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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 5
October 9, 2005
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM Mon 9 PM
BAL at DET NO at GB IND at SF CIN at JAC* PIT at SDC*
CHI at CLE SEA at STL* CAR at ARI On Bye:  
MIA at BUF TB at NYJ* PHI at DAL KC, OAK
NE at ATL TEN at HOU* WAS at DEN MIN, NYG Updated*

Prediction: Miami 16, Buffalo 9

The Dolphins are a very nice surprise this year, already 2-1 and showing signs of a quick recovery by beating two quality opponents in Denver and Carolina. Both wins came at home and now they are on the road to Buffalo but the Bills have imploded this year. The offense could not find the endzone without a map and hiking boots and the defense has gone from one of the best to no better than average in only one month. The loss of Takeo Spikes only serves to let opponents rush even more against them. Bottom line - Losman has been a disaster and the offense is not moving.

The Bills swept the Dolphins last season 20-13 and later 42-32 in Miami.

Update: HC MIke Mularkey has declined to name a starter this week and it appears very likely that Kelly Holcomb will at least get playing time if not actually the start. Holcomb has been taking more snaps in practice this week with the first team as a sign of an impending change. I am chaning the starter to being Holcomb though it is not official. This probably won't be your best fantasy option this week in either case.

Miami Dolphins (2-1)
1 34-10 DEN 10 Nov 13 NE
2 7-17 @NYJ 11 Nov 20 @CLE
3 27-24 CAR 12 Nov 27 @OAK
4 Open Bye 13 Dec 4 BUF
5 Oct 9 @BUF 14 Dec 11 @SDC
6 Oct 16 @TBB 15 Dec 18 NYJ
7 Oct 23 KCC 16 Dec 24 TEN
8 Oct 30 @NOR 17 Jan 1 @NE
9 Nov 6 ATL . . SAT
MIA at BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Gus Frerotte 0 0 180
RB Ronnie Brown 100,1 20 0
TE Randy McMichael 0 50 0
WR Chris Chambers 0 50 0
WR Marty Booker 0 30 0
WR David Boston 0 10 0
PK Olindo Mare 3 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Dolphins come off their bye week with a surprising 2-1 record and a rushing game quite unlike any seen there during 2004. The real test of the new offense starts this week with two straight road games to Buffalo and Tampa Bay. While the defense can keep this week's game close, all those cylinders better be hitting for any hope of victory in Tampa Bay in week six.

Quarterback: So far Gus Frerotte has been about what you would expect from a journeyman quarterback playing on a team with new coaches and a new offensive scheme. He had the big 275 yard game with two scores to open the season against the Broncos but has settled to around 175 yards in each of the last two games. He had five touchdowns on the season and throws exactly one interception per game.

Fiedler was the quarterback during the game at Buffalo and only had 136 yards and one score in 2004. A.J. Feeley took the start in week 13 and threw for 303 yards and three scores.

Running Backs: After two initial weeks of low production, the rookie Ronnie Brown had his "welcome to the NFL" party against the Panthers in week three when he carried the ball only 23 times and yet gained 132 yards and one touchdown. He also added three catches for 15 yards.

Another good game here and when Ricky Williams shows back up next week, no one may care.

Wide Receivers: If Chris Chambers doesn't do it, then it just does not get done in games for the Miami wideouts. He had six catches for 93 yards and one score against the Panthers and is consistently getting twice the amount of passes of any other wideout. While Marty Booker scored in week one and had 114 yards, he's done almost nothing since.

Chambers was the best wideout against the Bills last year and in two meetings only managed a high of 49 yards and one score.

Tight Ends: Randy McMichael only had one catch in the most recent effort, but he's scored a touchdown in all three games this year. This offense has settled down to primarily using Chambers and McMichael in the passing scheme and McMichael has become the preferred redzone target for Frerotte.

McMichael was not successful against the Bills last year. He only managed games of 34 and 14 yards with no scores.

Match Against the Defense: This game will likely turn according to how well Ronnie Brown runs. If this is the same Brown who carved up the Panthers last week, then this game is over. The Bills have been allowing over 130 yards to each of the last three teams and with three scores in that time. Brown will have at least a moderate game here with a nice chance for yet another surprisingly good effort.

Frerotte faces a secondary that has not allowed much this year but mainly because no opponent has thrown more than 27 passes in any game thanks to the open lanes for the running game. Frerotte won't produce big numbers here and may not even throw a score since three of the four opponents have not. The Bills are in a circle the wagons mode now but until they stop opponents from rushing, there will be little passing against them which makes the secondary look great - though somewhat untested.

Buffalo Bills (1-3)
1 22-7 HOU 10 Nov 13 KCC
2 3-19 @TBB 11 Nov 20 @SDC
3 16-24 ATL 12 Nov 27 CAR
4 7-19 @NOR 13 Dec 4 @MIA
5 Oct 9 MIA 14 Dec 11 NE
6 Oct 16 NYJ 15 Dec 17 DEN
7 Oct 23 @OAK 16 Dec 24 @CIN
8 Oct 30 @NE 17 Jan 1 @NYJ
9 Open Bye . . SAT
BUF vs MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Kelly Holcomb 0 0 170
RB Willis McGahee 70 20 0
TE Mark Campbell 0 10 0
WR Eric Moulds 0 40 0
WR Lee Evans 0 50 0
WR Josh Reed 0 40 0
PK Rian Lindell 3 FG 0 XP -

Pregame Notes: After an encouraging finish to last year when the Bills had a dominating defense, the tables have turned and the offense has never looked worse. The defense has been unable to stop the run and after a nice opener over the Texans, this team has sputtered to a 1-3 record with no one area to blame.

Quarterback: J.P. Losman now has exactly 75 yards passing in each of his last two games with one interception in each. He was briefly replaced by Kelly Holcomb but starting this week, it may not be briefly anymore. Losman is coming very close to clipboard time.

Running Backs: As the only feature of the offense that works, Willis McGahee has scored in each of the last two games and has topped 100 total yards in three of four games this year. McGahee is running well, he just has only once had more than 22 carries in a game. Until the passing game actually exists, he'll be doing heroic deeds in maintaining his level of performance every week.

McGahee ran well against the Dolphins last year, gaining 111 and 91 yards though he never scored.

Wide Receivers: Lee Evans comes off a monster 140 yard effort and the 122 yards and three scores by Eric Moulds.... Sorry. Just wanted to see what that felt like. Moulds has topped out at only 40 yards in a game and Evans had only 46 yards from his last three games combined. Again - I apologize to all Evans and Moulds owners out there. Keep the faith and think Holcomb. But do not every start these wideouts until there is a reason.

Tight Ends: No catches in two weeks. But they cost a lot less than Moulds and Evans so it is like a savings thing for the Bills.

Match Against the Defense: The bad news here is that the Dolphins have yet to allow any rushing scores this season. Not one. No runner has had more than 72 yards and that was only because Curtis Martin had 31 runs in that game. This could be McGahee's first non-100 yard effort in the last few weeks.

Losman will start but nothing is going to happen here until either Holcomb plays or Losman can channel the spirit of Johnny Unitas. Unless you are heavily into the paranormal, wait for the Holcomb thing to happen.