Coming off of their bye, the Dolphins face the Jets in an important divisional matchup. It’s also a good matchup for fantasy relevance so who can we expect to have a big game this week?
The Miami Dolphins watched the rest of the NFL from home while on their bye week. They’ve now spent the last two weeks getting ready for the Jets to come into town. The Jets are not the same team as they were last year, but should be expected to give the Dolphins all that they can handle. One regression New York has seen, and is partly to blame for their regression, has been the play of their defense. Miami will look to exploit that defense on Sunday, which could lead to some big fantasy performers from Miami’s top players. So who is a good start for Miami this week, and is there anyone we should consider leaving on the bench?
While the Dolphins have turned the tide around in their last two games, it has not translated over to Ryan Tannehill’s fantasy numbers. This is not to say that Tannehill has performed poorly because the opposite is true. With better protection from the offensive line, Tannehill is making better decisions between reads and audibles, and protecting the football. His poor fantasy performances have solely been a result of Miami’s run game working exceptionally well.
With Jay Ajayi rushing for over 200 yards in consecutive games, little room was left for Tannehill to get it going through the air. He still managed to find Kenny Stills for a 66-yard touchdown late in the game that proved to be the clincher against Buffalo. While the Jets defense has regressed overall, their run defense is still stout.
Ajayi may still find success, but the Dolphins will need Tannehill to come through for them on passing downs. The Jets are a bottom 10 team against the pass this year, giving Tannehill a great opportunity for production on Sunday. I would prefer inserting Tannehill in DFS lineups, but with six teams on a bye this week, he could make for a great streaming option as well in league play.
Landry’s production has taken a hit as well with Ajayi’s monster performances. Landry has always served best in PPR leagues rather than standard, and this season has been no exception. His lack of touchdown upside lowers his value in standard, but his consistency catching the ball makes for a must-start player in PPR formats. Landry has just one touchdown this season, but he is in a great spot this week to add to that.
As previously mentioned, Tannehill should have more pass attempts against the Jets weakened secondary. Darrelle Revis is likely to hover Landry for the majority of the game, but it’s been apparent this season he’s not the same player he once was. Tannehill does like to look for Kenny Stills on the long ball occasionally, similar to the touchdown pass the two hooked up on against Buffalo. However, Stills lacks the consistency to be a reliable fantasy option, strictly depending on those deep passes for production. Landry is a safe bet this week for double digit targets.
With Arian Foster officially retired, there is no longer the question who the lead back in Miami is. Ajayi joined an elite group when he rushed for over 200 yards in back-to-back games. A huge credit has to go to the healthy offensive line, but a lot of it has been Ajayi himself. In his two-game dominance, Ajayi totaled 418 yards on the ground, 217 of which came after contact. Ajayi is not expected to make it three in a row for 200 yards but that doesn’t mean he won’t be a factor.
The Jets are a top 10 defense against the run so Ajayi could run into a snag. We are expecting the Dolphins to throw more, and depending on how successful they are, it should open up the running game. Head coach Adam Gase made mention this week that the team wants to monitor Ajayi’s touches this week. Fantasy owners don’t need to worry, however, as Gase is just referencing to Ajayi’s 55 touches in Miami’s past two games. That kind of workload can take it’s toll down the road, but Ajayi should still be viewed for 20+ touches and is a must-start in all formats.