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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Bye Week
* updated

Prediction: BUF 23, MIA 20

This annual matchup takes on a new look with both teams on the upswing and the Bills in the lead for the AFC East. The Bills swept the Dolphins in 2007, winning 13-10 in Miami during week 10 and later 38-17 at home in week 14. This is a coin flip game but more important to the Dolphins who will sink to only 2-5 with a loss.

Buffalo Bills (4-1)
Homefield: Ralph Wilson Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 SEA 34-10 -1 39
2 @JAX 20-16 +6 38
3 OAK 24-23 -9.5 36.5
4 @STL 31-14 -8 41.5
5 @ARZ 17-41 +1 45
6 BYE - - -
7 SD 23-14 +1 46.5
8 @MIA - -1.5 42.5
9 NYJ - - -
10 @NE - - -
11 CLE - - -
12 @KC - - -
13 SF - - -
14 MIA - - -
15 @NYJ - - -
16 @DEN - - -
17 NE - - -
BUF @ MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Trent Edwards     240,2
RB Marshawn Lynch 60 20  
TE Robert Royal   20  
WR Lee Evans   80,1  
WR Josh Reed   60,1  
WR Roscoe Parrish   40  
PK Rian Lindell 3 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: The solid win over the Chargers made up for being pounded in Arizona a few weeks ago and the Bills remain a game ahead of the Patriots in the AFC East. These next three weeks will be the deciding factor for the playoffs with @MIA, NYJ and @NE all running through the league. If the Bills can go 3-0 through those, there will be no stopping them this year from finally winning the division. The Bills are not playing great in any particular area but remain good in every single one. There is no real weakness on this team that ends up "good enough" to in almost every game.

Quarterback: WIth uncanny consistency, Trent Edwards has passed for exactly one touchdown per game this year. Never more, never less. He usually ends up around 240 passing yards thanks to connecting with Lee Evans and he's only had two interceptions this year. Edwards is playing a controlled game manager role now and getting better.

J.P. Losman only passed for 157 yards in Miami last year while Edwards had 165 yards and four touchdowns in the home meeting with the Dolphins.

Running Backs: Marshawn Lynch has been a decent player this year but he hasn't met expectations especially considering he is on a 5-1 team that has played one of the lightest schedules in the NFL this year. He has scored in four of his six games to prop up his fantasy value but still has not rushed for more than 83 yards in a game. He's only topped 100 net yards once.

Lynch only gained 61 yards on 19 carries with one touchdown in Miami last season. He later had 107 yards at home while Fred Jackson chipped in 115 more yards on 15 carries.

Wide Receivers: No need to search the Bills depth chart looking for fantasy value in wideouts. Lee Evans has scored in each of the last three games and never had less than 65 yards in any week. He's been a solid performer every week with his worse games coming in the easier matchups. Josh Reed chips in at least 40 yards every week but he still has not scored this year. There is Evans or there is nothing.

Evans only had 65 yards on four catches in Miami last year. He later on 79 yards on two catches and both were touchdowns.

Tight Ends: Robert Royal popped off again last week with four catches for 53 yards against the Chargers but that gives him two decent games this year and four bad ones sandwiched in between. No reliable fantasy value here.

Match Against the Defense: These new Dolphins are far better at stopping the run so expect nothing more than the same mediocrity from Marshawn "but you could do so much more" Lynch. Likely no score here since only three runners have managed a touchdown and Lynch is hardly scoring anywhere as it is.

This game turns on Trent Edwards since the Dolphins have been soft against the pass. They have allowed nine passing scores already despite playing against several bad passing teams. Look for two touchdowns from Edwards that obviously favor Evans strongly but could end up with another wideout as well. I will credit Reed but Parrish is just as likely.

Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 15 17 16 20 8 11
Preventing Fantasy Points    MIA 25 7 32 6 13 10

Miami Dolphins (2-4)
Homefield: Dolphins Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 NYJ 14-20 +3 36
2 @ARZ 10-31 +7 38.5
3 @NE 38-13 +13 34.5
4 BYE - - -
5 SD 17-10 +6.5 45.5
6 @HOU 28-29 +3 45
7 BAL 13-27 -3 36.5
8 BUF - +1.5 43.5
9 @DEN - - -
10 SEA - - -
11 OAK - - -
12 NE - - -
13 @STL - - -
14 @BUF - - -
15 SF - - -
16 @KC - - -
17 @NYJ - - -
MIA vs BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Chad Pennington     220,1
RB Ronnie Brown 60,1 20  
TE Anthony Fasano   20  
WR Davone Bess   50,1  
WR Greg Camarillo   70  
WR Ted Ginn Jr.   50  
PK Dan Carpenter 2 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The wildcat formation has already been figured out and that leaves the Dolphins back with a rebuilding team short of talent in just a few areas. The Ravens manhandled them last week and that has been indicative of their season - they look good against a struggling defense but come up short against everyone else. The Fins are only 1-2 at home this year. Winning two of their first four games was amazing considering 2007 but the Fins are starting to look more as expected.

Quarterback: Chad Pennington has never been a reason why the Fins have lost but he's also not a reason why they have ever won. He has been an upgrade to what would have happened without him to be sure, but he only has six passing scores on the season. His yardage has been improving in recent games if only because they were behind and had to abandon the run.

The Dolphins never passed for more than 241 against the Bills last year and never had a passing touchdown.

Running Backs: Ronnie Brown has his explosion in weeks three and five when he posted 100+ rushing yards and scored five times but the wildcat/single wing formation isn't surprising anyone now that defenses know to just blitz the play and nothing happens. Brown only has 77 yards on 26 carries over the last two weeks and outside of those two magic weeks has not been better than 50 rushing yards in any game.

Ricky Williams has always lost value significantly after opening the year as the primary back. He only had four carries last week and has scored only once this year. He's no longer worth carrying on a fantasy roster unless you are banking on a Ronnie Brown injury.

The Dolphins rushed for 124 yards on 27carries in week 10 against the Bills but later only had Samkon Gado in week 14 who ran for 52 yards but scored twice.

Wide Receivers: A very lackluster group here that has yet to produce a wideout with more than 74 yards in a game. Greg Camarillo has been the most consistent with around 60 yards in most weeks as the possession receiver but the entire wide receiver unit has only managed two touchdowns this season and very rarely any games over 50 receiving yards for an individual. Ted Ginn remains inconsistent and has never scored while Davone Bess mans the slot for his one catch per game. Last week it was his first NFL touchdown but he has never had more than 25 yards in any game.

Tight Ends: Anthony Fasano is the leading receiver for the Dolphins with two touchdowns but he has slowed down in recent weeks with never more than 47 yards in a game and just 37 yards over the last two weeks. Both the rushing and passing games here are being figured out by defenses.

Match Against the Defense: The Browns defense has been softer against the run on the road this year where opponents have scored five times as opposed to none in Buffalo. The yardage allowed is also better though it will be split here at least a little. Look for Ronnie Brown to turn in a decent game this week with a chance for one touchdown. Williams has faded back enough that Brown is starting to become a bit more reliable though the Bills are bringing a better defense than all but the Ravens last week have presented to the Fins.

Pennington faces a secondary that is decent enough and that has only allowed six passing scores this year. Look for one passing score this week that should favor a wideout like Davone Bess since speedy slot guys have been hurting them in the past.

Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 16 3 27 2 30 22
Preventing Fantasy Points    BUF 11 15 20 1 11 12

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