The Miami Dolphins’ pass game might be the friendliest in the NFL for fantasy football, but it was the Denver Broncos’ aerial attack that surprised in Week 2. Could this be the type of high-scoring affair that swings matchups on Sunday?
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Denver Broncos at Miami Dolphins
- Spread: Dolphins -6.5
- Total: 48
- Broncos implied points: 21
- Dolphins implied points: 27.5
We saw glimpses of Russ cooking, but that Hail Mary at the end does make the boxscore a bit deceiving (308 yards and three touchdowns on his 18 completions). He now has five touchdown passes (66 attempts), a total he didn’t reach until mid-October last season (193 attempts).
Before that last-second miracle, Wilson connected with Marvin Mims on a pair of bombs and ran for 56 yards. Week 2’s stat line was a work of art — a work of art that nets you nothing in Week 3. Was it good to see? Sure. Does it mean I’m ranking him as a top-15 player at the position this week? It does not.
Week 2 was his fifth career game with 300 pass yards and 50 rush yards (third since the beginning of 2015). I need to see more vintage Russ before even entertaining the idea of playing him. I understand the optimism surrounding him in a Sean Payton offense in a game where the Denver Broncos will need to score, but I’m not willing to go there.
His 12.3 fantasy points on Sunday night was a little underwhelming but not surprising. As great as his supporting cast is, you have to understand the floor that is in play for pocket passers (nine carries for eight yards this season).
From last weekend, I was encouraged by Tagovailoa’s accuracy (70% completion rate). If he is displaying touch alongside a top-five aDOT at the moment, there’s no decision to be made: he’s starting for you every week he is healthy.
If you roster Tagovailoa and aren’t 100% sold, you’re holding tight for another month before testing the trade waters. The Miami Dolphins face the Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots, and Kansas City Chiefs ahead of their Week 10 bye. If you’re going to cash in this chip, let him beat up on the Giants and Carolina Panthers in Weeks 5 and 6 first.
The talent is no secret, and with him working his way into a feature role, the breakout is coming. Are you ready?
In Week 2, Williams ran for only 44 yards, but the writing’s on the wall. He out-carried Samaje Perine 12-to-1. Jaleel McLaughlin scored the five-yard touchdown on Denver’s first drive — I’m not reading into it. That came during a weird, Sean-Payton-is-trying-to-get-cute segment of the game plan: four straight run plays by four different players. Bizarre.
Maybe I’m overthinking this, but the Broncos have plenty of high-powered offenses coming up on the schedule (Dolphins, Bills, Vikings, and Chiefs twice over the next two months), and they are going to emphasize the run game in an effort to keep those units off the field.
Williams is a strong RB2 for me this week, and I think his value in the trade market right now is as low as it’ll get for the rest of the season.
With 12 touches in the season opener, we were hopeful that Perine could work into a flex role alongside a recovering Williams. That’s not how things looked last week, though he does have four targets in both games. Could that fringe flex role emerge if/when Denver goes into a ball-control style against these elite offenses?
It could happen, and combining that with Williams’ risk profile means that Perine needs to remain rostered in all formats. He’s not a top-35 running back for me this week, and that’ll likely be the case moving forward, given my optimism on Williams.
Before the game, Mostert (31 years old) said he feels like he’s 25 due to the lack of early career usage, and he certainly looked the part in the Sunday night win over the Patriots. He ran for 121 yards with two touchdowns, a performance that was punctuated with a 43-yard score that proved to be the game-winner.
Raheem Mostert blasts through untouched for the TD run❕ pic.twitter.com/c9hd59qoGG
— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) September 18, 2023
Last week, he accounted for 81.8% of Dolphin running back carries in De’Von Achane’s debut, a level of usage that makes him a roster lock until otherwise noted. His ceiling is capped by his lack of involvement in the passing game (three targets this season) on a team that wants to air it out, but as long as he is the featured back on the ground, he’ll be in my top 20.
The Broncos coughed up 87 yards and a pair of scores to Brian Robinson Jr. last week after a strong showing in Week 1 against Josh Jacobs. Denver profiles as an average matchup, and with a team-implied total in the upper 20s, I’m starting my Dolphins with confidence.
A two-touch, nine-yard performance wasn’t anything to write home about, but rostering Achane was never about how he’d look in September.
Stashing the rookie out of Texas A&M (double-digit touchdowns with over 1,100 yards in each of his final two collegiate seasons) is a long-term play, given the fragility of all involved in this backfield. Nothing has changed on that front: keep Achane on your bench.
Is he going to hold value himself? Probably not, though I won’t count out any player attached to an offense like this with injury-plagued RBs ahead of him on the depth chart.
That said, he looked explosive on his limited opportunities against the Patriots (six touches for 41 yards with a 10+ yard gain both on the ground and through the air). He doesn’t need to be on rosters right now — he’s a name to remember as the season wears on should these historically fragile players struggle to stay on the field.
In his season debut, Jeudy earned five targets and picked up 25 yards. Reporting out of Denver seems to suggest that he made it through the game without any health concerns, and that is really all we were asking for. I expect the rust to linger into this week (outside of my top 30), though I do believe better times are ahead.
If you roster Jeudy, I’d be less concerned with how Jeudy looks this week and more concerned about how Wilson looks. If he builds on the step forward he took in Week 2, Jeudy will be comfortably inside my top 30 this time next week with the Bears on the docket.
Sutton has caught 75% of his targets this season and led the team in targets (seven) during Jeudy’s season debut. That is encouraging, and it gives you a chance to sell him if you can after two productive weeks. We know that Jeudy’s involvement is only going to increase with time, and after Week 2’s showing, how could Marvin Mims not begin to get more run?
Pair that with a run game that I expect to improve moving forward, and Sutton’s path to fantasy viability is a thin one. The receiver position is a deep one across the NFL and I think you can do better in terms of either targets or per-play upside than Sutton. That train of thought has landed him outside of my top 35 receivers this week, and I am not comfortable starting him.
Marvin Mims Jr.
Seven routes isn’t the way most receivers go about producing a top-20 week (19.3 fantasy points), but it’s exactly what this explosive rookie (19.5 yards per catch during his career at Oklahoma) did against the Commanders. If he can work his way on the field and convince Payton to go with three-receiver sets, he profiles as the perfect stash that you can play in specific spots.
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He’s the receiver that will rise the most in Denver if Wilson proves to have found the fountain of youth. His skill set isn’t that of a weekly asset, but as injuries pop up and bye weeks take over, the game-break stylings of Mims become appealing for depleted rosters that are big underdogs.
Even after a “down” performance in New England, Hill remains on pace for his 2,000-yard season. We know the big-play potential is there every time this man takes the field, but his ability to use his speed to separate in close (2-yard TD) impressed me last week.
He earned a 31% target share last week — don’t worry about the low yardage total. Hill is an elite fantasy option in all formats, and that’s not going to change.
The Dolphins are not the 49ers. That is, I believe they can sustain two receivers on a consistent basis. They are top five in receiver target share through two weeks, and as long as these two stars are healthy, that’s going to continue.
Waddle was the victim of a cheap shot late in Sunday night’s win and has been ruled OUT for this game. Make sure you are adjusting lineups accordingly (there is no secondary MIA WR you can trust, Mostert gets a slight tick up in his touch projection) this week. The hope is that he can return to action in Week 4.
Ultimately, he doesn’t matter in most formats. That said, this offense doesn’t have a third pass-catching option, and Smythe has three catches in both games this season. I’m monitoring.
If you’re streaming the TE position, you ideally want a piece of a strong offense, and maybe Smythe simply being on the field in Miami can put him on the streaming radar with time. Not yet.
Who Should You Start in Week 3?
Should You Start Raheem Mostert or Brian Robinson Jr.?
Give me Brian Robinson Jr. on Sunday. Mostert’s big Week 2 was impressive and we know the speed is legitimate, but at this point, I want my running back to be critical to his team’s success.
Mostert holds some value to the Dolphins, but that passing game carries them. The Washington Commanders, are destined to fail without a stable ground game. Robinson has separated himself from Antonio Gibson, boasting 35 touches to Gibson’s five since the latter’s Week 1 fumble, and the touch volume is simply too much to ignore in this spot.
Should You Start Javonte Williams or Kyren Williams?
I have them back-to-back this week inside my top-20 rankings, so I think both are more than viable. When deciding between the two, I lean Javonte Williams.
Call me slow to react, but I am still skeptical about this Los Angeles Rams offense. That’s not to say the Broncos are rock solid, but Denver’s clearest path to victory is controlling the tempo and Williams seems to have earned the bell-cow role already.
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