Game Predictions & Player Projections - BAL vs MIA

Game Predictions & Player Projections - BAL vs MIA


Game Predictions & Player Projections - BAL vs MIA


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Prediction: BAL 16, MIA 23 (Line: MIA by 3)

UPDATE: Charles Clay has not been ruled out this week but may not play again. He’s not a great start in any case so I will leave him out of the projections because of the risk/reward. Justin Forsett was held out of practices but returned on Friday and is expected to play.

The 7-5 Ravens are in the thick of a playoff chase but are 3-3 in road games. The 7-5 Dolphins are also looking towards January and are 3-2 at home. These are two very good defenses and the winner makes the fewest mistakes.

The Ravens won 26-23 in Miami last year.

Baltimore Ravens

1 CIN 16-23 10 TEN 21-7
2 PIT 26-6 11 BYE —–
3 @CLE 23-21 12 @NO 34-27
4 CAR 38-10 13 SD 33-34
5 @IND 13-20 14 @MIA —–
6 @TB 48-17 15 JAC —–
7 ATL 29-7 16 @HOU —–
8 @CIN 24-27 17 CLE —–
9 @PIT 23-43  
News | Statistics | Roster
BAL @ MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Joe Flacco 180,1
RB Justin Forsett 70 6-40
RB Trent Richardson 20
WR Steve Smith 5-50
WR Mike Wallace 5-60,1
PK Justin Tucker 3 FG 1 XP

The challenge this week is that the Ravens have typically won when faced with opponents that have bad defenses but they struggle against teams that sport above average defenses. The schedule has been relatively light against top defenses this year but the Bengals swept them and the Steelers even won a month ago. Final games against the Jaguars and Browns should be wins but the two road venues of Miami and Houston will decide their fate.

QUARTERBACK : The last six games has Joe Flacco stuck at one or two touchdown efforts and usually with lower yardage. To his credit, Flacco has not thrown an interception since week nine but the offense has turned more and more towards running Justin Forsett. Flacco rarely throws more than 30 passes in any game.

RUNNING BACK : Lorenzo Taliaferro is firmly stuck at #3 on the depth chart and that has left him with zero fantasy value. Bernard Pierce is #2 but really no better than Taliaferro. But Justin Forsett has been unleashed in recent weeks with 20+ carries every week and responded with 100+ yards in each and a total of four rushing scores over just three games. One caveat here – Forsett’s worst games as a runner came on the road. There is no longer any need to project for anyone besides Forsett.

WIDE RECEIVER : What started out as all Steve Smith has evolved into all Torrey Smith. the ex-Panther rolled up four scores in his first six weeks while posting 100+ yards in four games. But since then he’s popped up once in New Orleans with a score but otherwise been unworthy of even a roster spot. Torry Smith started the year slowly but has eight touchdowns over the last seven games including two last week against the Chargers. He still has yet to break 100 yards but posted 60+ yards regularly now. Marlon Brown had a concussion last week but he’s rarely been worth more than one catch per game. Only the Smiths have matter this year and currently is it only Torrey.

TIGHT END : Minimal fantasy value. Owen Daniels scored just once in the last nine games and rarely tops 30 yards anymore.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Dolphins sport one of the best secondaries in the NFL and the Ravens are not exactly a top passing team with only one truly productive wideout going against top corners. The Fins are about average against the run but better at home. Only the Chiefs had a runner who gained more than 35 rush yards though four backs have scored in Miami. Forsett is worth the start every week lately and this is a tougher matchup but still worth it. Flacco and Torrey lose most of their appeal in this matchup.

Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 20 3 16 15 5 14
Preventing Fantasy Points MIA 2 15 11 1 12 13

Miami Dolphins

1 NE 33-20 10 @DET 16-20
2 @BUF 10-29 11 BUF 22-9
3 KC 15-34 12 @DEN 36-39
4 @OAK 38-14 13 @NYJ 16-13
5 BYE —– 14 BAL —–
6 GB 24-27 15 @NE —–
7 @CHI 27-14 16 MIN —–
8 @JAC 27-13 17 NYJ —–
9 SD 37-0  
News | Statistics | Roster
MIA vs BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Tannehill 10 270,2
WR Greg Jennings 6-70
WR Jarvis Landry 7-70,1
WR Kenny Stills 4-80,1
TE Dion Sims 4-50

The Dolphins are ending the season on a stronger note and even what appeared to be a rainy, fated trap game with the Jets managed to end up as a win last Monday. The Fins took the Broncos almost to another win and now have three home games and just one road venue left – New England. It would be a surprise to take the division (though they beat the Patriots in the season opener) but the Fins should remain very competitive for a wild card.

QUARTERBACK : Last week’s rainy near fiasco not withstanding, Ryan Tannehill made definite strides this year with 20 touchdowns already and multiple scores in the most recent three home games. Almost every interception happened away from Miami as well. Tannehill is not running quite as much as he was around midseason when he would gain around 50 yards each week but he did run in a touchdown in Denver and his pass yardage is consistently 220+ yards now.

RUNNING BACK : The rushing effort has been less that stellar all year but at least the Dolphins are turning more to Lamar Miller instead of making it a time share. Miller is still limited to 15 carries or less each week but he’s bee good enough to net 60+ yards per week and scored his seventh touchdown of the year last Monday. Daniel Thomas has stolen one short score but otherwise is a complete nonfactor.

WIDE RECEIVER : Brian Hartline bruised his knee but is expected to play in this game. He’s never turned in more than 55 yards in any of the last eight games and has scored only once all year. But Mike Wallace leads the group with seven touchdowns and generates around 50 yards in most games. The best development has been Jarvis Landry who comes off a season high eight receptions last week for 68 yards and scored four times over the last five games. The yardage has been moderate at best for all these wideouts and none have topped the 81 yards that Wallace gained in the season opener. Tannehill spreads the ball around and doesn’t often have big yardage anyway.

TIGHT END : Charles Clay missed the last two games with a knee sprain and is no lock to return here. Dion Sims turned in four catches as the substitute in both games and gained 58 yards on the Jets. This is still a group that combined for only three scores this season.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Ravens rushing defense has been stout this year and no runner gained more than 68 yards on them in any game. This looks like just another marginal effort by Miller. But the Ravens secondary has really been ravaged in recent weeks and their last two road games surrendered nine touchdowns between Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees. Tannehill is hardly in that company now but is good enough to end up with better yardage than usual and a couple of scores. The worst any quarterback has done with the visiting Ravens is 266 yards.

Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 13 22 9 17 7 6
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 29 3 32 13 10 3

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