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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 GB 0000024022 ***
Orton has fallen off the fantasy pace; his only multiple passing score game in the past five weeks came against the hapless Jets secondary. He did rush for a score against Denver to salvage his fantasy line, and he'll likely be forced into a similar throwing scenario against Green Bay this week. The Pack has allowed multiple TDs in four straight overall and four straight on the road, so consider Orton a fringe option if you're scouring the depths for fantasy help.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Fred Jackson, BUF GB 4003200000 ***
There aren't many fantasy helpers among Buffalo's backfield stat lines this season, nor are there many against Green Bay since their Week 9 bye. The best bet might be some receiving yards and a goal line opportunity, making Jackson a fringe fantasy option at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Anthony Dixon, BUF GB 300000000 ***
Dixon's touches are in decline with Fred Jackson back in the mix. He wasn't doing enough with them when they were more copious and he's unlikely to reverse that trend against the Packers this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sammy Watkins, BUF GB 006801000 **
The Packers have allowed multiple WR TDs in each of their last four games, but the receivers who tend to have the most success against them are big-bodied guys (Brandon Marshall, Jordan Matthews, Brandon LaFell, Julio Jones). Not that Watkins can't do some damage, but don't look for him to match Julio's 11-259-1 from last week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Chris Hogan, BUF GB 002201000 **
Hogan has found the end zone each of the previous two games, though it's tough to say whether or not he's overtaken Robert Woods for wingman duties. The likely scenario is Buffalo needing to throw another 57 times to keep up with the Packers offense, which definitely opens the door for Hogan to make a fantasy splash.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Robert Woods, BUF GB 005700000 ***
Woods has been an inconsistent contributor, following up 9-118-1 against the Jet with 4-71 and 3-36 the past two weeks. That's not trending the right way, and with Chris Hogan stealing touchdowns each of the past two games it's tough to bank on Woods for fantasy help--even if Kyle Orton throws another 57 passes this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Scott Chandler, BUF GB 003300000 ***
The Packers have kept tight ends out of the end zone in 12 of 13 games this year, so Chandler's best bet is yardage. He posted 8-81 last week, which roughly matched his combined output of the previous six games; that's nowhere near a consistency that would bump Chandler into fantasy usability.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF GB 1122 ***
You don't beat the Packers kicking field goals; only one team has attempted more than two against them all year. There are certainly scenarios where the Bills play great defense and keep this one close, but they'll need more TDs than treys so Carpenter's upside is limited.

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 @NE 20000024011 ***
Tannehill has multiple TD tosses in three straight against New England, but his upside is limited as the only quarterbacks to throw for 300 yards against the Patriots are elite-level guys Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck, and Aaron Rodgers. Adequate yardage and a couple scores put Tannehill on the fringe of fantasy relevancy.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Lamar Miller, MIA @NE 6004200000 ***
Miller remains stuck around the 50 yard mark with maybe a touchdown, and nothing the Patriots have allowed suggests he'll exceed those numbers. He's a fringe fantasy helper at best this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jarvis Landry, MIA @NE 005701000 ***
Landry was a non-factor in the earlier meeting but could be the go-to receiver if Darrelle Revis locks down Mike Wallace. It won't be a cakewalk for the rookie, but his odds of posting helpful fantasy numbers are certainly better than a Revis-covered Wallace.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Wallace, MIA @NE 004600000 ***
Wallace has scored in two straight against the Patriots, but all that means is he likely gets slapped with Darrelle Revis this week and watches his production go bye-bye.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brian Hartline, MIA @NE 003400000 ****
Third receivers often find success against the Patriots, not surprising when you consider who their top two cornerbacks are. Hartline could follow in the footsteps of Davante Adams, Hakeem Nicks, and Chris Hogan, though the upside is limited.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Charles Clay, MIA @NE 003400000 ***
Clay is sharing looks with Dion Sims and facing a pretty good defense against tight ends, so look elsewhere for fantasy help.
Update: Oh, and Clay is also dealing with hamstring and knee injuries and was limited in practice all week. So he's got that working against him as well.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Caleb Sturgis, MIA @NE 3311 ***
Sturgis' biggest game of the season came against Miami back in Week 1 when he hit four treys and three PATs in the Dolphins' win. New England hasn't allowed as much since, and it would be folly to bank on such a big number in New England. But at least you know he can put points on the board against the Patriots so he can remain on your fantasy radar.

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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