Thursday Night Football Preview: Dolphins at Patriots
Thursday October 29, 2015
Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots
This is a game I’m actually very excited and intrigued to watch. Who would have thought that three weeks ago? The undefeated Super Bowl champs are coming off a surgical dismantling of the league’s top ranked defense (no thanks to Brandon LeFell who dropped every pass thrown to him). They are hosting the new and improved Man Campbell led Miami Dolphins. The turnaround by this team is uncanny. Yes, they haven’t played strong competition, but they have annihilated teams the past two weeks. They were up 41-0 at the half last week against the Texans. To be completely honest, they didn’t really play strong competition prior to the indoctrination of Man Campbell. This is their first true test, and it will be very interesting to see how they respond.
Miami Dolphins: Key Players
QB Ryan Tannehill
No quarterback has been hotter the past two weeks than Tannehill. He actually set an NFL record with 25 straight completed passes over the past two weeks. Last week he went 18-of-19 for 282 yards and four touchdowns. Up 41 at the half, almost all of his damage came before the break.
Verdict: Start Tannehill. He is red-hot and the Patriots secondary isn’t overly impressive. He should be in your starting lineup.
RB Lamar Miller
If Tannehill is hot, Miller is on fire. Last week Miller rushed for 175 yards and a TD on 12.5 yards per carry. He also caught three passes for 61 yard and a TD. Oh yea, he didn’t play in the second half.
Verdict: Start Miller. This rushing attack is way too hot leave Miller on your bench.
WR Jarvis Landry
You may be seeing a trend by now. Landry has been absolutely electrifying this season. Last week, he caught five passes for 83 yards and two TDs, including a ridiculous 50 yard catch and run (mostly run). He has also had at least one carry in every game this season and is averaging 9.6 YPC and has a TD on the ground.
Verdict: Start Landry. He’s looked great this season and is really coming into his own.
WR Rishard Matthews
Matthews has been one of the surprises of the season. After being disgruntled all offseason and demanding a trade, he has quietly become a viable fantasy option. So far this season, he has 26 receptions for 438 yards and four TDs. He will likely be covered by a second or third corner and the Pats are no longer deep at that position.
Verdict: Start Matthews. I really like him this week. He’s worth sticking in your flex or at WR3 in 12-team leagues.
TE Jordan Cameron
Cameron has been a disappointment this season. Due to his inability to block, Dion Sims, or when Sims was out, Jake Stoneburner, have seen a ton of snaps and red zone targets. Sims is used between the 20s as well. Cameron is limited as an all-around football player.
Verdict: Sit Cameron. If you’re playing in a DFS league, Sims has way more value than Cameron based on salary. It’s pretty much a coin toss which guy has the better week.
New England Patriots: Key Players
QB Tom Brady
If the season ended today Brady would be your MVP. When the season ends in January, Brady will be your MVP. He’s playing at a ridiculously high level right now. He is matchup proof at this point.
Verdict: Start Brady. He’s a must-start each and every week.
RB LeGarrette Blount
Dion Lewis is still dealing with an abdomen injury and will be a true game-time decision. Expect Blount to lead the backfield. This won’t be like last week. The Pats will have to run the ball and have a more versatile attack to beat the Dolphins. Blount will get carries.
Verdict: Sit Blount. Pats RBs make me nervous. You just never know what’s going to happen with them. Unless of course they’re playing the Colts.
WR Julian Edelman
Edelman is pretty much a must-start every week in PPR leagues. He should probably be considered a WR1 in PPR leagues. Slot guys tend to give the Dolphins a hard time. Their linebackers are bad in coverage and they have zero depth at corner.
Verdict: Start Edelman. This may be his biggest game in three weeks by a longshot.
WR Brandon LaFell
LaFell dropped six passes last week in his first action of the season. He was an absolute nightmare. Nevertheless, we will chalk that up to rust. However, he won’t get a pass this week.
Verdict: Sit LaFell. I want to see him look healthy before I start him. Plus, if he has Brent Grimes on him, it could cause difficulties.
TE Rob Gronkowski
Gronk is a monster and may go down as the most dominant tight end to ever play the game.
Verdict: Start Gronk. Because he’s the Man Campbell of tight ends.
New England: 20