The Dolphins take their winning streak into Baltimore this week. Which players (if any) are worth a start against the Ravens defense?
Most fantasy leagues will be conducting their regular season finales this week. For those fighting for the playoffs or securing seeds, the margin for error is minimal. This week, the Miami Dolphins travel to Baltimore to take on the Ravens in a pivotal matchup.
Based on the standings, if the playoffs started today this would be a first round matchup. It will be a real test for Miami to see how well they can do against other playoff opponents. You may remember it was Baltimore who knocked Miami out of the playoffs the last time the Dolphins made it back in 2008. The Ravens defense now is not near as dominant as they were then, but they are still respectable. It’s not the most favorable matchup for Miami’s fantasy players, but it’s far from the worst. So which players are worth a start this week, and which are better off leaving on the bench in this critical fantasy football week?
In this week’s fantasy football recap we made mention how Tannehill had his best game from a fantasy perspective this season against San Francisco. It was to be expected that he would have a great game against the 49ers, but it goes without saying that it will be a much tougher task against Baltimore. The most dominant part of the Ravens defense is their defensive line. If they find success against Miami’s offensive line, it could be a long day for Tannehill.
Thankfully, Miami is expected to get some of their starters back (if not all of them) this week, which would make a big difference in the flow of the offense. The Ravens have allowed some big games to opposing quarterbacks like Dak Prescott and Eli Manning, but overall have been pretty successful against the position. Tannehill is a risky play this week, and with the fantasy playoffs insight, another option if possible would be best. He could be worth a look in DFS lineups though as is usually the case.
Ajayi hasn’t looked as bad as he did in Weeks 2-5, but his fantasy numbers in the last three games have him trending in that direction. Ajayi bombed last week averaging a mere 2.5 yards a carry in what should have been a monster game for him against the 49ers. The news that the Dolphins offensive line could be at full health is encouraging for Ajayi owners, but he will have difficulty regardless against the Ravens front.
Baltimore gives up just 74.9 rushing yards a game, which is the fewest in the league. Add in the fact that Ajayi is seeing fewer touches than he was midway through the season, it’s clear this is not a good matchup for Ajayi at all. The problem is that Ajayi is a legit RB2 at worst, and running backs are scarce in fantasy football. Many fantasy owners may not have quality depth at the position, but if you do you may want to consider other options this week.
The Dolphins promotion of Rashawn Scott to the main roster is a sign that Parker is likely to miss this week with back soreness. It’s a shame too as Parker has been hot lately, and a major impact on the Dolphins win streak. While Kenny Stills and even Leonte Carroo could see a boost in his absence, Landry’s fantasy value gets the biggest push.
Parker’s emergence has taken a big hit to Landry’s fantasy value in recent weeks. Should Parker miss as expected, Landry would see an uptick in targets similar to what he was getting in the beginning of the season. With just two touchdowns on the season Landry still lacks touchdown upside, but particularly in PPR formats he’s worth a start as a WR3 or FLEX position. If Parker plays, however, both would be better off left on your bench. Parker’s back injury makes for a risky start, despite his remarkable play lately.