FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Follow Follow @DMDorey
 

Predictions Summary »  Player Rankings (Projections) »  myHuddle Projections by Team »  Projections Summary by Team »

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 @MIN 0000029020 ***
After shutting out Austin Davis and Shaun Hill last week, the Vikings step up in class to face Brady; it's akin to jumping right from Glass Joe to Mike Tyson in "Punch-Out!!". Don't get overly giddy, as Mike Zimmer's Bengals held Brady to 197 yards and no TDs last year--but that was with Cincy's personnel, not Minnesota's.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Shane Vereen, NE @MIN 7015400000 ***
The Vikings have historically struggled with pass-catching backs, and despite the changes in personnel and scheme they gave up 5-38 to the Rams last week. Vereen didn't see Mike Zimmer's defense when the Patriots played the Bengals last season, but lesser pass catcher Brandon Bolden caught six balls for 40 yards. Mix in Vereen's newfound work as a sometimes-goal line guy and there's more than enough for him to be a solid fantasy play this week regardless of scoring format.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Stevan Ridley, NE @MIN 300000000 ***
Tough to gauge the Vikings' revamped defense after one game against the Rams' backup QBs, but the fact they held Zac Stacy under four yards a carry doesn't bode well for Ridley's fantasy prospects. Neither does Shane Vereen swiping goal line carries, previously a Ridley milieu.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Julian Edelman, NE @MIN 007801000 ***
The Patriots' receiving corps is a mess, but Edelman is the one guy who seems to return consistent fantasy value. He paced the group in catches and yardage last week and would seem to be the safest fantasy bet once again, against a Vikings secondary that may be down a cornerback to begin with.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenbrell Thompkins, NE @MIN 004500000 ***
We have yet to see the Patriots' receiving corps settle into anything resembling predictability. That means you can't bank on any of the secondary personnel getting in on the fantasy fun, which in turn makes Thompkins an unreliable fantasy start at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Rob Gronkowski, NE @MIN 008901000 ****
The Vikings have historically struggled to defend tight ends, so it's unlikely they'll have an answer for Gronk.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Timothy Wright, NE @MIN 004500000 ***
The switch in schemes and coordinators seems to have only slightly impacted the Vikings inability to defend the tight end position, as last week Jared Cook, Lance Kendricks and Cory Harkey combined for 7-72. Unless and until we see Wright in a more defined role in New England, however, he can't be banked on for fantasy assistance even if the matchup is favorable.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Stephen Gostkowski, NE @MIN 2233 ***
Last week's double makes it 17 straight games with multiple field goals for Gostkowski. Don't see that streak coming to an end in Minnesota.

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
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 @BUF 0000024021 ***
Tannehill has never topped 200 yards in four career outings against the Bills, and five of the six TDs he's scored against them have come in South Beach. Fresh off 178 yards against the Patriots--another divisional foe, and one he's had more success against than the Bills--it's tough to pencil him in for anything more than pedestrian yardage; cross your fingers that a touchdown or two salvage his fantasy day.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Knowshon Moreno, MIA @BUF 7002200000 ***
The Bills have allowed 100-yard rushers in three of their last five games--and in one of the other two held the Dolphins to a total of 14 rushing yards. That was pre-Moreno, of course, and given the success the Phins had on the ground last week you have to like their chances of producing in Buffalo. Moreno emerging as the lead dog in this committee last week makes him the better fantasy play this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lamar Miller, MIA @BUF 4004300000 ***
Miller has lost ground to Knowshon Moreno in the backfield battle, but he still appears to be the primary RB pass-catcher; against a defense that just gave up 87 receiving yards to Matt Forte, that's enough to at least keep Miller on the fantasy radar.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Wallace, MIA @BUF 008701000 ****
Wallace was targeted 21 times in two games against the Bills last year, catching nine for 114 yards. He's being moved around more this season and could slide into the spot that generated two TDs for Brandon Gibson in last season's series--or at least the spot that generated a TD for Brandon Marshall last week. Maybe if he changed his name to Brandon...
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brian Hartline, MIA @BUF 004500000 ***
Hartline was a distant WR2 to Mike Wallace last week, targeted four times compared to 11 for Wallace. This offense doesn't project to provide an abundance of passing yardage, and with Wallace taking more than his share there's not nearly enough to make Harline fantasy relevant this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Charles Clay, MIA @BUF 005601000 ****
Clay scored on limited looks against the Bills last season, and he wasn't much more involved in Week 1--to the point that asking him to match Martellus Bennett's 8-70-1 (on 10 targets) from last week is aggressive at best, foolhardy at worst.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Caleb Sturgis, MIA @BUF 3322 ***
Sturgis has never kicked a field goal against the Bills as a member of the Dolphins--he missed his lone attempt in the two-game set last year--but coming off a four field goal game last week it's about time he got on the board.

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)

a d v e r t i s e m e n t