The Dolphins got their third straight victory Sunday against their division rival, the Jets. Even in a tough matchup, one player managed to stand out in the win, and once again put up incredible fantasy numbers for the third straight game.
The Miami Dolphins are officially on a roll. After winning their third straight game in what feels like years, the Dolphins have put themselves in the playoff hunt. While Miami would not be in the playoffs if they started today, the development of the run game, and improved play of the defense gives them a legit shot to finish in one of the final Wild Card spots at the end of the regular season.
The development of the run game stands out more than anything regarding the turnaround of the Dolphins. Going into Sunday’s matchup against the Jets, it was assumed that Miami would have a tough time running against New York’s stingy run defense that ranked in the top 5 against running backs. In the early going it looked as though that would be true, but by the end of Miami’s first possession, it was evident that the Dolphins were going to continue pounding the rock with success.
Once again, Miami’s lead back stole the show with a dominating performance that left fantasy owners with a smile. Here’s a recap of his performance as well as the other top players from Sunday’s game.
Of course, the lead back I am referring to is none other than Jay Ajayi. In just three weeks, Ajayi has put himself in the discussion next to David Johnson and Ezekiel Elliott as most productive running backs. While Ajayi failed to make it three straight games with 200+ yards, he did reach the 100-yard mark with 111 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries. He also added three receptions for 19 yards. Johnson is the only other 100-yard rusher that the Jets have allowed this season.
On Miami’s very first possession, Ajayis’ first three carries abruptly ended behind the line of scrimmage. The Dolphins continued moving the chains, however, and Ajayi was eventually able to bust one open from 20 yards out for the game’s first touchdown. Outside of the touchdown, Ajayi had some trouble finding running room in the first half. That changed, however, in the second half as Ajayi and the offensive line dominated on the ground game. Ajayi has solidified himself as a must-start RB1 every week.
Week 9 Fantasy Point: Standard – 19.00, PPR – 22.00
The player taking the most obvious hit from a fantasy perspective as a result of Ajayi’s success has been Jarvis Landry. Going into Sunday’s matchup, the Jets were considered a bottom 5 team against wide receivers. It looked as though the Dolphins would have to lean on the passing game more, but that turned out to not be the case.
I’m sure Landry doesn’t mind winning, but it’s got to effect his psyche some to not feel involved. After recording at least seven receptions in five of Miami’s first six games, he has just one such game in the Dolphins last four. Of course, the lack of production is a result of how well Miami’s run game is doing. QB Ryan Tannehill is averaging under 26 pass attempts in the last six games. It’s kind of hard for Landry to have any kind of production when his targets have been cut in half.
Week 9 Fantasy Points: Standard – 3.30, PPR – 6.30
As previously mentioned, Tannehill’s pass attempts have taken a nosedive since the emerging success of the run game. He was able to complete 17 of his 28 pass attempts, but at just 5.32 yard per attempt, his lowest of the season. It looked as though Tannehill could have a respectable fantasy day when he threw his first touchdown pass of the game on the Dolphins 2nd possession. Unfortunately, it would be his only TD pass of the day, as the Dolphins offense could not get much going outside of the run game in the 2nd half. He finished with just 149 yards passing.
A lot of Dolphins fans may have been tuning in on Sunday and wondering who #85 was. The Dolphins don’t have a tight end in place, and Jones is the latest to get his opportunity. He made the most of it. Jones tied Landry with the most receptions (3) on Sunday, finishing with 42 yards and his first career touchdown. It remains to be seen if Jones can be the long-term answer at tight end, but he made for a nice case against New York.
Week 9 Fantasy Points: Standard – 10.20, PPR – 13.20
The Dolphins defense got a fantasy boost as well with Jakeem Grant‘s 96-yard kickoff return for a TD in the 4th quarter that would turn out to be the game winner.