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

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 @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.

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
WR Mike Williams 5-80,1
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 @NYJ 0000028021 ****
The Jets have allowed multiple passing scores in every game this season, including hat tricks in three straight. Orton has sniffed 300 yards in each of his starts since taking over for EJ Manuel, averaging 296 yards per game with multiple scores in each of the past two. No reason to think Orton's unexpected run of fantasy success can't continue here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Anthony Dixon, BUF @NYJ 3002101000 *
After a fast start the Jets run D has been significantly softer of late, serving up two 100-yard rushing efforts in the past three games. Dixon is expected to handle the bulk of the Bills' backfield workload, which puts him in line to take advantage of this opportunity.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bryce Brown, BUF @NYJ 4002100000 *
Bryce should take over the CJ Spiller role in Buffalo, with Anthony Dixon handling most of Fred Jackson's workload. However, the Bills haven't even bothered to activate Brown yet this season so it would take a leap of faith to plug him into your fantasy lineup sight (and role) unseen this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF @NYJ 0081201000 ***
The Jets have served up four 100-plus yard receiving games this season, all to WR1s. Watkins is fast becoming a legit WR1; he's the Bill most likely to take advantage here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Chris Hogan, BUF @NYJ 005600000 ***
Hogan's 12 targets, 10 catches, 135 yards and one touchdown over the past two games have earned him a fantasy opportunity against a Jets secondary that's allowed eight WR TDs in seven games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Williams, BUF @NYJ 002300000 ***
Williams has some hurdles to climb to reach fantasy relevancy. Like, be active for starters. Then pull targets from Robert Woods and Chris Hogan on the run-heavy Bills. You'll find better fantasy odds elsewhere.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Scott Chandler, BUF @NYJ 005601000 **
Chandler is showing some staying power past his usual productive September, and his role in this offense suggests he has fantasy upside against a Jets' defense that's allowed seven TE TDs in the past five games. It's notable as well that Chandler has scored in two of his last three meetings with Gang Green; yes, both scores came in September games, since you asked.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF @NYJ 2222 ***
Carp has topped five points just once in the past five games, but the Jets have allowed six or better in six straight. No need to yank him if he's in your lineup, but then again no reason to go out of your way to add him, either.

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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