First things first, hats of to the Miami Dolphins for beating the New England Patriots for the first time since 2009. Let’s not forget the Patriots run the AFC East and all through the offseason the Dolphins were the prospective team to take the division from the long standing champs. Just putting that out there to marinate with you all…
Well, it’s now Week 16. The second to last game of the NFL regular season will be played. For the 8-6 Miami Dolphins these remaining games matter considering they’ve been constantly bumped in and out of the Wild Card picture with the Baltimore Ravens resurgence over the past couple weeks. This week the Dolphins head north to ice cold Buffalo, New York to take on the 5-9 Buffalo Bills. For the Dolphins to increase their chances of making it to the playoffs they need to keep winning. They’ve done so for three weeks already, what’s another two against mediocre AFC East division teams (Dolphins close up the regular season at home against the New York Jets). Now read on to see who are the fantasy starters and sitters of Week 16.
Last week it was nice to see running backs, Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas do well against a top run defense. What wasn’t done well is Thomas’ return to only be injured again. Yes, the one that threatened to have him out for the rest of the season. That ankle. Limited in practice this week, the expectation is that Thomas will still play. However, Miller stepped up a tad last week going 61 yards on 15 touches, but his inability to get into the end zone is the main concern when he’s talked about in football circles.
This week these backs will face another stingy defense in the Bills. Right not they’re ranked 18th in overall defense. With the combination of Thomas playing less than 100% and Miller ‘s inability to get in the end zone, both backs aren’t dependable this week. Unless Thomas has another miracle come back and leaps literally into the end zone yet again. Last time this duo played the Bills they accounted for a shared 105 yards. These guys should likely sit, unless you don’t believe in the power of the Dolphins’ pass game to get the job done this week.
Wide receiver, Brian Hartline has definitely helped the Dolphins win in the past three weeks. He even leads the team at the receiving position: 72 receptions, 628 yards and 2 touchdowns. During last week’s win against the Patriots he played very well recording five receptions for 70-yards. As what’s been said week in and week out, Hartline is clutch and knows how to get open for those crucial catches on 3rd down especially. He should start this week in most leagues considering the Dolphins’ dependability on the pass going into today’s match up.
On the flip side of the coin, fellow receiver, Mike Wallace’s statistics aren’t so bad either. This season he’s peaked at various points, but not until recently has he put in consistent work. Wallace has recorded 100-yards or more twice in four games. In this same period he’s had three touchdowns and looks to be picking up steam. Today should be another impressive game for him. With the rushing game sure to have its struggles, a superb game from Wallace isn’t the hope, but the expectation. Give him the start.
Last week’s game ended on a big play from the Dolphins’ defense when rookie safety, Michael Thomas snatched Brady’s ball to the end zone out of the air. As per usual Brady was driving down the field, refusing to take any “no” from, The Brotherhood defense as a serious threat.
If the Dolphins’ defense can continue to make key plays like they’ve been doing this whole season, faith in this Dolphins’ team will continue to be high. This defense puts up decent Fantasy numbers on an average day. Today should be no different. Give them the start unless you have a team ranked higher than the Phins’ defense (10th) that’s playing a low tier offense.
That’s it in a nutshell.
The Miami Dolphins take on the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The game is being broadcasted on CBS at 1pm.
Stay tuned next week for Week 17’s Fantasy Football preview!
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