FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 14
2012
DEN at OAK (THU) *CHI at MIN MIA at SF SD at PIT
*ARI at SEA *DAL at CIN *NO at NYG *STL at BUF
*ATL at CAR *DET at GB NYJ at JAC *TEN at IND
*Updated BAL at WAS KC at CLE PHI at TB HOU at NE (MON)

Prediction: MIA 10, SF 27 Line: (SF by 10)

Players to Watch: Colin Kaepernick

The 5-7 Dolphins are back in the AFC East cellar along with every other non-Tom Brady team. The Fins are just 2-4 on the road and travel to face the 8-3-1 49ers coming off their loss in St. Louis. The 49ers are 4-1-1 at home.

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 16-23
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 @ SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Tannehill 10 220,1
RB Knowshon Moreno 70,1 5-30
RB Daniel Thomas 40
WR Brian Hartline 5-70
WR Mike Wallace 4-70,1
TE Charles Clay 4-50,1

Pregame Notes: One more win to equal 2011 and two more to make HC Joe Philbin's first season better than the last one for the Fins. But with road trips to San Francisco and New England left to play, a .500 season is still out of reach realistically. The progress made with the offense has not been great and Reggie Bush is in his final year and may not be resigned.

Ryan Tannehill may have been Mike Sherman's quarterback at Texas A&M where he threw 29 touchdowns but in the NFL he's only been good enough to toss seven scores over 12 games. He failed to throw any touchdowns in six different matchups. This has been a bottom two passing offense all year and has not improved or shown any player development. The fact that Brian Hartline once caught 12 passes for 253 yards boggles the mind compared to everything else that has happened.

Hartline remains the top wideout here but he still has just the one touchdown in his big game and tends to disappear against a good defense. Davone Bess also has one touchdown this entire season and rarely every tops 50 yards. Anthony Fasano is the leading scorer among receivers since he caught three touchdowns and yet even he has declined to where he has only one catch per game since week six.

This is a running back offense even though they do not actually have a really good one. Daniel Thomas is making the case for more playing time next year, especially if Reggie Bush leaves. But even Thomas only scored four times this year and in most games remains well under 40 yards. An inability to pass well coupled with a rushing attack comprised of a couple of average runners is not a good equation for playing in San Francisco this week.

If the Fins can score any touchdowns it will be a success. Home games against the Bills and Jaguars the following two weeks will allow some minor value for Reggie Bush and perhaps Daniel Thomas but otherwise this team is devoid of any fantasy value and doesn't even make many turnovers to at least allow opposing defenses to score points.

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 SF 2 2 4 6 1 8

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Ryan Tannehill, MIA KC 0000023020 ***
Tannehill remains a bundle of untapped fantasy potential, but this matchup with a KC defense that's made fantasy starters of both Peyton Manning and Jake Locker should allow him to tap at least some of that upside.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lamar Miller, MIA KC 8012100000 ***
Miller is poised to capitalize on Knowshon Moreno's absence; this matchup with a Chiefs defense that has allowed 210 RB rushing yards to the Titans and Broncos--at better than five yards a pop--can only help.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Wallace, MIA KC 006701000 ***
The Chiefs have surrendered 50-plus yards and/or a touchdown to multiple receivers in each game. Given that Wallace has both of Miami's WR TDs and is the most targeted member of that unit, he'll take his bite off the top.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brian Hartline, MIA KC 005500000 ***
Multiple wideouts have scored and or topped 50 yards in each of KC's first two games; if Miami is to follow that trend, Hartline would be the favorite to join Mike Wallace in the fantasy winner's circle.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Charles Clay, MIA KC 005401000 ***
Despite 14 targets Clay has produced just 58 yards this season. However, that volume suggests he should be able to tap into a Chiefs defense that has surrendered three TE TDs already this year--making him a valuable fantasy commodity in TD-heavy scoring systems.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Caleb Sturgis, MIA KC 1133 ***
Sturgis was big at home in Week 1, not so much on the road in Week 2. Settle somewhere in the middle, which puts him on the fence as far as fantasy contributions go.

San Francisco 49ers
Homefield: Monster Park
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @GB 30-22 10 STL 24-24
2 DET 27-19 11 CHI 32-7
3 @MIN 13-24 12 @NO 31-21
4 @NYJ 34-0 13 @STL 13-16
5 BUF 45-3 14 MIA -----
6 NYG 3-26 15 @NE -----
7 SEA 13-6 16 @SEA -----
8 @ARI 24-3 17 ARI -----
9 BYE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
SF vs MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Colin Kaepernick 40,1 240,1
RB Frank Gore 100,1 3-20
WR Anquan Boldin 5-60
WR Michael Crabtree 5-80,1
WR Steve Johnson 6-80
WR Brandon Lloyd 5-70,1
TE Vernon Davis 5-60
PK Phil Dawson 3 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: Apparently the 49ers have a new nemesis after losing in overtime to the Rams who tied them in San Francisco only three weeks prior. The 49ers still have a half-game lead for the #2 seed but will be tested with road games left to play in New England and Seattle. The 49ers need every win they can get and coming off a loss should ensure that they don't take it too easy on the visiting Fins.

Colin Kaepernick remains the starting quarterback but he comes off his first scoreless game with only 208 passing yards. But he also added nine runs for 84 yards. If David Akers could still hit a 51-yard field goal, Kaepernick would have been 3-0 as a starter. The 49ers are willing to let him continue to develop to the great displeasure of Alex Smith who is now the subject of speculation that he may be traded in the offseason. Fortunately for Kaepernick, he has a meeting with the Patriots that should make him look like a good passer in week 15.

Kendall Hunter is gone but Brandon Jacobs was hardly much of a replacement running just four times to gain six yards. And Frank Gore was used as the goal line back so the Jacobs experiment is not going all that well. There is talk that they won't make LaMichael James inactive this week though there is still a concern about how good he can be in this offense. James is actually better suited to a wide open offense with a big-time passing attack. Not a power rushing scheme that now has a quarterback who takes plenty of rushing attempts as well.

Vernon Davis was happy with Kaepernick was throwing his six completions for 83 yards and one score against the Bears. Now two weeks later with only two catches to show, Davis is back to grumbling and is unhappy with his much reduced role. Davis had no catches in week 12 in New Orleans and then was thrown just three passes in St. Louis.

Mario Manningham injured his shoulder last week and no word has been given about his status but he has no real fantasy value anyway and only Michael Crabtree can be relied on for any decent fantasy points. He's coming off his second 100 yard game of the year and is the most targeted receiver by Kaepernick.

This week won't take a lot of points to win. And the rushing effort is likely to be held in check at least a bit and allow Kaepernick a home game against a below average defense. The 49ers defense meshes very well against what the Fins are bringing and that should mean not much passing will be needed this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SF 12 9 25 5 11 12
Preventing Fantasy Points MIA 19 5 18 13 23 24

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Colin Kaepernick, SF @ARI 50100023011 ***
Kaep has been a little slow to get going this season, but a date with the Cardinals should help speed up the process. Arizona allowed Eli Manning to take them for 277 and 2 last week, and in three career starts against Arizona Kaepernick has never failed to throw for at least 250 yards and multiple touchdowns.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Frank Gore, SF @ARI 6011100000 ***
Gore's 13-carry, 14-yard effort against Arizona at the end of last season was particularly disappointing because up until that point he had consistently killed the Cards with three 100-yard rushing games, 6 100-combo yard games, and a 13 touchdowns in the previous 14 meetings. Gore's share of the San Francisco workload is slipping, however, so you'll have to set your sights a shade lower and hope Carlos Hyde doesn't swipe his goal line look.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Carlos Hyde, SF @ARI 200000000 ***
Hyde was active and productive in San Francisco's win, absent in the Niners' loss--or maybe the correlation works the opposite way. Right now all he's doing is biting into Frank Gore's numbers, and in a matchup that isn't overly favorable he's a difficult fantasy start at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Anquan Boldin, SF @ARI 006700000 ****
Two of the last three times Boldin has faced his former squad he has lit them up: 9-149-1 last year and 7-145-1 as a Raven in 2011. And if the Cards throw Patrick Peterson at Michael Crabtree, Boldin will have every opportunity to reach those numbers again.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Crabtree, SF @ARI 005600000 ***
Crabtree has 100 yards or a touchdown in five of eight career meetings with the Cards, but he was held to 3-29 in his only game against Arizona last season. Moreover, Patrick Peterson has shut down WR1s thus far this season, leaving WR2s to do the bulk of the producing--and the Niners have a capable alternative in Anquan Boldin. Keep your expectations in check for Crabtree this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Vernon Davis, SF @ARI 005601000 *
Davis scored in both ends of last season's series, including a monster 8-180-2 in the front end of the series when Michael Crabtree was absent. The Cards have been unable thus far to contain Antonio Gates or Larry Donnell, each of whom went for 81 yards, so if Davis' ankle allows he's a quality fantasy play this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Phil Dawson, SF @ARI 3322 ***
The Cards have allowed but one field goal this season. However, Dawson has kicked three in each of his matchups with Arizona as a member of the Niners and there's no reason to think he'll stray from that productive path this week.

WEEK 14
2012
DEN at OAK (THU) *CHI at MIN MIA at SF SD at PIT
*ARI at SEA *DAL at CIN *NO at NYG *STL at BUF
*ATL at CAR *DET at GB NYJ at JAC *TEN at IND
*Updated BAL at WAS KC at CLE PHI at TB HOU at NE (MON)

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