It’s Week 9 of the NFL season and the Miami Dolphins (3-4) have now lost a fourth straight game. Those games have been close, but a loss nonetheless. Further drama with offensive lineman Jonathon Martin has added to the Dolphins downward spiral. On the plus side going into tonight’s match up against the Cincinnati Bengals (6-2) and the 9th week of Fantasy Football some players may be primed for success. In recent weeks many have shown that they still have some fight left in them. Here’s whom you should keep your eyes on.
Running back Lamar Miller is one of those players. In the past two weeks he’s played some of this best football. If only he could manage to get in the end zone Fantasy owners would be more apt to start him more often. Last week against the New England Patriots he had success on run and pass plays. His longest rush was 18-yards and catch was 13-yards.
What won’t work in Miller’s favor this week is he will be up against a defense that’s 8th in the league at stopping the run. The Bengals will be without lineman Rey Maualuga who’s out 3-4 weeks with a sprained MCL. Not to doubt that this loss will be felt, but the Bengals are nearly unstoppable on defense. Unless this is a week where you have 1-2 running backs on bye, Miller should stay on the bench.
Wide receiver Mike Wallace’s numbers dropped last week since the two week high he was on for the season. He had only three catches, 41-yards and one rush for 8-yards. Going against the Bengals this week he will face an 11th ranked pass defense. As mentioned during the Patriots’ game, it’s possible that in order for the Wallace to play at his true potential, the coaches will need to organize plays specifically for him.
Tonight’s game will be a test for Wallace not only as a Dolphin, but also on how well he deals with adversity. Earlier this season he had a lot to say about his performance. So far this season he’s caught less than half of the passes thrown his way. With the rushing game likely to be shut down tonight, he will see a number of balls going his way. Averaging 10.6 fantasy points on ESPN, give Wallace the start.
Fellow wide receiver, Brian Hartline’s performances through the weeks haven’t been worthy of a fantasy start. Last week he had four catches for only 37-yards. Now that receiver Brandon Gibson is out for the season, he should see more attention, especially in the end zone. Similar to Wallace, Hartline will have a tough contest tonight. Hartline should start tonight, because the Dolphins are running out of reliable options. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill will go with players he can trust. That’s enough of a reason to have Hartline in as a 3rd option at receiver.
The Miami Dolphins defense is healthy and playing like it. With the team’s offense struggling the defense has to maintain consistency throughout the game. In the loss to New England they started their threat early intercepting Brady on his first drive. Cornerback Dimitri Patterson can be a threat weekly, as he was in Week 1 until an injury sidelined him until Week 7. Separate from Patterson’s takeaway, the Defense recorded three sacks on Tom Brady. As long as they remain healthy “The Brotherhood” is likely to get their rhythm back and put up decent Fantasy points.
Stay tuned next week for Week Ten’s Fantasy Football preview!
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