With the plethora of injuries that the Miami Dolphins have suffered recently, Lynn Bowden was a player who stepped up to make an impact. He has suddenly found himself being relevant in fantasy football as we are now into the second week of the playoffs for almost all leagues. How valuable will Lynn Bowden be for fantasy in Week 15 with many Dolphins’ skill players’ statuses unknown? Plus, how does his dual position eligibility affect his outlook? We’ll take a look at how to approach him in this crucial week for fantasy football managers.
Lynn Bowden’s fantasy managers could benefit from the Dolphins injury woes
In Week 14, the Dolphins saw wide receivers DeVante Parker and Jakeem Grant leave early with an injury. Neither returned and led to Bowden and Mack Hollins needing to step up in their place. Entering Week 15, both Parker and Grant are questionable to play in a crucial matchup with the New England Patriots. Also, tight end Mike Gesicki is questionable to suit up after picking up his own injury in Week 14’s game.
As of right now, both Parker and Gesicki are trending towards playing with Grant’s expected to be inactive. Grant’s status is murkier with the team’s recent promotion of Isaiah Ford. Even if Parker and Gesicki both play, it’s fair to wonder if either or both could be limited. Therefore, Lynn Bowden is in line for another heavy workload after seeing 13 targets and two carries over the last two weeks.
How does the Dolphins run game shape up entering Week 15?
In addition, the Dolphins’ run game is a big question mark for the team coming into Week 15. Myles Gaskin remains on the reserve list. Salvon Ahmed (shoulder) and Matt Breida (reserve list) are both expected to suit up after missing Week 14 and will join a jumbled backfield that also includes DeAndre Washington, Patrick Laird, and the aforementioned Bowden. Ahmed and Breida could potentially see less-than-normal workloads after missing Week 14.
Lynn Bowden has a chance to be heavily featured in Week 15
While the Dolphins may see plenty of their injured skill players suit up in Week 15, Bowden enters the game healthy. He’s coming off his best game of the season, catching seven of his nine targets for 82 yards. That was after catching all four of his targets for 41 yards in Week 13. He has 50 or more scrimmage yards in each of his last two games as his usage has grown. With the injuries the team suffered in Week 14, Bowden led the Dolphins in targets as well.
Even if Parker and Gesicki return, Bowden should still see a similar amount of snaps (77.8%) as he did in Week 14 as he plays primarily out of the slot. Plus, quarterback Tua Tagavailoa has attempted 87 passes over his last two games. This points towards a Dolphins’ offensive approach focusing on their passing game. With his play improving and the running back group in disarray, we could continue to see Tua throw around 35-40 times a game most weeks.
How the Patriots have done against WRs in fantasy football
While the Patriots may pose a difficult opponent for Lynn Bowden, it may not be for the reason that many think. They’ve only given up one receiving touchdown and one 50+ yard performance to opposing wide receivers in the past three games. But they’ve shown cracks in the armor. They gave up 101 yards and two touchdowns to Breshad Perriman, 54 yards and two touchdowns to Willie Snead, and also 80+ yard performances to both Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks.
On top of that, the Patriots have found themselves in games where game script came into play. In some of their games that they were blown out of, teams didn’t need to pass as much. So some numbers may be skewed as opposing teams sometimes abandoned the pass to run out the clock. That may not be the case on Sunday and thus not be as applicable.
The Patriots still boast an above-average defense, but it’s nowhere near the stalwart we saw in 2019. This should benefit Lynn Bowden and fantasy managers in Week 15.
Lynn Bowden’s Week 15 fantasy football outlook
The biggest positive for Bowden is the fact that he carries both wide receiver and running back eligibility on most fantasy football platforms. To put it in perspective how valuable that is, let’s look at how his Week 14 ranks at each position. In half-PPR scoring, he was the RB18 (mid-tier RB2) and WR27 (high-end WR3) for Week 14. He was the RB32 (low-end RB3) in Week 13, as well. Even as a wide receiver, he was a strong FLEX play, but as a running back, he was a solid starter. Bowden carries much more value as a running back in fantasy football than he does as a wide receiver.
With that running back eligibility, Lynn Bowden suddenly carries potential RB2 value depending on who suits up for the Dolphins in Week 15. With Ford’s promotion to the active roster, it’s more likely that Grant would be sitting than Parker. If that happens, Bowden would project as the team’s primary slot receiver and even see some work on the outside. He’d likely function as the team’s number three passing target should both Parker and Gesicki end up being active.
Overall, Bowden’s Week 15 fantasy value should have an established floor due to his expected snap count in the slot. In half/whole-PPR leagues, Bowden is a mid-tier WR3/FLEX and a low-end RB2/high-end RB3, even if Parker and Gesicki are active. That makes him startable in most fantasy football leagues. The Dolphins’ increased reliance on their passing game reinforces the high floor that Bowden should have as one of the team’s top targets. He should see at least five to seven targets and potentially a carry or two. Don’t be afraid to start Lynn Bowden with confidence in Week 15.
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Doug Moore is a fantasy football writer for Pro Football Network. Follow him on Twitter at @DMooreNFL.