FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

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 @MIN 20000019001 ***
Despite all of its struggles, Minnesota has remained among the elite defenses of quarterbacks in 2018. Tannehill, irrespective to how well he has played of late, shouldn't be on the fantasy radar this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Kenyan Drake, MIA @MIN 3005500000 ***
Barring another miraculous touchdown, Drake figures to be a fantasy disappointment this week. The matchup is kind of intriguing, though. The Vikings had been lethal much of the year vs. RBs, although the last three weeks has produced two backs with 18 points in PPR and one with 15. Consider that range to be a win for Drake. Minnesota has allowed four of the six rushing TDs against in the last four games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Frank Gore, MIA @MIN 5001100000 ***
Minnesota has actually struggled to contain running backs in the last four games. The position has averaged 109 rushing yards and a score per contest. There is a reasonable chance Gore scores, if Miami gets into position, but betting the future of your fantasy playoffs on it is asking a lot.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Danny Amendola, MIA @MIN 004500000 ***
Minnesota has remained strong throughout the year against wideouts. Amendola's role has trailed off in the last two games as he has played through a nagging knee injury. This is no time to expect a strong rebound performance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brice Butler, MIA @MIN 002300000 ***
Butler doesn't belong on your fantasy radar in any format.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeVante Parker, MIA @MIN 003300000 ***
Parker caught one of his four targets last week for 18 yards and has a lone TD over eight games played this season. The matchup is brutal, and he doesn't warrant fantasy deliberation.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Stills, MIA @MIN 002200000 ***
Stills has scored in consecutive games and is the best bet in this passing game to find the end zone any given week. However, this shouldn't be included in that wager. He faces one of the toughest defenses of WRs in football and is best left in reserve in all conventional formats.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Jason Sanders, MIA @MIN 3300 ***
No writeup available

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 @PIT 0000032020 ***
Last year, at Pittsburgh, Brady went for 298 yards, one TD and one pick. He authored a 222-2-0 game in 2017's trip to the Steel City, finishing the Steelers' season with a 384-3-0 thumping in the conference championship game that year. The Steelers have allowed Derek Carr and Philip Rivers each 23-plus points in the last two games, giving up two touchdown throws in in four of the last five contests. TB12 will have a tough time matching last week's strong showing but belongs in lineups.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Sony Michel, NE @PIT 5011100000 ***
The rookie could get on track with a touchdown this week but isn't likely to be a factor in the yardage department. Pittsburgh has done a good job of limiting backs all season, and Michel has been mired in a two-game scoreless slump (only one TD in the last five games). The Steelers rank sixth at holding down RBs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB James White, NE @PIT 2007700000 ***
The only real highlight of the matchup in the stats is Pittsburgh has given up four TDs over only 49 receptions. For comparison, though, Atlanta has allowed 97 catches to RBs and a matching four scores. White has one game with more than nine PPR points in the last month, and he was useless in the Week 15 visit to the Steelers last year (2.8 points). Be cautiously optimistic.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Julian Edelman, NE @PIT 0081001000 ***
Pittsburgh offers a neutral matchup for Week 15 that slightly favors reception hogs. The veteran didn't play in the Week 15 game last year as he missed the whole year with a knee injury. If it matters, in 2016, he had 17 receptions for 178 yards and a TD in two games against the Steelers. Keep him in all lineups.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Josh Gordon, NE @PIT 005600000 ***
Gordon has added a downfield element to this offense and faces a defense that has given up 14 TDs in 13 games. Pittsburgh has benefited from some softer WR matchups in 2018, but guys like Tyreek Hill, Mike Evans, John Brown, Emmanuel Sanders and Keenan Allen have torched this secondary.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Rob Gronkowski, NE @PIT 005601000 ***
Miami gave up a big game to Gronk last week, and he now has two scores in his last three appearances. The Steelers struggled early on with the position but has evened out to a degree. TEs have scored three times in the last five games, but this is just a midrange matchup for receptions and yardage since Week 9. Last year, in Week 15, at the Steelers, Gronkowski posted a monster nine-catch, 168-yard day. He was good for a 4-93-1 line at Pittsburgh in 2016.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Stephen Gostkowski, NE @PIT 1133 ***
No writeup available

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