FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 11
2012
MIA at BUF (THU) *CLE at DAL *NO at OAK TB at CAR
*ARI at ATL GB at DET NYJ at STL *CHI at SF (MON)
*BAL at PIT *IND at NE PHI at WAS Bye:
*UPDATED CIN at KC JAC at HOU *SD at DEN MIN, NYG, SEA, TEN

Prediction: MIA 20, BUF 23 (Line: BUF by 1.5)

Players to Watch: C.J. Spiller, Daniel Thomas, Brian Hartline

The Dolphins are 4-5 and on a two game losing streak while the Bills are 3-6 and on a three game losing streak. The Fins are only 2-3 on the road but the Bills are 2-4 at home. The Dolphins swept the Bills in 2011, winning 35-8 in Miami and later 30-23 in Buffalo. This is the Thursday night game.

Miami Dolphins
Homefield: Dolphins Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @HOU 10-30 10 TEN 3-37
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 @ BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Tannehill 260,1
RB Daniel Thomas 40,1 4-30
WR Brandon Gibson 3-50
WR Brian Hartline 7-80
WR Mike Wallace 4-50
TE Dustin Keller 6-60,1

Pregame Notes: The wheels fell off so badly in the Titans game that it isn't worth considering as more than a trap. Still the loss makes it two in a row and drops the Dolphins into hoping more for a wildcard than any divisional dreams. A loss here ends pretty much any optimism.

Ryan Tannehill's only passed for five touchdowns all year and while he had one freak game with 431 yards in Arizona, he's rarely managed more than a very average 220 yards in this offense that just wants a game manager. This week should be interesting since it will go against the weakest secondary he has faced this year.

Reggie Bush started the year with such promise but that's all subsided to a point where he is barely worth any fantasy consideration. Last week he was even benched in the Titans game for losing a fumble and only gained 29 total yards in the game. The Fins are liking a committee system more with every passing week and that only ensures that there is almost never a fantasy relevant back on this team - at least not a reliably predictable one. Daniel Thomas is getting between five and fifteen carries and even had five receptions last week though one is more common. Lamar Miller even saw the sunshine a bit when he turned in five touches against the Titans. Bottom line here - the Fins are not going to use a back enough to merit him being anything more than a flex play in a deep league when facing a weak defense. Which is this week.

The marginal passing has made Anthony Fasano the lead scorer with three touchdowns though he has not produced more than ten yards in each of the last three games. The wide receivers combined only scored twice this year and none in the last three weeks. Brian Hartline is the only real fantasy play here and he does catch six to eight passes when the Fins go against a softer secondary. Even then he's just a reception points guy since he's scored only once in the freak Arizona game. Davone Bess and Jabar Gaffney come along for the ride but this is a team nearly devoid of any passing prowess in most games.

The good news is that every opponent has scored via the pass versus the Bills and they rank dead last against running backs as well. The Fins are not as good on the road since they rely on their defense and rushing offense to win games so much of the weakness of the secondary may go unexploited.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 31 7 28 31 25 22
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 29 32 23 21 18 20

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Ryan Tannehill, MIA NYJ 0000028021 ***
Tannehill comes off a four-TD outing and back-to-back 300-yard affairs to host a Jets' defense that's allowed multiple passing scores in six of seven road games and 11 of 15 overall. Expect a significant upgrade over his 235 and zero from a month ago.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lamar Miller, MIA NYJ 5004300000 ***
The Jets are a formidable run D, but Miller scored on them in the last meeting and has scored or topped 89 combo yards in every home game this season so don't bet against him here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Wallace, MIA NYJ 006701000 ***
WR TDs have been hard to come by of late against the Jets, but if there is to be one it will most likely go to Wallace; he's scored three in the last two games. Otherwise settle for decent yardage against a Jets secondary that's allowed 10 100-yard receiving games this year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jarvis Landry, MIA NYJ 0081000000 ***
Landry and Mike Wallace both clocked in just shy of 70 yards in the earlier meeting with the Jets. Expect both to see a bump up in yardage at home, with Landry on equal footing with Wallace since the Jets have been just as friendly to WR2s (9 TDs vs. 5 by WR1s, 4 100-yard games vs. 6 by WR1s).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Charles Clay, MIA NYJ 006501000 ***
Clay missed the earlier meeting with the Jets due to injury; Dion Sims filled in admirably with 4-58. Now, coming off a 6-114 showing against the Vikings Clay has an opportunity to get his against a Jets' defense that's allowed a league-high 13 TE TDs on the year.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Caleb Sturgis, MIA NYJ 2222 ***
Sturgis tallied 10 points when the Dolphins beat the Jets in New York a month ago, and with multiple treys in eight of his last 10 he's a reasonable bet to approach that number in the rematch.

Buffalo Bills
Homefield: Ralph Wilson Stadium
AstroTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NYJ 28-48 10 @NE 31-37
2 KC 35-17 11 MIA -----
3 @CLE 24-14 12 @IND -----
4 NE 28-52 13 JAC -----
5 @SF 3-45 14 STL -----
6 @ARI 19-16 15 SEA -----
7 TEN 34-35 16 @MIA -----
8 BYE ----- 17 NYJ -----
9 @HOU 9-21 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Fred Jackson
RB C.J. Spiller 50 6-70
TE Scott Chandler 4-60
PK Dan Carpenter 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Bills are on a three game losing streak thanks to a one point loss to the Titans, playing in Houston and then nearly beating the Patriots in their stadium. The defense continues to be the problem area but this week is at home in a divisional game against a well-known opponent. Unfortunately, this week and the Jaguars game are the only two times that the Bills may be favored in a game. This should be a must win because it is a "can win".

Ryan Fitzpatrick started the year red hot and then cooled significantly with three games of no touchdowns and minor yardage. But he's always scored at last twice in all home games and this is the weakness of the Dolphins defense. Last year he posted 316 yards and two scores when the Fins visited.

Fred Jackson suffered a concussion in the New England game and has been ruled out this week. C.J. Spiller gets to shoulder the load this week and that's been when he is at his best both last year and earlier this season. Spiller has already been solid with 70+ rushing yards in three of the last four games and catches at least four passes every week for up to 61 yards. The Dolphins are very good against running backs but this one is in Buffalo, there is no splitting with Jackson and Spiller is a dual threat.

Scott Chandler comes off his season best 65 yards in New England where he scored his fifth touchdown this year. He's consistent with around 40 or 50 yards in most games. His last three touchdowns all came in the two meetings with the Patriots.

Donald Jones is inconsistent at best but he's scored four times this year and has been used for six receptions the last couple of weeks - even more than Stevie Johnson who's only caught a touchdown once in the last six weeks. No receivers in this offense have produced a 100 yard game and the passing game is mostly limited to Jones, Johnson, Chandler and Spiller.

The Fins are very good against running backs allowing only Chris Johnson and Arian Foster to have a decent game against them. They've only given up three rushing scores this year and held almost all runners to 60 yards or fewer.

The Dolphins secondary is the problem and every opposing quarterback has scored at least once. Only twice has an opponent failed to throw for at least 250 yards so this is a game that will be decided by the success of Fitzpatrick.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 18 4 25 21 30 18
Preventing Fantasy Points MIA 22 5 29 16 22 19

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Kyle Orton, BUF @NE 0000025021 **
Orto threw for 299 and 2 in the earlier meeting with New England, but he'd been in a bit of a slump until last week's 329 and 3 in Oakland. He'll catch the Patriots with nothing to play for, but he's still a bit of a risky fantasy play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Fred Jackson, BUF @NE 2007500000 ***
Jackson has scored in three of his last four against the Patriots, and four of his last six--including a rushing TD in the earlier meeting with New England. The risk is that the Bills know what they have in Jackson so they may give CJ Spiller some extra looks--but that's just one of the many risks you run with a Week 17 title game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB C.J. Spiller, BUF @NE 3003200000 ***
Spiller returned to four carries for negative four yards last week in Oakland, along with four catches for 14 yards. But he actually has a decent track record in New England, topping 100 combo yards on each of his last three visits and scoring in two of his last four trips to Gillette Stadium. If the Bills opt to give him an audition to keep his job, he has a decent shot of carving out some fantasy value.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Robert Woods, BUF @NE 007701000 **
With Darrelle Revis all over Sammy Watkins, Woods paced the Bills in the earlier matchup with 7-78-1. Woods also scored last week, and they're likely to be playing catchup so another solid fantasy outing wouldn't surprise.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Chris Hogan, BUF @NE 004500000 ***
Hogan has the distinct advantage of not drawing Darrelle Revis. He scored in the earlier matchup and is a viable option if New England's varsity corners stick around long enough to blanket Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF @NE 003300000 **
Watkins was shut down by Darrelle Revis in the earlier meeting, but with New England having locked up home field advantage Revis may make an early exit. You wanna hang your fantasy hat on that, go ahead.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Scott Chandler, BUF @NE 004401000 ***
Chandler had his best game of the season, 105 yards, in the earlier meeting with New England. He scored last week and, given the strength of the Patriots' corners, is a viable alternative for Kyle Orton--and thus a fantasy option this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF @NE 1122 ***
New England has allowed multiple field goals in five of their last six; Carpenter has kicked multiple field goals in five of his last seven. Expect an uptick over his two point performance against the Patriots earlier this season--maybe even a big one if Bill Belichick starts playing the JV sooner rather than later.

WEEK 11
2012
MIA at BUF (THU) *CLE at DAL *NO at OAK TB at CAR
*ARI at ATL GB at DET NYJ at STL *CHI at SF (MON)
*BAL at PIT *IND at NE PHI at WAS Bye:
*UPDATED CIN at KC JAC at HOU *SD at DEN MIN, NYG, SEA, TEN

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