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 @NYJ 20000028030 ***
Tannehill hasn't had the privilege of facing the league's worst pass defense yet; he'll rectify that situation this week, coming in with back-to-back multiple TD outings. You have to like his chances here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lamar Miller, MIA @NYJ 4003200000 ***
Miller is losing some goal line looks to Daniel Thomas, and he's not getting enough touches--or doing enough with the ones he's getting--to offset the loss of his scores. With the Jets a reasonably stout run D you can probably find a more favorable fantasy option elsewhere.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jarvis Landry, MIA @NYJ 007901000 ***
The Jets have given up seven 100-yard receiving games already this year, and with Landry the most-targeted Dolphin maybe he's the best bet to be the first Dolphin over the century mark this year. He's scored in two straight and three of four, and anything's possible against a shaky Jets secondary so at minimum he warrants fantasy consideration.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Wallace, MIA @NYJ 005801000 ***
Wallace is neck-and-neck with Jarvis Landry as the Dolphin most likely to blow up against the hapless Jets secondary. Both doing so isn't out of the question, either.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brian Hartline, MIA @NYJ 003400000 ***
Hartline is a depth option in the Miami passing game. It's about as favorable a matchup as you'll find, but with Jarvis Landry and Mike Wallace taking their cuts off the top it's tough to see enough left over for Hartlline or the others.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Charles Clay, MIA @NYJ 005401000 **
The Jets have allowed a dozen tight end touchdowns already this season. If there were ever an opportunity to dust off Clay (assuming he's healthy), this is it.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Caleb Sturgis, MIA @NYJ 1133 ***
Sturgis had a streak of five straight multiple field goal games snapped last week; no reason he can't start a new one against a Jets' D that's allowed multiple treys in three of five, or at least pad his stats with copious PATs agaisnt a defense that's allowed at least three TDs in eight of the past nine games.

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 SEA 30000021011 ***
Kaepernick hasn't solved the riddle of the Seattle secondary; in four career meetings he has three passing scores, seven INTs and a total of 699 yards. He's run on the Seahawks, however, including 130 yards when the teams met last January. He'll need to run again to carve out fantasy value--something he hasn't done in two months, so keep your expectations in check.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Carlos Hyde, SF SEA 101000000 **
Hyde has scored three of the past four RB rushing TDs the 49ers have produced, including last week against Washington. He's still a minority carry shareholder, however, so tough to bank on him especially given the matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Frank Gore, SF SEA 4001100000 ***
In a full season's worth of meetings with the Seahawks, Gore has generated just five TDs. Worse, he's been held out of the end zone in six of seven in San Francisco. On the bright side, Gore has topped 100 combo yards in six of seven at home, rushing for 100-plus in four of those games. He's been a non-factor of late, but if San Fran is angling to win this one the game plan will likely heavily involve Gore.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Crabtree, SF SEA 004600000 ***
Crabtree is scoreless in nine meetings with the Seahawks, and you have to believe he'll draw Richard Sherman for some trash talk and fun times here. As far as expecting much fantasy help... don't.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Anquan Boldin, SF SEA 004500000 ***
Boldin has been the better option against Seattle, scoring in the last meeting after going 6-93 in the matchup a month previous. Colin Kaepernick has been favoring Boldin of late, so if you must start a San Francisco WR this week he's the better bet.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Vernon Davis, SF SEA 003201000 **
The tight end position has been an Achilles' heel for Seattle this season, at least until the past three weeks as they've held each of those foes in check. Davis has done nothing of note of late, and while he could be a fallback option with Seattle blanketing the wideouts he can't be banked on for fantasy help.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Phil Dawson, SF SEA 2222 ***
Tacking on points for an offense that's been below 20 four of its last five games makes things difficult for Dawson. A stout Seattle defense won't help matters.

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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