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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 10
2012
IND at JAC (THU) DEN at CAR *NYJ at SEA TEN at MIA
ATL at NO *DET at MIN OAK at BAL *KC at PIT (MON)
*BUF at NE *HOU at CHI *SD at TB Bye:
*UPDATED DAL at PHI NYG at CIN *STL at SF ARI, CLE, GB, WAS

Prediction: TEN 17, MIA 31 (Line: MIA by 6)

Players to Watch: Brian Hartline, Chris Johnson

The 3-6 Titans are on a two game losing streak and are only 1-3 on the road. The 4-4 Dolphins are 2-1 at home. The difference here is that the only real offensive "star" in the game is Chris Johnson who is about to face a very good defense that can limit him. It is the Dolphins defense that will account for this win. They rank 5th in points allowed. The Titans have already given up over 30 points in seven of nine games.

Tennessee Titans
Homefield: LP Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 NE 13-34 10 @MIA -----
2 @SD 10-38 11 BYE -----
3 DET 44-41 12 @JAC -----
4 @HOU 14-38 13 HOU -----
5 @MIN 7-30 14 @IND -----
6 PIT 26-23 15 NYJ -----
7 @BUF 35-34 16 @GB -----
8 IND 13-19 17 JAC -----
9 CHI 20-51 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB DeMarco Murray
WR Eric Decker 6-90,1
PK Ryan Succop 1 FG

Pregame Notes: The Titans took a humbling loss to the Bears last week when they fell behind 28-2 in the first quarter and it never improved. The team goes on their bye after this game and then the rest of the season is no cake walk. The running of Chris Johnson has finally improved but nothing else has.

The Titans hope that Jake Locker can return this week and depending on his shoulder he may practice. They have soured on Matt Hasselbeck who just provides one touchdown and around 200 passing yards in every game which is problematic when opponents are scoring multiples more touchdowns. The passing effort here has always been on the weak side though they generally get their one score regardless of the starter. Locker's stats were no better in his three games this year but they'd rather fall with the young guy learning something than the old guy that is getting them no where.

Chris Johnson owners dodged a bullet last week when he had only rushed for 54 yards on 14 carries but then broke an 80-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter to salvage his value. That does make four straight games with 90+ rushing yards and he is merely doing his trademarked ability to get his yards in big chunks. His role as a receiver remains minimal but Johnson's back to being the main threat here and turning in decent efforts every week even if it takes just one play late in a decided game. They all count the same in fantasy terms.

Kendall Wright injured his elbow last week but x-rays revealed no structural damage and an MRI was being taken to determine if there was any ligament damage. I'll include him tentatively in the projections but be aware he may be held out and allowed to heal up for two weeks thanks to the looming bye.

The fortunes of Kenny Britt and Nate Washington depend on who the start will be. Washington was an early favorite for Locker with two scores in the three weeks that Locker was a starter. Britt had minor play in those weeks as he was returning from his surgery and reintroduced sparingly at first. What Locker did unlike Hasselbeck was to use his tight ends. Jared Cook and Craig Stevens both produced their top two games of the year when they were with Locker in those initial three weeks.

But the problem is that the Dolphins have not allowed any tight end to score though five did end with more than 60 yards against them. And only Arian Foster scored on them as a running back and that was when Miami was at Houston in the season opener. Since then they have not allowed any rushing scores or more than 60 yards to any runner regardless where the game is played.

The Dolphins secondary is only average at best and allows high yardage but a rusty Locker is not likely to take much advantage here.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 21 25 16 10 26 20
Preventing Fantasy Points MIA 24 6 29 21 19 14

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Marcus Mariota, TEN SEA 30000022011 ***
The fourth-toughest matchup comes to town, and Mariota's starting running back may not dress. While Derrick Henry is a capable backup, he isn't the receiving or pass-blocking asset of DeMarco Murray's level. Corey Davis has been ruled out, and trusting Mariota in this one isn't advised.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Derrick Henry, TEN SEA 10011100000 ***
Henry is the smarter choice in this backfield against Seattle, but it will take the projected score in order for Henry to live up to a start. Seattle has granted a lone TD to RBs in two games.

Update: Look for a larger load for Henry. Murray is a game-time call and may be very limited if he goes.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB DeMarco Murray, TEN SEA 2001100000 *
Murray is day-to-day with a hamstring strain, an injury he has a history of suffering. Should he dress, expect more Derrick Henry than usual. Seattle has allowed only one touchdown to RBs in this young year.

Update: Following a limited session Friday, Murray is a true game-time decision. At a minimum, he'll be kept on a reasonable pitch count, if he plays.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Taywan Taylor, TEN SEA 002400000 ***
Taylor extended for a beautiful grab last week and has some chops. He could see a little more work this week with Corey Davis out of action. Gamers shouldn't be excited to play him as he faces a stout pass defense.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eric Decker, TEN SEA 003300000 ***
Seattle has allowed 27 catches but only one TD so far to the position. There is a bit more intrigue since Corey Davis cannot go, but Decker is a dangerous play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Rishard Matthews, TEN SEA 003300000 ***
Matthews is probably the only Titans receiver worth taking a chance on in fantasy this week, and that's a big gamble. Seattle has allowed only one TD in two games to the position.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Delanie Walker, TEN SEA 006601000 ***
Through two weeks, Seattle has given up 80 yards on eight grabs, rating as the seventh-worst matchup for tight ends. This is an optimistic projection but within reach.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Ryan Succop, TEN SEA 2222 ***
Seattle's defense has granted two post-TD kicks and four field goals in two weeks, averaging out to a modest seven fantasy points against.

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 20-23 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
MIA vs TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Jay Cutler 240,1
QB Ryan Tannehill 230,2
TE Anthony Fasano 2-10,1

Pregame Notes: A win this week puts the Fins above .500 and then a possible win in Buffalo would allow a 6-4 record but it is probably down hill from there. Matchups against the 49ers and Seahawks are not nearly as much fun anymore plus a couple of losses to the Pats remain left to play. With some luck the Fins may end up at .500 overall and that alone would be a success for a team that was 6-10 last season.

Ryan Tannehill should final break his trend this week since he scores only in every other game but now faces one of the worst secondaries in the league. Tannehill passed for 290 yards and one score in Indy last week but only totals six passing scores on the year with six interceptions. A team almost has to try and limit their scores on the Titans who have not given up fewer than two passing scores in the last five games and who already have allowed 20 passing touchdowns this year. If you had to start Tannehill, this would be a decent place to do it.

The rushing effort has evolved into a committee approach with Reggie Bush as the primary but not by a lot. Bush has really fallen off in production since his week two monster game and hasn't produced more than 67 rushing yards in any of the last six games. His role as a receiver also took a significant hit and he's being used for just one or two short passes per week now. Daniel Thomas has actually been in for more plays than Bush recently though he still lags slightly in touches. In the last seven games, the Fins have scored rushing touchdowns in six of them. That's three for Thomas and three for Bush. They never score in the same game. You have to guess which one gets the goal line call in any given game. With yardage that never exceeds moderate numbers and a 50/50 chance at a touchdown, Bush has lost his luster and Thomas is not quite good enough to consider for a start. It is the worst of both worlds. Going against a defense that has allowed eight of nine opponents to score using running backs means take a coin and decide if Bush is heads or tails. It is just about that random.

This is a week for the wideouts to at least produce good yardage if not scores. The group has only two touchdowns all year though and only Brian Hartline is consistent enough to merit a fantasy start. Hartline comes off his third 100 yard game of the season and remains the possession receiver in the group. Davone Bess chugs along with five or six short catches each week and newcomer Jabar Gaffney is still learning the offense and meshing with Tannehill.

The Titans are weak against all the positions and the Fins have no lock certain stars to use. Playing at home favors the offense more and the Titans should end up allowing the Fins to finally post decent points this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 29 6 26 29 25 19
Preventing Fantasy Points TEN 28 30 22 30 32 26

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Jay Cutler, MIA @NYJ 0000024020 ***
Quarterbacks have averaged 23.3 fantasy points in the first two weeks against the Jets, stemming from five TDs surrendered. Cutler should do just fine, especially if Jarvis Landry escaped last week's heavy workload unscathed.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jay Ajayi, MIA @NYJ 8012100000 ***
Ajayi posted 22 fantasy points in Week 9 and only 5.1 visiting the Jets in Week 15 last season. The powerful back started productive start this year and is a fine play in any format.

Update: After sitting Wednesday and Thursday with a sore knee, Ajayi was a full-go in Friday's session and should be fine, despite a questionable status.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jarvis Landry, MIA @NYJ 007801000 ***
Despite being questionable with a knee injury last week, Landry returned with a bang for PPR players. This week, the Jets are on the docket. While New York has allowed only 15 receptions to receivers, four of them have found the end zone.

Update: Landry is questionable but practiced fully Friday and should be just fine. Expect this pattern to continue into the near future.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Stills, MIA @NYJ 003501000 ***
This one just feels like a Kenny Stills game. The Jets have given up barely any catches to receivers and have allowed a league-high four WR TDs. There are six teams that haven't even given up a score yet to the position.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeVante Parker, MIA @NYJ 004400000 ***
Parker faces a Jets team that allowed four TDs in two games to wideouts, on only 15 receptions. The dynamic wideout caught just three balls for 25 yards in the two meetings last year. He has a huge upside this week but could disappoint once again.

Update: Parker is fine, even though he's listed as questionable. He was a full participant Friday.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Julius Thomas, MIA @NYJ 003300000 **
The Jets have given up 11 catches in two games to the position, including one TD, but Thomas has a higher risk than potential reward factor.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cody Parkey, MIA @NYJ 1133 ***
The Jets have been surprisingly good against kickers, mainly because most of the points against come from allowing nine extra points to only one field goal.

WEEK 10
2012
IND at JAC (THU) DEN at CAR *NYJ at SEA TEN at MIA
ATL at NO *DET at MIN OAK at BAL *KC at PIT (MON)
*BUF at NE *HOU at CHI *SD at TB Bye:
*UPDATED DAL at PHI NYG at CIN *STL at SF ARI, CLE, GB, WAS

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