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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 13
2012
NO at ATL (THU) *CLE at OAK *MIN at GB *SEA at CHI
*ARI at NYJ HOU at TEN NE at MIA *SF at STL
CAR at KC *IND at DET *PHI at DAL TB at DEN
*UPDATED *CIN at SD *JAC at BUF *PIT at BAL NYG at WAS (MON)

Prediction: NE 34, MIA 17 (LINE: NE by 7)

Players to Watch: Brian Hartline, Davone Bess

The Patriots swept the Dolphins last year, winning 38-24 at Miami in the season opener and later 27-24 at home.

New England Patriots
Homefield: Gillette Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @TEN 34-13 10 BUF 37-31
2 ARI 18-20 11 IND 59-24
3 @BAL 30-31 12 @NYJ 49-19
4 @BUF 52-28 13 @MIA -----
5 DEN 31-21 14 HOU -----
6 @SEA 23-24 15 SF -----
7 NYJ 29-26 16 @JAC -----
8 @STL 45-7 17 MIA -----
9 BYE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NE @ MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady 300,3
RB Stevan Ridley 80,1 2-10
RB Shane Vereen 40 2-20,1
WR Danny Amendola 1-20
WR Julian Edelman 3-30
WR Brandon LaFell 4-60
PK Stephen Gostkowski 2 FG 4 XP

Pregame Notes: The Patriot tradition of being a bully when possible is alive and well with back-to-back wins of 35 and 30 points but in fantasy terms - it's all good. The last four weeks have never scored fewer than 37 points and have averaged almost 48 points per week. Nice month.

Tom Brady already passed for 24 touchdowns this year and seven times surpassed 300 passing yards in a game. His last three road games were three or more touchdowns each. His slower start to the season has sped up plenty in the last six weeks or so and he's back to posting big yardage and scores each week. What is going to be interesting is that this week is in Miami where the Fins have given him problems in the past. Then it is two home games against probably the two toughest defenses in the 49ers and Texans.

Though it was the season opener last year, Brady passed for 517 yards and four touchdowns in Miami.

Shane Vereen is getting plenty of work lately with 12 touches in each of the last two games and he scored in both. He's gaining 40+ rushing yards and notched a touchdown on a 83-yard catch and run last Thursday. But Stevan Ridley scored in each of the last four games and totaled over 90 yards in six different games so far. Ridley is a constant each week with decent yardage and a score. Vereen is mixed in with varying results and Danny Woodhead only gets appreciable work as a receiver when the Patriots play against a good defense and Brady needs the outlet.

With Rob Gronkowski out, the tight ends did little to replace him. Even Aaron Hernandez who finally returned from his ankle injury only caught two passes for 36 yards though he also caught a touchdown that was called back for offensive pass interference. Daniel Fells had his one catch like usual and that was all for the tight ends.

Wes Welker did not have any more or less work with Gronk out. He still had seven catches for 71 yards which is right in the same area as his last five games. Julian Edelman is the one who has seen an uptick with a score in each of the last two games and around 60 yards in each.

Welker caught eight passes for 160 yards and two scores in Miami last season while Aaron Hernandez (7-103, TD) and Rob Gronkowski (6-86, TD) both had big games as well.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NE 3 2 15 1 2 2
Preventing Fantasy Points MIA 19 5 18 13 23 24

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Tom Brady, NE @KC 0000024020 ***
It's been seven games (including playoffs) since Brady threw multiple touchdowns; while the Chiefs have allowed both Peyton Manning and Jake Locker to turn that trick this season there's no real reason to think Brady will do so here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Stevan Ridley, NE @KC 7001100000 ****
The Chiefs have yet to give up a running back touchdown, but New England's MO is to ride Ridley when they're up. They're expected to be up, so Ridley gets the bulk of the touches and provides adequate yardage with the hope of a goal line shot.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Shane Vereen, NE @KC 3004200000 ***
KC hasn't allowed much to opposing backs via ground or air, which doesn't bode well for Vereen's contributions this week. Unless the Pats are playing from behind they tend to run Ridley and use Vereen as the change of pace, so odds are Vereen's touches--and fantasy impact--will be limited this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Julian Edelman, NE @KC 008801000 ***
The death of 1,000 paper cuts, the only way Edelman racks up big yardage is through a high volume of catches. He's borderline elite in PPR leagues but just a contributor in other formats. The good news is, similar possession receivers Kendall Wright and Brian Hartline both scored against the Chiefs so Edelman could pad his stat line with a score.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenbrell Thompkins, NE @KC 004500000 ***
Thompkins, Brandon LaFell, Danny Amendola, Aaron Dobson... they all take turns being fantasy irrelevant. Most weeks, in fact, all are.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Rob Gronkowski, NE @KC 005501000 ****
The Chiefs have allowed three TE TDs already this season, and with Gronk working his way into more and more snaps he's that much more likely to find the end zone.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Stephen Gostkowski, NE @KC 2222 ***
Gosty's averaging double-digit points and has multiple field goals in every game this year. He's a must-start fantasy kicker... like you didn't already know that.

Miami Dolphins
Homefield: Dolphins Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @HOU 10-30 10 TEN 3-37
2 OAK 35-13 11 @BUF 14-19
3 NYJ 20-23 12 SEA 24-21
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 NE Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Tannehill 240,1
RB Knowshon Moreno 60 4-20
RB Daniel Thomas 70,1 2-10
WR Brandon Gibson 3-40,1
WR Brian Hartline 5-70
WR Mike Wallace 3-40
TE Charles Clay 4-50

Pregame Notes: The Dolphins are within one win of a .500 season but that may end up at an arm-length away the rest of the year. The Fins need three more wins to end up at 8-8 but have two meetings with the Patriots and a trip to San Francisco left. Short of an upset in one of those three games - assuming they can beat the visiting Jags and Bills - it still leaves them short at 7-9.

No real changes to the offense. Ryan Tannehill remains a game manager with only seven passing touchdowns on the year and usually right around a mediocre 200 pass yards in most games. What's worse is that he only managed two touchdowns in the last three games and yet threw six interceptions over that time period.

Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas continue to timeshare almost equally and if either gets hot they'll take a but more work that week. Bush shockingly had his second best game of the year when the Seahawks showed up and let him gain 87 yards on 14 runs. Daniel Thomas also ran for 60 yards and a score on just nine runs in that game. Bush may not be back next year but at least he is playing hard. He's expressed interest in remaining in Miami when he hits free agency in March but about all he has gotten back is a smile and nod.

Davone Bess turned in a very uncharacteristic 129 yards on seven catches against the Seahawks secondary which not only was a season best but was about twice his normal production. Brian Hartline has been very quiet in the last few weeks and the reality is that he has three big games against bad secondaries and then abject mediocrity otherwise. All combined the wideouts have only produced three touchdowns this year.

Facing the weak Pats secondary should help passing numbers but at best it means they are average for a day. Hartline is the only receiver play here and that is just in a reception points league where you can live with 80 yards or so.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 31 4 31 32 31 25
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 30 13 28 32 3 1

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Ryan Tannehill, MIA @OAK 10000021011 ***
Tannehill is barely clinging to his job as the Dolphins' QB and has done nothing to suggest he keeps a spot in any self-respecting fantasy lineup
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lamar Miller, MIA @OAK 10014300000 ****
Miller thrived in the feature back role last week and should do so once again against an Oakland defense that's already allowed Chris Ivory and Arian Foster to reach triple-digit yardage against them.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Wallace, MIA @OAK 006701000 ****
Passing numbers are subdued against Oakland, likely because teams have so much success running the ball they don't need to throw. Wallace remains the most targeted Dolphin and as such the best bet for fantasy help.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brian Hartline, MIA @OAK 004400000 ***
Hartline is a good fantasy play in a favorable matchup, and surprisingly enough the Raiders aren't a favorable matchup for passing attacks. Look elsewhere for fantasy help this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Charles Clay, MIA @OAK 004300000 ***
Clay hasn't been nearly the fantasy contributor he was last year, and it's not a favorable enough matchup to expect that to change this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Caleb Sturgis, MIA @OAK 1133 ***
Oakland's given up multiple field goals in all three games this season, while Sturgis has hit multiple treys in two of three. He's a good bet to make that three of four.

WEEK 13
2012
NO at ATL (THU) *CLE at OAK *MIN at GB *SEA at CHI
*ARI at NYJ HOU at TEN NE at MIA *SF at STL
CAR at KC *IND at DET *PHI at DAL TB at DEN
*UPDATED *CIN at SD *JAC at BUF *PIT at BAL NYG at WAS (MON)

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