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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 C.J. Spiller 100,1 3-20
WR T.J. Graham 4-60
WR Stevie Johnson 6-80,1
WR Mike Williams 4-50,1
TE Scott Chandler 5-50
TE Tony Moeaki
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 E.J. Manuel, BUF @NE 30000023012 ***
Manuel opened the season with two touchdown passes against the Patriots, and he's hoping to be healthy enough to close the season with something similar. However, even if he's good to go he's had as many DNPs as multiple touchdown games on the year and is still looking for his first 300-yard passing game as a pro. UPDATE: Manuel is listed as doubtful, with Thad Lewis in line to take his place again.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Fred Jackson, BUF @NE 4004300000 ***
Jackson had the bigger day last week despite an even division of workload with C.J. Spiller; he also had the bigger day the last time Buffalo played the Patriots. So if you're feeling the need to play a Bills back this week against New England, trends suggest he's the safer bet.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB C.J. Spiller, BUF @NE 3002100000 ***
The wildly inconsistent Spiller hasn't posted back-to-back double-digit fantasy games this season. However, he does seem to have a knack for scoring after it matters, with receiving touchdowns in each of the past two Week 17s. Tough to bank on him against New England this week, but as per usual there's upside if you're willing to absorb the risk of his swing-for-the-fences production.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marquise Goodwin, BUF @NE 004601000 **
Goodwin continues to battle T.J. Graham for deep threat duties in Buffalo, a role with infrequent fantasy productivity
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Robert Woods, BUF @NE 005700000 ***
With Stevie Johnson's availability in question, Woods steps into Buffalo's primary receiver role. Assuming he doesn't slug anybody this week, he has a puncher's chance of being productive against a New England defense that's given up two touchdowns and three 100-yard games to WR1s over the past month.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR T.J. Graham, BUF @NE 003300000 ***
Graham continues to battle Marquise Goodwin for deep threat duties in Buffalo, a role with infrequent fantasy productivity
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Scott Chandler, BUF @NE 004300000 ***
Chandler had 38 yards in the season opener against New England, but he hasn't scored since Week 6 and can't be counted on here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Carpenter, BUF @NE 2211 ***
Carpenter mustered just three points in his earlier meeting with the Patriots. New England is playing for something, plus they've allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to kickers. You'll want to look elsewhere for help.

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 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 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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