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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 NYJ 0000029030 ****
Since being left for dead in Kansas City Brady has bounced back with 653 yards and six TDs in two games. And now he gets to face the hated Jets and the league's most permissive pass defense? Yes, please.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Shane Vereen, NE NYJ 2005400000 ***
You'd like to think Vereen's fantasy prospects go up after Stevan Ridley went down, but he hasn't had double-digit carries since Week 13 of last year so a big jump in workload is iffy at best. And with his usual share, it's not a favorable enough matchup to move Vereen's fantasy needle off of "the usual".
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Brandon Bolden, NE NYJ 400000000 ***
Can the Jets make it three straight backup backs to take them for 100 yards? If Brandon Bolden truly gets Stevan Ridley's carries, there's no reason he can't follow in the footsteps of Branden Oliver (19-114-1) and Ronnie Hillman (24-100).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandon LaFell, NE NYJ 004601000 ****
Has Brady found a non-Smurf wide receiver to rely upon? In two of the past three games the answer is a resounding "yes", with LaFell being that wideout. With Tom Brady rolling and the Jets' secondary reeling, you could do worse than looking to LaFell for another such outing this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Julian Edelman, NE NYJ 006600000 ****
Double-digit targets has equaled triple-digit yardage against the Jets this year, and if any Patriot is going to see double-digit targets it's Edelman.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Rob Gronkowski, NE NYJ 006802000 ****
In his past three against the Jets Gronk has two 100-yard games and two multi-touchdown efforts. New York has allowed TE TDs in four straight, including two each to Martellus Bennett, Antonio Gates, and Julius Thomas. No reason Gronk can't keep up.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Timothy Wright, NE NYJ 004400000 ***
With Tom Brady putting up bigger numbers there's room for a second tight end to post helpful fantasy digits--plus there's always the chance the Jets overcompensate for Gronk and leave Wright to ring up the big numbers Gang Green has been surrendering to tight ends.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Stephen Gostkowski, NE NYJ 3333 ***
Gostkowski has multiple field goals in five of six and double-digit points in four of his last five. He's the kind of kicker you put in your lineup and don't think twice about.

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 @CHI 20000024011 ***
It's a moderately favorable matchup for Tannehill, as the Bears have allowed at least 250 passing yards in four straight and multiple TD tosses in two of the last three. However, there's a top end to Tannehill as he has yet to top 278 yards on the year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lamar Miller, MIA @CHI 6012100000 ****
Miller stands to benefit from an increased workload with Knowshon Moreno done for the year. It's not a tremendously favorable matchup, but the Bears have given up RB TDs in three straight and Miller handles both the rushing and receiving workload so at minimum he'll be solid with a shot at a score.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Wallace, MIA @CHI 005601000 ****
The Bears secondary has been better the past two games, but Wallace has played his way into every-week starter status thanks to touchdowns in four of five this year. His stat line may not be gaudy, but he's reliable.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jarvis Landry, MIA @CHI 004500000 ***
Landry is emerging as a playmaker for the Dolphins, and in a more favorable matchup we'd be excited about the prospect of him making plays. However, Da Bears put the clamps on both Carolina and Atlanta and if there's a Miami receiver to be banked on for fantasy points Landry falls behind Mike Wallace in the pecking order.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brian Hartline, MIA @CHI 002200000 ***
Hartline appears to be fading behind Jarvis Landry among Miami's secondary targets, and this matchup doesn't suggest bucking those odds this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Charles Clay, MIA @CHI 003300000 ***
The only TE TDs the Bears have allowed went to Greg Olsen, who is far more WR than TE. Plus, Clay is nowhere near as involved in the offense as he was last season. Look elsewhere for fantasy help.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Caleb Sturgis, MIA @CHI 2222 ****
Sturgis has been a reasonably reliable producer of points, and the Bears have allowed at least seven points to every kicker they've faced.

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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