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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David M. Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 13
December 1, 2004
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
CIN at BAL* BUF at MIA ATL at TB* DEN at SD PIT at JAX
MIN at CHI TEN at IND* SF at STL* KC at OAK* Mon 9 PM
ARZ at DET CAR at NO   GB at PHI* DAL at SEA
NE at CLE HOU at NYJ *updated NYG at WAS Times ET
  Buffalo Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Bledsoe 0 0 190,1
RB Willis McGahee 110,2 20 0
TE M. Campbell 0 20 0
WR Eric Moulds 0 80,1 0
WR Sam Aiken 0 20 0
WR Lee Evans 0 40 0
PK Rian Lindell 1 FG 3 XP -
Miami Rush Catch Pass
QB A.J. Feeley 0 0 180,1
RB Travis Minor 30 10 0
TE Randy McMichael 0 30 0
WR Chris Chambers 0 50,1 0
WR Derrius Thompson 0 30 0
WR Marty Booker 0 30 0
PK Olindo Mare 0 FG 0 XP -

BUF (5-6) vs MIA (2-9)

Game Prediction: BUF 24, MIA 10

This is a rematch of week six when the Bills beat the Dolphins 20-13 and ended the four game losing streak that began their year.

Pre-Game Notes - BUF

The Bills are 5-2 since that horrible 0-4 start and have won four of their last five games. The only losses recently have been on the road against the Ravens and Patriots. They have scored 38+ points in each of the last two games and with a running game that is once again formidable, Bledsoe no longer is relied on to lose games.

Quarterback: Drew Bledsoe comes off his best effort of the year when he threw for 275 yards and a score against the Seahawks last week. Sure, he had three interceptions but with a monster win on the road, those things can be overlooked. He had 212 yards and one score in week six against these Dolphins and remarkably it was one of the only three games all season that he had no interceptions.

Running Backs: Willis McGahee had a career best last week when he scored four rushing touchdowns and ran for 116 yards against the Seahawks. That makes four 100+ rushing efforts in the last five weeks and his very first 100 yard game came in week six against the Dolphins when he ran 26 times for 111 yards.

Travis Henry broke his leg last week and will be gone for the balance of the season. With the tremendous success of McGahee, the broken leg is about all the press he was going to be getting anyway.

Wide Receivers: Lee Evans continues to improve and comes off a six catch, 70 yard effort against Seattle last week with his third touchdown of the year. Eric Moulds has been relatively quiet since week three but had managed eight catches for 93 yards for his best effort in the last month and he had 99 yards in the last meeting against the Dolphins.

Josh Reed was a scratch last week and Sam Aiken filled in. I am assuming that Reed's knee will continue to keep him out.

Tight Ends: While Mark Campbell had a career best game in week 11 when he scored three times, he returned to being a pumpkin against the Seahawks when he only had three catches for 31 yards. Campbell had 36 yards and one score in the last game against the Dolphins.

Match Against the Defense: Buffalo managed to just beat Miami last time but the offense has greatly improved since week six, most notably the running of McGahee and how that in turn has softened up the secondary for Bledsoe. The Miami defense has been noticeably softer against the run this year and therein lies the strength of the Bills. Expect that McGahee gets heavy use and likely tops 100 yards and scores this week as well.

Bledsoe has always had problems with the Miami corners and likes to play it safe but should have a better time this go around now that the defense has to be concerned with McGahee and cannot tee off on the pass rush every play. Bledsoe will have a moderate game much like last time.

Pre-Game Notes - MIA

A win. No matter against whom, no matter how it happened, it was a win last week. They are now clearly only the second worst team in the NFL.

Quarterback: A.J. Feeley gutted it out last week when he played with a badly bruised butt and had a bad dislocation of his middle finger mid-game. He ended with two scores and 159 yards because he was playing the 49ers. In the last meeting with the Bills, Fiedler was still playing and he only managed 136 yards and one score.

Running Backs: Sammy Morris missed last week due to bruised ribs and Travis Minor ran 22 times for only 47 yards against the 49ers. Morris has been the only runner of note for the Fins this year and has two of the only three rushing scores all year by Miami. I am assuming that Morris misses another game since he was doubtful last week.

Morris gained 91 yards on 18 carries in the previous game against the Bills. His return is badly needed.

Wide Receivers: Chris Chambers has seen new life with Feeley at the helm and he has scored in each of the last two games. Chambers has five touchdowns on the year and three 100 yards games in the last five weeks. He only managed 23 yards on two catches in Buffalo this year though he scored in both matchups in 2003 against the Bills.

No other Miami wideout has mattered lately and Marty Booker continues to play though he is not 100% healthy thanks to a lingering ankle injury.

Tight Ends: Randy McMichael scored last week but he still is not a common target for Feeley in part because he is needed to block more. McMichael is as good as it gets for Miami receivers after Chambers but it never gets very good. He only had 34 yards and no score in the first matchup with the Bills.

Match Against the Defense: The Dolphins should be feeling good after scratching out a win over the worst team in the NFL, and while they played a decent enough game in week six against the Bills, this team is not as healthy as then (which then was not as healthy as 2003). Feeley is limping around and Morris has busted up ribs and may not play. The ground game for the Bills is much improved which should provide a definite time of possession advantage to the Bills which will only drive the luxury of rushing even farther down for Miami. Expect very little from Minor if he starts and if Morris is able to play, he still will not likely meet his previous production.

Feeley goes against a solid secondary that has held all but Brady and Bulger to no more than one touchdown and most teams remain at under 200 yards passing. That fits into the mold for the Dolphins.

BUF MIA 2004 Averages MIA BUF
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
185
168
Pass yards
203
199
1.2
1.0
Pass TDs
1.1
1.3
1.4
0.6
Interceptions
1.5
0.9
2
7
Rush yards
7
7
0.0
0.1
Rush TDs
0.1
0.0
---
---
RB's
---
---
102
128
Rush yards
71
89
0.6
0.6
Rush TDs
0.3
0.3
27
28
Receive yards
23
21
0.0
0.0
Receive TD's
0.1
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
137
123
Receive yards
123
149
0.5
0.6
Receive TD's
0.6
1.0
---
---
TE's
---
---
25
17
Receive yards
61
29
0.5
0.4
Receive TD's
0.4
0.2
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.3
1.4
Field Goals
1.4
1.8
2.2
2.4
Extra Points
1.4
1.6
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.5
0.9
Fumbles
0.6
0.5
0.9
1.4
Interceptions
0.8
1.4
0.5
0.6
Touchdowns
0.1
0.2
2.6
3.2
Sacks
2.9
2.6
0.1
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Bills (5-6)
Score Opp.
10-13 JAX
10-13 @OAK
Week 3 bye
17-31 NE
14-16 @NYJ
20-13 MIA
6-20 @BAL
38-14 ARI
22-17 NYJ
6-29 @NE
37-17 STL
38-9 @SEA
Week 13 @MIA
Week 14 CLE
Week 15 @CIN
Week 16 @SF
Week 17 PIT
Dolphins (2-9)
Score Opp.
7-17 TEN
13-16 @CIN
3-13 PIT
9-17 NYJ
10-24 @NE
13-20 @BUF
31-14 STL
14-41 @NYJ
23-24 ARI
Week 10 bye
17-24 @SEA
24-17 @SF
Week 13 BUF
Week 14 @DEN
Week 15 NE
Week 16 CLE
Week 17 @BAL