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 @JAC 40000027020 ****
While Jacksonville's defensive numbers are better of late, let's be honest: corralling Charlie Whitehurst and Brian Hoyer isn't exactly shutting down Unitas and Title. Tannehill has multiple TDs in three straight, at least 244 yards in each, and a very good shot at being a viable fantasy helper this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lamar Miller, MIA @JAC 7012200000 ****
Miller has scored in three straight and rolled up 83 yards last night with no Knowshon Moreno to swipe looks. He should have little difficulty taking care of business again this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Wallace, MIA @JAC 006901000 ***
Wallace has scored in three straight and five of six this season, and while the Jags' secondary is no pushover there's little reason to think Mike is kept from his appointed rounds here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jarvis Landry, MIA @JAC 004600000 ***
The Dolphins always seem to get a second receiver close to fantasy relevancy; a Jags team that's allowed multiple wideouts to either score and/or top 50 yards in five of six should push them over that hump here. And for Miami that second fantasy-relevant receiver is now Landry, so plan accordingly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Charles Clay, MIA @JAC 004501000 **
Miami tight ends have scored in two of the last three, and Clay is seeing the majority of those targets so he's the odds-on favorite to capitalize against a Jacksonville defense that has already allowed five TE TDs on the season.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Caleb Sturgis, MIA @JAC 1133 ***
Sturgis has sniffed around the fringe of fantasy relevancy; a date with a Jaguars defense that's allowing an average of better than 10 kicker points per game provides a definite whiff of opportunity.

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 @PIT 0000031030 ****
Does it really matter what the Steelers have or haven't allowed? Luck is en fuego right now, with multiple touchdowns in every game and five straight (and six of seven) with 300-plus yards. Pep Hamilton has seen the light!
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Ahmad Bradshaw, IND @PIT 6014401000 ****
Three backs have rushed for at least 75 yards against the Steelers in the past two games, and two backs have scored receiving touchdowns. Talk about teeing one up right in Bradshaw's wheelhouse...
Update: Trent Richardson hasn't practiced all week and is officially listed as questionable. Whether he's limited or out entirely, it means more touches for Bradshaw. And that's a very good thing, fantasy-wise.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Trent Richardson, IND @PIT 3002100000 **
Richardson continues to get most of the between-the-tackle work, and while he hasn't topped 80 yards yet he's at least found the end zone a couple times in the past month. He's not as safe a fantasy bet as Ahmad Bradshaw, but it's a favorable enough matchup to be a viable fantasy option this week.
Update: While listed as questionable, Richardson did not practice all week. Even if he goes he clearly won't be at 100 percent, so dial back your expectations accordingly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR T.Y. Hilton, IND @PIT 009900000 ***
Hilton has at least 80 yards in five straight, triple-digit yardage in three of the last four, and stakes first claim to Andrew Luck's copious yardage total.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Donte Moncrief, IND @PIT 004500000 ****
Moncrief has been seeing an uptick in playing time, and the injury to Reggie Wayne should lead to more targets as well. It's a big pie Andrew Luck is creating; you could do worse than banking on Moncrief to carve out a slice this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Hakeem Nicks, IND @PIT 002300000 ***
Nicks remains on the fringe of relevancy, both for the Colts and fantasy wise. So long as Andrew Luck keeps churning out 300-yard games Nicks has a shot at being a fantasy helper. Reggie Wayne's possible absence this week certainly doesn't hurt Nicks' chances.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Dwayne Allen, IND @PIT 003501000 ****
Allen is slightly more targeted and slightly more productive than his running mate at tight end. With Indy scoring at least one TE TD in every game thus far one--or both--need to be in fantasy lineups, and Allen is the slightly safer bet.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Coby Fleener, IND @PIT 002201000 ***
While he's playing second fiddle to Dwayne Allen Fleener is still a fantasy factor in his own right with touchdowns in three of the past five games. Indy has at least one TE TD in every game, so if you're reaching for help at the position you could certainly do worse than Fleener.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Adam Vinatieri, IND @PIT 1144 ***
My Cousin Vinny is averaging better than nine points per game; opposing kickers are averaging better than nine points per game against the Steelers. Pencil Adam in for something north of nine and call it a day.

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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