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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 CLE 0000023020 ***
We know Orton can have his way with the Jets; that's no surprise. But maybe, just maybe he can have his way with the Browns as well, especially considering they've allowed multiple touchdown tosses in two straight and three of four, even to relatively nondescript QBs (Mike Glennon, Ryan Mallett, Matt Ryan).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Fred Jackson, BUF CLE 3004300000 ***
Jackson was healthy enough for about half the workload last week, so you'd think he can add to that workload--and his fantasy production--here. At minimum he's a good fantasy start against a softish Browns' run D; given a larger share, he's even more than that.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Anthony Dixon, BUF CLE 400000000 ***
Dixon looks to be Buffalo's goal line guy, but the Browns are more about giving up yards than scores so that puts a crimp in Dixon's fantasy value this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bryce Brown, BUF CLE 2001100000 ***
Brown appears to be the Bills third wheel with Fred Jackson back, so even if Buffalo carves out some fantasy value for one or two backs he's on the outside looking in.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF CLE 004501000 ***
Joe Haden has been playing better, but that hasn't prevented WR1s from putting up solid fantasy games four of the past five weeks. In other words, you can exhibit concern but no need to fear a Haden/Watkins matchup this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Chris Hogan, BUF CLE 006600000 ***
Hogan has been creeping up on Robert Woods' targets, but all that's doing is making both tough fantasy starts as there simply isn't enough passing game production to go around.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Robert Woods, BUF CLE 003500000 ***
Woods exploded last week against the Jets, but this is still Sammy Watkins' passing game; reaching deeper is a risky fantasy proposition at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Scott Chandler, BUF CLE 003300000 ***
The Browns haven't given up much to opposing tight ends this year, and with Chandler sharing looks with two other TEs he's a difficult at best fantasy start.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF CLE 3322 ***
Carp's been consistently around 10 points per game over the past month; maybe dial it back a bit due to weather, but he's still a solid fantasy option here.

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 @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.

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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