FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 15
2012
CIN at PHI (THU) *GB at CHI *MIN at STL *SF at NE
CAR at SD IND at HOU *NYG at ATL TB at NO
DEN at BAL *JAC at MIA *PIT at DAL *WAS at CLE
*Updated *DET at ARI KC at OAK *SEA at BUF *NYJ at TEN (MON)

Prediction: JAC 16, MIA 20 (Line: MIA by 7 )

Players Updated: Cecil Shorts

Players to Watch: Justin Blackmon

Let's be serious - not a lot of fantasy value going to be found in this game. The 2-11 Jaguars are 1-5 on the road and thanks the Titans for it not being ten straight losses. The 5-8 Dolphins and on a two game slide as well but are 3-3 at home. If this game ends up with more than about 35 total points it will be all defensive scores.

Jacksonville Jaguars
Homefield: J'ville Municipal Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @MIN 23-26 ot 10 IND 10-27
2 HOU 7-27 11 @HOU 37-43
3 @IND 22-17 12 TEN 24-19
4 CIN 10-27 13 @BUF 18-34
5 CHI 3-41 14 NYJ 10-17
6 BYE ----- 15 @MIA -----
7 @OAK 23-26 16 NE -----
8 @GB 15-24 17 @TEN -----
9 DET 14-31 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
JAC @ MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Chad Henne 210,1
WR Cecil Shorts
TE Clay Harbor 5-50
TE Marcedes Lewis 4-40
PK Josh Scobee 1 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: The Jaguars nightmare season is concluding and they won't be the favored team again until 2013. Assuming they improve. Chad Henne finally declined to the point where he passed for only 185 yards and no touchdowns while throwing two interceptions against the Jets. That was in part because Cecil Shorts was out with a concussion and Antonio Cromartie locked up on Justin Blackmon.

Henne still is an upgrade from Blaine Gabbert but has declined every game in production while getting worse on turnovers. The one positive here - the Fins always allow at least one passing score to every visitor.

Maurice Jones-Drew remains out with no timetable when he will return though speculation is that he will be back right after he signs a new contract and not before. So next year, maybe on another team.

Cecil Shorts may still miss this week as well because his concussion kept him out of all practices and he still had a few tests he needed to pass. In his place the Jags started Kevin Elloit who only caught three of his ten throws for 38 yards and was noted by HC Mike Mularkey for dropping so many passes. Jordan Shipley actually managed five receptions for 55 yards and is starting to become a minor player from the slot.

Montel Owens rushed for a career best 91 yards and one score on 14 carries but much of that came on a 32-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter. Rashad Jennings is still dealing with his concussion and Owens is likely to get another start only this time against the #5 defense against the run.

The only fantasy value here is the potential for moderate passing stats and some yards by Justin Blackmon but losing Shorts leaves the Jags with no one else that the defense worries about. That should limit Blackmon as the only viable passing target.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 24 31 13 26 29 30
Preventing Fantasy Points MIA 16 5 15 17 25 22

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Chad Henne, JAC @IND 0000018012 ***
Henne has multiple touchdown passes in four straight games, though he hasn't topped 237 yards in any of those outings. He'll be better than Blaine Gabbert (179 & 0) was in the earlier meeting between these clubs; whether he'll do enough to be a fantasy helper is another matter entirely.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Brown, JAC @IND 004600000 ***
Indy has shut out the last two receiving corps they've faced, and with Jacksonville down to its depth receivers there isn't much to see here. Brown has been the most successful of late, so if you're reaching he's the one to reach for.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Ace Sanders, JAC @IND 003400000 ***
Sanders was a serviceable wingman in the earlier meeting with Indy, but he was a bit player last week against the Titans and has a total of just 63 yards the past three games. Tough to bank on him for any sort of fantasy contribution here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Marcedes Lewis, JAC @IND 005301000 ****
No tight end is hotter than Lewis, who has scored in four straight. It's not a particularly favorable matchup here, but with all of Jacksonville's wideouts hurt Lewis has become the go-to guy.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Scobee, JAC @IND 1111 ****
Scobee has just one double-digit effort all year, and it certainly wasn't his three-point showing in the earlier meeting with Indy. Get your kicks elsewhere.

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 13-27
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 JAC Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Tannehill 190
RB Knowshon Moreno 70,1 4-20
RB Daniel Thomas 10,1
WR Brandon Gibson 3-40
WR Brian Hartline 5-70
WR Mike Wallace 5-90,1

Pregame Notes: The Fins have two final home games that can lift them to a 7-8 record but that week 17 game in New England needs to be one where the Pats have nothing to win and let the Fins take the game and end up at .500. Probably not going to happen. The Dolphins offense has sputtered all year and scored more than one touchdown in just one of the last five games.

Ryan Tannehill heads up the worst passing attack in the league. Granted, the Cardinals are in free fall now but the FIns have held fast to their rookie quarterback in every game. Tannehill still only has eight passing touchdowns and rarely tops 200 yards. On the plus side, he doesn't turn the ball over often.

Reggie Bush comes off one of his most productive games of the year when he ran for 65 yards on 14 carries and added five receptions for 38 yards in San Francisco. More importantly, Lamar Miller only took three runs for one net yard and Daniel Thomas only ran twice for three yards. Instead of a three-headed monster, the Fins elected to go heavy with Bush who was far more productive then the other two. That could mean good things with these next two home games against the ultra-weak rushing defenses of the Jaguars and Bills.

Davone Bess and Brian Hartline still have no reliable fantasy value other than moderate yardage by Hartline when facing a weak secondary. They also just signed Armon Binns who was released by the Bengals who could not wait until the offseason to part ways with the same guy who started five games for them this year. There is never enough passing here to merit any fantasy starting considerations outside of a reception points league when Hartline plays a bad secondary.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 31 5 30 32 27 24
Preventing Fantasy Points JAC 26 29 23 5 31 19

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Ryan Tannehill, MIA NYJ 20000029021 ****
Tannehill threw for 331 & 2 in last month's meeting with the Jets, and with a playoff berth on the line he's expected to bounce back form the injury (and ineptitude) that knocked him out of last week's embarrassing shutout loss in Buffalo.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Knowshon Moreno, MIA NYJ 5004400000 ***
Three Broncos backs combined for 166 yards and a score in the earlier meeting with Oakland. Expect something similar this time around, with maybe a lighter load for Moreno as Denver rests him for the postseason. Still, his share of the work against an Oakland defense that's allowed 796 RB yards from scrimmage and 11 RB TDs the past month should be more than enough for him to be a fantasy helper.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Daniel Thomas, MIA NYJ 201000000 **
Thomas missed the earlier meeting with the Jets, but has two TDs and a 100-yard rushing game since. Assuming the Dolphins can shake off whatever ailed them in last week's embarrassing shutout loss to the Bills, Thomas should find room to rumble against a Jets defense that's allowed RB TDs in three straight, with two backs topping 150 combo yards in that span. UPDATE: Thomas is listed as questionable and was limited in practice Thursday and Friday. That likely reduces the share of carries he swipes from Lamar Miller.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lamar Miller, MIA NYJ 5002200000 ***
After being a stout run D most of the season the Jets have given up RB TDs in each of the past three games. Just prior to that streak starting, Miller produced 85 yards from scrimmage against the Jets in Week 13. He hasn't done much since, while Daniel Thomas has scored twice and had a 100-yard rushing game. But seeing the likes of Edwin Baker get to the end zone against the Jets at least provides hope Miller can do the same.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Wallace, MIA NYJ 007901000 ****
Wallace and Brian Hartline both scored in the earlier matchup with the Jets; both saw double-digit targets last week; and both have scored once in the three games since the last Dolphins/Jets game. With the Dolphins still clinging to a slim playoff chance, both are definitely in play against Gang Green this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brian Hartline, MIA NYJ 005600000 ***
Hartline and Mike Wallace both scored in the earlier matchup with the Jets; both saw double-digit targets last week; and both have scored once in the three games since the last Dolphins/Jets game. With the Dolphins still clinging to a slim playoff chance, both are definitely in play against Gang Green this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Rishard Matthews, MIA NYJ 003200000 ***
Sometimes a third receiver emerges behind Brian Hartline and Mike Wallace. It used to be Brandon Gibson, now it's Matthews, and in most cases it's a desperation fantasy play at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Charles Clay, MIA NYJ 006801000 ***
The Jets have been better against tight ends the second half of the season, but they've still surrendered two 80-yard games and a touchdown to the position over the past month. Clay hit the 80 mark on them in the earlier meeting, and with the Dolphins playing for their postseason lives he's as good a bet as any to be an offensive contributor.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Caleb Sturgis, MIA NYJ 1133 ****
Sturgis has double digits in three of his last four, including three weeks back against the Jets. At home, needing a win for a hope at a playoff spot, Sturgis should have ample opportunity to get his kicks.

WEEK 15
2012
CIN at PHI (THU) *GB at CHI *MIN at STL *SF at NE
CAR at SD IND at HOU *NYG at ATL TB at NO
DEN at BAL *JAC at MIA *PIT at DAL *WAS at CLE
*Updated *DET at ARI KC at OAK *SEA at BUF *NYJ at TEN (MON)

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