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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday night
On Bye

Prediction: MIA 17, CLE 27

The Dolphins fall to 0-5 on the season for the want of three points in three different games. Now they have lost Trent Green to ensure that the season looks even bleaker. The Browns are just 2-3 but that includes home wins over the Ravens and Bengals. This a rare game that the Browns look certain to win - it is the first time they have been favored this year.

Update: Jamal Lewis has not practiced this week because of a sprained foot and still was wearing a protective book mid-week. While he is still deemed a game time decision, I am not adding him into the projections and do not expect him to play making Jason Wright a nice bye week filler for fantasy teams. Joe Jurevicius has been limited in practice this week after tweaking his knee and is receiving treatments on it. His final status for Sunday likely won't be certain until Friday or Saturday and could even come as late as gametime. I am not adding him into the projections but there is still a chance he may play. If you need Jurevicius, make sure you check the inactives report before using him since it will be in the first set of games on Sunday.

Kellen Winslow was limited on Wednesday but had a full practice on Thursday and is expected to play as he did last week.

Miami Dolphins (0-5)
Homefield: Dolphins Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @WAS 13-16 +3 35
2 DAL 20-37 +3.5 40.5
3 @NYJ 28-31 +3 35.5
4 OAK 17-35 -3.5 40
5 @HOU 19-22 +5.5 43
6 @CLE   +4.5 45
7 NE 21-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
8 NYG 28-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
9 BYE - - -
10 BUF 11-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
11 @PHI 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 @PIT 26-Nov MON 8:30 PM
13 NYJ 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 @BUF 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 BAL 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 @NE 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 CIN 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
MIA at CLE Rush Catch Pass
QB Cleo Lemon 10   210,1
RB Ronnie Brown 110,1 50  
TE David Martin   10  
WR Chris Chambers   60,1  
WR Marty Booker   60  
WR Ted Ginn Jr.   30  
PK Jay Feeley 1 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: Losing Trent Green was a tough break for a franchise that is still waiting for their first sign that luck is going to favor them. Green suffered a Grade 3 concussion and despite there being no official word that he has retired, it strains credulity that he could possibly return to play again. The risks are far too high. Ronnie Brown has ignited the running game and now the Fins just have to figure out how to replace Green while wondering whatever happened to their defense that now gives up about 28 points every week. Only the Lions and Browns have allowed more.

Quarterback: With Green gone, the Dolphins turn to Cleo Lemon whose name sounds more like a Muppet than a savoir for a stumbling football team. Lemon played in four games last year and threw for two scores without any interceptions. But the Dolphins had a chance last summer to stick with Lemon and elected to grab the aging and concussion-prone Green instead. With the season fading away, there is a good chance that the rookie John Beck gets some playing time before the year is out. The BYU product was drafted for the future and that could start within a matter of weeks.

Running Backs: After being misused for the first two weeks, now Ronnie Brown has used three games to become the most productive running back in the league and almost the entirety of the Miami offense. He has scored in each of the last three weeks and ran for no less than 112 yards. He's being used as a receiver for five or six catches per game and turned that into anywhere from 40 to 100 yards. He has five touchdowns on the year and it all came in three games. Apparently Cam Cameron lost a bet with Jesse Chatman that was paid off after two games.

Wide Receivers: The change at quarterback won't likely help this unit that has done very little since week three. Chris Chambers went from around 100 yards per game down to just 20. Marty Booker scored once and had two games over 60 yards but lately cannot top 50 yards. Ted Ginn Jr. still only catches one pass per game if that much and it was scampering about last week that led to the ill-fated blocking attempt by Trent Green. Until Lemon shows he can hit these players, it will be tough to rely on them for a fantasy team.

Tight Ends: Stop looking at David Martin on your roster and wondering. Just trade him in on some other free agent.

Match Against the Defense: Switching gears to Lemon this week throws much uncertainty on what the Fins can do offensively. The Browns are bad in every facet of defense so at least you can rely on Brown turning in a good game that could be big. And Lemon shows up to face the #32 defense against quarterbacks - nice timing if nothing else. Look for Lemon to throw at least one score but more than that is unlikely or at least optimistic. Green was not moving the chains well in the last couple of weeks so a new quarterback playing in a new system won't likely do much better. This is the best chance that Chambers has to score this year - if Lemon will get the ball to him.

Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 21 7 23 16 7 31
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 32 20 31 32 31 22


Cleveland Browns (2-3)
Homefield: Cleveland Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 PIT 7-34 +4.5 37
2 CIN 51-45 +7 41.5
3 @OAK 24-26 +3 40.5
4 BAL 27-13 +4 40
5 @NE 17-34 +15.5 48
6 MIA   -4.5 45
7 BYE - - -
8 @STL 28-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
9 SEA 4-Nov SUN 4:05 PM
10 @PIT 11-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
11 @BAL 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 HOU 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 @ARI 2-Dec SUN 4:05 PM
14 @NYJ 9-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
15 BUF 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 @CIN 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 SF 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
CLE vs MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Derek Anderson     200,2
RB Jason Wright 80,1 20  
TE Kellen Winslow   40,1  
WR Braylon Edwards   90,1  
WR Tim Carter   30  
WR Josh Cribbs   20  
PK Phil Dawson 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Browns may only be 2-3 but it is undeniable the improvement the offense has made under Derek Anderson this year. Sure - the defense still doles out touchdowns like Halloween candy but these Browns are better if only on offense. Actually... make that only on offense.

Quarterback: Since becoming the starter in week two, Derek Anderson has throw for multiple scores in three of his four games played and has 11 touchdowns on the year. The yardage never falls below 200 in any game and the only real downside here is that Anderson ranks #2 worse in the league with eight interceptions. With the improvement in passing numbers and scores, that's a failing the Browns can live with for now. Even season ticket holders in Cleveland struggle to remember who that quarterback they drafted this year was.

Running Backs: Jamal Lewis injured his foot against the Patriots and may not play this week. Initial x-rays and MRI's did not show any structural damage but more were planned. Pending more information, I am projecting for Jason Wright to take the start this week. Wright gained 59 yards on 15 carries against the Patriots which alone was impressive and he added four catches for 43 yards as well. Updates as warranted but for now Wright looks like the starter.

Wide Receivers: Braylon Edwards continued his hot streak with six catches for 110 yards on Sunday against the Pats and that makes every game with Anderson producing either 100 yards and/or a touchdown. This is everything that Frye should have been and wasn't. Joe Jurevicius sprained his knee last week and underwent an initial MRI that did not show any problems. I will exclude Jurevicius from the projections until he is cleared to play this week. Jurevicius has scored in each of the two home games this year.

Tight Ends: Kellen Winslow comes off his worst game of the year with only four catches for 49 yards against the Patriots and he still scored a touchdown. That only gives him two on the year so far but he's been a fantasy gold mine every week with Anderson as the starter.

Match Against the Defense: The Dolphins have been surprisingly soft against the run this year but the Browns will be relying on Jason Wright this week. Look for Wright to have a decent game here with a chance for a score - not a bad free agent to grab if you need to cover a bye this week.

Anderson faces a secondary that is not nearly as good as years past and that has given up two passing scores in three different games this year. That's right even with Anderson's normal game and not having Jamal Lewis only makes it more likely to happen. This week should see Winslow have more moderate yardage since the Dolphins held down Witten and Cooley though I like his chance of scoring, particularly if Jurevicius is out this week. Edwards will catch at least one score in this game and should turn in nice yardage along the way.

Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 4 22 7 4 14 27
Preventing Fantasy Points MIA 27 26 13 14 32 14

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday night
On Bye

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