FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 11 IND at TEN (THU) CLE at CIN MIN at SEA SF at NO
ATL at TB DET at PIT OAK at HOU WAS at PHI
BAL at CHI GB at NYG NYJ at BUF NE at CAR (MON)
*UPDATED ARI at JAC KC at DEN SD at MIA On Bye: DAL, STL

Prediction: SD 23, MIA 20 (Line: SD by 1)

Players of Interest: Rishard Matthews

Update: Mike Wallace is questionable this week after his hamstring limited him in practices on Thursday and Friday. He could be an issue on Sunday morning so check his status. Eddie Royal is also questionable to play but he's been like this for a couple of weeks.

The 4-5 Chargers are on a two game losing streak and are only 2-3 in road games. The 4-5 Dolphins are just 2-2 at home and come off a short week having lost to the Buccaneers on Monday night. Apparently the situation about Richie Incognito and Johnathan Martin wasn't the culprit from being a distraction nearly as much as it meant the Fins were down two blockers and that really, really showed.

1 HOU 28-31 10 DEN 20-28
2 @PHI 33-30 11 @MIA -
3 @TEN 17-20 12 @KC -
4 DAL 30-21 13 CIN -
5 @OAK 17-27 14 NYG -
6 IND 19-9 15 @DEN -
7 @JAC 24-6 16 OAK -
8 BYE WEEK 17 KC -
9 @WAS 24-30 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
SD @ MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers 280,1
RB Donald Brown 20 4-50,1
RB Ryan Mathews 60,1 1-10
RB Danny Woodhead 30 5-50,1
WR Keenan Allen 7-100
WR Eddie Royal 4-30
TE Antonio Gates 6-60
PK Nick Novak 3 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Chargers have not been very competitive in road games this year and it would be easy to overlook this week coming off a loss to the Broncos and right before heading to Kansas City. But at 4-5 the Chargers may be out of the divisional race long ago but and only one game out of a wild card contention. Problem is that the schedule still holds two meetings with the Chiefs and one game in Denver. That's going to likely be the killer.

QUARTERBACKS: Philip Rivers was on a hot streak to start the year but that's cooled over the last month. He continues to score in every game but only posted five touchdowns total over the last month. The passing yardage tends to be healthy and he rarely throws interceptions but he need to face a weak secondary to be more than average.

RUNNING BACKS: The committee approach is alive and well for the Chargers who opted to use Ronnie Brown for nine runs versus the Broncos just when you thought he was gone for good. He carries no fantasy value and only serves to decrease what the other backs do. Ryan Mathews has been surprisingly effective and even scored twice over the last three weeks but he's been far less productive away from home in all but the Jaguars game. Danny Woodhead rarely runs for more than 30 yards but he is the most consistent running back thanks to catching up to nine passes each week and he scored four times as a receiver. He's no stud back but offers moderate stats each week particularly in reception point leagues.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Keenan Allen comes off his worst game in the last six weeks when he only gained 41 yards on four catches. He topped 100 yards and scored in Washington, Oakland and home against the Colts. He is the only reliable wideout on the team. Eddie Royal leads the team with seven touchdowns but his yardage is rarely much so when he doesn't score - like in five of the last seven games - he has no fantasy value at all. Vincent Brown remains amazingly unproductive for a starting receivers. Royal may catch the odd touchdown but only Allen serves as a way to advance down the field with any regularity.

TIGHT ENDS: Not unlike Rivers, Antonio Gates was hot for the first month when he scored twice and turned in two efforts over 100 yards but he's been back to mediocrity since. He is only averaging 44 yards per game for the last month and never scores despite getting eight to ten targets every week.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Dolphins at home have been outstanding against the pass allowing only two total touchdowns over the four games played there. The yardage can be high and the rushing defense needs help. But passing scores are scarce in Miami. While no opponent has featured a runner that gained over 100 yards on the Fins, they have allowed 12 touchdowns to the position. This is not a game for the wideouts since they only allowed one wide receiver to score all year - but four did top 100 yards on them. The question here is also how the Fins handle the on-going mess with Incognito-Gate. It obviously affected them against the Buccaneers and it won't likely be resolved by the weekend either. Keenan Allen is still worth a start despite the lack of scores for the position. Gates has a chance this week though the Fins have only been weak on the road against the position and Gates is hardly burning it up lately. The split backfield means a lot of risk involved for using wither Woodhead or Mathews.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SD 6 4 16 6 8 31
Preventing Fantasy Points MIA 6 31 5 22 27 25

 

1 @CLE 23-10 10 @TB 19-22
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 21-23 16 @BUF -
8 @NE 17-27 17 NYJ -
9 CIN 22-20 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
MIA vs SD Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Tannehill 230,2
RB Lamar Miller 70 3-20
RB Knowshon Moreno 60,1 6-40
RB Daniel Thomas 30
WR Brian Hartline 4-50,1
WR Rishard Matthews 5-60,1
WR Mike Wallace 4-60
TE Charles Clay 4-30
PK Caleb Sturgis 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Dolphins came out flat against the Buccaneers and fell behind 15-0 before getting into gear and finally gaining the lead. But in the end there was literally zero rushing offense and the offensive line problems gave up too critical sacks in the final drive. The distraction no doubt affects the coaches as much as the players and this all comes at a bad time since the schedule is going to get tougher. Losing to the Bucs was just a sign of the turning point the Fins have encountered.

QUARTERBACKS: Ryan Tannehill continues his quest to remain average though he was as good as three touchdowns facing the weak Bills secondary. But he was limited to only 229 yards in Tampa Bay and that was his best effort for the last four weeks. Tannehill is still little more than a game manager but can see an uptick when playing a really bad secondary.

RUNNING BACKS: Where this team goes with the rushing effort will be interesting. Losing Richie Incognito only made matters worse and the Fins only gained a total of zero yards from the 11 carries by Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas last Monday. Miller was good for over 100 total yards in each of the two previous games but the team's problems were most manifested in the rushing effort. Or lack of one. Relying on any runner for the Fins is risky and they've only rushed in four touchdowns this year. But Miller has been mostly productive at least for moderate yardage.

WIDE RECEIVERS: : Last week Rishard Matthews went from being a second-year player who had never scored and only totaled 21 career catches to being a star with 11 catches for 120 yards and two touchdowns in Tampa Bay. Mike Wallace missed his long passes and too often ends up with minimal yardage. He has just one touchdown on the year and yet was usually the most targeted until last week. Matthews played from the slot in place of Brandon Gibson and looked so good that he's a must-own just to see where this goes. Brian Hartline (5-57) had a normal game and almost always sticks around the 60 yard mark even in the best of games. This has been an underperforming group headed by the disappointing Wallace. But Gibson scored three times over his final two games and now suddenly Matthews looks just as good.

TIGHT ENDS: Charles Clay is now three games past his mini-scoring spree and still has marginal yardage every game. His role has been declining for the last month.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Chargers defense has been pretty solid in recent weeks other than when playing Peyton Manning. The yardage allowed can get high but they've been very good limiting opponents to two or less touchdowns via the pass. They also had prevented all running backs from scoring until week nine. The Chargers are bringing a mediocre rush offense anyway. The best plays here is really just Miller for some moderate yardage. Matthews is still a risk to rely on after just one good game and the rest of the offense is rarely any better than average with too big a risk of a flop game.

WHAT TO WATCH: Rishard Matthews will attract plenty of attention now. This will be a very good test to see if last Monday was just a freak aberration.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 20 32 11 14 17 11
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 29 8 30 14 13 12

WEEK 11 IND at TEN (THU) CLE at CIN MIN at SEA SF at NO
ATL at TB DET at PIT OAK at HOU WAS at PHI
BAL at CHI GB at NYG NYJ at BUF NE at CAR (MON)
*UPDATED ARI at JAC KC at DEN SD at MIA On Bye: DAL, STL


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