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

Prediction: MIA 24, STL 10

Update: Steven Jackson was able to do some limited practice all week and remains questionable and a likely game time decision. The matchup is not attractive and Jackson is not 100% healthy in the best case so I am not adding him into the projections despite him not being ruled out yet. If he looks good in pregame warm-ups he will likely start and then share with Antonio Pittman. Marc Bulger was limited in practice early in the week because of his concussion but is expected to return and play this week.

The Dolphins fell last week to the Patriots in that tit-for-tat world of the AFC East but the Rams are just horrible no matter where you go and not getting any better. Dolphins need this too badly to overlook what is a free win.

Miami Dolphins (6-5)
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 25-16 +1.5 42.5
9 @DEN 26-17 +3 49
10 SEA 21-19 -9 43
11 OAK 17-15


12 NE 28-48 -2 42
13 @STL - -7.5 43.5
14 @BUF - - -
15 SF - - -
16 @KC - - -
17 @NYJ - - -
MIA @ STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Chad Pennington     160,1
RB Ronnie Brown 110,1 10  
RB Ricky Williams 50,1 20  
TE Anthony Fasano   10  
WR Davone Bess   40  
WR Ted Ginn Jr.   50,1  
PK Dan Carpenter 1 FG 3 XP  
Pregame Notes: The loss of Greg Camarillo will hurt this passing attack since he had 55 catches on the season but playing the Rams is a nice week for making an adjustment. At 6-5 the Fins are only one game out of first in the AFC East but the final five games feature four road trips including Buffalo and New York - the schedule is turning against them after they come off five home games over the last six weeks.

Quarterback: The Dolphins lost to the Patriots but at least Chad Pennington had his biggest game of the year with 341 yards and three scores. Pennington has been rock solid for this rebuilding team and though he rarely had more than one score per week, he has been instrumental in guiding this offense that had made Greg Camarillo into a decent player and even seen Ted Ginn Jr. improve markedly this year. The loss of Camarillo won't help, but the offense wasn't predicated on the pass anyway.

Running Backs: No changes to the two-headed monster and last week Ronnie Brown only managed 37 yards on ten carries against the Patriots as a marked man since he had 113 yards and four scores in the first meeting. Brown has been fairly consistent - hot against bad defenses and then mediocre at best against a good one. Sharing carries with Ricky Williams makes it tough to get much yardage though.

Williams has done little recently as a runner other than the Seattle game but he has been good for a few catches each week to help his value marginally. He still is not worthy of a fantasy start in any week.

Wide Receivers: Greg Camarillo tore his ACL and meniscus and is gone for the season. That will allow the undrafted rookie Davone Bess to move up though Ernest Wilford and even Brandon London could be in the mix. This should have Ted Ginn at least take a higher profile for the rest of the year but this is a bad time for the Fins to suddenly lose their primary receiver. It may not matter much in St. Louis but it will in every other remaining game.

Tight Ends: Anthony Fasano now has gone two weeks without a catch and has lost any shred of value he may have once had.

Match Against the Defense: Fire up the running game and enjoy facing the worst team against running backs in the league, Every team scores at least once via the run and two or three scores are not uncommon. Look for Brown to pass the 100 yard mark this week and score at least once with enough left over to make Ricky Williams a decent starter if only for this one week.

The Rams secondary is plenty bad as well and is ranked as high as it is only because opponents run so much against them that they rarely have to pass. I like Pennington to just have a moderate day here at best but to throw at least one score that will most likely end up with Ginn. This week should be interesting to see how they replace Camarillo.

Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 16 3 22 8 29 15
Preventing Fantasy Points    STL 21 32 18 22 27 29

St. Louis Rams (2-9)
Homefield: Edward Jones Dome
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @PHI 3-38 +7 44
2 NYG 13-41 +8.5 41.5
3 @SEA 13-37 +10 44
4 BUF 14-31 +8 41.5
5 BYE - - -
6 @WAS 19-17 +13.5 44
7 DAL 34-14 +7 44
8 @NE 16-23 +7 43.5
9 ARZ 13-34 +3 49
10 @NYJ 3-47 +8.5 44.5
11 @SF 16-35 +6 44.5
12 CHI 3-27 +9 43
13 MIA - +7.5 43
14 @ARZ - - -
15 SEA - - -
16 SF - - -
17 @ATL - - -
STL vs MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Trent Green     170,1
RB Antonio Pittman 50 20  
WR Torry Holt   50  
WR Donnie Avery   60,1  
WR Dane Looker   30  
PK Josh Brown 1 FG 1 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Rams rank #32 in the league with only 147 points scored this year. They are also #31 with 344 points allowed. Not the way you want to end the year. The Rams are playing out a season that may see severe changes next year but at least the final five games are as light as they have been all year. There is a chance for another win and maybe even two if the Rams could ever get healthy but so far - no dice. This is a snake bitten team that just sinks deeper.

Quarterback: Marc Bulger suffered a concussion last week and may not be cleared to play here. I will assume that Trent Green takes the start and tries for the fourth time this year to actually get a touchdown. When Green stepped in for Bulger last week he passed for 219 yards but had four interceptions. There is no reliable fantasy value here no matter which one is the starter.

Running Backs: The Rams are optimistic that Steven Jackson could be back this week from his quadriceps injury and there is no doubt that he would make a difference however small that may be. Jackson has the only rushing touchdowns for the Rams this year and those came in only two games - both at home. He has not played since week nine and has only had three decent games this year. But since no one else on the roster is capable, Jackson is the difference between merely losing or getting demolished.

I will assume that Antonio Pittman takes his place and update as needed.

Wide Receivers: Tory Holt comes off a season high of 84 yards on four catches but still has only two touchdowns and otherwise has been challenged to reach even 60 yards in any game. Donnie Avery continues to be a factor only in road games for some reason and at home has never had more than 55 receiving yards. No fantasy value from this unit anymore.

Tight Ends: No fantasy value.

Match Against the Defense: The Rams have a shot at a respectable game if they can get Jackson back but otherwise there is virtually no chance. The home venue may eventually allow for a passing score but no player here is worthy of a fantasy start.

Gaining Fantasy Points STL 30 30 18 30 26 26
Preventing Fantasy Points    MIA 27 10 31 4 16 11

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