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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 Jay Cutler 20 240,2
QB Ryan Tannehill 10 220,1
TE Anthony Fasano 1-10

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 Jay Cutler, MIA TB 0000029020 ***
The only real bright spot here is the Bucs have given up a TD pass every 12.6 catches, which ranks 11th. Yardage checks in at 16th on a per-game basis. Maybe a Cam Newton owner could consider him, but gamers should have better choices this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Kenyan Drake, MIA TB 10013200000 ***
Drake brings an explosive element the Dolphins lacked with the 2017 version of Jay Ajayi. Tampa Bay has been blown up by running backs in the past five weeks. The position is averaging 147.2 offensive yards (102.8 rushing) and a ground score every 20 handles, which is third-best for exploitative purposes.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Damien Williams, MIA TB 2004300000 ***
Williams could get lucky in this one since backs have beaten the tar out of Tampa in the last five games. This is the fifth-best matchup, regardless of the scoring format, and most of the damage has come via touchdowns.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeVante Parker, MIA TB 006901000 ***
Jay Cutler likes to look Parker's way, but the duo haven't be synced up for the big plays their respective physical traits imply are possible. Tampa has given up one TD reception a game, allowing otherwise moderate numbers to the position in the past five weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jarvis Landry, MIA TB 008701000 ***
Landry saved some face with a TD the other night against Carolina. Another NFC South opponent, Tampa Bay, is on the slate. The Bucs have surrendered a touchdown per game, or once per 11.4 catches. The 147.8 yards allowed a week is perfectly neutral.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Stills, MIA TB 003400000 *
Stills is a fringe play any week. Facing a midrange matchup pushes him closer to bench status, but there is always hope with the amount of attention that gets directed toward Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Julius Thomas, MIA TB 004400000 ***
A pair of scores have come on 19 receptions over the last five games versus Tampa. This is a neutral contest for Thomas. He's best left on the bench or wire.

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
vs Rush Catch Pass
WR Pierre Garcon 5-80,1
WR Louis Murphy 4-50
TE Logan Paulsen 1-20
PK Robbie Gould 2 FG 3 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

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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