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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 17
2010
*MIA at NE OAK at KC *CHI at GB BUF at NYJ
*TB at NO TEN at IND *MIN at DET *SD at DEN
CAR at ATL JAC at HOU NYG at WAS *STL at SEA
*Updated *DAL at PHI *CIN at BAL *PIT at CLE ARI at SF

Prediction: MIA 16, NE 24

Update: Anthony Fasano is ruled out this week because of his knee and has been removed from the projections.

The Dolphins end their season with the oddity of the worst home record in the league and yet if they can win here they would have the best road record in the league all of which is meaningless when you are 7-8. The Patriots have already clinched everything so the question becomes how much will star players play? That is a risk to rely on but the Pats typically do not just shelve the player but pull them deeper into the game so that they do not go two weeks with no real work. But it is purely a guessing game that will be impacted by game situation.

This is a rematch of week four when the Pats won 41-14 in Miami.

Miami Dolphins (7-8)
Homefield: Dolphins Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @BUF W 15-10 10 TEN W 29-17
2 @MIN W 14-10 11 CHI L 0-16
3 NYJ L 23-31 12 @OAK W 33-17
4 NE L 14-41 13 CLE L 10-13
5 Bye - 14 @NYJ W 10-6
6 @GB W 23-20 15 BUF L 14-17
7 PIT L 22-23 16 DET L 27-34
8 @CIN W 22-14 17 @NE --
9 @BAL L 10-26 - - -
Dolphins Report | Statistics | Roster
MIAMI at NE Rush Catch Pass
QB Chad Henne - - 240,1
RB Ricky Williams 40 20 -
RB Ronnie Brown 50 20 -
TE Anthony Fasano - 50 -
WR Brandon Marshall - 80,1 -
WR Davone Bess - 80 -
PK Dan Carpenter 3 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Dolphins have not really made many strides in the offense this year. Chad Henne looked far more promising at the end of 2009 than he did at any time during 2010. Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown have taken a below average rushing offense and split the results to make them a fantasy disaster to rely on. The addition of Brandon Marshall has paid off in four games and yet he has been just another player in the other 11 matchups. All in all, some impressive road wins and not much else going on.

QUARTERBACK: Chad Henne has thrown for a score in all but three games this year though all of those were on the road. He passed for 305 yards and two scores on the visiting Pats in week four but that was during a game where there was ample trash time and the Fins still lost by 27 points. The one consistency with Henne is how much worse he has played in road games this year.

Anything over moderate yardage and one score means there was a lot of trash time. Plus the Pats could just quit trying at some point of this meaningless game.

RUNNING BACKS: The dynamic duo combined for only 19 carries for 83 yards in the first meeting with the Patriots and on the road the results should be less since the Pats are always tougher at home. If enough defenders get pulled it could open things up but by that time the Fins are more likely passing to catchup.

No decent fantasy play here - or at least reliable.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Brandon Marshall was held to only 50 yards on five catches in the first meeting though Davone Bess turned in eight receptions for 96 yards and one score. Brian Hartline only had 21 yards on three catches. The Pats are weaker in the secondary and there is a good chance at least for trash time yards if not scores. It doesn't really matter what happens here so I would expect more attention goes to connecting with Marshall who has topped 100 yards in each of the last two games finally.

TIGHT ENDS: Anthony Fasano injured his knee last week but his status has not been relayed yet. I will assume he can play and update as needed. Fasano gained 67 yards on five catches in the first game with the Pats.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 26 20 18 24 9 29
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 27 20 26 14 5 1
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) MIA 1 0 8 -10 -4 -28


New England Patriots (13-2)
Homefield: Gillette Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 CIN W 38-24 10 @PIT W 39-26
2 @NYJ L 14-28 11 IND W 31-28
3 BUF W 38-30 12 @DET W 45-24
4 @MIA W 41-14 13 NYJ W 45-3
5 Bye - 14 @CHI W 36-7
6 BAL W 23-20 15 GB W 31-27
7 @SD W 23-20 16 @BUF W 34-3
8 MIN W 28-18 17 MIA --
9 @CLE L 14-34 - - -
Patriots Report | Statistics | Roster
NEW ENGLAND vs MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady - - 180,1
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis 90,1 - -
RB Danny Woodhead 40,1 30 -
TE Rob Gronkowski - 20,1 -
WR Julian Edelman - 40 -
WR Brandon Tate - 50 -
WR Deion Branch - 40 -
WR Wes Welker - 10 -
PK Shayne Graham 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: This is a scary game since there is nothing to play for other than perhaps to keep players sharp because they have next week off. But even if the Pats start all the notable players, it would be expected to see them pulled from the game at some point. It doesn't matter if the Pats win other than just nice to win. It does matter to keep players healthy. And once Brady leaves - if he does - then all bets are off on what the offense will do.

QUARTERBACK: Obviously at home Tom Brady could post big numbers but he won't have to and may be pulled. He only threw for 153 yards and one score in Miami in his worst fantasy performance of the year. and he was sacked three times in that game. Brady should start. And he almost certainly should throw one touchdown and flip his hair back. But beyond that it is all a risk.

My purely speculative guess is one score and then Giselle picks him up at half time to go catch a movie.

RUNNING BACKS: Though this is a "who knows" sort of game, it should be a more sure thing that the Pats run the ball and use the usual suspects. BenJarvus Green-Ellis gained 76 yards and one score in Miami while Danny Woodhead rushed for 36 yards and scored on an 11 yard pass. If you had to play a Patriot player this week, the running backs should be lower risk. The Pats would love to get a lead and drain the clock and be done with it.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Here is the fear - that Wes Welker plays one series if that much. Why subject Welker to a concussion? Even Deion Branch has recently had a sore knee - how much does he play? We could be seeing a lot of Julian Edelman and Brandon Tate. None of these wideouts are a safe play. Even if active they are not safe to use in a game with no meaning.

TIGHT ENDS: Aaron Hernandez missed last week with a hip strain but had some limited work this week. He'll likely be held out to heal up for this game. That leaves Rob Gronkowski behind along with Alge Crumpler. I'll credit Gronkowski with a score but almost no confidence there.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NE 8 6 15 1 4 2
Preventing Fantasy Points MIA 5 8 7 10 20 22
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) NE -3 2 -8 9 16 20

WEEK 17
2010
MIA at NE OAK at KC CHI at GB BUF at NYJ
TB at NO TEN at IND MIN at DET SD at DEN
CAR at ATL JAC at HOU NYG at WAS STL at SEA
  DAL at PHI CIN at BAL PIT at CLE ARI at SF
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