FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 7 SEA at ARI (THU) CIN at DET HOU at KC STL at CAR
BUF at MIA DAL at PHI SD at JAC TB at ATL
CHI at WAS DEN at IND SF at TEN MIN at NYG (MON)
*UPDATED BAL at PIT CLE at GB NE at NYJ On Bye: NO, OAK

Prediction: BUF 20, MIA 26 (Line: MIA by 8

Update: Brandon Gibson is questionable this week because of his hip but is expected to play. He was just added to the injury report after being limited on Friday. Both Stevie Johnson and C.J. Spiller are upgraded to probable and went through full practices on Friday.

The Bills are 0-2 on the road and face theDolphins who are 1-1 at home and coming off their bye. These teams traded home wins in 2012. The Fins won 24-10 in Miami and the Bills took theirs 19-14 in Buffalo.

1 NE 21-23 10 @PIT -
2 CAR 24-23 11 NYJ -
3 @NYJ 26-16 12 BYE WEEK
4 BAL 23-20 13 ATL -
5 @CLE 24-37 14 @TB -
6 CIN 24-27 15 @JAC -
7 @MIA - 16 MIA -
8 @NO - 17 @NE -
9 KC - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Fred Jackson 60,1 4-40
RB C.J. Spiller 70 2-10
WR T.J. Graham 2-30
WR Mike Williams 5-70
WR Robert Woods 3-40
TE Scott Chandler 3-50,1
PK Dan Carpenter 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Bills were without their quarterback, best wideout and C.J. Spiller was hobbled and yet they still managed to only lose by three points to the visiting Bengals. They play all home games close though the road has been less kind and there is a question of which players will be available this week. The Bills are just about to plunge into a brutal five week tour of great defenses before reaching their bye in week 12.

QUARTERBACKS: E.J. Manuel remains out with his sprained LCL but HC Doug Marrone said he was ahead of schedule and and may be back faster than initially expected. For this week, the Bills will look to again go with Thad Lewis who was solid throwing for two scores and 216 yards on the Bengals and added a rushing score as well. Lewis suffered a mild foot sprain in the game but he had no ligament damage and is tentatively expected to start again this week.

The Bills just signed Matt Flynn for insurance and hope they never get down to needing him like all his previous employers.

RUNNING BACKS: C.J. Spiller is still active on game days despite nursing a bad ankle but he was limited to only 10 carries for 55 yards versus the Bengals and eight runs in Cleveland. Fred Jackson is taking up the slack though he was held to a season worst rushing total of 35 yards and 13 yards as a receiver. Spiller hasn't been effective since back in week two. His role as a receiver shrank to nothing and his ankle is making him just a part-timer in the offense. Jackson's role remains static with ten to 15 carries and four catches per week.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Stevie Johnson missed last week while attending a funeral in California and nursing a sore back. I'll assume he can return this week and update as needed. His back was never referred to as a long-term issue. Johnson's worth took a huge hit once Manuel left anyway. Robert Woods was all alone in the Cincy game and bottled up for only two short catches. T.J. Graham (4-74) and Marquise Goodwin (2-51, TD) both enjoyed season highs. It was both surprising and encouraging that both Graham and Goodwin would step up with Johnson out and Woods blanketed.

TIGHT ENDS: Scott Chandler was held to only two catches by the Bengals but gained 47 yards and scored his second touchdown this year. Chandler is still a minor player here but fairly consistent with 40+ yard games.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Dolphins are average at best against the pass but the Bills on the road with a gimpy Lewis does not inspire much confidence. Joe Flacco was just held to no scores there last week and Matt Ryan scored twice but only passed for 231 yards in week three. Where this game should be positive is with the rushing since the Fins allowed six scores in five games to running backs and ample total yardage for each opponent. That makes Fred Jackson and even a risky Spiller considerations this week. The road venue makes relying on any element of the pass offense too risky to consider. One exception - though still a risk, at least Chandler will go against a defense that yielded six scores to tight ends already.

WHAT TO WATCH: Until Manuel returns and Spiller gets healthy, this offense won't take the next step forwards and struggle in most games.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 27 7 29 23 15 12
Preventing Fantasy Points MIA 21 31 10 30 25 21

 

1 @CLE 23-10 10 @TB -
2 @IND 24-20 11 SD -
3 ATL 27-23 12 CAR -
4 @NO 17-38 13 @NYJ -
5 BAL 23-26 14 @PIT -
6 BYE WEEK 15 NE -
7 BUF - 16 @BUF -
8 @NE - 17 NYJ -
9 CIN - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
MIA vs BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Tannehill 10 290,2
RB Lamar Miller 70 1-10
RB Knowshon Moreno 50,1 3-30
WR Brandon Gibson 6-50
WR Brian Hartline 5-60,1
WR Mike Wallace 6-110,1
TE Charles Clay 3-30
PK Caleb Sturgis 4 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Dolphins come off their bye week still waiting for the offense to catch a spark and score more than 27 points in a game and for the rushing effort to bear more fruit than some of the worst stats in the entire NFL. Ryan Tannehill is improved if only incrementally but the offense lacks both balance and production.

QUARTERBACKS: Ryan Tannehill scored in each game so far but only once was able to throw for over one touchdown and his yardage remains consistently good with out ever combining for a great game. He's also been sacked at least four times in every matchup and after just five games has already been taken down 24 times.

RUNNING BACKS: The Dolphins are slowly shifting to using Lamar Miller more than Daniel Thomas but neither has rushed more than 14 times in any game. Both scored twice as runners and serve very little role as a receiver. Miller is consistently the superior rusher and yet HC Joe Philbin still speaks to how well Daniels plays. Miller won't ever be a big-time contributor since he doesn't catch much but he could challenge 100 yards in most weeks if they would just stop squandering carries on Thomas.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The lack of scoring means no wideout has that much fantasy value but they are pretty consistent with moderate yardage in every game. Brian Hartline, Brandon Gibson and Mike Wallace all contribute each week and combine for the 10th best fantasy points in the league but somehow never manage to have anyone with a big game. Wallace owns the only two 100 yard efforts but also turned in three games with fewer than 30 yards.

TIGHT ENDS: Charles Clay is thrown exactly six passes every week and usually ends up around 40 to 50 yards. He scored in the most recent two games and like the wideouts is consistently sort of good and yet never great.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Bills are good against the run and only given up one rushing touchdown to a running back. Since the backfield is still split, only moderate yardage and no score is safe to assume for Miller. Tannehill goes against a weak secondary that gives up a couple of scores to every quarterback along with high yardage in almost every game. Miller is a moderate play but Tannehill, Wallace and Hartline are reasonable considerations with upside.

WHAT TO WATCH: If the Fins would just turn Thomas into a full-time back, it would help open up the entire offense. They are heading that way but too slowly.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 17 29 10 11 8 17
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 22 7 31 2 31 23

WEEK 7 SEA at ARI (THU) CIN at DET HOU at KC STL at CAR
BUF at MIA DAL at PHI SD at JAC TB at ATL
CHI at WAS DEN at IND SF at TEN MIN at NYG (MON)
*UPDATED BAL at PIT CLE at GB NE at NYJ On Bye: NO, OAK


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