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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 17
2012
ARI at SF CLE at PIT JAC at TEN OAK at SD
BAL at CIN DAL at WAS KC at DEN PHI at NYG
CAR at NO GB at MIN MIA at NE STL at SEA
  CHI at DET HOU at IND NYJ at BUF TB at ATL

Prediction: MIA 13, NE 27 (Line: NE by 10)

Players to Watch: Reggie Bush, Stevan Ridley

The Patriots can win a first round bye with a win here AND a loss by either the Texans (@IND) or the Broncos (vs. KC). The 11-4 Patriots clinched the AFC East several weeks ago and are 5-2 at home. The 7-8 Dolphins are only 2-5 on the road but a win here would give them a .500 season.

This is a replay of week 13 when the Patriots won 23-16 in Miami.

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 16-23
5 @CIN 17-13 14 @SF 13-27
6 STL 17-14 15 JAC 24-3
7 BYE ----- 16 BUF 24-10
8 @NYJ 30-9 17 @NE -----
9 @IND 20-23 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
MIA @ NE Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Tannehill 30 210,1
RB Frank Gore 60 1-10
WR Danny Amendola 5-40

Pregame Notes: The season winds down for first-year head coach Joe Philbin and his offensive coordinator Mike Sherman. It has been a minor success at least in the sense that the Dolphins have already bested their 6-10 season of 2011 and the defense has been better than most realize. Almost half of the games had their opponents held under 20 points. Sadly, almost half their games also only saw the Fins with 17 points or less.

The new offense held true to its word - it did not need a true #1 wideout like Brandon Marshall. At least it never had anything even close to Marshall and it would have been hard to imagine pairing him with the rookie Ryan Tannehill anyway. The Fins passing attack was never more than just a game managing attempt to dink and dunk. Tannehill has only 12 passing touchdowns on the year against 12 interceptions and three lost fumbles. Road games never saw more than one passing score if that. The yardage tended to be sub-200 as well outside of that freakish 431 yard game in Arizona.

Tannehill only passed for 186 yards in New England and scored once on a run.

Reggie Bush is now being reviewed by the Fins who are leaning towards resigning him in the offseason and prevent him from hitting free agency. Bosh comes off a three touchdown game against the Bills and he's been getting around 20 touches for the last three weeks with decent results. Bush only gained 64 yards on 15 runs in the previous Pats meeting. Lamar Miller was allowed ten carries in the big win over the Bills last week and he gained 73 yards but that was his first time over 20 yards in a game since week three.

Davone Bess only caught one pass in the last game with the Pats and is likely to miss this game with a back injury that kept him out the last two games. That leaves only Brian Hartline who had 84 yards on five catches and a couple of practice squadders as the primary receivers. Anthony Fasano did score in two of the last three games but has been little used and only caught one pass against the Pats.

The Pats already won in Miami and are in the running at least for a first round bye. Played in New England makes a huge difference here and the only reasonable fantasy play is Reggie Bush for moderate yardage. The Pats may be weak on defense, but not as weak as the offense for the Fins.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 28 5 30 31 27 25
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 30 13 27 30 11 2

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Ryan Tannehill, MIA OAK 0000019011 ***
The Raiders have allowed only two passing touchdowns, plus one rushing, while picking off a single pass. The 227.5 yards per contest allowed ranks as the 10th fewest. Tannehill has been quietly decent throw two weeks, averaging two scores but only 199 yards.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Kenyan Drake, MIA OAK 9014200000 ***
Just one of the last 46 rushing attempts has scored on the Raiders by a back. This is a great matchup in other ways, though. Only the Lions have given up more rushing yards, and this is the sixth-best matchup for standard scoring.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Frank Gore, MIA OAK 500000000 ***
Gore has averaged fewer than 10 touches a game in the first two weeks, making him no better than a flex play. The Raiders rank ninth in PPR and sixth in standard for ease of exploitation.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Stills, MIA OAK 003401000 ***
The Raiders have given up only one TD over the last 24 catches by a receiver, making this the second-strongest unit at limiting the position from scoring. Stills has some utility but could go either way with this projection. The visiting Raiders have to travel about as far domestically as an NFL franchise can to face Miami in this one.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeVante Parker, MIA OAK 004700000 *
Parker shouldn't be trusted yet in fantasy, and his matchup is less than ideal anyway. Oakland has held receivers in check, ranking 20th in catches permitted, 17th in yardage allowed, and second toughest in touchdown ease.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Danny Amendola, MIA OAK 004300000 ***
Oakland has been pretty good against receivers in 2018, allowing only one touchdown over 24 catches, which is the second-strongest rating for the 28 defenses that have allowed a TD. The 24 catches surrendered ranks 20th.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Jason Sanders, MIA OAK 3322 ***
All five extra point tries (11th) and six of the seven (3rd) field goals have gone through the uprights. This is the third-best matchup for possible and actual fantasy production.

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 23-16
5 DEN 31-21 14 HOU 42-14
6 @SEA 23-24 15 SF 34-41
7 NYJ 29-26 16 @JAC 23-16
8 @STL 45-7 17 MIA -----
9 BYE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NE vs MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady 280,2
QB Brian Hoyer 180
TE Dwayne Allen 4-40,1
PK Stephen Gostkowski 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Patriots are still in the running for a first round bye but need help to get there and that's at least unlikely. But the Patriots have a history of not taking games off for any reason and with the chance for a bye - they'll all be in this game. Perhaps not Rob Gronkowski who has been out since week 11 with a broken forearm. He has been practicing on a limited basis and the Pats we'll never say more than his serial number but he's no better than a game-time decision this week.

Tom Brady actually had his least productive game of the year when he went to Miami and threw only 238 yards and one score. It was his only single touchdown game since week three. Brady has scored in every game this year but has been less productive in recent weeks because the run has worked well. Brady passed for over 300 yards only once in the last four games.

Now that Brandon Bolden is back, Shane Vereen apparently went tumbling back on the depth chart. But throw in Danny Woodhead in with the constant of Steven Ridley and the backfield is always changing from week to week at least in who relieves Ridley and takes third down duty. Ridley was on a six game scoring streak until the 49ers showed up and he bounced back in week 16 with 84 yards on 18 carries in Jacksonville.

Ridley is the only reliable part of the backfield and ran for 71 yards and a score on 19 carries in Miami this year.

Aaron Hernandez had his season best 97 yards on eight catches in the Miami game and more encouraging is that he's scored in both of the most recent home games.

Since Julian Edelman left, Brandon Lloyd has regained fantasy value with at least 60 yards in each game and a score in the home game versus the Texans. Wes Welker caught 12 passes for 103 yards and one score in Miami as he usually does when he faces his old team. The Patriots will take this game with a balanced approach but the Dolphins are likely to struggle on offense and with a lower score of the opponent, Brady and the passing effort won't have to work too hard against a decent secondary.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NE 3 2 13 1 1 2
Preventing Fantasy Points MIA 15 6 13 11 21 18

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Tom Brady, NE @DET 0000026021 ***
Detroit has been pretty good against quarterbacks, all things considered. The meetings with Sam Darnold and Jimmy Garoppolo boil down to 202 yards and two touchdowns per contest. While the Lions have held QBs to only four touchdowns, they have come once every 8.5 receptions, which is the fourth-highest frequency.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Rex Burkhead, NE @DET 5011100000 ***
The matchup against the Lions this wee is about as good as they come, yet trusting any Patriots back to have a reliable workload is asking for trouble. Burkhead's involvement is dubious with Sony Michel finally seeing the field. Hope for a touchdown if you're looking for flex filler.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Sony Michel, NE @DET 6001100000 ***
No team has yielded more rushing yards than Detroit's 181.5. The position has granted a touchdown every 17.7 carries, which ranks as the 10th-easiest unit to exploit. Michel is still finding his way, and he's part of a three-way committee, so be careful.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB James White, NE @DET 1005500000 ***
White's pass-catching ways make him the most stable back in New England. The Lions have ceded five catches for 38.5 yards, both figure below the equator in their respective columns. Only three teams have yielded more PPR scoring to the position in the early going of 2018.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Chris Hogan, NE @DET 003501000 ***
Hogan could be even better than this projection if Lions CB Darius Slay (concussion) cannot play. The Lions have given up a touchdown every 5.3 receptions, which is the seventh-softest clip in football. Detroit, however, has limited receivers to only 16 catches (30th) and 249 yards (26th).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Phillip Dorsett, NE @DET 003300000 ***
Dorsett has seen seven balls come his way in each of the first two games. It's hard to imagine Josh Gordon will be up to speed on and off the field before Week 3's Sunday Night Football game, so Dorsett still has a little upside. Detroit has given up only 16 receptions to receivers (30th) but three TDs (seventh-highest rate).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Rob Gronkowski, NE @DET 006801000 ***
Tight ends have posted eight catches for 78 yards and a touchdown on the Lions defense. Most of the damage came against the 49ers. George Kittle was held in check, but Garrett Celek sneaked into the end zone. Gronk shouldn't have too much trouble finding the end zone.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Stephen Gostkowski, NE @DET 2233 ***
Detroit has allowed 2.5 field goal attempts and 4.5 extra point tries a game in this young season, good for the No. 2 matchup to exploit in Week 3. This is the No. 2 matchup for combined kicking chances, as well.

WEEK 17
2012
ARI at SF CLE at PIT JAC at TEN OAK at SD
BAL at CIN DAL at WAS KC at DEN PHI at NYG
CAR at NO GB at MIN MIA at NE STL at SEA
  CHI at DET HOU at IND NYJ at BUF TB at ATL

a d v e r t i s e m e n t