fantasy football     JOIN THE HUDDLE    
HOME ARTICLES NEWS DRAFT GUIDE REGULAR SEASON STATISTICS NFL TEAMS MESSAGE BOARDS

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David M. Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 15
December 15, 2004
Season Ticket
Saturday Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
PIT at NYG 1 * BUF at CIN * SD at CLE* STL at ARZ BAL at IND *
WAS at SF 5 * HOU at CHI SEA at NYJ DEN at KC * Mon 9 PM
CAR at ATL 8:30 JAX at GB * DAL at PHI * NO at TB NE at MIA*
Times ET MIN at DET TEN at OAK * *updated Times ET
  New England Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady 0 0 200,1
RB Kevin Faulk 30,1 40 0
RB Corey Dillon 110,1 20 0
TE Daniel Graham 0 10 0
WR David Patten 0 60 0
WR Deion Branch 0 60,1 0
WR David Givens 0 60 0
PK Adam Vinatieri 2 FG 4 XP -
Miami Rush Catch Pass
QB A.J. Feeley 0 0 250,2
RB Sammy Morris 40 0 0
RB Travis Minor 40 10 0
TE Randy McMichael 0 50 0
WR Chris Chambers 0 90,1 0
WR Derrius Thompson 0 40 0
WR Marty Booker 0 60,1 0
PK Olindo Mare 1 FG 2 XP -

NE (12-1) vs MIA (2-11)

Game Prediction: NE 34, MIA 17

This is a rematch of week five when the Patriots won 24-10. This is also a tremendous reminder of why scheduling Monday night games in the spring is a very hit or miss proposition. The best record meets the worst record. No excuses for being late to work on Tuesday.

Update: David Givens has missed practice with a sprained ankle and is questionable for this Monday night game. I am removing him from the projections though he may end up playing.

Pre-Game Notes - NE

The Patriots are tied with the Steelers at 12-1 and the treasured "homefield throughout" hangs in the balance. New England will be here, then on the road against the Jets and finally they host the 49ers in week 17 (consider that a win). The final matchup against the Jets has already lost the drama since neither team really has anything to win or lose other than homefield for the Patriots. The Steelers still have to face the Bills and Ravens.

Quarterback: Tom Brady comes off his best game in two months when he threw for 260 yards and two scores against the Bengals last week. He's only failed to score in one game this season. Back in week five against the Dolphins, Brady only had seven completions for 76 yards and yet two touchdowns. Not much of a matchup this season.

Running Backs: Corey Dillon has scored in each of the last four games and his 88 yards against the Bengals in week 14 was his lowest rushing output in ten games. Dillon gained 94 yards on 18 carries in the last meeting with Miami. Kevin Faulk had a rushing touchdown last week and is now gratefully accepting a late game, trash time role when Dillon sits.

Wide Receivers: David Givens was a late scratch from pulling a muscle in pre-game warmups and David Patten filled is very well, gaining 107 yards and one touchdown. No other wideout was relevant in the game. Deion Branch had a big bang when he returned in week 11 but he's only had 108 yards and 8 catches total in the three games since. The Patriots rarely threw in the last meeting with the Dolphins because running Dillon while the Dolphins offense falls apart was enough then. Probably again this week.

Tight Ends: Daniel Graham was a scratch last week due to sore ribs but the tight ends have done little for New England since week five other than Fauria's one score last week.

Match Against the Defense: The Dolphins biggest weakness is against the run so expect plenty of Corey Dillon which will eventually play into some garbage time for Kevin Faulk. Brady will throw more in this game than back in week five when he had almost all his wideouts out injured. Look for a moderate game from Brady with one score but likely not more than that. This will be defense and rushing to win, not passing.

I like the chance for a defensive score in this game - almost a given against Miami

Pre-Game Notes - MIA

The Dolphins now fall back to being tied for the worst record in the NFL but at least they did beat the 49ers this season, so there's something to hang their hat on (searching for the small victories, mind you). The Dolphins were in the Denver game until the end last week but as with most of their season, just a little bad karma goes a long way against them.

Quarterback: A.J. Feeley only had 170 yards and one score last week but he only had one interception down from five the previous week. Back in week 5, Fiedler was still around and threw for 251 yards and one score in the first meeting with New England. That would definitely be high side for Feeley this week.

Running Backs: Sammy Morris rushed in a touchdown last week and looked fairly good on his nine carries for 36 yards. But the Dolphins are still using Travis Minor (10-24) as well and against the Patriots in week five there were only about 60 rushing yards anyway. Next week against Cleveland may make debating Morris versus Minor important but not this Sunday.

Wide Receivers: Chris Chambers broke his three game scoring streak when he only had 47 yards on five catches last week but that is his worst game in five weeks. When Feeley looks downfield, he always looks for Chambers first. Marty Booker scored last week on virtually the same amount of yards and catches as Chambers. Outside of Chambers, there is no reliable wideout in Miami.

Chris Chambers only had 37 yards receiving in the first matchup but scored once.

Tight Ends: Randy McMichael had 62 yards on five catches last week for one of his best games this season. He only had 34 yards and no scores in the first meeting with the Patriots.

Match Against the Defense: This could be a great upset if it happened, but the numbers just do not add up no matter how you look at it. There is nothing to consider in the Miami rushing game and the Patriots are one of the very worst to pit running backs against anyway.

Feeley could end up with some nice yardage here if only in trash time. The Miami penchant for turnovers and giving away defensive scores only wedges a bigger deficit on the score board which in turn makes them throw more and merely perpetuate the vicious cycle. There should be at least one passing score here which favors Chambers.

NE MIA 2004 Averages MIA NE
Gains Allows QB's Gains Allows
236
180
Pass yards
208
236
1.6
1.2
Pass TDs
1.2
1.2
0.7
0.7
Interceptions
1.8
1.4
2
8
Rush yards
6
11
0.0
0.1
Rush TDs
0.1
0.1
---
---
RB's
---
---
128
130
Rush yards
72
87
1.0
0.7
Rush TDs
0.4
0.3
34
25
Receive yards
23
29
0.0
0.0
Receive TD's
0.1
0.0
---
---
WR's
---
---
166
133
Receive yards
129
169
1.1
0.8
Receive TD's
0.8
1.1
---
---
TE's
---
---
36
22
Receive yards
60
38
0.5
0.4
Receive TD's
0.4
0.1
---
---
PK's
---
---
2.2
1.3
Field Goals
1.3
1.1
3.0
2.6
Extra Points
1.5
1.5
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.9
1.2
Fumbles
0.6
0.8
1.4
1.4
Interceptions
0.9
0.8
0.4
0.7
Touchdowns
0.1
0.3
2.9
3.1
Sacks
2.7
1.7
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Patriots (12-1)
Score Opp.
27-24 IND
23-12 @ARI
Week 3 bye
31-17 @BUF
24-10 MIA
30-20 SEA
13-7 NYJ
20-34 @PIT
40-22 @STL
29-6 BUF
27-19 @KC
24-3 BAL
42-15 @CLE
35-28 CIN
Week 15 @MIA
Week 16 @NYJ
Week 17 SF
Dolphins (2-11)
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
32-42 BUF
17-20 @DEN
Week 15 NE
Week 16 CLE
Week 17 @BAL