Start/Sit: Dolphins Fantasy Football Preview Week 4

Sep 25, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi (23) celebrates as he scores the game winning touchdown to defeat the Cleveland Browns 34-24 in overtime at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 25, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi (23) celebrates as he scores the game winning touchdown to defeat the Cleveland Browns 34-24 in overtime at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dolphins barely escaped with a win last week over a depleted Browns team. They again started the game slow, but turned it on in the second half, resulting in an overall good day for fantasy results.

The Miami Dolphins nearly blew it last week in their home opener and needed overtime to beat the Browns. With three missed field goals from K Cody Parkey, it’s safe to say it was the Browns who indeed blew this one. Despite the team letdown against one of the league’s worst teams, Miami’s key players put in relatively good fantasy football performances.

More from Dolphins News

On a short week, the Dolphins visit the other Ohio team for a Thursday night matchup. Miami has had recent success against Cincinnati, winning the past three meetings. They will need a better performance than the one they had against Cleveland to have any shot at winning.

On the surface, this doesn’t appear to be the best fantasy football week for key Dolphins players. However, the Bengals defense hasn’t been great to start the season and rank near the bottom next to the Dolphins in rushing defense. Here’s our start/sit predictions for Miami in Week 4.

Ryan Tannehill

For the second consecutive week Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill got off to a slow start, but finished the game throwing for over 300 yards and three touchdowns. Unfortunately, he again threw two interceptions in the contest, the first of which went to former Dolphin Jamar Taylor. He also had a costly fumble late in the game on a strip sack due to poor blocking from OT Ja’Wuan James.

The Bengals defense is statistically better than the Browns at creating turnovers. It’s vital for Tannehill to get off to a fast start. The matchup is favorable for Tannehill with Cincinnati ranked in the bottom five against quarterbacks. On a short week though I’m skeptical of which Tannehill we will see on Thursday, and more importantly, the blocking of the offensive line.

The Dolphins already have issues at center. Mike Pouncey is not expected to return this week and Anthony Steen has already been ruled out with an ankle injury. Offensive Tackle Brandon Albert is also battling an ankle injury and is expected to be a game time decision. James is also not a lock to start on the other side after getting beat all day against the Browns. The matchup is enticing and I may roll Tannehill out in DFS lineups, but he’s hard to trust this week in league play.


Jarvis Landry

This one is easy. Landry is a must-start every week as the clear go to player for the Dolphins. Last week, Landry got off to a very slow start recording just one reception in the first half. He more than made up for it though in the second half.

He capped off Miami’s first possession of the half with a 42-yard catch and run for his first touchdown of the season. Landry would go on to finish the game with seven receptions and 120 yards. He also rushed it a couple times for 16 yards.

The Bengals defense held Antonio Brown in check during Week 2, but both Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas had their way with the secondary in last week’s matchup. To have any chance of winning, the Dolphins will have to get Landry involved often.


DeVante Parker

Parker appeared to be on his way to having a monster game on Sunday after scoring the game’s first touchdown in the 1st quarter. He was relatively quiet however after that, finishing with just three catches. The touchdown made his numbers look fairly reasonable.

After being targeted 14 times a week earlier against the Patriots, Parker was targeted just six this past week. The difference makes it difficult to evaluate Parker’s projections for this week. Kenny Stills in the picture also seems to have an impact on Parker’s production. Start Parker if you must, but there are better options available this week.


Jay Ajayi

Kenyan Drake got the start over Ajayi last week, even though the Dolphins went with a deep committee approach that also included Damien Williams and Isaiah Pead. Two of the Dolphins scores came from running backs, including Ajayi’s game winner in overtime.

There are still many who falsely believe Ajayi can be the workhorse for the Dolphins with Arian Foster out with a groin injury. Each week it seems fantasy players are dropping Ajayi only for the next person to come along and scoop him up. I’m not sure the reasoning behind this but the Dolphins running backs should be avoided altogether.

Personally, I like Drake better as a fantasy option than Ajayi but he doesn’t receive enough touches. The Bengals defense is no better than the Dolphins against the run, but this matchup is easily avoidable.


Dion Sims

Jordan Cameron has already been ruled out against Cincinnati with a concussion. Backup Dion Sims is also battling an ankle injury, but is expected to start in place for Cameron. Sims finished last week with four receptions for 46 yards.

Tight ends can be tough if you don’t own one of the top 5 players at the position. The best bet after that is to stream from week-to-week. Sims may be on the radar for some with Cameron out, but I wouldn’t suggest it. There’s a good chance he could see similar numbers from last week, but he’ll have to reach the endzone in order to put up relevant numbers.


Dolphins Defense

This is the first time I’ve listed the Dolphins defense in our start/sit previews, and likely to be the last. The Dolphins are now allowing 147.3 yards per game on the ground. Only the Saints have given up more through the first three weeks. Only the most biased Dolphins fans would own the Dolphins in any league. Case in point, the Dolphins defense couldn’t stop a nosebleed right now.