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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Sortable Player Projections
Game Predictions Summary

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WEEK 8
2010
*GB at NYJ *CAR at STL *MIN at NE *HOU at IND
*DEN at SF WAS at DET *SEA at OAK ATL, BAL
JAC at DAL *BUF at KC TB at ARI CHI, CLE
*UPDATED MIA at CIN *TEN at SD *PIT at NO NYG, PHI

Prediction: MIA 19, CIN 20

The Dolphins come off a very painful loss to the Steelers and at 3-3 with home losses to the Jets and Patriots, even a wildcard is going to be a challenge to reach this year. In a very strange oddity, the Dolphins are 3-0 on the road and 0-3 at home. The Bengals have lost their last three games and are only 1-1 at home. This is a coin toss game.

Miami Dolphins (3-3)
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 L 14-41 13 CLE --
5 Bye - 14 @NYJ --
6 @GB W 23-20 15 BUF --
7 PIT L 22-23 16 DET --
8 @CIN -- 17 @NE --
9 @BAL -- - - -
Dolphins Report | Statistics | Roster
MIAMI at CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Chad Henne - - 230,2
RB Ricky Williams 50 - -
RB Ronnie Brown 50 10 -
TE Anthony Fasano - 20 -
WR Brandon Marshall - 90,1 -
WR Brian Hartline - 40 -
WR Davone Bess - 60,1 -
PK Dan Carpenter 1 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Dolphins are 3-3 because they are about average in all facets of the game. A moderate rushing game is split into two and aside from playing against divisional rivals, the stats are pedestrian each week. The offense has yet to score more than 23 points in any game and the defense has only held one opponent to less than 23 points in the last four games. The Dolphins came within a field goal of being on a four game losing streak.

QUARTERBACK: Chad Henne has embodied the average quarterback this year with two big (and yet losing) efforts against the Jets and Patriots but otherwise settling for around one or two scores and about 200 yards in most games. He currently has eight touchdowns against six interceptions and his stats reflect whether or not he was able to connect with Brandon Marshall.

The Bengals have allowed all but one opponent to score on a pass and allowed 250+ passing yards to teams with at least average passing attacks. But that's hard to rely on here so accept two scores by Henne as his standard and be delighted if anything more happens.

RUNNING BACKS: The Dolphins only rank 24th in fantasy points generated by their running backs and that is almost exactly split down the middle between Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown. Together these backs have only one rushing touchdown and neither has rushed for more than 80 yards in any game. Brown has added a few receptions to his totals in most weeks but lately Williams has been turning in the slightly better stats.

The Bengals have allowed five rushing scores but relying on either runner for a touchdown has been a losing bet so far. Look for yet more moderate stats split into minimal fantasy points.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Brandon Marshall only has one score on the season and twice turned in more than 100 yards in a game. But Davone Bess has taken up the slack and has scored in each of the last three games. Brian Hartline hasn't scored since week two and plays the #3 but all combined this unit actually ends up squeaking into the top ten. The Bengals have allowed seven scores to the wideouts and three to the Falcons just last week. This is where the Dolphins must compete for yards and points and having two viable receivers will help. I am splitting the touchdowns between the two main receivers and it is almost always the #1 wideout who scores against the Bengals.

TIGHT ENDS: The Fins have used Anthony Fasano inconsistently but he has two touchdowns already and could factor in against the Bengals. His two scores came in the games with no yardage though and his few decent yardage games had no score. He's not worth a fantasy start this year.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 15 24 9 25 19 19
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 10 15 8 23 11 26
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) MIA -5 -9 -1 -2 -8 7


Cincinnati Bengals (2-4)
Homefield: Paul Brown Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NE L 24-38 10 @IND --
2 BAL W 15-10 11 BUF --
3 @CAR W 20-7 12 @NYJ --
4 @CLE L 20-23 13 NO --
5 TB L 21-24 14 @PIT --
6 Bye - 15 CLE --
7 @ATL L 32-39 16 SD --
8 MIA -- 17 @BAL --
9 PIT -- - - -
Bengals Report | Statistics | Roster
CINCINNATI vs MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Carson Palmer - - 250,2
RB Cedric Benson 70 - -
TE Jermaine Gresham - 20 -
WR Chad Ochocinco - 60,1 -
WR Terrell Owens - 100,1 -
WR Jordan Shipley - 50 -
PK Mike Nugent 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Bengals are on a three game slide and this week is going to be one of the "easier" games left on a pretty tough schedule. Losing to the Browns and Buccaneers has sent a much clearer message than their one win over the Ravens. At 2-4, the Bengals cannot entertain any post season hopes without an immediate turnaround. Just like they promised for the last couple of weeks.

QUARTERBACK: Losing may not be popular with the fans but it's been a boon to the fantasy value of Carson Palmer. He has thrown for at least two scores in each of the last three games (all losses) and twice had more than 370 passing yards. But he has only passed for three scores once and had a 64-yard touchdown by Shipley to help that cause. Palmer has been all over the map in yardage with as many as 412 and as few as 167.

The Dolphins have been good against the pass though these last two weeks have seen both Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger top 300 yards against them. The Fins also have only intercepted the ball in two games and Brett Favre shouldn't count anyway. At home against a Dolphins team down from their near win last week, Palmer should manage a couple of scores and might even end up with three if it goes well.

RUNNING BACKS: Cedric Benson has been nearly an exclusive runner for the Bengals and yet only has two rushing touchdowns and only one game with more than 81 rushing yards. That reflect partially only having two home games so far and one was against the Ravens. Benson ran for 144 yards when the Buccaneers came in week five. But he has zero catches in most games and has to rely on a soft defense in order to produce much value.

The Dolphins may rank average but some of that stems from running backs that have caught passes against them and that is not a factor with the Bengals. The FIns have only allowed three rushing scores and only Adrian Peterson had more than 70 rush yards against them. Expect another average game from Benson which means marginal fantasy points.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Terrell Owens has emerged as the go-to guy for Palmer and he's scored in each of the last three games along with big yardage. When the going gets tough, Palmer looks for Owens who has been targeted around a dozen times in nearly every game. Chad Ochocinco finally had a fantasy relevant game last week when he ended with 10 catches for 108 yards and a score in Atlanta but much of that came late in the game when the Falcons gave away the shorter underneath passes as they protected their lead. Jordan Shipley chipped in a career best six catches for 131 yards and his first NFL touchdown but otherwise had been languishing around 40 yards in most games.

The Dolphins secondary is better than average but is on the road against a desperate Bengals team. The #1 wideout is always the most likely to score on the Fins so look for another good outing by Owens and the other score could end up anywhere. I am crediting Ochocinco but he's a much riskier play than Owens so far this year.

TIGHT ENDS: Jermaine Gresham has scored twice this year but has remained below fantasy relevance with mostly 20 yards games.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 12 23 6 22 2 20
Preventing Fantasy Points MIA 11 14 11 22 16 20
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) CIN -1 -9 5 0 14 0

WEEK 8
2010
GB at NYJ CAR at STL MIN at NE HOU at IND
DEN at SF WAS at DET SEA at OAK ATL, BAL
JAC at DAL BUF at KC TB at ARI CHI, CLE
  MIA at CIN TEN at SD PIT at NO NYG, PHI
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