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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 16
2011
HOU at IND (thu) * JAC at TEN OAK at KC * STL at PIT
ARI at CIN MIA at NE * PHI at DAL TB at CAR
* CLE at BAL * MIN at WAS * SD at DET * CHI at GB
* UPDATED DEN at BUF * NYG at NYJ * SF at SEA * ATL at NO (mon)

Prediction: MIA 17, NE 34

The 5-9 Dolphins take their 2-5 road record to face the Patriots who only have to win two home games to secure the #1 seed in the AFC. This is a replay of the season opener when the Patriots won 38-24 in Miami.

Miami Dolphins
Homefield: Dolphins Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 NE 24-38 10 WAS 20-9
2 HOU 13-23 11 BUF 35-8
3 @CLE 16-17 12 @DAL 19-20
4 @SD 16-26 13 OAK 34-14
5 Bye - 14 PHI 10-26
6 @NYJ 6-24 15 @BUF 30-23
7 DEN 15-18 16 @NE -
8 @NYG 17-20 17 NYJ -
9 @KC 31-3      
Dolphins Report | Statistics | Roster
MIAMI at NE Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Moore - - 280,2
RB Reggie Bush 60 40 -
RB Daniel Thomas 20 - -
TE Anthony Fasano - 50,1 -
WR Brandon Marshall - 100,1 -
WR Brian Hartline - 40 -
WR Davone Bess - 40 -
PK Dan Carpenter 1FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The head coach may be gone but at least the Fins took one last win for the season in Buffalo. Heading into New England this week and then hosting the Jets is not likely to make the end of the season any better than the rest. What we have learned along the way is that Reggie Bush is better than we thought possible and Brandon Marshall could be a great wideout if he never dropped any passes.

QUARTERBACK: While Matt Moore is no lock to start next year, he has played above expectations with a touchdown in almost every game and what should be a nice ending for the year this week against the same team that Chad Henne passed for 416 yards and two scores against in the season opener. With any luck, there will be plenty of trash time that makes Moore a fantasy consideration like all quarterbacks facing the Patriots.

RUNNING BACKS: Daniel Thomas is winding down his rookie season with no rushing touchdowns and marginal use that keeps getting lower. But Reggie Bush has been better than ever since midseason and has scored six times over the last seven weeks and is on a three game streak of 100+ yard rushing games including his career best 203 yards in Buffalo last Sunday.

In week one, Bush ran for 38 yards on 11 carries and added nine catches for 56 yards and a score versus the Patriots but never again had more than five catches in any game. Bush has to be considered a must start back but is likely to have lesser production this week unless they use him as a receiver more.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The production of this group has never been higher than in week one when all three mattered. Brandon Marshall caught a season high seven passes for 139 yards while Brian Hartline scored his only touchdown of the year with his 47 yards on four catches. Even Davone Bess caught five passes for a season best 92 yards. While Marshall has maintained his value and is on a three game scoring streak, the other two have faded into marginal use with almost no scoring.

Marshall is a must start every week and in New England should be about as good as he gets. Hartline and Bess still remain too risky for fantasy play.

TIGHT ENDS: Anthony Fasano could be a factor this week despite the high ranking that the Pats have against the position. Most teams have it easy enough with wide receivers so that they do not bother with tight ends. But Fasano recorded a season high 82 yards on five catches in their previous meeting and remains at least a small factor every week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 24 8 27 23 9 30
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 31 18 32 3 9 2


New England Patriots
Homefield: Gillette Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @MIA 38-24 10 @NYJ 37-16
2 SD 35-21 11 KC 34-3
3 @BUF 31-34 12 @PHI 38-20
4 @OAK 31-19 13 IND 31-24
5 NYJ 30-21 14 @WAS 34-27
6 DAL 20-16 15 @DEN 41-23
7 Bye - 16 MIA -
8 @PIT 17-25 17 BUF -
9 NYG 20-24 - - -
Patriots Report | Statistics | Roster
NEW ENGLAND vs MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady - - 300,3
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis 30,1 - -
TE Rob Gronkowski - 80,1 -
TE Aaron Hernandez - 50,1 -
WR Chad Ochocinco - 20 -
WR Deion Branch - 30 -
WR Wes Welker - 100,1 -
PK S. Gostkowski 2 FG 4 XP -

Pregame Notes: The season is shaping up to be another good year for the Patriots who look to be in the driver's seat for the #1 seed in a conference with no dominant team. No one has figured out to stop both tight ends yet and even though the secondary is a collection of mannequins and cardboard cutouts, the Pats are still tied for the second best record in the NFL. Fortunately there are three teams just one game back which makes the Pats need to ensure a win for these next two weeks.

QUARTERBACK: Tom Brady started the year with a monster game of 517 yards and four touchdowns in Miami and while he has scored in all other games, his home stands are less productive. That is attributed in part to a better rushing effort but Brady has not throw for more than two scores in home game since week two. The Pats will want to win this decisively but no need to go nuts like in the season opener. Tom was hit enough last week.

Still have to like the Pats to reach 30+ points and that usually means three scores for Brady.

RUNNING BACKS: The Patriots still employ up to four different runners each week and there is reliable way to forecast who will do what each week. All you can hope for is that BenJarvus Green-Ellis runs in a score which he has done nine times this year and yet he rarely has any notable yardage. Projecting for any of the other runners is just folly. BGE ran for 34 yards and one touchdown in the season opener versus the Dolphins.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Hard to believe that Chad Ochocinco actually scored a touchdown last week for the first time as a Patriot but it was his only catch in the game and he carries no fantasy value. Deion Branch was held out because of his groin and could miss this week as well. He has not produced any significant stats in recent weeks anyway. I'll project for him being limited.

Wes Welker opened the season with eight catches for 160 yards and two touchdowns against the Dolphins but comes off a surprising 41 yards and no scores in Denver. Welker is the only wideout worthy of a fantasy start and should have no worse than a decent game here with the chance for a big effort just in time for fantasy championships.

TIGHT ENDS: The Broncos were able to hold Rob Gronkowski to only 53 yards on four catches but that allowed Aaron Hernandez to explode for 129 yards on nine catches with one score. Sort of pick your poison here until someone figures out how to stop two tight ends. Gronk turned in 86 yards and a score in the season opener while Hernandez caught seven passes for 103 yards and one touchdown versus the Dolphins. Both tight ends are must starts.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NE 4 20 9 1 5 9
Preventing Fantasy Points MIA 21 5 23 13 15 15

WEEK 16
2011
HOU at IND (thu) JAC at TEN OAK at KC STL at PIT
ARI at CIN MIA at NE PHI at DAL TB at CAR
CLE at BAL MIN at WAS SD at DET CHI at GB
  DEN at BUF NYG at NYJ SF at SEA ATL at NO (mon)

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