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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 Kyle Orton, BUF @OAK 0000019011 ***
We've seen nothing from Orton of late--one multi-TD game in his last six outings--to suggest he warrants a fantasy play here, even in a reasonably compelling matchup with the Raiders.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Fred Jackson, BUF @OAK 6016500000 ***
While you can run on the Raiders, and the Bills and Jackson most certainly will, where they're particularly susceptible is to pass-catching backs. Fred has 19 catches in the four games since he returned to action; that coupled with his carries makes him a good fantasy start that elevates to great in PPR formats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Anthony Dixon, BUF @OAK 2001100000 ***
Dixon's role never really materialized when the Bills were down a couple backs; now that Fred Jackson and potentially CJ Spiller are back, he's persona non grata.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bryce Brown, BUF @OAK 200000000 ***
Complementary backs have done next to nothing since the return of Fred Jackson, and it will take garbage time for Brown to see enough touches to have a fantasy impact. But it's Oakland, so we're sayin' there's a chance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Robert Woods, BUF @OAK 003500000 ***
Woods has had a couple big games against the Jets, but that just puts him in the big pile of "receivers with a pulse". With Kyle Orton's subdued numbers there's likely room for just one fantasy impact player among Buffalo's receivers--and Sammy Watkins has that covered.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF @OAK 004400000 ***
Two of the three 100-yard games the Raiders have given up to opposing wide receivers have gone to speed guys (Malcom Floyd, Stedman Bailey). Watkins is most certainly a speed guy, not to mention the Bills' top target--and the best bet for fantasy success in the Buffalo passing game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Scott Chandler, BUF @OAK 003201000 **
The Raiders have given up five TE TDs in the past six games so don't dismiss Chandler out of hand. But he has one TD in the past six games, so he's far from a lock.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF @OAK 1133 ****
Carpenter has double-digits in two of the past three and at least seven points in six of the past seven--numbers sure to be equaled or exceeded against an Oakland defense that's allowed at least seven kicker points in 13 of 14 games, and double-digit points six times already.

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 LaMichael James 20
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 MIN 0000022010 ***
Tannehill has just two passing scores in his last three games, and the Vikings are no pushovers themselves having held Matthew Stafford and Cam Newton to one TD apiece. Moreover, after running more earlier in the season Tannehill hasn't topped 21 rushing yards since Week 10 so he's not augmenting his passing numbers. It adds up to what looks like a pedestrian outing for Tannehill; no fantasy help here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lamar Miller, MIA MIN 7011100000 ***
Miller continues to clock in with a steady dose of 12-15 carries per game, but he's regularly churning out just 50-60 yards with those carries--and he has just one TD in his last six games. The Vikings have held running backs out of the end zone in three straight, though they've allowed four backs to top 50 yards in that span. If you've enjoyed what you've been getting from Miller, this should be no different; odds are you want a little more in championship week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Wallace, MIA MIN 005501000 ***
Both Miami receivers have speed, which the Vikings have struggled to defend this season. Both warrant fantasy starts based on performance, targets, and matchups. But Minnesota is far from a walkover, so don't look for big numbers; more like, just enough.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jarvis Landry, MIA MIN 004700000 ***
If you consider Landry the WR2 to Mike Wallace he may actually be in a better position to score here: over the past three games it's been the WR1s with the yardage, but in two of the three games the touchdowns have gone to secondary targets like Philly Brown and Golden Tate. Does that make Landry a more likely touchdown candidate? Perhaps. Either way he's a decent fantasy start, but Ryan Tannehill's totals limit the upside of any member of the Miami passing game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Charles Clay, MIA MIN 005500000 ***
Used to be the Vikings were suckers for tight ends; under Mike Zimmer they've given up just three TDs all season. They have allowed some yardage of late, however, so the frequently targeted Clay at least remains on the fantasy radar.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Caleb Sturgis, MIA MIN 2222 ***
Sturgis has multiple treys in three straight and eight of the last nine; if his offense would get him some PAT opportunities as well he'd have more double-digit points outings to show for it. He should stay hot in the field goal department against a Vikings defense that's given up 10 treys in the past three games, but expect the lack of PATs to continue against Minnesota, as they've allowed only three TDs in the past three games.

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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