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 @DEN 0000024021 ***
For all the Dolphins' recent success Tannehill remains a fantasy outsider, especially on the road; he's had one passing TD in three of five away from Miami, including his last two. Tough to see him offering up much of note in Denver this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lamar Miller, MIA @DEN 5003200000 ***
Miller took it to a pretty good Buffalo run D last week, racking up 86 yards on 15 carries. Looks like his shoulder shouldn't be a concern. The Broncos are tougher to run on at home so keep your expectations in check, but if Miami follows the Rams' blueprint from last week Miller should see more than enough touches to be fantasy relevant.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Wallace, MIA @DEN 005600000 ***
Wallace sees the targets, so by and large he's the Dolphins receiver with the most fantasy upside. It's not a particularly good matchup, but Wallace has done enough to at least be flirting with every-week starter status.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jarvis Landry, MIA @DEN 004600000 ***
Mike Wallace remains the most targeted Dolphin, but Landry is fast becoming the guy the team turns to when plays need to be made. It's not a great matchup, but that playmaking ability keeps Landry on the cusp of fantasy relevancy.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Charles Clay, MIA @DEN 00000000 **
The Broncos have allowed four TE TDs in as many games, and with Clay back to his heavily-targeted role in the lineup he's a decent fantasy play this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Caleb Sturgis, MIA @DEN 2222 ***
Sturgis has prospered in the wake of the improving Miami offense, with at least eight points in five straight games. However, eight is the top total for a visiting kicker in Denver this year so there's a ceiling to his upside this week.

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 JAC 0000030030 ***
With Ahmad Bradshaw out the Colts may have to throw even more--which is great news for Luck, who has 300-plus yards in nine of ten outings and multiple TDs in a similar percentage. That total includes 370 and four against the Jaguars earlier this year, and similar numbers could be in the offing here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Trent Richardson, IND JAC 7012100000 ***
The solution to Indy's ground game without Ahmad Bradshaw might be more carries for Richardson, but that doesn't mean he'll be more productive. Settle for a quantity contributor from Richardson and hope he can actually generate positive rushing yardage for a change.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR T.Y. Hilton, IND JAC 0081001000 ***
The Colts had four receivers top 50 yards in the earlier meeting with Jacksonville, and that's when they actually had healthy running backs. After being neutralized by the Patriots last week look for TY to bounce back with a solid fantasy helper here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Reggie Wayne, IND JAC 004700000 ***
Wayne proved he still has game with a solid showing against the Patriots last week--enough that he's worthy of fantasy consideration despite the competition for catches amongst Indy's wideouts.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Hakeem Nicks, IND JAC 002200000 ****
Nicks scored last week but has spent much of the season battling Donte Moncrief for playing time. He's a riskier fantasy bet than other Indy wideouts, but with Andrew Luck consistently posting 300-plus yards and multiple touchdowns there's usually enough to go around.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Coby Fleener, IND JAC 005701000 ***
Fleener's opportunities should increase with Dwayne Allen injured. Mix in a Jacksonville D that gave up touchdowns to both Indy tight ends the last time they met and he becomes one of the better fantasy plays at his position.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Adam Vinatieri, IND JAC 1144 ***
Vinatieri has multiple treys in every game since the season opener and is as reliable a fantasy option as you can have at the position.

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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