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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 16
2012
ATL at DET (SAT) CLE at DEN NO at DAL *SF at SEA
BUF at MIA *IND at KC *NYG at BAL STL at TB
CHI at ARI MIN at HOU OAK at CAR *TEN at GB
*Updated CIN at PIT *NE at JAC SD at NYJ WAS at PHI

Prediction: BUF 17, MIA 24 (Line: MIA by 4)

Players to Watch: C.J. Spiller, Reggie Bush

This is a replay of week 11 when the Bills won 19-14 in Buffalo. The 5-9 Bills are only 2-5 away from home and the 6-8 Dolphins are 4-3 at home. Chances that this game ends up boring and low scoring is exceptionally high.

Buffalo Bills
Homefield: Ralph Wilson Stadium
AstroTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NYJ 28-48 10 @NE 31-37
2 KC 35-17 11 MIA 19-14
3 @CLE 24-14 12 @IND 13-20
4 NE 28-52 13 JAC 34-18
5 @SF 3-45 14 STL 12-15
6 @ARI 19-16 15 SEA 17-50
7 TEN 34-35 16 @MIA -----
8 BYE ----- 17 NYJ -----
9 @HOU 9-21 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Bryce Brown 40,1 3-20
RB C.J. Spiller 100,1 3-20
WR Mike Williams 4-50,1
TE Scott Chandler 5-50
PK Dan Carpenter

Pregame Notes: The Bills are ending another disappointing season that started out 2-1 and just went south from there. Like 2011, Ryan Fitzpatrick began the year red hot posting three and four touchdown games. By now, he's only thrown five touchdowns over the last five games and had four different matchups produce no touchdowns. His yardage remains low in all but New England games. Fitzpatrick only passed for 168 yards and no scores in the first meeting with the Dolphins.

With Fred Jackson gone yet again, C.J. Spiller is left to shoulder almost the entire load and has been a solid fantasy play nearly every week including 103 yards and a score against the Seahawks just last Sunday. Spiller ran for 91 yards on 22 carries in the last meeting with the Fins while Fred Jackson missed that game as well. Tashard Choice is the #2 but gets almost no work and was limited to a single carry just last week. Whatever is there to get, Spiller now takes it all.

Donald Jones has been placed on the season-ending non-football/illness list because of his calf and that only serves to weaken the receiving corps which already is limited to mostly Stevie Johnson who comes off his best game of the year when he turned in eight catches for 115 yards and one score on the Seahawks last week. He only only scored three times over the last ten games and ended with six receptions for 79 yards in the last meeting with the Fins for an average sort of game.

The Bills have already struggled to score more than 20 points in games and only managed 19 in the win over the Fins. They won that game thanks to a punt return for a touchdown and four field goals and never scored in the second half.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 22 8 27 16 23 22
Preventing Fantasy Points MIA 16 6 13 6 22 18

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB EJ Manuel, BUF SD 10000021011 ***
The Bolts served up multiple TD tosses to both QBs they've faced thus far this year, but Manual hasn't thrown multiples since Week 15 of last year. That means he'll need a rushing score to salvage his fantasy day, and the Chargers haven't allowed a QB rushing TD since Week 3 of last year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB C.J. Spiller, BUF SD 5003201000 ***
Spiller is essentially sharing carries with Fred Jackson, which against a stout San Diego defense won't amount to much in the way of fantasy help. However, he's also involved in the passing game and special teams (see last week's return TD), and that's a place the Bolts are vulnerable so don't write off Spiller as a lost cause this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Fred Jackson, BUF SD 3003200000 ****
Only four teams have allowed fewer rushing yards this year than the Chargers... but only three teams have allowed more receiving yards to RBs. Jackson can get his work done in the passing game to salvage his fantasy day.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF SD 005700000 ***
On the heels of his bustout game last week Watkins gets a San Diego defense that has for the most part kept opposing wideouts in check--with the notable exception of speed guys like Michael Floyd, who had 119 receiving yards, and Percy Harvin, who had a 51-yard TD* run. Watkins certainly has speed to burn, so if you're dipping into the Buffalo passing game for fantasy help this week he's your best bet.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Robert Woods, BUF SD 004500000 ***
Woods' brief run as the Bills' go-to receiver lasted all of one game as he was leap-frogged last week by Sammy Watkins. No reason to think he'll get that gig back any time soon.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Williams, BUF SD 002300000 ***
Williams has 39 yards in two games as a Bill, and the Chargers haven't been overly friendly to opposing passing games--especially secondary targets. This isn't rocket science.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Scott Chandler, BUF SD 002200000 ***
Mr. September's window of opportunity is slamming shut, and a Chargers' defense that's surrendered just three TE receptions on the year is likely to help hasten the process.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF SD 3311 ***
There's something to be said for tagging along on an offense that's good enough to get close but not good enough to seal the deal; that's how Carpenter has come to lead the NFL in field goals. You could do worse if you were reaching for kicking help this week.

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 24-3
7 BYE ----- 16 BUF -----
8 @NYJ 30-9 17 @NE -----
9 @IND 20-23 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
MIA vs BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Tannehill 10 220,2
RB Lamar Miller 20
RB Knowshon Moreno 80,1 3-20
WR Brandon Gibson 4-60
WR Brian Hartline 6-80,1
WR Rishard Matthews 4-60
WR Mike Wallace 5-70,1

Pregame Notes: A win this week makes it two in a row and the Fins are happy enough with the progress made in HC Joe Philbin's first season that everything will remain on track as is. That means Ryan Tannehill remains the starter who just had a very costly and painful learning curve. The rookie only passed for ten touchdowns this year but had five over these last five weeks. He remains more of a game manager anyway and has been mostly below 200 yards. He only completed 14 of 28 for 141 yards and one score in the Buffalo meeting during week 11.

Daniel Thomas injured his knee last week but has fallen from favor anyway and was recently passed on the depth chart by Lamar Miller. There is no fantasy value in the #2 back and Miller only gained 18 yards on six carries as a high game since week three.

Reggie Bush comes off a 104 yard effort over the Jaguars and after spending much of the mid-season with very marginal stats, he's really stepped up lately. Bush has been good for 80+ total yards in three of the last four games and looks better. With 15 - 20 carries in recent games, the Fins are starting to rely on his again just in time for the season to conclude and Bush potentially end up as a free agent in March. Bush only accounted for 20 yards on ten carries in the previous game with the Bills who have become far worse against the running backs on the road this year.

Davone Bess scored on the Bills last time with his six receptions for 50 yards and it was his lone touchdown of the year. Brian Hartline was limited to only 49 yards on four receptions in that game and also has just one touchdown to his credit for the season. This game is going to be lower scoring and more about the run and defense. There's not much fantasy points to cull from this game other than Reggie Bush and his potential for moderate stats.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 28 5 30 31 25 25
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 28 28 21 17 14 25

  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.
Update: Clay practiced on a limited basis all week and is listed as questionable. There's some risk to go with his potential reward.
  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.

WEEK 16
2012
ATL at DET (SAT) CLE at DEN NO at DAL *SF at SEA
BUF at MIA *IND at KC *NYG at BAL STL at TB
CHI at ARI MIN at HOU OAK at CAR *TEN at GB
*Updated CIN at PIT *NE at JAC SD at NYJ WAS at PHI

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