Had the Miami Dolphins beat the Buffalo Bills last week it likely would’ve helped, but a playoff spot wouldn’t have been completely sealed. It’s the time of the year for crazy scenarios that teams put themselves in to get a wild card spot. However, it’s hard not to be cynical and say that teams should’ve done enough, early enough in the season to not need this help. Well, today, Sunday, the last day of the regular season that’s neither here nor there. The Dolphins must win to have ANY chance at keeping their season alive. One other cynical fact, the teams left competing in the AFC for the Wild Card, have a 60-1 chance of success beyond collecting a “W” today. Now for the final time this season, let’s see who are your Fantasy starters and sitters of the Miami Dolphins.
The 7-8 New York Jets have the chance to play spoiler to a division rival when they face the 8-7 Miami Dolphins in Miami today. However, the Miami Dolphins have a 63% chance of collecting the final AFC playoff spot today. But, it’s “any given Sunday.”
During today’s NFL Countdown one of the anchors said that this maybe a game when the ball is given to the running backs to do as they may. If that’s the case, then the Jets may have the edge. But, this is Week 17 and I’m sure each team will make whatever play that gives them the best edge to win. The Jets’ run defense is ranked 3rd. Last time these two teams faced one another was in four weeks ago when Miami pulled off a great win in New York, 23-3. I believe that was the same defense as of now. Duh!
Lamar Miller’s inconsistencies have him as a wild card of his own in mostly all fantasy leagues. Miller did have 72 yards in their last visit. Still not many are sold. Fellow back, Daniel Thomas is surprisingly likely to play today despite tweaking his ankle (yes, the one that almost ended his season just a few weeks ago). How is this possible? It’s week 17 and Thomas is a running back that could have an impact. He’s been explosive once he gets going. For this last week it may be the safe bet to sit one or the other. One of these backs will run in Miami today. The question is who. You may be surprised.
Another teammate battling the injury bug is wide receiver, Brian Hartline. But, by Friday he was practicing fully. Going into this week it’s not sure if we will get mediocre Hartline or clutch and explosive Hartline. In the Week 13 match up he played his best football of the season going 127 yards on 9 receptions and 1 touchdown. Whether he will play just as well today is uncertain. What works in his favor is the home turf (Dolphins are 4-2) and the wild card spot that’s still on the line after last week’s embarrassing blow out in Buffalo. Hartline should start in most leagues today and for the sake of this team’s 2013 future he better make it a game to remember.
During the last match up against the Jets, wide receiver Mike Wallace played well recording 7 receptions, 82 yards and 1 touchdown. Similar to Hartline this performance of a few weeks ago doesn’t guarantee similar results in a win for the Dolphins. Wallace’s game average is high at 79.4 receiving yards/game and his average per/catch isn’t so bad either at 15.9 yards. When it comes to defending the pass the Jets’ defense is 24th. Wallace will take advantage of this weakness. He does this even with top defenses in the league. Wallace is likely to start in all Fantasy leagues this week, so make sure yours is one of them.
When the quarterback has a good day, so do his receivers. If this is to happen quarterback, Ryan Tannehill needs to get some love in this final week of the regular season. He had one of his best games in his last meeting with the Jets. Tannehill had 331 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception.
It’s possible that Tannehill is one quarterback that will stay in Miami for more than a few years. When he’s doubted as the next leader of this team aka the next Dan Marino who proves his worth the next chance he has on the field. This week is one of those moments. If he can help get the Dolphins to the playoffs this will speak volumes for where he and this team is heading in the next few years. Give this aspiring quarterback the start. He’s sure to be on his game, despite it all.
Just this week the 2013 Pro Bowl players were announced. Among them were four Dolphins. More specifically three are members of The Brotherhood defense: cornerback, Brent Grimes; defensive end, Cameron Wake and center, Mike Pouncey. (The other selection was punter, Brandon Fields.) This is the most Dolphins to make the original Pro Bowl roster since 2003. This is huge.
That’s enough emotion to get this unit revitalized, because there are surely nay sayers who don’t believe in them as much as Phins’ nation does. The Dolphins’ defense will play an offense that benched their quarterback, Geno Smith in their last meeting. The Jets ranked near last at 30th in the league in passing yards. Today Smith is likely to start this game with nothing to lose, but for the sake of his health for next season, benching him wouldn’t be a bad decision. The Dolphins’ defense will show no mercy.
It’s week 17 and one thing we know about this defense is they come out each game to make big plays. Big plays that decide who will win or lose. Today will be no different. Give them the start.
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