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 @DEN 0000024021 ***
For all the Dolphins' recent success Tannehill remains a fantasy outsider, especially on the road; he's had one passing TD in three of five away from Miami, including his last two. Tough to see him offering up much of note in Denver this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lamar Miller, MIA @DEN 5003200000 ***
Miller took it to a pretty good Buffalo run D last week, racking up 86 yards on 15 carries. Looks like his shoulder shouldn't be a concern. The Broncos are tougher to run on at home so keep your expectations in check, but if Miami follows the Rams' blueprint from last week Miller should see more than enough touches to be fantasy relevant.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Wallace, MIA @DEN 005600000 ***
Wallace sees the targets, so by and large he's the Dolphins receiver with the most fantasy upside. It's not a particularly good matchup, but Wallace has done enough to at least be flirting with every-week starter status.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jarvis Landry, MIA @DEN 004600000 ***
Mike Wallace remains the most targeted Dolphin, but Landry is fast becoming the guy the team turns to when plays need to be made. It's not a great matchup, but that playmaking ability keeps Landry on the cusp of fantasy relevancy.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Charles Clay, MIA @DEN 00000000 **
The Broncos have allowed four TE TDs in as many games, and with Clay back to his heavily-targeted role in the lineup he's a decent fantasy play this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Caleb Sturgis, MIA @DEN 2222 ***
Sturgis has prospered in the wake of the improving Miami offense, with at least eight points in five straight games. However, eight is the top total for a visiting kicker in Denver this year so there's a ceiling to his upside this week.

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 0000028020 ***
Orton's fantasy effectiveness peaked three weeks ago with four TDs against the Jets; since then he's thrown just one scoring strike while the Jets secondary has actually been not horrible. Still, should be another opportunity to start Orton here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bryce Brown, BUF NYJ 2003200000 ***
Maybe some upside in Brown as a pass-catcher, but the ground game is being split three ways, it's a tough matchup, and Fred Jackson will resume at least a portion of his old duties.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Fred Jackson, BUF NYJ 2004200000 ***
Not much to like about this matchup: a banged-up Jackson sharing carries with two other guys against a defense that limited Buffalo to 61 yards on 30 carries the last time they met.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Anthony Dixon, BUF NYJ 200000000 **
Dixon has kind of been the workhorse with Fred Jackson out, but a) that hasn't amounted to much and b) Jackson should be back for this tilt. If Boobie couldn't give you fantasy help with 22 touches in the earlier meeting, tough to see him giving you much this time around.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF NYJ 0061201000 ***
Watkins toasted the Jets for 157 and 1 in the earlier meeting, one of three receivers in the past five games to go off for at least 100 yards and a touchdown. He's been slowed a bit the past couple of weeks but should be healthy enough to approximate those numbers at home in the rematch.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Robert Woods, BUF NYJ 006701000 ***
Woods scored in the previous matchup with the Jets, but he's battling Chris Hogan for secondary looks and is no lock to do the same in the rematch.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Williams, BUF NYJ 003400000 ***
It's been two months since Williams was fantasy-relevant; unless Sammy Watkins can't go he remains a bit player at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Scott Chandler, BUF NYJ 003200000 ***
Chandler scored one of two Buffalo TE TDs the last time they met the Jets, but he's just not targeted enough to bank on similar production--even with such a favorable matchup.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF NYJ 3322 ***
Carpenter has kicked multiple treys in three straight, including a 13-point affair against the Jets a month ago. He seems to be on a roll, no reason to bet against him here.

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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