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 @CHI 20000024011 ***
It's a moderately favorable matchup for Tannehill, as the Bears have allowed at least 250 passing yards in four straight and multiple TD tosses in two of the last three. However, there's a top end to Tannehill as he has yet to top 278 yards on the year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lamar Miller, MIA @CHI 6012100000 ****
Miller stands to benefit from an increased workload with Knowshon Moreno done for the year. It's not a tremendously favorable matchup, but the Bears have given up RB TDs in three straight and Miller handles both the rushing and receiving workload so at minimum he'll be solid with a shot at a score.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Wallace, MIA @CHI 005601000 ****
The Bears secondary has been better the past two games, but Wallace has played his way into every-week starter status thanks to touchdowns in four of five this year. His stat line may not be gaudy, but he's reliable.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jarvis Landry, MIA @CHI 004500000 ***
Landry is emerging as a playmaker for the Dolphins, and in a more favorable matchup we'd be excited about the prospect of him making plays. However, Da Bears put the clamps on both Carolina and Atlanta and if there's a Miami receiver to be banked on for fantasy points Landry falls behind Mike Wallace in the pecking order.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brian Hartline, MIA @CHI 002200000 ***
Hartline appears to be fading behind Jarvis Landry among Miami's secondary targets, and this matchup doesn't suggest bucking those odds this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Charles Clay, MIA @CHI 003300000 ***
The only TE TDs the Bears have allowed went to Greg Olsen, who is far more WR than TE. Plus, Clay is nowhere near as involved in the offense as he was last season. Look elsewhere for fantasy help.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Caleb Sturgis, MIA @CHI 2222 ****
Sturgis has been a reasonably reliable producer of points, and the Bears have allowed at least seven points to every kicker they've faced.

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 CIN 0000032030 ***
Cincy's far from a soft matchup but at this juncture one does not bet against Luck; he's topped 300 yards in five of six and scored multiple touchdowns in every game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Ahmad Bradshaw, IND CIN 4003201000 ****
Bradshaw has been the more effective of Indy's backs, plus he's a factor in the passing game. Cincy hasn't given up much on the ground, but Bradshaw's contributions as a receiver make him at least a fringe fantasy contributor this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Trent Richardson, IND CIN 4004300000 ***
Richardson is the hammer in Pep Hamilton's toolbox, and against Cincy that's not a bad tool to be as the last three RB TDs they've surrendered have gone to hammer backs like Shonn Greene, Stevan Ridley, and Fozzy Whittaker.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Reggie Wayne, IND CIN 007801000 ***
No secondary receiver has topped 50 yards against the Bengals, and that's what Wayne has become in Indy. Keep your expectations low, and it wouldn't be a bad idea to look for fantasy help elsewhere this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR T.Y. Hilton, IND CIN 006800000 ****
The Bengals haven't given up a ton to opposing wideouts, but the three TDs they have surrendered have all gone to WR1s--a role Hilton has inhabited in Indy. Plus, with Andrew Luck as red-hot as he is, you can't bet against TY.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Dwayne Allen, IND CIN 004601000 ***
There's certainly opportunity here against a Cincy D that's surrendered three TE TDs in the past two games. Allen's fantasy value is dinged only by the prospect of Coby Fleener, and to a lesser extent Jack Doyle, swiping looks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Coby Fleener, IND CIN 002300000 ***
Andrew Luck's former college go-to guy has become his second-favorite tight end at the pro level. It's a favorable matchup, but odds are Dwayne Allen swipes Fleener's fantasy opportunities this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Adam Vinatieri, IND CIN 3333 ****
No surprise that the rock-solid Vinatieri has been rock-solid consistent, with at least eight points in each of the past five games while averaging a shade over 10 points per outing. Doesn't hurt that the Bengals have allowed eight field goals in just the past two games, either.

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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