MDD Staff Writer: Chad Pullen
For the sixth time, the Dolphins have released DT Ryan Baker and signed free agent DT Andre Fluellen, formerly of Detroit. Fluellen was a third round pick out of Florida St in 2008 by the Lions but with the additions of Suh and Fairly the last couple seasons, Fluellen had no place to play and was released. At 6-2 302 and still only 27, he should provide the Dolphins another rotational defensive tackle to help keep the middle of that line fresh for a full four quarters. It is unclear if he will be activated and ready to go for this week, it may take a week or so for the coaching staff to figure out how and when to use him as he adjusts to a new system, team, etc.
Dolphins Fantasy Advice:
Reggie Bush RB
The AFC offensive player of the week for his performance against the Raiders, Bush will once again be the main fantasy as well as real weapon against the Jets. The Jets surrendered a large offensive game from another AFC East dynamic running back in CJ Spiller in week 1, however that was with a very comfortable lead and a defense playing back to avoid giving up any big plays. This week the Jets may try to crowd the line of scrimmage and limit what Bush can do. Miami’s offensive line may have other ideas about that however as they looked extremely dominant in the second half last week. With another humid September day in the forecast, the blueprint should once again be to keep the game close until the second half, and then wear down the defense and let Reggie make plays and gain chunks of yards.
Brian Hartline WR
Hartline has shown that he has a good connection with rookie QB Ryan Tannehill in his first two weeks of being healthy enough to play, however, this week will be much different than facing Oakland’s corners. CB Darrell Revis should return and may draw the assignment of shadowing Hartline all over the field on Sunday making it very difficult for Hartline to match his production the past two games. If Revis is unable to go however, Antonio Cromartie may become Hartline’s shadow, and while still a solid corner, he gambles more than Revis does as well as does not make contact at the line of scrimmage to disrupt Hartline’s routes and timing. It may not be a huge day for Hartline, but he’s the number one option in the passing game right now and therefore the second best option on the Dolphins roster to make plays.
Dan Carpenter K
In any game with two solid defenses, kickers become fantasy weapons as somebody has to score at some point so we could very well see a 15-9 type finish to the game. With the Marlins no longer sharing a stadium, dirt is no longer a factor in September kicking, nor should weather be unless a surprise Miami rainstorm sweeps in. Carpenter has shown over the years that he is more than capable of winning a game with a 4-5 field goal performance, and with a rookie QB and not many explosive options meeting up with a stout D, this may be a game where Carpenter earns his pay.
Sleeper: Lamar Miller RB
Miller was a sleeper last week as well, and he delivered a very respectable 65 yards on 10 carries and added a fourth quarter touchdown for good measure. Miller should be available in just about every league as his carries are unclear this early in his rookie season, but he proved last week that he was capable of handling the ball for stretches. Daniel Thomas may return from his concussion and take some of Lamar’s carries away from him, but Miller has the ability to break one on any given touch, so he remains a player to keep an eye on, but by no means an automatic start just yet.
DT Tony McDaniel has still been bothered by various ailments and hasn’t practiced fully in a while. It’s a pretty good bet that he will be inactive this Sunday.
RB Daniel Thomas was back at practice and should be cleared to play from his concussion in week one.
CB Richard Marshall is practicing and has said steadfastly that he will play this week no matter what.
WR Anthony Armstrong is not practicing, and therefore another safe bet that he won’t see action against the Jets this week.
Draft Look Ahead:
Looking ahead to April, the Dolphins clearly have a few needs to address and at this point, the picks to address those needs. As it stands right now, WR, CB, S, and OG remain the primary needs with pass rushing another possible need. It’s possible (although very unlikely) the Dolphins could fill all five needs within the first three rounds with two picks in the second and third round each. Miami could possibly have five of the top 80 picks in April’s draft, and in a perfect world simply select a player at each position. The draft doesn’t always work that way however, so chances are GM Jeff Ireland will look at other players to double up on positions or take high value guys that may drop (RB Lamar Miller would be an example from last year)
One interesting college game for Dolphins fans this week will be USC vs Cal as two of the best wide receivers in the draft could be playing in this game in USC’s Robert Woods and Cal’s Keenan Allen. Either one could be worthy of a first round selection and make an immediate impact in week 1 next season.
We will continue to update the needs of the Dolphins through the season as well as update on specific players that may look good in aqua and orange next season.