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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David M. Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 5
October 6, 2004
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 4 PM Mon 9 PM
DET at ATL MIA at NE* BUF at NYJ STL at SEA TEN at GB
NYG at DAL TB at NO* CAR at DEN* Sun 8:30 PM Bye Week:
MIN at HOU* CLE at PIT* JAX at SD* BAL at WAS CHI, CIN
OAK at IND* Times ET ARZ at SF* *updated KC, PHI
Miami Rush Catch Pass
QB Jay Fiedler 10 0 170
RB Leonard Henry 30 0 0
TE Randy McMichael 0 50 0
WR Chris Chambers 0 40 0
WR Derrius Thompson 0 20 0
WR Marty Booker 0 30 0
PK Olindo Mare 0 FG 0 XP -
  New England Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady 0 0 180,1
RB Corey Dillon 100,1 10 0
TE Daniel Graham 0 30 0
WR David Patten 0 50,1 0
WR Bethel Johnson 0 30 0
WR Troy Brown 0 40,1 0
WR David Givens 0 30 0
PK Adam Vinatieri 2 FG 3 XP -

MIA (0-4) vs NE (3-0)

Game Prediction: MIA 0, NE 27

Welcome to the definition of "contrast".

Pre-Game Notes - MIA

It's not enough that the Dolphins have hit rock bottom, they now appear to be violating the first rule of failure - "when you discover you have hit bottom, first stop digging".

Quarterback: Jay Fiedler has been amazing. In two games this season he has thrown 23 of 46 for 248 yards, two lost fumbles and four interceptions. He remains the starter, for now, and gets to face the New England Patriots. There is nothing in this that suggests he is a viable fantasy start unless there is some tactical reason why you want to throw a game.

Running Backs: Leonard Henry received his first NFL start and thrilled the crowd with a 53 yard run but then only managed 32 more yards on 17 other carries, keeping him safely within the more typical output parameters of the offense. Sammy Morris had one carry for a one yard loss. The Dolphins tried to involve Henry in the passing game, throwing three incompletions in his general direction.

Wide Receivers: Chris Chambers missed last week and was replaced by Derrius Thompson who had one catch for 25 yards. With Chambers out, Marty Booker had eight throws but only had four snares for 46 yards. Brian Gilmore got into the mix with three receptions for 57 yards. There was, of course, no touchdowns scored. On the road in New England, it's hard to imagine this group doing any more this week.

I am assuming that Chambers returns and will update accordingly.

Update: Chambers is still listed as questionable but is back in practice and expected to play.

Tight Ends: Randy McMichael continues to be the lone Dolphin with any fantasy value. For the second week in a row, he had five catches for 51 yards and undoubtedly will be relied on just as much this week.

Match Against the Defense: Other than McMichael, don't. Just resist the temptation. Chris Chambers only had 32 yards in New England last year on a vastly better team.

Pre-Game Notes - NE

The Patriots want to take sole ownership of the NFL consecutive wins record and what better way than at home, against a horrible team that actually owned the previous record? The Patriots shut them out 12-0 last year. Bet it happens again, at least for that side with the goose egg.

Quarterback: Tom Brady continues his hot hand and has thrown for at least two scores in each game this season. That may not happen here solely because he won't have to play all that well in order to win the game. The Fins have a good defense, more or less, and the Patriot defense may be enough to post the game winning points. Last year, Brady only threw for 163 yards and no scores when they hosted the Dolphins since he did not need to do much in the game.

Running Backs: Coming off a 158 yard effort in Arizona, Corey Dillon's last game had him gain 79 yards on 19 carries with one score against the Bills defense. He can carry the load when called upon and should see ample play in this matchup.

Wide Receivers: David Patten and David Givens seem to be trading off big weeks. Last season against the Miami defense, there were only nine receptions by four receivers for a total of 100 yards. Next week against the Seahawks, this crew will be definite starters and the following week against the Jets once again they will be needed. But not this week.

Deion Branch missed last week and I am assuming he will be out again.

Update: Branch is out but Troy Brown is questionable to play as well. This could limit the Patriots on what they can do in the passing game given that the Miami cornerbacks are typically strong against the #1 and #2 wideouts. I am removing Brown from the projections and inserting Bethel Johnson as the #3 wideout. I do believe there will be a passing score but this makes it even more difficult to guage who might catch it.

Tight Ends: So far this season, Daniel Graham has at least one touchdown in every game - a rarity in an offense that typically spreads the wealth. The last two weeks he has only had three passes to him but each game has seen at least one in the endzone. In an offense that is stocked with capable wideouts, Graham is the only reliable endzone target so far this year.

Match Against the Defense: This is a big game at home for the consecutive win record. The last thing the Patriots want to do is give the Dolphins any cheap scores so don't expect Brady to throw much in the game and to keep most the attempts pretty short. Corey Dillon should be a lock for a good game here and while there should be at least one passing score, the recipient is more likely a tight end or a #3 or #4 receiver who gets away from the Miami cornerbacks.

I like the chance for a defensive score here since those are the only touchdowns the Dolphins seem to be involved in this year.

MIA NE 2003 Averages NE MIA
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
193
139
Pass yards
184
132
0.5
0.7
Pass TDs
1.7
0.5
2.3
1.0
Interceptions
1.0
0.8
4
12
Rush yards
1
4
0.0
0.0
Rush TDs
0.0
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
54
72
Rush yards
85
126
0.0
0.7
Rush TDs
0.0
0.3
29
24
Receive yards
9
16
0.0
0.0
Receive TD's
0.0
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
88
79
Receive yards
142
104
0.3
0.7
Receive TD's
0.7
0.3
---
---
TE's
---
---
76
36
Receive yards
33
11
0.3
0.0
Receive TD's
1.0
0.3
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.5
1.0
Field Goals
1.7
1.8
0.5
1.0
Extra Points
1.7
1.5
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.3
0.7
Fumbles
0.7
1.3
0.8
1.0
Interceptions
1.0
2.3
0.0
0.0
Touchdowns
0.0
0.8
2.8
1.3
Sacks
2.0
3.0
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Dolphins (0-4)
Score Opp.
7-17 TEN
13-16 @CIN
3-13 PIT
9-17 NYJ
Week 5 @NE
Week 6 @BUF
Week 7 STL
Week 8 @NYJ
Week 9 ARI
Week 10 bye
Week 11 @SEA
Week 12 @SF
Week 13 BUF
Week 14 @DEN
Week 15 NE
Week 16 CLE
Week 17 @BAL
Patriots (3-0)
Score Opp.
27-24 IND
23-12 @ARI
Week 3 bye
31-17 @BUF
Week 5 MIA
Week 6 SEA
Week 7 NYJ
Week 8 @PIT
Week 9 @STL
Week 10 BUF
Week 11 @KC
Week 12 BAL
Week 13 @CLE
Week 14 CIN
Week 15 @MIA
Week 16 @NYJ
Week 17 SF