It’s week three of the NFL 2013 season. The Miami Dolphins remain undefeated at 2-0. They’re making fantasy owners reasonably proud. Tomorrow they face the Atlanta Falcons in their home opener at Sun Life Stadium. Like the Dolphins, “Phination” is over flowing with excitement. Not only for the home opener, but for the chance to break a pattern. But, is this excitement temporary?
The Dolphins are at a place they’ve been before. In 2010 they also started 2-0 and went on to finish the season 7-9, while missing the playoffs yet again. Since then, the Dolphins are 10-14 when playing at home. Not so dismal is their series record against the Falcons, 7-4. However, it should be noted that these Dolphins are a different team from year’s past. Possibly beginning a new Miami
Dolphins’ era. If so, this can only be due to the new additions and progress of the 53-man roster. Some of those players being lucky enough to be a part of many Fantasy leagues.
Wide receiver Mike Wallace
for starters, has hushed his critics. Even if it was just for one week where he went from one catch for 15 yards in week 1, to matching his career high of nine catches and 115 yards in week 2. Let’s not forget his effortless touchdown in the first quarter.
This week Fantasy owners should actually be a little cautious, despite those despite. At mid-week Wallace was listed on the Dolphins’ injury report with a groin injury. As of Friday he was listed as questionable for Sunday’s game. Chances are he will play, but at what level? Will it be at a level consistent with that of week one or week two?
For this week Wallace will either surprise us and play like the beast we know him to be and exceed last week, or make a couple of decent catches to then stay quiet the remainder of the afternoon. It really could go either way. Take a coin, flip it and pray it lands accordingly. If it lands on tails(as it should), sit Wallace.
Considering the injury to Wallace this week, fellow wide receiver, Brian Hartline should 100% get the start. So far Hartline has played consistently well, but continues to be doubted by anyone who spills his name from their mouths. Coach Joe Philbin has been stressing consistency all through the off-season. This regular season it’s no different. In 2013, Hartline has 14 receptions (13 yard average), 182 yards and one touchdown. He currently leads the team in receptions. Proving dependable to his maturing quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, he’s sure to keep up the good work.
The Atlanta Falcons are ranked 30th in pass defense. In the first two weeks of the season they’ve allowed an average of 346.5 total yards/game.This stat alone should guarantee Fantasy team owners some pretty decent points. Hartline gets the green light.
Speaking of offensive players who should start, running back Lamar Miller
isn't on that list. He currently has only 24 carries, 72 yards and one touchdown. Doesn’t sound much like the option two running back that Fantasy Football analyst imagined him to be. His week one performance was one of the worst opening day performances of a running back, if not the worst. Week 2 just proved that he hasn’t giving up, not that the previous week was a simple fluke. The fact that the Falcons rank 8th (73.5 yard average) in the league for their rush defense, doesn’t help Miller’s cause going into this week.
However, the Falcons are hindered with some injuries on defense. Defensive end, Kroy Biermann is out for the season and cornerback Asante Samuel is at risk to miss Sunday's game. These factors aren’t enough to promise Miller won’t disappoint this week, because he’s done so since the start of the season. Any numbers that Miller puts up won’t make or break your team in week three. With that being said, let him sit this week and hopefully he catches his bearings by next week. If not, consider dropping him.
The Dolphins’ defense, self-named, “The Brotherhood” is fierce this year and like in the previous Fantasy previews, they’ve been giving the start. Each week they prove why. Ask Cleveland Browns
’ quarterback, Brandon Weedon and Indianapolis Colts
’ quarterback, Andrew Luck
and they will say this Dolphins’ defense isn’t one to sleep up. They’re the best in the NFL
at putting quarterbacks under pressure with 38% of their drop backs.
However, the defense has been giving up big plays. As a result the passing defense ranks 20th(279.5 yard average) and 12th (90 yard average) on defending the rush. What works in the defense’s favor this week is that three of the Falcons' offensive weapons aren’t 100% this week. On the latest injury report both wide receivers, Julio Jones
and Roddy White are listed as questionable. Even worse, running back, Steven Jackson is out and potential gone for majority of the season. If the Dolphins’ defense can control the big plays, they will continue to do well in 2013. There’s no doubt about it, they get the nod for week three.
Stay tuned next week for Week Four’s Fantasy Football preview!
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Tags: Andrew Luck
, Atlanta Falcons
, Brandon Weedon
, Brian Hartline
, Cleveland Browns
, Indianapolis Colts
, Julio Jones
, Lamar Miller
, Miami Dolphins
, Mike Wallace
, Roddy White
, Sun Life Stadium