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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 14
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Thursday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Sunday
Monday
* updated

Prediction: MIA 20, BUF 17

Update: This game is played indoors in Toronto so the weather won't be an issue and the Bills won't be at home. As expected, Edwards is expected to miss the game and have Losman replace him again. Marshawn Lynch was limited on Thursday to rest his back but had a full day on Friday and will play without limitation.

Here is the battle for the AFC East basement though the Bills are 6-6 and wanting to pull down the 7-5 Dolphins who are only 3-2 in road games. But the Bills have floundered on the rocks for many weeks now and are only 3-3 at home. The Fins won 25-16 when they hosted the Bills in week eight but this one is a toss up because the Bills - they're just right lately.

Miami Dolphins (7-5)
Homefield: Dolphins Stadium
Grass
  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

-10.5

38.5
12 NE 28-48 -2 42
13 @STL 16-12 -7.5 43.5
14 @BUF - +1 42
15 SF - - -
16 @KC - - -
17 @NYJ - - -
MIA @ BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Chad Pennington     220,2
RB Ronnie Brown 50,1 30  
RB Ricky Williams 30 10  
TE Anthony Fasano   20  
WR Davone Bess   60  
WR Ted Ginn Jr.   80,1  
PK Dan Carpenter 2 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Dolphins are 7-5 which is good but their most recent wins were by shockingly low amounts - STL (4), OAK (2) and SEA (2). That's living dangerously close to being 4-8 right now and the remaining schedule has three more road games and a season finale in New York to face the Jets. But Miami is only one game out of first place and tied with the Patriots. The AFC East is looking less like it has a wildcard team in it and more like the division winner may not be decided until after week 17.

Quarterback: Chad Pennington passed for 314 yards and one touchdown against the Bills back in week eight and then was far less prolific in each game since with the exception of the Patriots showing up and giving him 341 yards and three scores. Mostly - Pennington is a 220 yard, one touchdown per week sort of guy and only has 11 touchdowns on the season. This will be his first cold weather game of the year but he came from New York anyway so there is no difference.

Running Backs: Ronnie Brown only gained 43 yards on 14 carries against the Bills earlier this year and Ricky Williams was held to 16 yards on seven runs but had one touchdown. Brown's production has slipped in recent weeks as well and only the one home game against the Raiders had him gaining more than 59 rushing yards since week five. Brown still scores on occasion but he share so much with Ricky Williams now that the duo negate the fantasy stock that Brown should carry.

Williams has been getting upwards of a dozen carries each week for the last month and scored twice in that time. Ditto for Brown who actually has lagged Williams in rushing yards in three of the last four games. The committee is making Brown into a marginal fantasy start now and only when they face a weaker opponent.

Wide Receivers: It was encouraging that now that Greg Camarillo is gone, at least Davone Bess is making a contribution in his place and had six catches for 84 yards against the Rams last week. He also posted 87 yards on five receptions from the slot against the Patriots. Bess won't hold on to the starting spot next year because he is too small (5-10, 190) and the Fins already have shrimpish Ted Ginn Jr. (5-11, 178) and someone has to be the lanky possession guy.

Ginn Jr. turned in seven catches for 175 yards when the Bills visited in week eight. No other wideout had more than 35 yards in that game.

Tight Ends: Anthony Fasano has lost all fantasy value by now and only has two catches for 24 yards over the last four games. David Martin fares slightly better but there is no more fantasy value here despite the first two big weeks of the season.

Fasano only had two catches for 17 yards but scored once against the Bills this year.

Match Against the Defense: The Bills do play better at home but this team is a different one than the team that the Fins whipped six weeks ago - they are even worse. Look for only moderate yardage here at best but I like Ronnie Brown to rush in one score.

Pennington has to be the winning factor here and faces a secondary that ranks as well only from bad offenses. He already had a big game before and look for one score and decent yardage. Fasano caught a score in the last game but the Fins never use him anymore. Expect either Ginn or a running back to take it in.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 20 5 23 8 28 16
Preventing Fantasy Points    BUF 13 16 19 5 23 22


Buffalo Bills (6-6)
Homefield: Ralph Wilson Stadium
AstroTurf
  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 16-23 -1.5 42.5
9 NYJ 17-26 -5.5 43
10 @NE 10-20 +4 41
11 CLE 27-29

-4.5

42
12 @KC 54-31 -3 43.5
13 SF 3-10 -7 42.5
14 MIA - -1 42
15 @NYJ - - -
16 @DEN - - -
17 NE - - -
BUF vs MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB J.P. Losman     250,1
RB Marshawn Lynch 70,1 20  
RB Fred Jackson 20 40  
WR Lee Evans   80  
WR James Hardy   40  
WR Josh Reed   50,1  
PK Rian Lindell 1 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Chiefs game in week 12 is the only reason that the Bills are not on a six game losing streak. The year started so well - or so we thought before we realized what SEA, JAC, OAK and STL were really going to be like - and now it is spinning out of control and just lost Trent Edwards for this game potentially. This is a team that could not beat the visiting Browns or 49ers lately. That says about all you need to know.

Quarterback: Trent Edwards had a significant groin strain last week and could not finish that game. That allowed J.P. Losman to come in and complete 11 of 17 for 93 yards and no scores against the 49ers. The offense has already been stumbling in games with any decent opposing defense and Edwards was the only one keeping it together as it was. Trading back to Losman is a step down when this team really needs a step up.

They will not likely name a starting quarterback until game time but I will assume that Losman takes the start and update if needed.

Edwards passed for 273 yards and two scores in Miami,

Running Backs: Marshawn Lynch has come on lately with two big games but in both cases it was a weaker defense coming in and allowing him uncharacteristically good stats. The Browns gave up 119 rushing and 58 receiving yards and one score to grant him his best game of the year. The 49ers gave up 134 yards on 16 carries last week. But Lynch rushed for just 61 yards on 13 carries and scored once in Miami while Fred Jackson also had ten carries for 41 yards. Lynch has not approached those sort of numbers against any other AFC East team. In face, the recent game against the Jets had him only gaining 16 yards on nine carries.

Wide Receivers: The potential move to Losman will impact Lee Evans who had almost no catches with him last week. The move to Trent Edwards has been what gave Evans any consistency and he caught seven passes for 116 yards in Miami. He had a two touchdown game when the Fins visited last year and both times it was with Edwards as the quarterback. Losman was the quarterback in the first matchup with the Fins in 2007 and Evans ended with four catches for 65 yards.

While the move to Losman is not going to be a positive, it shouldn't be that damaging to what Evans can do. Losman was with Evans for longer than Edwards has been and the Dolphins are actually more accustomed to seeing him as quarterback than Edwards.

Tight Ends: With Robert Royal out last week, Derek Schouman filled in and had four catches for 44 yards. The position is never productive enough to merit a fantasy start but it does contribute to the passing game at least a little each week.

Match Against the Defense: The Miami rush defense has been excellent this year and the Bills need a weak team to have Lynch see much success. Look for only moderate rushing yardage in this game and one rushing score at most.

Losman faces a secondary that usually gives up at least one score and often very good yardage with four teams exceeding 300 yards already. But the Bills never throw that much or that well and Losman won't be as good as Edwards. The one touchdown pass will end up with a wideout. It could go anywhere and I like Reed a little more than Evans who will get the yards.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 15 18 22 17 9 11
Preventing Fantasy Points    MIA 23 8 29 3 20 7

The Huddle
WEEK 14
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Thursday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Sunday
Monday
Other Features
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Tuesday Injury Report
Free Agent Forecast
Commentary From the Edge
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