Miami Dolphins fantasy football start and sit: Week 3
The Miami Dolphins are starting to show some fantasy football value and this weeks game against the Raiders could provide point opportunities.
The Miami Dolphins have a great matchup this week against the Oakland Raiders, providing a great opportunity to start the season 3-0. With the Raiders giving up 26.5 points per game through their first two outings, it would appear to be a great game to target in fantasy football as well. However, with the Dolphins we always need to pump the brakes first in this area, and this week is no exception in our start/sit suggestions.
Tannehill has looked pretty good in his first couple of weeks, despite some mishaps. He’s been average as a fantasy quarterback with 19.36 ppg (calculating 6 points per touchdown pass), with a pair of touchdown passes in each game. The truth is, that’s about what you can expect from Tannehill on a weekly basis. Adam Gase wants to continue running the ball as much as he can, and that limits Tannehill’s ceiling.
One area that could really rise Tannehill’s stock, however, is his legs. We saw a lot of rushes by Tannehill last week, including a 20-yard rush to open the game. When it was all said and done, Tannehill himself actually out ran the Jets. If the former receiver can use his legs more than he becomes a more interesting play, but I suspect the Dolphins don’t want to go crazy with the idea of Tannehill running after coming off of a torn ACL, and the fact that there is no feasible quarterback behind him.
I predict that Tannehill will have another average game this week, and finish with about 20 points. He won’t exactly lose your league game for you, but he’s not going to win it either. I’d only pull the trigger if you’re in a real bind, but I would suggest picking up the hot hand of Ryan Fitzpatrick if he’s still available in a very favorable matchup against the Steelers on Monday night or trying to persuade another league member into a trade first.
This is a very favorable matchup for Miami’s run game, and one that I see Adam Gase is going to heavily exploit. The Raiders are giving up 154 yards a game on the ground thus far at a league leading 5.7 yards per rush. Both solid runners in their own rights, Kenyan Drake and Frank Gore both get a huge boost from me this week.
Drake’s output does get slighted a bit as a result of sharing touches with Gore, but he remains a solid contributor as a RB2. His value is even more important in PPR leagues, and he remains an every week must-start. Last week, Drake found the end zone for the first time this year, and I predict that he will do so again this week as well. Possibly on more than one occasion.
Gore has had 10 touches in each of Miami’s two games, and that is likely going to be the consensus throughout the remainder of the season. Gore has looked fantastic so far in a Dolphins uniform, and he even had that tremendous 19-yard grab late in the 4th quarter to virtually seal the game for Miami. Overall, Gore had trouble finding space against the Jets on runs, but he should fair much better against Oakland.
My bold prediction of the week is that not only will Drake score a touchdown this week, but Gore will get his first touchdown as a Dolphin this week as well. I’m not very keen on the idea of starting Gore as my RB2 in league play with such a limited amount of touches, but I think he could make for a great play in DFS formats as a FLEX option at a cheap rate. If all goes well, this should be a great week for Miami’s running backs.
Kenyan Drake – Start
Frank Gore – Start
This is where it gets tricky if you’re a fantasy player. The Dolphins have a strong group of receivers, but they lack a clear-cut #1, and Tannehill does a good job of spreading the ball out. Kenny Stills is, arguably, Miami’s closest thing to a #1, but his boom-or-bust output makes him untrustworthy to start in a majority of leagues. In opening week, Stills erupted for 106 yards and two scores, while last week he mustered just 17 yards total.
Albert Wilson was the lone Dolphins wide receiver beneficiary of a Tannehill touchdown pass. Wilson did a great job of angling away from a would-be tackler, and trickling down the sideline for a 29-yard score. He finished the game with 37 yards total and the score. After finishing the week prior with 31 yards, it’s pretty clear that Wilson is going to need to be touchdown dependent in order to have any fantasy relevancy.
Jakeem Grant has been used frequently in the offense, but that could change with the pending return of DeVante Parker. We’ve all seen Grant’s tremendous speed that is very useful in creating first downs, but he is otherwise at best Miami’s fourth option at receiver. If you are in a return yards league then Grant is a terrific option as a WR3, but he’s easily avoidable if not.
Speaking of Parker, his days could be numbered in Miami. A surprisingly healthy scratch last week could indicate that the Dolphins have grown tired of Parker, and may be looking for a trade. With that said, I look for Parker to suit up this week against Oakland, which would impact all other receivers effectiveness. Parker is capable of having big games, but he hasn’t had nearly enough in his career to trust in this one, especially coming right back from injury.
Danny Amendola is probably the safest bet of Miami’s receivers when it comes to fantasy. He has the highest floor of the corps, but doesn’t bring a lot of upside in terms of production. Amendola has a little more value in PPR leagues as Tannehill’s lead slot receiver, but he doesn’t provide a ton in terms of yardage. He had quite the scare last week after taking a shot across the middle, but he returned to the game shortly thereafter.
Kenny Stills – Sit
DeVante Parker – Sit
Albert Wilson – Sit
Jakeem Grant – Sit
Danny Amendola – Sit
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The Dolphins tight ends are not making the impact from the receiving end that fantasy owners would like to see right now. Rookie Mike Gesicki has just one reception thus far, and was not targeted last week against the Jets. From the Dolphins perspective, however, and for all the criticism that he received in the offseason for his blocking, Gesicki made the key block on Drake’s six-yard score in the first half last week. It’s a pleasant surprise to see the improvement in his blocking, but Miami did not draft him in the second round for his blocking. Gesicki’s threat as a receiver will come around, but he remains a risky play for now.
A.J. Derby caught just one pass last week, but it was a big one. Derby scored from 19 yards out in the second quarter that gave the Dolphins a 20-0 lead at that point. He was not targeted the week before against the Titans, and should not be on anyone’s fantasy radar.
Mike Gesicki – Sit
A.J. Derby – Sit
Miami’s defense has earned their place on everyone’s fantasy radar. They’ve created three turnovers in each of the first two games, and added three sacks last week against the Jets. With Cameron Wake and Robert Quinn on the outside, it’s widely assumed that the sacks will keep coming. The Dolphins also had a special teams touchdown in Week 1 so it’s easy to see why the defense has everyone’s eye.
What I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see is the improved play of the run defense. While run defense doesn’t relegate fantasy points, it does put the opposing offenses in positions that could lead to turnovers or sacks. Davon Godchaux has done an outstanding job so far in the middle. Miami’s front line will need to keep up that intensity this week with Marshawn Lynch in town.
This is another good opportunity for Miami’s defense as the Raiders have struggled this year, and are likely to continue doing so. The Dolphins defense looks to be on the rise, and this is a good week to stream them against the Raiders.
Dolphins Defense – Start