Miami Dolphins Fantasy: Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em vs Jaguars
By Kyle Speirs
Week one is in the books and there is a tick in the Miami Dolphins win column. Not the performance Dolphins fans were looking for, but a bit of Jarvis Landry magic ensured the Phins got off to a winning start. Road wins are never easy to come by in the NFL, and Joe Philbin’s side have another fight on their hands this Sunday in Jacksonville. Again though, there are areas of the field that Miami can take advantage of to move to 2-0 before the home opener against divisional rival Buffalo Bills in Week Three. Here’s which Dolphins to start, and which to sit, against the Jaguars.
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Lamar Miller – Running Back
In hindsight, Miller was not a brilliant pick last week, and my own fantasy team suffered the consequences of a lacklustre performance in Washington. The running game was said to be an area that Bill Lazor was hoping to build on this campaign after it impressed last season, but just 74 total rushing yards in week one would have no doubt thwarted the ground game’s progress. Miller was contained by a surprisingly powerful Redskins defensive front and was limited to just 53 yards off 13 carries.
This week Miami face an arguably stronger defensive line and certainly a better set of linebackers in Jacksonville. The Dolphins chose not to offer defensive lineman Jared Odrick a new contract in the summer, Odrick instead signed with the Jaguars and will now be looking to show Dennis Hickey and Joe Philbin what they are missing out on. Sen’Derrick Marks’ pressure up the middle will prove a difficult task for the interior linemen, while linebacker’s Paul Posluszny and Telvin Smith make up a fierce and hard-hitting defence.
So, why start Miller? I am convinced that Lazor will focus on establishing the running game and proving that last Sunday was a one-off. He will want to show that this offence can move the ball on the ground, as well as through the air. Lazor will want a dominating rushing performance to stamp out the mistakes of week one, and that all starts with Miller. It will eventually click and holes will begin to open, and we all know how dangerous Miller is given space. I don’t see his performance being worthy of 20+ points, but he should make it to the high teens with a couple of scores.
The Dolphins D was ranked sixth with 15 points in week one, and they could better that in Jacksonville. 10 points allowed, one sack, a pair of picks by cornerbacks Brent Grimes and Brice McCain and Jarvis Landry’s 67-yard punt return was enough to edge out the Redskins and head back to Florida with a W. That sort of form could easily be replicated against a developing Jaguars offence, led by a shaky second year quarterback.
With guys like Brent Grimes and Reshad Jones lurking in the secondary, I see another two interceptions for Kevin Coyle’s defence
Blake Bortles seems to be the franchise quarterback in Jacksonville, but the major problem in his rookie season was turnovers. Bortles threw 17 interceptions last season, and two last week.
Inaccurate QBs rarely get let off against this Dolphins defence. With guys like Grimes and Reshad Jones lurking in the secondary, I see another two interceptions for Kevin Coyle’s defence.
And with ‘LaMike’ James gone, the kick and punt returning job looks to be Landry’s to keep. Who exactly is going to want to punt to Juice after last week? His natural play-making skills will continue to shine through all season long. Also, look for Ndamukong Suh to have more of an impact in this one.
Jordan Cameron – Tight End
Cameron was Miami’s leading receiver last week. Get used to that. His size means he is an easy target for Ryan Tannehill to complete short passes, while his athletic ability and speed make him a threat deeper down the field too. Just take his all-out diving 27-yard catch against the Redskins for example. The new Dolphins tight end finished with four catches for 73 yards, scoring him a uninspiring 7.30 points in fantasy land. But I see Cameron becoming to Tannehill what Jason Witten is to Tony Romo, or Heath Miller to Ben Roethlisberger. Cameron will be the guy that Tannehill looks to on third down and, most importantly for your fantasy team, in the redzone. Cameron still has much more to show Dolphins fans to reach the Pro Bowl level he was at a couple of years ago, and snagging more touchdowns will get him well on his way. What better place to start than Jacksonville?
Kenny Stills – Wide Receiver
Not an awful lot of sits on the Dolphins roster this week, but Stills stands out as one. This is not on Stills, he ran his routes well, caught the ball and got open down field against the Redskins. He is a major deep threat against most defences. But until Tannehill learns how to throw the deep ball correctly, Stills will sink in fantasy value. The attraction of the former New Orleans Saint was his big-play potential but, going on Sunday’s evidence, Tannehill still seems incapable of connecting with his receivers deep down the field. The fourth-year quarterback completed short passes well and efficiently in Washington, but too often missed wide-open targets. The ball was either overthrown or simply gave the receiver far too much to do. So Stills should be benched this week and every week until Tannehill is comfortable throwing the ball deep.