Ahead of this week’s opening matchup against the Chargers, we’ll take a look at which of Miami’s top fantasy players are worth a start in league lineups, and who should be left on the bench.
We had to wait an extra week, but football season is finally here in South Florida! The Miami Dolphins kickoff their tough traveling schedule all the way on the West Coast against the now Los Angeles Chargers. For those that play fantasy football, it’s a pretty good matchup for Miami to start the season.
Sometimes we want to be a little biased, and put all the hometown players in our starting lineups, but the truth is that Miami players can be tricky when it comes to fantasy football. They can often best be classified as boom-or-bust candidates, with potential for big production. The Dolphins offense is expected to take another big step this season, however, so we’ll see how it all plays out as the season goes on. For now, here’s a look at some suggestions on who to start and sit.
There are some who believe that Cutler is better than Ryan Tannehill. I am not one of them unless Cutler can prove otherwise, but I do view both of them in the same category when it comes to fantasy football. Both are better off as backups left on the bench. From a streaming standpoint, Cutler could be an option in this favorable matchup, but because it’s Week 2, no other teams are on a bye so you should have better options, unless you’re in very deep leagues.
This one is a no-brainer. As a 1st or 2nd round pick in a majority of leagues, Ajayi is a must-start in all formats. Volume is essential in fantasy football, and Adam Gase has already expressed his desire to get Ajayi around 350 carries this season. For Ajayi owners, this should come as music to the ears, provided Ajayi can remain healthy. Even if his per carry average doesn’t appear impressive, the high volume should result in big production.
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Landry’s fantasy value has taken a bit of a hit this summer. While there are those that point to a lack of touchdowns (13 over three years) as a cause for concern, it’s been the offseason talk of teammate DeVante Parker that has sort of pushed Landry to the side. Even though Parker is in position to have a breakout season, it does not necessarily mean that Landry will see a dip in production.
Landry may not find the end zone as often as we’d like, but his reception rate has kept him as Miami’s most consistent fantasy player in recent years, especially in PPR formats. Both him and former LSU teammate Odell Beckham Jr. set an NFL record for receptions in their first three seasons with 288. Some may see Parker emerging as Miami’s #1 receiver, but Landry is not yet ready to give up that title.
Big things can and should be expected of Parker in his third year. The Dolphins coaching staff has been highly impressed with Parker’s offseason conditioning, and his maturity. It would appear on the surface that Parker finally understands what it takes at this level. It remains to be seen whether or not he will emerge as Miami’s #1 target ahead of Landry, but it has been clear that he and Jay Cutler have found a certain chemistry on the field.
Parker does have a higher ceiling than Landry for the season, and should be a favorable red zone target because of his size. It’s unlikely that you have both Landry and Parker in the same league, unless you’re a true homer, but I’m comfortable firing them both up in standard and PPR formats this week.
It was no secret that last season Adam Gase missed having a true tight end threat in his offense. Thomas may not be the same player he was when both him and Gase were in Denver together, but he is viewed as an upgrade over former Dolphin Dion Sims. Thomas has been quiet this offseason and preseason, which leads me to believe he still will not be heavily involved. Like Parker, Thomas is expected to be one of Cutler’s red zone targets. Unfortunately, Thomas would have to be touchdown dependent to have any sort of fantasy relevance. Even for those that are thin at tight end, I’d look for other streaming options over Thomas.