This season has generated a whirlwind of emotions. The Rookie wide receiver class has amazed and produced results that are just beyond belief. You could conceivably rank Odell Beckham Jr. as the number one WR option this week in Fantasy, starting him over guys like Emmanuel Sanders, Alshon Jeffery, Dez Bryant, A.J. Green or even Jordy Nelson, and it wouldn't be crazy. He was the third WR off the board and arguably isn't even the best WR taken in this class. personally, I think Mike Evans is the best of the bunch, but the depth, talent and production of this year's class is astounding. Juice Landry was ODB's teammate at LSU and was taken in the second round by our beloved Miami Dolphins, and he has been just a pleasure to watch this season. He leads this amazing WR class in catches and is in the top five for TDs. From a fantasy perspective, this season has just been maddening at times.
In the reall world, this Dolphins season has had an all too familiar feeling to it. I must say, I had bought in and I'm not easily fooled. There have been some awful breaks, but ultimately it boils down to plays left on the field. Great teams make them and we simply don't. These were some of the low lights that come to mind: not recovering the Rodgers fumble in the Green Bay game; not scoring a TD or getting a first down to close out the Lions; not stopping the Broncos at any point in the second half in Denver. This past Sunday was really no different. They were up 10 - 0 and driving, and Brandon Gibson drops a pass on third down. They also failed to score a TD deep in Baltimore territory in the Fourth Quarter, and once again the defense couldn't make any stops when it mattered. Football is a very difficult game to figure out, but the simplest explanations are often the correct ones. This team doesn't make the plays it needs to when they have to have them. From a fantasy perspective, the offense has become basically irrelevant again, and Dallas Thomas maybe the worst Right Tackle I've ever seen. As soon as the Ravens figured that out, and the Dolphins inexplicably failed to adjust the game was basically over. I give the staff credit, they have actually done a great job with adjustments, but much the like team as whole, when they needed to produce most, they came up short. Apologies for the rant..
Getting back to fantasy related items, since reality is so damn depressing... Oh wait, my fantasy teams all suck and missed the playoffs too.
Well, at least my column has been consistently mildly accurate! At this point, I will take what I can get. My Strikes were all pretty solid calls. I'll take half points for Gore and Mason because they didn't completely kill you. Wilson, ODB and Juice Landry all had very productive days. 4 out of 5 for the Strikes. The only Gutter call I completely whiffed on was Sammy Watkins as he finally returned to the form he'd displayed at the beginning of the season. The Bucs did show some signs of life on offense, but really they were terrible against the Lions. I'll take a half point there. So, 3.5 out of 5 and a 75% for the week. My C+ average remains intact on the season.
Thanks Bart. ON TO THE STRIKES!
LeGarrette Blount: I wouldn't be shocked if Bellicheat trolls everyone and throws Jonas Gray back out there for 30 carries, but Blount has looked nasty since rejoining the Pats. The Dolphins obviously can't tackle anyone. Losing Delmas actually hurts in this department because he and Jones were doing an excellent job of coming up in support lately. The Ravens didn't begin totally gashing us until Delmas left. We also could have had Blount (and we DID have Jonas Gray). I hate the Pats.
Eric Decker: I actually really like Decker as a WR3 play this week. The Titans are now the worst team in the league and they play 0 defense. I'm not convinced they have a defense. I can't name one person on their defense, and they allowed Ryan Fitzpatrick to put up Aaron Rodgers type numbers on them a mere two weeks ago. they followed that up with getting squashed at home by the Giants. if you are in a pinch, or you have Julio Jones and he doesn't end up playing, Decker's not a bad play here.
Joique Bell: The man has been on fire lately, and the Vikings are pretty soft up front. Reggie Bush is being held together with string and bubble gum at this point, Bell has proved more than capable as a workhorse.
Martellus Bennett: Monster game last week. I think no Brandon Marshall means more Bennett for the Bears at home vs. a terrible Saints Defense.
Courtesy Dolphin Start of the Week, Lamar Miller:
If the Dolphins are to have any chance, they need Miller to produce in the way that Moreno did in week 1.
Bishop Sankey: Holy crap if you are still alive there's no way you even have this guy. But he's a starting Running Back and some one may consider playing him thinking he'll get into the end zone. He won't. The Titans suck and Jets are actually good against the run.
Vikings Offense: This is a fantasy wasteland in a terrible matchup. Avoid all of them.
Cardinals Offense: Ellington is done for the year. They play the Rams tonight in St. Louis who are playing like the '85 Bears right now. I want no part of any Cardinal ESPECIALLY in a play-off game.
Eddie Lacy: The other gutter picks were fairly obvious. I'm going out on a limb with this one. If you have another option I'd consider it strongly. Lacy is a little banged up and the Bills at home is a tough matchup. Lacy has not proven to be Matchup proof this season. he struggles against physical fronts. RE: The Seahawks, Jets, Lions, etc. he has been on fire lately, but i don't see him putting up many yards on the Bills.
Courtesy Dolphin Sit of the Week, The Defense: It has been a huge disappointment watching the wheels completely come off. The Injuries all around the team have been disheartening, and devastating really (On BOTH sides of the ball). I saw the Cardinals signed Chris Clemons this past week, and I just shook my head. Impossible to trust this unit, and frankly, they look soft.
The fantasy play-offs are in full swing. best of luck if you are still alive. This has been a trying season for Dolphin fans. Hang in their guys, there's three games left and the play-offs are still a possibility. And remember, at least we aren't the Jets. Or the Jaguars. Or the Titans. Or the Raiders! Those teams are in positions where they are wondering if players and coaches like Geno Smith, Blake Bortles, Zack Mettenberger and Tony Sparano are viable options. Yeesh.
Well, dude, sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you...