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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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Game Predictions Summary

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WEEK 4
2010
NYJ at BUF* CIN at CLE* IND at JAC* CHI at NYG
SEA at STL* BAL at PIT* HOU at OAK* NE at MIA*
CAR at NO* DEN at TEN* WAS at PHI DAL, KC
*updated DET at GB* SF at ATL ARI at SD* MIN, TB

Prediction: NE 24, MIA 27

Update: Fred Taylor has been held out of practice this week and is not expected to play.


These teams have spent the last five years splitting the series other than 2007 when the Pats swept. Twice were home wins and twice were road wins. This will be a close game once again and on Monday night it should provide some fireworks. Both teams have lost to the Jets.

The Pats won 27-17 when the Fins visited last year but lost 21-22 in Miami.

New England Patriots (2-1)
Homefield: Gillette Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 CIN W 38-24 10 @PIT --
2 @NYJ L 14-28 11 IND --
3 BUF W 38-30 12 @DET --
4 @MIA -- 13 NYJ --
5 Bye - 14 @CHI --
6 BAL -- 15 GB --
7 @SD -- 16 @BUF --
8 MIN -- 17 MIA --
9 @CLE -- - - -
Patriots Report | Statistics | Roster
NEW ENGLAND at MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady - - 260,2
RB Fred Taylor 30 - -
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis 70,1 - -
TE Aaron Hernandez - 70,1 -
WR Randy Moss - 80,1 -
WR Wes Welker - 70 -
WR Julian Edelman - 10 -
PK Stephen Gostkowski 1 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: Here's an interesting dilemma that gets solved or proven. The Pats play at home and they score 38 points in a big game. Their one trip away so far resulted in a pretty big loss. Winning here would mean a 3-1 mark at the bye but a loss not only makes it 2-2, but also 0-2 in the division where tiebreakers often come into play. This is a very big game for only the fourth week of the season.

QUARTERBACK: Nothing wrong with Tom Brady who has passed right at 250 yards and two or three scores in every game so far. His one game with two scores came on the road as did the only interceptions (2) and lost fumble he has on the season. Brady has a full complement of receivers but he needs to both win this game for the divisional aspects and get rid of this apparent problem playing on the road.

Brady passed for 352 yards and two scores in Miami last year.

The Fins were great against the pass until last week when Mark Sanchez surprised them with 256 yards and three touchdowns. Figure on Brady being plenty safe for 250 and two scores and there's always the chance for more.

RUNNING BACKS: The Patriots had much fun taking down the Bills last week and while Fred Taylor was ineffective and nursing a toe injury, BenJarvus Green-Ellis came up big with 98 yards and a score on 16 rushes. Ex-Jet Danny Woodhead got his first carries of the season and had 42 yards and a touchdown on just three runs. Sammy Morris also had six runs for 19 yards and this backfield remains entirely convoluted and ever-changing.

The Pats combined for only 96 rushing yards and one score in Miami.

I'll project for Green-Ellis and Taylor but realize the tremendous risk and low confidence that involves.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Wes Welker has been declining in catches and is down to only four receptions for 45 yards last week. He also failed to score for the first time. Randy Moss had two scores but on his only two catches in the game. No wideout here has gained more than 64 yards in any game so far and Brady is actually relying more on tight ends than wideouts recently.

Welker ran it up on his old team when he had ten catches for 167 yards in Miami for 2009. Moss caught two passes for 66 yards and one score in that game. Sam Aiken caught an 81-yard touchdown as well. Both Welker and Moss are must starts of course and should have a score between them but so far the monster yardage games have not existed.

TIGHT ENDS: While rookie Rob Gronkowski has two scores, he exists just as a red zone target and otherwise is just a blocker. Aaron Hernandez has really found himself a niche on this team with six catches in each of the last two games and 206 yards on the season. The Fins have been very weak against tight ends so expect another fine game by Hernandez and hope that Gronkowski doesn't steal his touchdown.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NE 7 13 8 3 20 4
Preventing Fantasy Points MIA 7 14 9 29 6 7
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) NE 0 1 1 26 -14 3


Miami Dolphins (2-1)
Homefield: Dolphins Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @BUF W 15-10 10 TEN --
2 @MIN W 14-10 11 CHI --
3 NYJ L 23-31 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 vs NE Rush Catch Pass
QB Chad Henne - - 250,2
RB Ricky Williams 30 - -
RB Ronnie Brown 70,1 10 -
TE Anthony Fasano - 20,1 -
WR Brandon Marshall - 90 -
WR Brian Hartline - 50 -
WR Davone Bess - 70,1 -
PK Dan Carpenter 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Dolphins finally got some offense going last week but still dropped their home opener to the Jets. Chad Henne finally had a big game but in the end it they fell short and now need this win before their bye so they can rest at 3-1 and worry about getting even with the Jets later on. The reality with this offense is that it still hasn't really changed other than Brandon Marshall finally kicking into gear thanks to the sidelined Darrelle Revis.

QUARTERBACK: After throwing for two sub-200 games and just one score, Chad Henne rekindled last year by throwing for 363 yards and two touchdowns with one interception versus the Jets. Prior to that the Fins had won but entirely because of defense and field goal kicking.

Henne passed for 335 yards and two scores when the Pats came to Miami.

In three games played, the Pats secondary has never allowed less than two passing scores and gave up three to Mark Sanchez when they had their only previous road game. Figure Henne for those two scores and solid yardage.

RUNNING BACKS: For a team that prefers to run, this unit looks like it is inhabited by a senior citizen and a guy with scars all over his knees. Ricky Williams has recently developed a fumbling problem that won't improve when every defense finds out. Ronnie Brown has been plenty effective, rushing for 199 yards on 37 carries and a 5.4 yard rushing average but the Fins won't give him more than 13 carries so far because of Williams.

Williams rushed for 75 yards on 18 carries versus the Pats.

The Patriots have only allowed one rushing score but have been much softer on the road like giving up 128 yards to the Jets tandem. Brown could score here and have a moderate showing. With any luck, Williams will fumble yet again and Brown then get all the carries.

WIDE RECEIVERS: After two weeks combining for 12 catches for 124 yards, Brandon Marshall had a break out game against the Jets when he snared 10 passes for 166 yards and one score. The rest of the receivers were comparatively quiet like Davone Bess (6-86) who had his season best game as did Brian Hartline (5-84). The emergence of Marshall changes the entire offense if he can continue to produce.

The wideout Davone Bess (10-117, 1 TD) and Greg Camarillo (4-61) led the Fins when the Pats visited last year. The Pats have already allowed seven passing scores and four of those went to wide receivers. Look for Marshall to post a nice game here and Bess could as well. I like Bess to score the most as non-primary wideouts have been the ones most likely to score against the Pats. The second score could end up here as well and would favor Marshall but could end up with a tight end just as easily.

TIGHT ENDS: Anthony Fasano has minimal use in most games but he comes off a touchdown against the Jets and faces one of the weakest teams against tight ends. I like the second touchdown here as have one in each of the last two weeks against the Pats. But it may end up with Marshall and Fasano won't produce any notable yardage in the game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 25 24 10 25 14 11
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 29 16 27 27 29 12
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) MIA 4 -8 17 2 15 1

WEEK 4
2010
NYJ at BUF CIN at CLE IND at JAC CHI at NYG
SEA at STL BAL at PIT HOU at OAK NE at MIA
CAR at NO DEN at TEN WAS at PHI DAL, KC
  DET at GB SF at ATL ARI at SD MIN, TB
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