It’s Jets week and the Dolphins are coming in off their bye week and should be the most rested they’ve been since week 1. The Jets will be coming in off an overtime defeat against the Patriots and banged up as they have already lost their two best players in CB Darrell Revis and WR Santonio Holmes.
Miami will look to avenge their week 3 defeat in overtime to the Jets when kicker Dan Carpenter missed two potential game winning kicks. Reggie Bush will also be looking for a little payback as he was running really well in the first half of that game before tweaking a knee just before halftime. Bush hasn’t been the same running back since that play but should be as healthy as he can be coming off a week of rest.
DT Randy Starks missed practice on Wednesday however coach Philbin indicated that it was an excused personal absence and not an injury related issue. WR Jabar Gaffney has had a few weeks to learn the offense now and may make his first appearance of the season for the Dolphins this week. No official word yet on his status, but signs appear to be pointing in the direction of him playing against the Jets.
MDD Staff Writer: Chad Pullen
Reggie Bush, RB
Bush had 65 yards by halftime and was gaining yardage in chunks in the week 3 matchup. The week before, he had gained over 125 yards in the second half as the Dolphin run offense wore down the defense. Reggie was lookin at similar production had he been able to finish the Jet game as their run defense hasn’t been its usual self. With a full week of rest and time to gameplan, the Dolphins may be able to really exploit the Jets defense and if Bush can stay healthy the whole game, may get over the 100 yard mark and possibly reach the end zone.
The Dolphins did give up a few big plays to the Jets in their first matchup, but that offense included Holmes who is no longer available. In his place however will be notorious Dolphin killer TE Dustin Keller who is back in action and has killed the Dolphins over the years. Still, anytime you can have a defense go against the Jets OLine, have Qb Mark Sanchez throwing passes, and a run game that can be stopped dead, the defense is an easy fantasy play. Sanchez threw a couple of interceptions in week 3 and Cam Wake had yet to really get going off the edge. The past 3 games however, Wake has 6.5 sacks and will once again be facing a right tackle that is not exactly a strength of the team. This may keep Keller in more to help block which could also help the defense limit the Jet offense. If the Dolphin defense is rested and hungry enough, they could have a real big game, especially if the weather turns dicey in New York.
Ryan Tannehill QB
This is the first appearance by Tannehill in the fantasy portion of this column. Ryan’s numbers have not been outstanding by any means outside of the Arizona game but with a week of extra prep time and no Revis, Tannehill could find some zones to work in and may put up some decent numbers. If your QB is on a bye and you need a waiver pickup, Tannehill may be a solid find and should be available in most leagues. Rex Ryan is the only one that can neutralize a QB at a moment’s notice and has proven so many times. However with Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas likely healthy this week, Rex may not be able to play back and try to confuse Ryan with coverages, he may need to bring help into the box to help slow the run. If Jabar Gaffney can get some playing time, we may see Tannehill take a couple of extra shots deep to test the Jets safeties who are not known for their coverage skills.
CB Richard Marshall – Back
Missed practice and it is not known yet whether he will play or not. He’s been resting for almost a full month, if he misses this game, his injury could be worse than expected and could be cause for concern going forward.
RB Daniel Thomas – Concussion(s)
Thomas missed the Rams game before the bye week and of course has had the last week and a half to rest on top of that for a total of three weeks’ worth of rest coming into the Jets game. Still, two concussions in the first five weeks of the season is a big issue in today’s NFL game, another one and Thomas may need to shut it down for the season. He is practicing however, and is expected to play this weekend.
Over the bye week, we’ve posted two Dolphin specific mock drafts to give an idea of what we think the draft landscape and focus will look like in April. Still a lot of work to be done and tons of scouting and film to be taken care of before the process of the combine begins but it gives a snapshot at what positions the Dolphins should look to address as well as maybe a few luxuries they could take to add weapons on each side of the ball. We will have more of these as the season progresses with changes reflected from needs and player improvements/regressions in college football. As it stands now at the almost mid-point of the season, three key positions look like locks to be addressed in April or through free agency. WR, CB, and pass rush specialist. Miami could spend multiple draft picks addressing these needs once April rolls around.