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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 5
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Bye Week
CHI
Monday
SD
GB
*updated
NO

Prediction: NYJ 17, MIA 13

Saturday Update: Jerricho Cotchery was held out of practice on Friday and is now considered to be in jeopardy of missing this game. He has a bad matchup anyway and I am lowering his projections. He may not play and the problem is that his game status will not be determined until Monday when you likely have no other options. Safest bet is to avoid Cotchery.

Friday Update: The Jets have acquired Braylon Edwards to finally give Mark Sanchez a better receiving option assuming he starts catching the passes. Since this is the Monday night game, there is an extra day to get Edwards up to speed and the offenses between the Browns and Jets is similar (terminology, not on the field results). I am replacing Stuckey with Edwards since Stuckey was part of the trade to the Browns. But for the first week, it would be optimistic to expect Edwards to step in immediately and contribute.

Jerricho Cotchery was limited in practice on Thursday with his sore hamstring but is not considered to be a problem.

This Monday night game is more interesting than initially thought but only because the Jets have been so surprising while the Dolphins have been rather disappointing. The Jets lost their first game when the Saints exposed Mark Sanchez to be an actual rookie quarterback. But the Fins have no quarterback with the departure of Chad Pennington and needed the Bills to visit to get their first win. This game boils down to Ronnie Brown versus the Jets defense. This game smacks of being the lowest scoring Monday night game of the year.

In 2008, the season opener for these teams came in Miami where the Jets won 20-14. Then the final game of the year was the rematch in New York where the Dolphins won 24-17.

New York Jets (3-1)
Homefield: Giants Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @HOU 24-7 +4.5 44
2 NE 16-9 +6 46
3 TEN 24-17 -2.5 37
4 @NO 10-24 +6.5 46
5 @MIA - -1.5 36.5
6 BUF - - -
7 @OAK - - -
8 MIA - - -
9 BYE - - -
10 JAC - - -
11 @NE - - -
12 CAR - - -
13 @BUF - - -
14 @TB - - -
15 ATL - - -
16 @IND - - -
17 CIN - - -
NYJ at MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Mark Sanchez 20   160,1
RB Thomas Jones 30,1    
RB Leon Washington 40 30  
TE Dustin Keller   20,1  
WR Jerricho Cotchery   30  
WR Braylon Edwards   30  
WR Chansi Stuckey 30
WR Brad Smith   10  
PK Jay Feely 1 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: Tough loss for the Jets last week and while Mark Sanchez finally struggled, the rest of the team played very well and the game was basically a tie plus two gift scores for the Saints defense. The two meetings with the Dolphins is probably all that stands between the Jets and reaching the week nine bye with a 8-1 record. Finding the Dolphins without Pennington is an added bonus this week.

Quarterback: Mark Sanchez finally had his first NFL game without a touchdown (not counting the defensive scores) and his 138 passing yards was also his low point so far. What's worse is that he threw three interceptions, lost a fumble and was sacked four times - all high marks in those categories. But that was more reflective of the improvement in the Saints defense.

Brett Favre passed for 194 yards and two scores for the Jets in Miami last year.

The Dolphins have played good defense as well and while they have allowed two opponents to crest 300 passing yards, that was mostly about facing Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers. Trent Edwards had 192 yards and a score in Miami last Sunday in a game that was decided by halftime. Look for just mediocre numbers by Sanchez this week since the Dolphins are getting desperate and should hold Sanchez to another lesser game.

Running Backs: HC Rex Ryan claims that he wants Leon Washington to have a lot more work but as the plays are called, he only gets less every week. Washington started the year out with 15 carries and has declined each game until he only had four runs for 17 yards last week. He still has yet to score a touchdown but the plan is to involve him more this week. The two previous road games did have Washington catching four passes in each.

Thomas Jones has also declined in workload and has remained below four yards per carry in every game since week one. He has scored three times but has no role as a receiver and has been limited to just 14 carries per game lately - that could decline more if Washington gets more work. I am forecasting him with a score but it could go to any running back or even with Sanchez rushing it in.

Shonn Greene also made a showing last week when the rookie had four runs for 23 yards. He sprained his ankle slightly in the game but is expected to be okay this week. It means the Jets are going to split up carries between three runners. That's usually a death knell for fantasy value.

Jones gained 101 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries in Miami last season.

The Dolphins have only allowed one runner to score a touchdown this season and the best any have managed was 65 yards by Michael Turner in Atlanta. Forget about these running backs here who will divide a tough game into three and produce minimal fantasy points individually.

Wide Receivers: Jerricho Cotchery remains the primary target for Sanchez lately and his five catches for 71 yards dwarfed everyone else on the team in New Orleans. Chansi Stuckey has been a complete non-factor since week one and Brad Smith has never had more than two catches in a game. The offense either moves with Cotchery (and Keller) or the passing game stalls.

Both Stuckey and Cotchery scored in Miami in 2008 with Cotchery leading the team for 89 yards on three catches.

The Fins have only allowed two passing scores to wideouts this year and that is considering that they have faced top flight receivers. Cotchery has been the only player here that has any fantasy value and this week even that will take a hit.

Tight Ends: Like Stuckey, Dustin Keller had a big season opener but then has never produced more than 31 yards or three catches in a game. The Dolphins are suspect against tight ends having faced down three of the elite players so far. I am projecting a touchdown for Keller but it is a big risk to happen. The Fins are less adept at stopping tight ends but Keller has not been nearly as productive in recent weeks.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYJ 26 17 22 20 21 24
Preventing Fantasy Points    MIA 20 5 10 28 26 25


Miami Dolphins (1-3)
Homefield: Dolphins Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @ATL 7-19 +4 43.5
2 IND 23-27 +3 42
3 @SD 13-23 +6 42
4 BUF 38-10 +2.5 37
5 NYJ - +1.5 36.5
6 BYE - - -
7 NO - - -
8 @NYJ - - -
9 @NE - - -
10 TB - - -
11 @CAR - - -
12 @BUF - - -
13 NE - - -
14 @JAC - - -
15 @TEN - - -
16 HOU - - -
17 PIT - - -
MIA vs NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Chad Henne     120
RB Ronnie Brown 80,1 20  
RB Ricky Williams 50 10  
TE Anthony Fasano   10  
WR Ted Ginn Jr.   20  
WR Greg Camarillo   20  
WR Davone Bess   30  
PK Dan Carpenter 2 FG 1 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Dolphins apparently are able to compensate for Chad Pennington's departure when Chad Henne directed the team to a resounding 28 point win over the floundering Bills. This week will be a much bigger test though and coming on a Monday night it will be a big game atmosphere. The schedule is still brutal though with a bye week up next and then playing NO, @NYJ and @NE. It would shock no one to see this team stumble into their automatic win over the Buccaneers with a 1-7 record. There's a mighty fall after a weak schedule helped the Fins last year.

Quarterback: Chad Henne took his first start in replacement of Chad Pennington and he completed 14 of 25 for just 115 yards and one score with six sacks. The Dolphins had 36 rushing attempts in that game though and Henne never needed to throw much during the blowout over the visiting Bills. This week he will not be nearly so lucky and the onus will be on him to not make mistakes and command a productive passing game - both counts will be major challenges.

Pennington passed for 251 yards and two scores when the Jets visited last year.

The Jets have allowed only one passing touchdown this year and Henne is not likely to do as well as Tom Brady or Drew Brees. Forget about using Chad Henne this week and likely any week.

Running Backs: Ronnie Brown comes off his second big game of the year and he had 115 yards and two scores against the Bills. Both of his best efforts came in home games which should help but it's less likely that the Dolphins will have 38 rushing attempts to divide up this week. Ricky Williams has scored in each of the last two games and his workload increases in proportion to how easy the game is. Brown is consistent around 20 carries but Williams is more likely to yo-yo depending on game situation.

Brown had to ice down his wrist after the game but it is not expected to be any issue this week.

The Fins only rushed for 47 yards on 16 carries against the visiting Jets last year.

The Jets have allowed two rushing scores this year and the Saints had surprising success running against them though that reflects how feared the Saints passing attack is. I like Brown to get a rushing score in this game but his yardage will remain moderate thanks to sharing with Williams. Brown should be involved in a lot of plays if only because the passing game won't be nearly as productive as it needs to be.

Wide Receivers: Chad Henne relied on Greg Camarillo the most in his first start but that only equated to four catches for 42 yards while Ted Ginn has gone to being in a rotation and has seen his role plummet since getting blanked in week three when he was thrown eight passes. None of these wideouts have any fantasy value and the rookie Brian Hartline had the only touchdown scored by a wideout this year when he collected just two catches for 17 yards.

Before worrying about which receiver that CB Darrelle Revis shuts down this week, realize that none of these guys are likely to have any fantasy significance this week. No wideout had more than 38 yards when the Jets came to Miami in 2008. Ginn later scored and had 71 yards in New York. This year is just more highly pedestrian numbers by opposing wideouts.

Tight Ends: Anthony Fasano has disappeared as a receiver and changing to Henne had no effect when Fasano only had one catch for seven yards - his best game since the season opener (2-10).

Both Anthony Fasano (8-84) and David Martin (4-53) scored touchdowns when the Jets visited last year. Fasano would score again in New York as well.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 31 3 26 32 17 14
Preventing Fantasy Points    NYJ 2 13 3 6 5 27

The Huddle
WEEK 5
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Bye Week
CHI
Monday
SD
GB
NO
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