Now that the Miami Dolphins have finalized their 53-man roster, your fantasy football drafts have been held and Sunday is officially the start of 2013 Dolphins’ football; let’s take a look at your Week 1 starters and sitters.
As previously reported earlier this off season, there were only three Miami Dolphin players who were truly draft ready: Tight End, Dustin Keller; wide receiver, Brian Hartline and running back, Lamar Miller. Unfortunately, Keller isn’t a fantasy option anymore, due to the serious knee injury he sustained in the Dolphins’ 3rd preseason game against the Houston Texans.
With that being said, wide receiver Mike Wallace should’ve been one of your fantasy picks instead of Keller. During the very same game that Keller went down, we were able to see the chemistry of Wallace and quarterback, Ryan Tannehill. Wallace finished the game with three receptions for 58-years and one touchdown. His longest reception was for 33-yards. Each time he was targeted he made a catch and proving already to be very dependable receiving option.
Following the Houston Texan’s game, Tannehill spoke optimistically about his on-field relationship with Wallace.
"It was great for us," Tannehill said. "I think our relationship continues to grow; we continue to be more on the same page the more reps we can practice. It was exciting to get a couple of balls to him and hopefully get his ball rolling."
Going into the week 1 away game against Cleveland Browns, starting both wide receivers, Wallace and Hartline would be key. According to ESPN Stats & Information, last year the Cleveland Browns finished the season tied second with the 22 touchdowns allowed by opposing teams’ wide receivers. If this weren’t the case, starting just Hartline would’ve been the best choice. The secondary will most likely be double-teaming Wallace for sure, as he tries to get deep for those long passes. But, with injuries and poor off-season performance from the Brown’s secondary, both Dolphin receivers should put up decent numbers this week.
If Lamar Miller is on your fantasy team, whether you start or sit him this week is a toss up. Last year, the Cleveland Browns defense ranked 19th in total defense (YPG). However, going into this 2013 season the Browns made a numbers of changes to improve the defense.
They acquired Jimmy Haslam, who was the minority owner for the Pittsburg Steelers for four years. A team defense that ranked first or near the top in the past few years. Ray Horton (coached under Hall of Fame defensive back and football coach, Dick LeBeau) is the new defensive coordinator, formerly of the Arizona Cardinals who had a major pass rushing defense during his tenure. So, for Lamar Miller going into Sunday’s game, he will have his work cut out for him. Best bet would probably be to sit him.
If you have the Dolphins’ defense, the same could be said. Their potential in this game could be great or mediocre. Ranked 5th in passing (YPG) they have a good shot shutting down the Browns receiving core. On the rushing side, running back, Trent Richardson has the help of new offensive coordinator, Norv Turner. Richardson is expected to get a majority of the touches per down. He’s lethal in the end zone with nine of his 11 touchdowns in 2012 being in the red zone.
Last year, the Dolphins’ defense finished 27th in rushing (YPG). Their success defending the red zone is better. They were 11th in red zone scoring percentages. It’s week 1 and with a Dolphins’ defense growing with talent and fury for the new season, give them the start.
Stay tuned next week for Week Two’s Fantasy Preview!
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