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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 7
2011
ATL at DET HOU at TEN * SD at NYJ BAL at JAC (mon)
CHI at TB * IND at NO * SEA at CLE Bye Week
DEN at MIA * KC at OAK * STL at DAL BUF, CIN, NE
*UPDATED GB at MIN * PIT at ARI WAS at CAR NYG, PHI, SF

Prediction: DEN 20, MIA 16

Players to Watch: Tim Tebow, Matt Moore

This is one of those games that prompts "at least one of them gets to win." The Broncos come off their bye with a 1-4 record and have changed quarterbacks by choice. The 0-5 Dolphins have changed their quarterback by necessity and are on a short week after getting beaten by the Jets in New York on Monday night. Could go either way but the Broncos actually have the better defense. All things considered.

Denver Broncos
Homefield: Invesco Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 OAK 20-23 10 @KC -
2 CIN 24-22 11 NYJ -
3 @TEN 14-17 12 @SD -
4 @GB 23-49 13 @MIN -
5 SD 24-29 14 CHI -
6 Bye - 15 NE -
7 @MIA - 16 @BUF -
8 DET - 17 KC -
9 @OAK -      
Broncos Report | Statistics | Roster
DENVER at MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Tim Tebow 60,1 - 170,1
RB Willis McGahee 80 10 -
WR Demaryius Thomas - 40 -
WR Eric Decker - 60,1 -
WR Eddie Royal - 40 -
PK Matt Prater 2 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Tebow era starts and to celebrate the Broncos shipped off their best wide receiver in Brandon Lloyd. This offense will look very different with Tebow under center and it may be good, it may be bad. But it will not be the same. This is a road game which makes it a little tougher but the Broncos spent their bye preparing while the Dolphins only get a short week to get ready to defend against Tebow and whatever that may mean. Regardless of what happens, this should be entertaining.

QUARTERBACK: The Tim Tebow era starts for how ever long it will last. Tebow stepped in right before the bye and completed 4 of 10 for 79 yards and one touchdown on the Chargers and also added another touchdown during his six rushes for 39 yards. Tebow comes in and changes things quite a bit. The offense now has to accommodate a quarterback who is very likely to take off running instead of waiting for a pass play to develop. Last year he started three games and threw for 308 yards on the visiting Texans and 205 on the visiting Chargers with a total of four passing touchdowns. He also rushed in a score in each game with healthy yardage as a runner.

This will be his first start in a road game and those two last year were against weaker secondaries at the end of the season. You can be sure he will run but how well he passes is probably heavily contingent on how good the secondary is.

The Fins have allowed plenty of yards and scores to quarterbacks and even Colt McCoy posted 210 yards and two scores on them. Mark Sanchez just had 201 yards and a score. It is highly speculative with Tebow, but most likely he'll have average passing yards and one touchdown and then score on the ground as well since he has in every game he has played.

RUNNING BACKS: Willis McGahee has taken over as the primary back after gaining over 100 rushing yards in three of the last four games. He has minimal work as a receiver unfortunately but is taking almost all of the carries and is surprisingly effective. He's running with a burst that has not been seen from him in a while. That leaves Knowshon Moreno with almost no work aside from a few receptions per week. Moreno did score on a catch in the last game but never has more than 40 total yards. His role is small enough that he no longer merits projections.

The problem now for the running backs - mostly McGahee - is that Tebow is going to run the ball and he is going to score via the rush. That could neuter McGahee much as Cam Newton has starved the Carolina backfield from scoring touchdowns.

The Dolphins have been statistically good against the run but faced few decent runners and both Ben Tate and Ryan Mathews had big games against them. Look for decent yardage from McGahee who has been a nice surprise but likely no touchdown.

WIDE RECEIVERS: There is a lot of change happening here. The rumors were true about Brandon Lloyd being traded and Tim Tebow as quarterback means major differences are in store. Last year in his three games, he preferred Lloyd and threw him two touchdowns and over 70 yards in every game. No other receiver had much in those games. Now we have Eric Decker who is being joined by Eddie Royal and Demaryius Thomas who both return from injury. That will make this unit almost impossible to gauge for a while.

The Dolphins secondary is nothing special and there are so many questions in the wideouts with Lloyd gone. I'm giving the score to Decker as the only player who is not returning from injury but again - all highly speculative.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 15 15 28 25 28 11
Preventing Fantasy Points MIA 26 12 19 30 29 27


Miami Dolphins
Homefield: Dolphins Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 NE 24-38 10 WAS -
2 HOU 13-23 11 BUF -
3 @CLE 16-17 12 @DAL -
4 @SD 16-26 13 OAK -
5 Bye - 14 PHI -
6 @NYJ 6-24 15 @BUF -
7 DEN - 16 @NE -
8 @NYG - 17 NYJ -
9 @KC -      
Dolphins Report | Statistics | Roster
MIAMI vs DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Moore - - 230,1
RB Reggie Bush 40 10 -
RB Daniel Thomas 80 10 -
TE Anthony Fasano - 20 -
WR Brandon Marshall - 100,1 -
WR Brian Hartline - 40 -
WR Davone Bess - 30 -
PK Dan Carpenter 3 FG 1 XP -

Pregame Notes: The loss on Monday night was just another in a string of heartaches and the offense finally was unable to get their traditional one touchdown per game. The season smacks as a bad one with quarterbacks lost to injured reserve and nearly nothing working well. The question is how long Matt Moore plays before getting yank and how long HC Tony Sparano lasts.

QUARTERBACK: Matt Moore had a bad first start though playing the Jets in New York was never going to be a treat. He completed 16 of 34 passes for 204 yards and two interceptions, throwing all over the place at times and occasionally missing wide open receivers. He was sacked four times and fumbled twice though the were both recovered by the Fins.

This week he gets an opponent who has given up major yardage through the air but Moore is hardly on the same page as Rodgers, Rivers or even Hasselbeck or Dalton. Assume the need to throw and some success with yardage but more than one touchdown is optimistic at this point. There is no guarantee that Moore doesn't get the hook and lets Sage Rosenfels play.

RUNNING BACKS: Reggie Bush injured his neck against the Jets and did not finish the game but the Fins reported he could have but it was effectively over already. Bush ran for 71 yards on ten carries and had 50 yards on 13 runs the previous game against the Chargers. He has been more productive in recent games and the need to run better will remain with Moore at the helm.

Daniel Thomas returned from his hamstring injury was played but only gained 47 yards on 15 runs against the Jets. It was his first bad game as a running back.

This week the Broncos show up and their rushing defense has been rock solid. No running back has rushed in a touchdown on them yet and while there have been yardage allowed, that will be split here with Thomas and Bush.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Moore's first start went against a tough pass defense on the road but he was near fearless about getting the ball to Brandon Marshall since he threw 13 passes at him for six completions for 109 yards and one touchdown by Darrelle Revis who returned the interception for 100 yards. But no other wideout had more than three catches or 27 yards. Moore was on a mission to complete passes to Marshall and it kept the others low.

The Broncos are bad in the secondary - there is no way around it. But Moore was equally bad last Monday and it has been a very short week to prepare. No player besides Marshall is a reasonably safe play here.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 26 16 18 31 16 32
Preventing Fantasy Points DEN 32 9 31 5 32 19

WEEK 7
2011
ATL at DET HOU at TEN SD at NYJ BAL at JAC (mon)
CHI at TB IND at NO SEA at CLE Bye Week
DEN at MIA KC at OAK STL at DAL BUF, CIN, NE
  GB at MIN PIT at ARI WAS at CAR NYG, PHI, SF

a d v e r t i s e m e n t