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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Sortable Player Projections
Game Predictions Summary

Projections by Team
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WEEK 1
2010
MIN at NO ATL at PIT* OAK at TEN* GB at PHI
MIA at BUF CLE at TB* CAR at NYG DAL at WAS
IND at HOU* CIN at NE* SF at SEA BAL at NYJ
*UPDATED DET at CHI DEN at JAC* ARI at STL* SD at KC

Prediction: MIA 20 , BUF 24

These divisional rivals both missed out on the playoffs last year and a late season collapse left the Fins at 7-9 while the Bills finished at 6-10. These teams traded home victories with the Fins winning 38-10 in Miami and later the Bills outscored them 31-14 in Buffalo.

Miami Dolphins (0-0)
Homefield: Dolphins Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @BUF -- 10 TEN --
2 @MIN -- 11 CHI --
3 NYJ -- 12 @OAK --
4 NE -- 13 CLE --
5 Bye - 14 @NYJ --
6 @GB -- 15 BUF --
7 PIT -- 16 DET --
8 @CIN -- 17 @NE --
9 @BAL -- - - -
Dolphins Report | Statistics | Roster
MIAMI at BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Chad Henne - - 230,1
RB Ricky Williams 60 20 -
RB Ronnie Brown 90,1 20 -
TE Anthony Fasano - 20 -
WR Brandon Marshall - 80 -
WR Brian Hartline - 40 -
WR Davone Bess - 40 -
PK Dan Carpenter 2 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Dolphins found a new quarterback last year and brought on a new wideout for 2010 but remain with the same aged backfield. This is a running team by preference though the pass will be more featured this year. While most areas were shored up over the offseason and through the draft, the backfield remains a potential problem yet again if injuries continue to visit.

QUARTERBACKS: Chad Henne opens the year as the starter and bringing on Brandon Marshall has to help. The ex-Michigan star really sparked optimism when he ended 2009 with two games over 300 pass yards in the last three weeks. Henne has been making do with below average receivers but the pass-sponge Marshall is an immediate and welcomed upgrade. The Fins will need to throw more this year and Henne is developing at a nice pace.

Henne passed for 175 yards and one score in Buffalo last year. He only had 115 yards and a touchdown when the Bills were the visitors.

RUNNING BACKS: Ronnie Brown was lost for the year in 2009 with a foot injury which has since healed. Brown says his foot came back much quicker than his knee did when he had surgery on that. Therein is the rub - Brown is a 29-year old back with just one season where he wasn't injured. He has been productive when playing and remains the #1 runner here but it is a committee and Brown doesn't always stick around for 16 games.

Ricky Williams is back as well and between he and Brown they have spent 62 years on this planet. The 33 year-old Williams remains productive thanks in part to taking time off from football. But this is a unit that is harder to call each week since there will be a rotation and the coaches do not prefer one over the other. The addition of Marshall to the receivers should have a positive effect here by demanding opposing defenses to respect the pass more.

Ricky Williams ran for 115 yards and a score on 27 carries in Buffalo last year. In the first meeting back in Miami, Brown rushed for 115 yards and two scores and Williams added 85 yards and a touchdown as well.

Look for a decent showing against one of the weakest rush defenses around. But by the same token, the Bills were great against the pass.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The only question is how much is left over for the rest? Brandon Marshall is looking for his fourth straight 100 catch season and the Fins would like to oblige but that would just about starve all others on this offense. Davone Bess and Brian Hartline will figure in but until a few games are played, chances are best that Marshall has ruined the fantasy stock of all other receivers on this team.

No Miami wideout had more than 42 yards in either matchup with the Bills last year.

TIGHT ENDS: Anthony Fasano is the primary tight end but this offense calls for blocking from the position. Fasano only had 31 catches for 339 yards in 2009. Fasano had five catches for 74 yards in Buffalo last year in what was easily his best game. Expect less with Marshall there.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 26 5 21 26 12 13
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 2 30 3 12 10 27


Buffalo Bills (0-0)
Homefield: Ralph Wilson Stadium
AstroTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 MIA -- 10 DET --
2 @GB -- 11 @CIN --
3 @NE -- 12 PIT --
4 NYJ -- 13 @MIN --
5 JAC -- 14 CLE --
6 Bye - 15 @MIA --
7 @BAL -- 16 NE --
8 @KC -- 17 @NYJ --
9 CHI -- - - -
Bills Report | Statistics | Roster
BUFFALO vs MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Trent Edwards - - 200,1
RB C.J. Spiller 70,1 30 -
RB Fred Jackson 20,1 10 -
WR Lee Evans - 60,1 -
WR Steve Johnson - 50 -
PK Rian Lindell 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Bills, yet again, till the soil and bring on Chan Gailey as the new head coach and Curtis Modkins as the offensive coordinator. Terrell Owens has been released and the team acquired C.J. Spiller from the NFL draft. This will be a rebuilding year but starting out at home against a well known opponent should be the best outcome for the first month. Gailey has to determine what he has to work with but he has been very adept at shaping teams to fit what is there.

QUARTERBACKS: The Bills return Trent Edwards as the starter but Gailey had called for an open competition in training camp. Brian Brohm was not the challenger that was expected and Edwards gets it by default but he's never been that effective and has suffered through various injuries in his first three teams. Some question if he is just shell-shocked from getting mauled the last few years.

Edwards passed for 192 yards and a score in Miami. Ryan Fitzpatrick was the starter in week 12 when the Bills hosted the Fins and he passed for 246 yards and one score plus had a rushing touchdown as well.

At home using a scheme that Miami has not seen before should allow Edwards a little success to start the year.

RUNNING BACKS: The addition of C.J. Spiller has to help this unit though it will likely just water down the fantasy value of this backfield. Spiller is on the smaller side at 5'11" and 196 pounds but then again that's more than what Chris Johnson weighs. Fred Jackson remains as the lunchbox-in-hand running back that plays a bit above his head and Marshawn Lynch is the draft pick that never took off. Spiller will be the focus of the rushing game but it may take some time to get him completely on track. There is really no where to go but up with this unit - they only had four rushing scores by running backs last year - worst in the league along with the Rams.

Fred Jackson would take up any slack but he is nursing a fractured hand and will be limited at best. He has not been ruled out this week which should make Lynch feel even worse about himself. I will project for Spiller and a limited Jackson.

Jackson rushed for 74 yards and two scores when the Fins visited last year. The Fins are weaker against the running backs but the Bills at home will want to run more.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Terrell Owens is gone but he wasn't really replaced. Steve Johnson has been promoted up which is impressive since he only had two receptions last year, 12 in his two-year career and has only averaged 7.6 yards per catch. Lee Evans wants to return to his pre-Owens ways when he would gain 1000 yards per year. The team released James Hardy last week so the slot is still in flux with Roscoe Parrish and David Nelson vying for work which will not amount to much anyway.

The Fins have been weaker against the pass and when they last visited, Owens had a big game and a score. The wideouts left behind are not that good but Evans is the most likely of them to do much this week.

TIGHT ENDS: They only have blocking tight ends here so no fantasy value even if they wanted.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 27 27 22 31 14 14
Preventing Fantasy Points MIA 30 13 26 22 31 17

WEEK 1
2010
MIN at NO ATL at PIT OAK at TEN GB at PHI
MIA at BUF CLE at TB CAR at NYG DAL at WAS
IND at HOU CIN at NE SF at SEA BAL at NYJ
  DET at CHI DEN at JAC ARI at STL SD at KC
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