Nicks 4-50
WR Reggie Wayne 8-100,2
TE Dwayne Allen 5-50
TE Coby Fleener
PK Adam Vinatieri 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Colts are on a two game winning streak and come off their first road win of the year. While the offense has been turned down a notch in recent weeks, the defense has really come through after being ravaged by the Jets. The Colts are still long shots for any post season play of course but a 4-3 record near the midway point is already a big success.

Andrew Luck was on a hot streak with seven scores in the first four weeks but he's cooled down to only one touchdown in the last three games. Against the Browns he did rush in two touchdowns though and regularly throws for 270 yards or more . Notable too is that he's only thrown five interceptions over his first seven games. Peyton Manning committed 14 interceptions in the first seven games of his Colt's career. Just saying.

Donald Brown was not only able to participate last week for the first time since week three, he took a surprisingly heavy load with 14 runs for 80 yards. Vick Ballard turned 12 runs into 55 yards and then caught the game winning touchdown on his only catch in the game. It is not enough that this unit relies on both Brown and Ballard. Now Delone Carter is being used as the goal line back. There's not enough fantasy points to go around.

Coby Fleener may be out with a shoulder injury this week though he's never scored and really is no fantasy factor. Dwayne Allen occasionally shows up in the box score but lacks the consistency and yardage to merit any consideration.

Reggie Wayne still cranks out at least 70 yards every week and is one of the NFL leaders with 54 receptions on the season. That is a pace for 123 receptions and in a dome on this offense, it is not out of the question. Wayne remains light on touchdowns with only two and even as a unit, the Colts have only produced four scores by all wideouts combined. Luck has been good enough that he's been able to post big yards in most games without relying on any single player other than Wayne.

This should be a close game that will depend on the Fins stopping Luck and the Colts keeping the Dolphins from racking up too many rushing yards and scores.This is a good test for Luck since the rushing effort won't likely be that successful and it will be up to him to do the scoring and getting first downs.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points IND 8 26 10 14 20 29
Preventing Fantasy Points MIA 21 8 23 13 16 18

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Andrew Luck, IND @DAL 20000030031 ***
Even when Luck is bad, he's good. Luck posted his worst fantasy outing of the season last week, but it still involved two TDs. So that's the floor, with the ceiling one of the eight games he's posted of 30-plus fantasy points. Not a bad neighborhood to be in.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Dan Herron, IND @DAL 3004400000 ***
The Cowboys have given up 10 RB TDs in the past five games, and with Herron the vastly more productive back he's the more likely to claim a piece of that pie. That said, he's still inexplicably sharing touches with Trent Richardson, so there's a bit of risk involved.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Trent Richardson, IND @DAL 300000000 ***
Richardson still gets some touches, and the Cowboys have been forthcoming with running back scores--not just to feature backs, either; the likes of Chris Polk, Andre Williams and Marion Grice have gotten in on the action--so if you're desperate you at least know he's getting some carries.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Donte Moncrief, IND @DAL 005701000 ***
Moncrief should be the Colts' WR2, but Reggie Wayne is hanging around and Hakeem Nicks swipes some looks from time to time so he's far from a sure thing.It's also worth noting that only once all year--the Rams, back in Week 3--have multiple wideouts scored in the same game against Dallas.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Hakeem Nicks, IND @DAL 004500000 ***
Nicks emerges from time to time to swipe a touchdown from Donte Moncrief, but he's far too unreliable to be banked on for fantasy help.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Reggie Wayne, IND @DAL 003200000 ***
At this juncture Wayne is a mere shadow of his former fantasy self. You can do better.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR T.Y. Hilton, IND @DAL 00000000 *
Primary receivers with speed have been the Cowboys' bugaboo of late, from Cecil Shorts (5-119) to Odell Beckham Jr. (10-146-2) to Jeremy Maclin twice (8-108, 4-98). Indy's entry in this sweepstakes would be Hilton, who's targeted more than enough to put up similar statlines.
Update: Hilton did not practice all week due to a hamstring injury. He's listed as questionable, but no practice is never a good sign. Hope you have a backup plan at your disposal.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Coby Fleener, IND @DAL 005601000 ***
Fleecer sees fewer snaps but more targets than Dwayne Allen; unfortunately when both are in the lineup Allen has been the more productive while Fleener takes a back seat. It's a very good matchup for both tight ends, though again Fleener flies wingman when both Indy TEs are healthy.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Dwayne Allen, IND @DAL 003301000 ***
The better blocker of Indy's tight ends, Allen is seeing more snaps because of it. And more snaps against a team that struggles to defend the tight end means more fantasy opportunities for Allen.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Adam Vinatieri, IND @DAL 3333 ***
The bad news: three of Vinatieri's four lowest-scoring games have come in the last three weeks. The good news: Vegas likes this one for points, and points mean Vinny gets his--by ones or by threes.

WEEK 9
2012
KC at SD (THU) CAR at WAS *DET at JAC TB at OAK
*ARI at GB CHI at TEN *MIA at IND *PHI at NO (MON)
BAL at CLE *DAL at ATL MIN at SEA Bye:
*UPDATED *BUF at HOU DEN at CIN *PIT at NYG NE , NYJ, SF, STL

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