The Miami Dolphins open their 2014 season against their AFC East rivals, the New England Patriots. How does what is sure to be a tough game for the Dolphins on the field impact the players you may have on your fantasy team? We take a look at the Dolphins fantasy prospects this weekend.
Ryan Tannehill is an unknown quantity at this point in the season. The offense should suit him, and the team should be more explosive this year. Starting the season, however, you probably do not want "should" being in that sentence, you want "will." Crazy things always happen when the Dolphins face the Patriots (see Michael Thomas' interception last week), so you never know what could happen. It's a gamble at this point, and probably not one you need to take in Week 1. Projected stats: 250 yards, 2 touchdowns
Stay away from the Miami running game this week, and every week until they prove they are capable of running the ball. Knowshon Moreno is clearly the better of the two options this week, as Lamar Miller has struggled to get going in the preseason. The offensive line is still a question mark, so neither runner is really an option, unless you are in a really deep league, and need someone to fill a spot. Again, crazy things happen against the Patriots, so it is not unimaginable for one of the two to suddenly go off (see Wildcat in 2008), but it's a huge risk, and you probably are not going to get a lot of reward. Projected stats: Moreno - 50 yards rushing, 4 receptions, 20 yards receiving; Miller - 30 yards rushing, 3 receptions, 20 yards receiving
This could be where high risk - high reward comes in to play. Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline are both capable of having big games, and the Dolphins offense is going to be pass first, and pass often if the running game never materializes. Someone is going to have to make a play, so having Wallace or Hartline as a flex player might be a consideration. Again, it is going to be high risk because you are asking for one of them to be off of Revis Island, and be able to serve as the primary option for Tannehill. Someone will have a good day, unless New England's defense just comes out and suffocates Miami, so if you guess correctly, you could look like a genius. Projected stats: Wallace - 5 receptions, 65 yards; Hartline - 6 receptions, 60 yards, 1 touchdown; Jarvis Landry - 3 receptions, 45 yards
I love Charles Clay this season, but not against the Patriots. New England focused on taking Clay out of the game against the Dolphins last year by putting a cornerback on him at all time, and there is no reason to think they will not do the same thing this year. I think he will find the endzone at some point, but I am not comfortable relying on him as my starting tight end this week. Start him and he will probably get you a few points, but nothing like he should be able to score for you in non-New England weeks. Projected stats: 3 receptions, 20 yards, 1 touchdown
The Dolphins defense is largely overlooked in fantasy football, and you can probably add them as a free agent pickup, but do it after this week. Facing a high-powered offense like New England is not the week you want to have Miami's defense. They will probably tally two or three sacks, and there will likely be a turnover, but the Patriots offense, as long as Brady is under center, has the firepower to rack up the offensive yardage. The "bend-don't-break" defense will be tested against the Patriots. Projected stats: 2 sacks, 1 interception, 400 yards allowed
Fantasy football kickers are pretty well interchangeable, so if you want to start Caleb Sturgis, that's fine. He will likely kick a field goal or two, and have a couple of extra points. Projected stats: 2 field goals, 2 extra points, 8 total points.
What do you think? Would you start any Dolphins players this week?
Editor's Note: SB Nation's partner FanDuel is hosting a $1,000,000 Fantasy Football Contest for Week 1's NFL games. It's only $25 to join and first place wins $100,000. Starts Sunday, September 7th at 1pm ET. Here's the link.FYI: These are just my opinions and Fanduel gave me money to play.