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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

NYJ at DEN (thu) * CIN at BAL PHI at NYG * TEN at ATL
* ARI at SF * DAL at WAS SD at CHI KC at NE (mon)
* BUF at MIA * JAC at CLE SEA at STL Bye Week

Prediction: BUF 23, MIA 17

Players to Watch: Ryan Fitzpatrick

Update: The Dolphins will monitor Dan Carpenter on Saturday to see if he will be able to kick this week with his groin injury. If you intend on using Carpenter, check out game inactives first and see who the Fins added if he cannot play. Steve Johnson is listed as questionable because of his shoulder and and was held out on Wednesday and then limited on Thursday and Friday. He is still expected to play.

The Bills are 5-4 and and on a two game losing streak. The Dolphins are only 2-7 but have won their last two games. While the two teams are apparently going in different directions lately, they are still separated by talent and coaching. The Bills won 17-14 in Miami last year.

Buffalo Bills
Homefield: Ralph Wilson Stadium
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @KC 41-7 10 @DAL 7-44
2 OAK 38-35 11 @MIA  
3 NE 34-31 12 @NYJ  
4 @CIN 20-23 13 TEN -
5 PHI 31-24 14 @SD -
6 @NYG 24-27 15 MIA -
7 Bye - 16 DEN -
8 WAS 23-0 17 @NE -
9 NYJ 11-27      
Bills Report | Statistics | Roster
BUFFALO at MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick - - 240,2
RB Fred Jackson 90 40 -
TE Scott Chandler - 20,1 -
WR David Nelson - 30,1 -
WR Steve Johnson - 60 -
WR Donald Jones - 60 -
PK Dave Rayner 3 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Bills are on a two game slide where the once prolific offense has only scored 18 points over the last two weeks while the defense has allowed 71 points - quite the turnaround from earlier in the year though the schedule is getting tougher now and losing the starting center last week is not going to be any help. Facing the Improved Dolphins is no longer a gimmee game and then on to face the Jets in New York will prove even more critical. The Bills have been on a downswing offensively and need to turn it around before the season slips away.

QUARTERBACK: Quite the drop off lately for Ryan Fitzpatrick who has two straight games of sub-200 yards and just one touchdown along with five interceptions. He had been a reasonably good bet each week for a couple of scores and decent yardage but has really fallen off when faced with good defenses. This will be one of his easiest games so a notable improvement should happen of more red flags go up.

The Dolphins secondary is weaker than most and allowed over half of their opponents to pass for two or more touchdowns. This is where Fitzpatrick should catch a break and turn in a decent showing.

RUNNING BACKS: Fred Jackson remains the most valuable part of this offense and even though he was limited to only 13 runs in Dallas he still gained 114 yards and topped 98 total yards as he has in every game this year. Jackson has rushed for over 100 yards six times and was on a scoring streak with six scored over five weeks but has gone three games now without a touchdown. Jackson is one of the most productive and consistent fantasy players this year.

The Dolphins have been good against running backs and only allowed two rushing scores and only one player (Ben Tate) who topped 100 rushing yards against them. Expect Jackson to have good total yardage - he always does - but a score is less likely this week.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Steve Johnson not only had a bad game in Dallas (2-8), he injured his shoulder at the end of the game but early reports are that he will be okay this week. I'll update as needed but Johnson has been on a slide since week three anyway with only one touchdown and no more than 58 yards in a road game. He started red hot and once the Bills realized it was easier to use Fred Jackson, Johnson has really become just another mediocre receiver.

David Nelson in the slot has scored in each of the last two games but his yardage rarely tops 50 yards anymore and only his four touchdowns separate him from being little more than a tight end. Donald Jones has been back for two weeks and had a decent showing of 51 yards on six catches. Jones started the season with promise but tailed off by midseason and then missed three weeks due to injury.

The Miami secondary is where the Bills will make their gains and at least one of the scores should end up here if not both. The Fins have allowed eight wideouts to gain 80+ yards but the Bills have not had a productive wideout in many weeks. Both Johnson and Nelson scored in Miami last year and Johnson is overdue... but also injured. I will credit a score to Johnson but may end up taking it away later on if he appears at all limited.

TIGHT ENDS: Scott Chandler has no reliable fantasy value since he rarely has more than 25 yards in any game but he has scored a team high six times and stands a decent shot at a score here since the Fins gave up four touchdowns to the position in just four home games.

Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 12 9 12 22 16 9
Preventing Fantasy Points MIA 25 4 22 24 21 18
Advantage +31 to -31 BUF 13 -5 10 2 5 9

Miami Dolphins
Homefield: Dolphins Stadium
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 NE 24-38 10 WAS 20-9
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 15-18 16 @NE -
8 @NYG 17-20 17 NYJ -
9 @KC 31-3      
Dolphins Report | Statistics | Roster
MIAMI vs BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Moore - - 200,1
RB Reggie Bush 80,1 20 -
RB Daniel Thomas 50 - -
TE Anthony Fasano - 20 -
WR Brandon Marshall - 80,1 -
WR Brian Hartline - 20 -
WR Davone Bess - 40 -
PK Dan Carpenter 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: A long, bad season has at least become bearable since the 0-7 Dolphins won two in a row and even did so in a dominating manner. No more three point losses or fourth quarter collapses. Granted, the Chiefs and Skins were not the toughest of foes but the Fins demolished the Chiefs in a road game and then held the Skins off for back-to-back victories. The remaining schedule is no easier but the Fins are competitive again at least against average or worse teams. This week will be tougher against a wounded Bills team that must win to keep playoff hopes alive.

QUARTERBACK: Take away the one game in Kansas City and Matt Moore has only thrown for one touchdown in four games and never had more than 209 passing yards including the win over the Skins when he only passed for 209 yards and no scores. The lack of a passing attack has sunk the Fins in most games.

The Bills have been much better against the pass in the recent weeks and Moore can only aspire to being average one day. No reason to expect more than marginal yardage and one score that may not happen anyway.

RUNNING BACKS: The rushing offense was led by Daniel Thomas in the early weeks of the season but he missed a few games with a bad hamstring and while he has been back for four games, he's been marginally effective and carries no real fantasy value anymore. He rushes for 50 yards at most, has no receptions and still has never run in a touchdown.

Reggie Bush has been surprisingly effective in recent weeks and his success ensures more work. Bush gained well over 100 total yards in New York and Kansas City with a score against the Chiefs. When the Skins showed up last Sunday, Bush ran for 47 yards on 14 carries and scored twice. This is still a below average rushing attack but it has been incrementally better lately all due to Bush.

There is a chance that Bush could score yet again with the Bills on the road giving up four rushing scores to the last two opponents along with over 100 rush yards to each of the last three primary runners. At home, this should be a decent game by Bush and one of his more "startable" weeks.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The value of these wideouts have disappeared other than Brandon Marshall who has been improved for the last month with three games over 98 yards and one touchdown. The others are literally there for looks. Brian Hartline has nine catches for 93 yards over the last five games combined. Davone Bess is incrementally better but rarely tops 40 yards in any game and has yet to score a touchdown.

This should remain a decent start for Marshall against a secondary that has allowed several big games on the road. A passing score is likely to end up either with him or Antony Fasano but the risk is less with Marshall. He'll get some yardage at the least.

TIGHT ENDS: Anthony Fasano had two nice games during these recent wins with two scores in Kansas City and 60 yards against the Skins but he remains too risky to consider for a fantasy start.

Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 23 12 25 25 14 32
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 27 26 26 22 13 6
Advantage +31 to -31 MIA 4 14 1 -3 -1 -26

NYJ at DEN (thu) CIN at BAL PHI at NYG TEN at ATL
ARI at SF DAL at WAS SD at CHI KC at NE (mon)
BUF at MIA JAC at CLE SEA at STL Bye Week

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