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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 13
2012
NO at ATL (THU) *CLE at OAK *MIN at GB *SEA at CHI
*ARI at NYJ HOU at TEN NE at MIA *SF at STL
CAR at KC *IND at DET *PHI at DAL TB at DEN
*UPDATED *CIN at SD *JAC at BUF *PIT at BAL NYG at WAS (MON)

Prediction: NE 34, MIA 17 (LINE: NE by 7)

Players to Watch: Brian Hartline, Davone Bess

The Patriots swept the Dolphins last year, winning 38-24 at Miami in the season opener and later 27-24 at home.

New England Patriots
Homefield: Gillette Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @TEN 34-13 10 BUF 37-31
2 ARI 18-20 11 IND 59-24
3 @BAL 30-31 12 @NYJ 49-19
4 @BUF 52-28 13 @MIA -----
5 DEN 31-21 14 HOU -----
6 @SEA 23-24 15 SF -----
7 NYJ 29-26 16 @JAC -----
8 @STL 45-7 17 MIA -----
9 BYE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NE @ MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady 300,3
WR Danny Amendola 1-20
WR Julian Edelman 3-30
TE Dwayne Allen 3-30
PK Stephen Gostkowski 2 FG 4 XP

Pregame Notes: The Patriot tradition of being a bully when possible is alive and well with back-to-back wins of 35 and 30 points but in fantasy terms - it's all good. The last four weeks have never scored fewer than 37 points and have averaged almost 48 points per week. Nice month.

Tom Brady already passed for 24 touchdowns this year and seven times surpassed 300 passing yards in a game. His last three road games were three or more touchdowns each. His slower start to the season has sped up plenty in the last six weeks or so and he's back to posting big yardage and scores each week. What is going to be interesting is that this week is in Miami where the Fins have given him problems in the past. Then it is two home games against probably the two toughest defenses in the 49ers and Texans.

Though it was the season opener last year, Brady passed for 517 yards and four touchdowns in Miami.

Shane Vereen is getting plenty of work lately with 12 touches in each of the last two games and he scored in both. He's gaining 40+ rushing yards and notched a touchdown on a 83-yard catch and run last Thursday. But Stevan Ridley scored in each of the last four games and totaled over 90 yards in six different games so far. Ridley is a constant each week with decent yardage and a score. Vereen is mixed in with varying results and Danny Woodhead only gets appreciable work as a receiver when the Patriots play against a good defense and Brady needs the outlet.

With Rob Gronkowski out, the tight ends did little to replace him. Even Aaron Hernandez who finally returned from his ankle injury only caught two passes for 36 yards though he also caught a touchdown that was called back for offensive pass interference. Daniel Fells had his one catch like usual and that was all for the tight ends.

Wes Welker did not have any more or less work with Gronk out. He still had seven catches for 71 yards which is right in the same area as his last five games. Julian Edelman is the one who has seen an uptick with a score in each of the last two games and around 60 yards in each.

Welker caught eight passes for 160 yards and two scores in Miami last season while Aaron Hernandez (7-103, TD) and Rob Gronkowski (6-86, TD) both had big games as well.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NE 3 2 15 1 2 2
Preventing Fantasy Points MIA 19 5 18 13 23 24

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Tom Brady, NE ATL 0000030020 ***
Going back to the Super Bowl, Brady went for 466-2-1 versus Atlanta. The Falcons have yielded 1.5 TDs per matchup to quarterbacks, holding passers to just 235 aerial yards and 60.1 percent.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Dion Lewis, NE ATL 2011100000 ***
Atlanta his given up the ninth-most receiving yards per game, so there's at least that going for him. Additionally, Lewis' involvement has increased the last two weeks. Consider this an optimistic projection and him playable only in dire circumstances based on the erratic nature of a three-pronged backfield.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Mike Gillislee, NE ATL 400000000 ***
Only one of the last 88 carries versus Atlanta has found the end zone, making this the fourth-hardest defense to score against. Rushers have averaged a modest 84.3 yards per game on the ground.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB James White, NE ATL 1004200000 ***
White scored three times in the Super Bowl and caught 14 balls along the way. While expecting anything remotely close to that performance is foolish, he could be a viable flex in PPR formats. Atlanta has allowed averages of 5.3 receptions for 51.3 yards and a TD every 21 snares.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Chris Hogan, NE ATL 005701000 **
Receivers have scored five times in four games and have averaged 12.5 catches (9th most) against this mid-tier opponent. Hogan posted four catches and 57 yards in the Super Bowl.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandin Cooks, NE ATL 004600000 ***
In the last four games, receivers have averaged 12.5 catches, 128.8 yards and a score every 10 catches facing the Falcons. Seven teams have been worse at stopping WRs from scoring TDs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Danny Amendola, NE ATL 006600000 ***
For PPR types, Amendola's matchup is solid. The Falcons have given up 12.5 catches per game, which ranks ninth, and the position has gone for a score every 10 times. This is a midrange matchup for reception-rewarding scoring.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Rob Gronkowski, NE ATL 006901000 ***
None of the 18 receptions against have scored on Atlanta by TEs, and the averages of 4.5 catches for 55 yards rate in the middle of the league. Gronk missed the Super Bowl meeting.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Stephen Gostkowski, NE ATL 2233 ***
All 18 kicks -- 10 FGs -- have been accurate against the Falcons. The 9.5 fantasy points given up rates as the fourth most in football.

Miami Dolphins
Homefield: Dolphins Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @HOU 10-30 10 TEN 3-37
2 OAK 35-13 11 @BUF 14-19
3 NYJ 20-23 12 SEA 24-21
4 @ARI 21-24 13 NE -----
5 @CIN 17-13 14 @SF -----
6 STL 17-14 15 JAC -----
7 BYE ----- 16 BUF -----
8 @NYJ 30-9 17 @NE -----
9 @IND 20-23 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
MIA vs NE Rush Catch Pass
QB Jay Cutler 10 220,1
QB Ryan Tannehill 240,1
TE Anthony Fasano 2-20

Pregame Notes: The Dolphins are within one win of a .500 season but that may end up at an arm-length away the rest of the year. The Fins need three more wins to end up at 8-8 but have two meetings with the Patriots and a trip to San Francisco left. Short of an upset in one of those three games - assuming they can beat the visiting Jags and Bills - it still leaves them short at 7-9.

No real changes to the offense. Ryan Tannehill remains a game manager with only seven passing touchdowns on the year and usually right around a mediocre 200 pass yards in most games. What's worse is that he only managed two touchdowns in the last three games and yet threw six interceptions over that time period.

Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas continue to timeshare almost equally and if either gets hot they'll take a but more work that week. Bush shockingly had his second best game of the year when the Seahawks showed up and let him gain 87 yards on 14 runs. Daniel Thomas also ran for 60 yards and a score on just nine runs in that game. Bush may not be back next year but at least he is playing hard. He's expressed interest in remaining in Miami when he hits free agency in March but about all he has gotten back is a smile and nod.

Davone Bess turned in a very uncharacteristic 129 yards on seven catches against the Seahawks secondary which not only was a season best but was about twice his normal production. Brian Hartline has been very quiet in the last few weeks and the reality is that he has three big games against bad secondaries and then abject mediocrity otherwise. All combined the wideouts have only produced three touchdowns this year.

Facing the weak Pats secondary should help passing numbers but at best it means they are average for a day. Hartline is the only receiver play here and that is just in a reception points league where you can live with 80 yards or so.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 31 4 31 32 31 25
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 30 13 28 32 3 1

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Jay Cutler, MIA NYJ 0000019011 ***
Quarterbacks have tossed nine TDs in the last five games against this defense, getting picked off five times. The Jets have done well overall at limiting quarterbacks in fantasy, permitting only 225.6 yards.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jay Ajayi, MIA NYJ 9012100000 ***
Ajayi faces the Jets' 12th-worst defense of non-PPR backs. This group has given up 96 rushing yards, on average, and a every 39.7 carries, ranking 15th for both. Last year, he logged 22 fantasy points in the first meeting but a pathetic 5.1 in Week 15's game facing NYJ.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jarvis Landry, MIA NYJ 006601000 ***
DeVante Parker's status remains unsettled, which translates to more work for Landry. The Jets have given up 12 receptions per contest to receivers, which is the 15th most. In Week 3, he caught six balls for 48 yards against this defense.

Update: Parker is doubtful for Week 7.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Stills, MIA NYJ 005500000 ***
Despite seeing 10 targets in Week 2 against the Jets, Stills caught just four of them for 51 yards. Stills is a risk-reward play and at least has a respectable matchup if for those willing to gamble. He is less appealing if DeVante Parker goes.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Julius Thomas, MIA NYJ 002200000 ***
New York has permitted 4.2 receptions per contest to tight ends, with one of every seven going for a TD. TEs have averaged 42.4 yards, on average.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cody Parkey, MIA NYJ 2222 ***
Kickers have missed four of eight field goals, keeping this matchup bumped down the list. On paper, it is the second worst. Thirteen of the 14 PATs were true.

WEEK 13
2012
NO at ATL (THU) *CLE at OAK *MIN at GB *SEA at CHI
*ARI at NYJ HOU at TEN NE at MIA *SF at STL
CAR at KC *IND at DET *PHI at DAL TB at DEN
*UPDATED *CIN at SD *JAC at BUF *PIT at BAL NYG at WAS (MON)

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