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 @NYJ 20000028030 ***
Tannehill hasn't had the privilege of facing the league's worst pass defense yet; he'll rectify that situation this week, coming in with back-to-back multiple TD outings. You have to like his chances here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lamar Miller, MIA @NYJ 4003200000 ***
Miller is losing some goal line looks to Daniel Thomas, and he's not getting enough touches--or doing enough with the ones he's getting--to offset the loss of his scores. With the Jets a reasonably stout run D you can probably find a more favorable fantasy option elsewhere.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jarvis Landry, MIA @NYJ 007901000 ***
The Jets have given up seven 100-yard receiving games already this year, and with Landry the most-targeted Dolphin maybe he's the best bet to be the first Dolphin over the century mark this year. He's scored in two straight and three of four, and anything's possible against a shaky Jets secondary so at minimum he warrants fantasy consideration.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Wallace, MIA @NYJ 005801000 ***
Wallace is neck-and-neck with Jarvis Landry as the Dolphin most likely to blow up against the hapless Jets secondary. Both doing so isn't out of the question, either.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brian Hartline, MIA @NYJ 003400000 ***
Hartline is a depth option in the Miami passing game. It's about as favorable a matchup as you'll find, but with Jarvis Landry and Mike Wallace taking their cuts off the top it's tough to see enough left over for Hartlline or the others.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Charles Clay, MIA @NYJ 005401000 **
The Jets have allowed a dozen tight end touchdowns already this season. If there were ever an opportunity to dust off Clay (assuming he's healthy), this is it.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Caleb Sturgis, MIA @NYJ 1133 ***
Sturgis had a streak of five straight multiple field goal games snapped last week; no reason he can't start a new one against a Jets' D that's allowed multiple treys in three of five, or at least pad his stats with copious PATs agaisnt a defense that's allowed at least three TDs in eight of the past nine 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 WAS 20000030030 ***
Luck eased up last week, turning a season-low 32 attempts into just 253 and 1. The Redskins aren't a pushover, but there's no reason to think he can't get back in the saddle with the usual attempts turned into what's become the norm: multiple TDs and something approaching 300 yards.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Dan Herron, IND WAS 3005300000 ****
Herron has moved into roughly half the Indy backfield workload, but he's not doing enough with those touches to warrant significant fantasy consideration.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Trent Richardson, IND WAS 4002200000 ***
Richardson has become purely a volume guy, and with half his volume going to Dan Herron--and the Redskins a relatively tough matchup for opposing RBs--he's a fringe fantasy entity at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR T.Y. Hilton, IND WAS 0081202000 ***
Washington's allowed a gaudy WR performance each of the past two weeks--Mike Evans' 7-209-2, Anquan Boldin's 9-137-1--and Hilton is the Colt most likely to follow that lead.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Reggie Wayne, IND WAS 005601000 **
Wayne's a solid wingman but not much of a fantasy option against a team that hasn't allowed multiple WR fantasy helpers in more than a month.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Hakeem Nicks, IND WAS 003400000 ***
Nicks is too lightly targeted and too inconsistently productive to bank on for fantasy help.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Coby Fleener, IND WAS 002300000 ***
Given his performance the previous two weeks, last week's 2-28 from Fleener was a genuine disappointment. Washington's a bit softer of a TE matchup so Fleener's a slightly better bet to put that disappointment in the rear view mirror and deliver a fantasy helper here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Adam Vinatieri, IND WAS 3333 ****
My Cousin Vinny hasn't been below eight points since the season opener and hit double-digits three of the past four games. He's as money a kicker as you can find right now.

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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