Dolphins Fantasy Football Start/Sit: Week 9


After Miami’s blockbuster trade to ship out Jay Ajayi we’ll take a look at how it impacts the Dolphins offense, and which players are worth starting in fantasy lineups when they get set to take on Oakland.

The Miami Dolphins have been on a roller coaster all season, but things have started to boil over since last Thursday. The Dolphins losing 40-0 to the Ravens last Thursday in a primetime spot is embarrassing to say the least. The loss fueled head coach Adam Gase to publicly call out his offense as “the worst in the league”, blaming many of Miami’s best players as the issue.

No player was called out more than Jay Ajayi. Reports surfaced say that Ajayi has had multiple verbal confrontations with the coaching staff. You may remember that in Week 1 of the 2016 season, Gase opted to keep Ajayi at home instead of traveling with the team to Seattle because of a poor attitude. Ajayi responded by having a career year so we were all under the impression that everything was good, but apparently that wasn’t the case.

Ahead of Tuesday’s 4 PM trade deadline, the front office agreed to trade Ajayi to Philadelphia in exchange for their 2018 fourth round pick. The news sparked outrage from most Dolphins fans. Some were upset about trading away, arguably, their best player. Most, however, that were upset with the trade were generally upset because of the little value that they received in return. Surely, Miami could’ve received a higher pick or an additional one for a quality player like Ajayi.

The season goes on, however, no matter how one may feel about the deal. The loss of Ajayi will open opportunities for Miami’s other running backs, but could also give a boost to other positions as well. Here’s this week’s start/sit suggestions as the Dolphins play host to the Raiders on Sunday night.

Jay Cutler

After missing last week’s game against Baltimore with cracked ribs, Jay Cutler will return on Sunday as Miami’s starter. Initially, it was expected that Cutler would miss at least 2-3 weeks, but he’s going to give it a go after just one. It’s not a bad matchup for Cutler against a Raiders defense that is underwhelming. Unfortunately, Cutler is not a viable fantasy player. However, there are a bunch of teams on a bye this week so Cutler may be worth a flier in deeper leagues or if you’re in a bind. Other than that, I’d stay away from Cutler altogether.


Kenyan Drake / Damien Williams

With the sudden trade of Jay Ajayi, it is now up to Drake and Williams to fill the void in Miami’s backfield. Last week, Drake saw a season-high six carries as Miami was getting trounced by the Ravens. His role and Williams’ are sure to increase as Adam Gase is not about to abandon the run. Gase has said that both have been impressive during practice on days that Ajayi has missed.

Despite their increased roles, expectations must be kept low on both players becoming viable fantasy players. They’re both worthy of a waiver pickup this week in any format since both have proven they’re more than capable of catching the ball out of the backfield. However, they’re best left on the bench for at least one week to see what they can do first in their new roles.

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Sit Both

Jarvis Landry

After the Dolphins dealt Ajayi away, speculation arose that Landry would be next, but the Dolphins elected to keep their prized receiver beyond the trade deadline. Against the Ravens, even Landry was held in check as he finished with just five receptions for 33 yards. He was still targeted 12 times though, so there’s no way the Dolphins are going to steer away from their best offensive weapon, no matter how bad the offense is.


DeVante Parker

Parker is on track to return this week after a three-game absence with an ankle injury. The Raiders have done a pretty good job against receivers this season, but when healthy, Parker has had strong chemistry with Cutler. Even though the Dolphins are not going to abandon the run with Ajayi gone, we can assume that they will throw more often in hopes to keep the chains moving. Parker is a solid WR2 this week.


Kenny Stills

Stills was Miami’s most efficient receiver last Thursday with five receptions for 65 yards. You could see from the past two games that he and Matt Moore had developed some form of chemistry. Unfortunately for Stills, both Cutler and Parker are returning on Sunday, drastically dropping his fantasy stock. He remains Miami’s best deep-threat option, but now will be considered a touchdown dependent player in fantasy football once again. While he shouldn’t be dropped just yet, Stills is best left on the bench against Oakland.


Julius Thomas / Anthony Fasano

There was no player on the Dolphins roster that I wanted to be traded this past Tuesday more than Julius Thomas. A bag of pretzels in return would have been just fine as compensation. To no surprise, however, there were no takers. Thomas won’t be in Miami’s future after this season. Hopefully, Miami can find a quality tight end in free agency or in the draft. Lately, the Dolphins have gotten Anthony Fasano more involved in the passing game, but he’s still best as a blocker. Neither player is worth a fantasy start this week or a roster spot for that much.