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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

Prediction: MIA 10, NE 20

Update: No changes to the projections but LaMont Jordan is listed as doubtful this week because of a sprained foot. Do not be tempted to use him or Laurence Maroney who still has a shoulder injury that kept him out of practice until Friday when he was limited. Sammy Morris is the only safe back to start here if there is ever a "safe to start" Patriot running back.

This is one of the annual mismatches in the AFC East but in a year or two maybe it will change. The Patriots swept the Dolphins last year, winning 49-28 in Miami and later 28-7 at home.

Miami Dolphins (0-2)
Homefield: Dolphins Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 NYJ 14-20 +3 36
2 @ARZ 10-31 +7 38.5
3 @NE - +13 34.5
4 BYE - - -
5 SD - - -
6 @HOU - - -
7 BAL - - -
8 BUF - - -
9 @DEN - - -
10 SEA - - -
11 OAK - - -
12 NE - - -
13 @STL - - -
14 @BUF - - -
15 SF - - -
16 @KC - - -
17 @NYJ - - -
MIA at NE Rush Catch Pass
QB Chad Pennington     150,1
RB Ronnie Brown 30 10  
RB Ricky Williams 40 20  
TE Anthony Fasano   20  
WR Derek Hagan   30  
WR Greg Camarillo   20,1  
WR Ted Ginn Jr.   30  
PK Dan Carpenter 1 XP 1 FG  
Pregame Notes: The Dolphins were blown out in Arizona and for anyone holding Chad Pennington, realize the short term plan is to use Chad Henne at the end of those games so no trash time for Pennington. The season is progressing slowly for the Fins but this is just a rebuilding year and HC Tony Sparano and Bill Parcells are safe in their jobs. This is the year of tinkering and a nice draft pick before it gets brighter in 2009.

Quarterback: While Chad Pennington had 251 yards and two scores in week one against the Jets, he only had 112 yards and no scores before being yanked for Chad Henne in Arizona. The team wants Henne to develop into the franchise quarterback and there should be several nice blowouts this year that will allow him to gain playing time. Of course that potentially ruins Pennington's fantasy value in certain weeks but you didn't think he was going to pass for 250 yards and two scores every week... right?

The Dolphins never passed for more than 236 yards against the Pats last year and only had one score in the road game.

Running Backs: Oh yeah, I want a piece of that action. So far over two games, the duo of Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams has not resulted in more than 11 carries in a game by either and never more than 28 rushing yards. Brown did rush in a touchdown last week in Arizona but otherwise this unit is devoid of fantasy value even for leagues using "team running backs".

The Fins scored two rushing touchdowns and ran for 163 yards and three scores in the home game against the Pats last year but later only had 98 yards and no score in the road meeting. Forget those games this year. Seriously.

Wide Receivers: There isn't any worthwhile fantasy numbers coming out of this unit which has no touchdowns and has not produced a player with more than 51 yards in a game. Ted "the first rounder" Ginn so far has three catches for 26 yards on the year. The expensive offseason addition Ernest Wilford was activated last week and had no catches on two passes. Not happening here.

Ginn never had more than 37 yards against the Pats last year and never scored.

Tight Ends: The only two passing scores this year both went to tight ends in week one, That turned into just 32 yards for David Martin last week and Anthony Fasano followed his 84 yards and one touchdown game with no catches last week. Never even had a pass thrown to him.

Match Against the Defense: This is bound to be a bad beat as the first home game without Tom 'sniff sniff" Brady in it. Expect only mediocre yardage from Williams and Brown and no rushing score. Pennington could throw for a score here or he could get replaced by Chad Henne so there is no safe play here at all. I am assigning one touchdown to Camarillo but it could go anywhere if it even happens.

Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 17 26 28 2 30 28
Preventing Fantasy Points    NE 11 4 19 13 2 16

New England Patriots (2-0)
Homefield: Gillette Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 KC 17-10 -16.5 45
2 @NYJ 19-10 +1.5 39
3 MIA - -13 34.5
4 BYE - - -
5 @SF - - -
6 @SD - - -
7 DEN - - -
8 STL - - -
9 @IND - - -
10 BUF - - -
11 NYJ - - -
12 @MIA - - -
13 PIT - - -
14 @SEA - - -
15 @OAK - - -
16 ARZ - - -
17 @BUF - - -
NEP vs MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Cassell     180,1
RB Sammy Morris 30,1    
TE David Thomas   10  
WR Randy Moss   70,1  
WR Jabar Gaffney   20  
WR Wes Welker   80  
PK Stephen Gostkowski 2 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: So life After Brady (AB) is still worth living. The Patriots handled the visiting the same as they would have before Tom Terrific showed up. The defense is solid and often spectacular against weaker divisional foes (like this week) and the offensive system just chugs along. Consider it all the same with the just two or three touchdowns per game less than last year. Less fun and less fantasy points sure, but it is more akin to the Patriot Way pre-Brady.

Quarterback: First game in the saddle and Matt Cassell had a very controlled and boring 16 of 23 for 165 yards and no touchdowns or turnovers. The Patriots just got close and kicked field goals for the win. Brady threw for 354 yards and six touchdowns in Miami last year. He later had 215 yards and three scores in the home meeting in week 16. Those were great times, you know? Just great times... 'sigh'...

Running Backs: Just to make life more fun in the world of fantasy football, the Patriots limited themselves to only using five different running backs last week. Sammy Morris had zero yards on eight runs but ran in the only touchdown. Laurence Maroney only managed 16 yards on eight carries before hurting his shoulder and not returning. Lamont Jordan led all runners with 11 carries for 62 yards though Kevin Faulk had 50 yards on four receptions. Throw in Heath Evans (1-3) for the entire set.

I will pretend the Patriots will only use Morris this week with Maroney probably injured and unreliable at best. But five different running backs last week may just be the new standard.

Maroney only ran six times for 31 yards in Miami but gained 156 yards on 14 carries with one score in the home meeting.

Wide Receivers: More than a little bothersome to Randy Moss owners was that Cassell only threw to him three times all game long. He caught two for 22 meager yards. Wes Welker fared far better with 11 passes for seven catches and 72 yards.

Moss scored twice in both meetings with the Fins last year and had 122 yards in Miami but just 50 at home. Welker scored twice and gained 138 yards on nine catches in Miami just to stick it to his ex-employer but later only had 49 yards on five receptions.

Tight Ends: Just one pass to David Thomas means no fantasy value with Cassell around.

Match Against the Defense: Look for Cassell to hook up with Moss and even possibly Welker this week against a secondary that has allowed five passing scores this year. The Patriots are still trying to find their 2008 identity though and that means a lower score. Figure on one of the five running backs scoring a touchdown as well. I'll use Sammy Morris as their representative.

Gaining Fantasy Points NE 23 13 19 29 7 20
Preventing Fantasy Points    MIA 29 13 31 19 6 9

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