Most fantasy football leagues, at least the smart ones, haven’t held their drafts as of yet. This is primarily because you have to get as much information as possible on young players playing with the starters, injuries to players and the length of time they will be out, etc.
Well, now that the third weekend of preseason play is getting underway for all the teams, it’s about that time for the onslaught of player information and then drafting.
So, we here at F.F.I. are here to give you some advice on the three teams in our state and whom might not be on the immediate radar. We qualify that as: not the top player on his team at a position and probably not a guy that you would think about drafting before the 5th-6th round in your league (depending on size of your league).
We will give you a couple of names for each team
You’ve heard so much about WR Chris Godwin as an “under the radar” type fantasy impact player. And while you should take a strong look at him, if he’s around in the 5th round and beyond, it’s likely that others will be doing so, also. So, we also suggest that veteran Adam Humphries, who primarily plays in the slot for Tampa Bay gets a look later in your draft.
Now, you must factor in that most of that was with Jameis Winston at QB. And, as you know, Winston is suspended for the first three games of the season. Humphries also has only 3 TD’s the last two years and he’s not a guy to draft for that reason. However, if points per reception (PPR) and yards help you, Humphries will.
Next, we wrote about the Bucs placing RB Charles Sims on IR Thursday, and what that means for the Bucs backfield. Certainly young running backs Shaun Wilson and Dare Ogubowale are going to get more of a look in their final two preseason games. However, the late round sleeper may very well be veteran RB Jacquizz Rodgers. He carried the ball 129 times in 2016 with a 4.3 average. A year ago his carries dwindled 64 and a 3.8 average.
Still, he’s a decent pass catcher and a good pass blocker, too. And while Peyton Barber and rookie second round pick Ronald Jones will get most of the attention and carries, Rodgers may be worth the “sleeper” investment.
Miami also has several players that will be available in the later rounds of a draft, and we think the one should take a strong look at is WR Albert Wilson. The free agent from Kansas City (shown above) is not going to get the attention that Kenny Stills and fellow new free agent Danny Amendola will.
However, Wilson has averaged 31 catches and 12.5 average over his five year career. And he may easily surpass that this season.
Wilson only has seven career receiving TDs. So, much like Adam Humprhries above, this is not a move about touchdowns, but more receptions and yards to help your team.
Also, in the Dolphins backfield, everyone will pay most attention to Kenyan Drake and Frank Gore in the first few rounds, and rightfully so. They are the two guys that will get the bulk of the playing time when the season begins.
We at F.F.I. have been high on rookie RB Kalen Ballage, but he’s battling a concussion in preseason at the moment. So veteran free agent back Senorise Perry may be worth a look. Even though he only has eight carries in the regular season. Perry has looked good in both Dolphins preseason games to this point. He is almost assured of being on the 53 man roster now and if there are injuries, you might be glad you made a “sleeper investment” on him.
We already wrote earlier this week about the emergence of T.J. Yeldon at backup running back and he’s looking like a solid sleeper option for your later rounds. So, again depending on your league size, take note about round seven or eight, if Yeldon’s still there. He maybe worth the risk.
The other player that most league members won’t be looking at is TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins. The former Bucs and Jets player came to Jacksonville, as a free agent.
He’s big, athletic, can run down field and will be a weapon in the red zone for Blake Bortles.
He had his best season of his four year career with the Jets last year catching 50 balls with three TDs. If he’s healthy for 16 games, he will easily have those numbers for the Jaguars. Again, per our theme, Seferian-Jenkins is a late round sleeper once most of the top receivers are gone.
Still he, like the others on our list, can help you with bye weeks, injuries to your starters, etc.
Dolphins beaten up every way possible after latest loss in Green Bay
Make no mistake, the Dolphins season is not officially over at 5 – 5 headed in the bye week.
It just looks and feels that way.
Mostly, it does, because the Dolphins are banged up, not only physically, but also it appears emotionally and psychologically. So, much so, they don’t appear to have a whole lot left for the stretch run.
Let’s start with the actual physical injuries and that began Sunday with the inactives. The Fins starting offensive line was minus Laremy Tunsil and Ja’Wuan James, which were not unexpected. However, after being able to practice some this week, former number 1 pick defensive end Charles Harris was not able to play against Green Bay today, either.
Then, as the game wore on, it was one Dolphin leaving after another. Whether it was Kenyan Drake with a shoulder injury in the first half or Bobby McCain with a concussion in the third quarter or when receivers Jakeem Grant and DeVante Parker both had to leave on the same Drive, it was tough to watch the Dolphins walking wounded.
The biggest fear is for the smaller but explosive Grant, who may have torn his Achilles in the third quarter. Grant was already suffering from Achilles tendonitis and came up hobbling right away on a slant pass and could not put weight on the foot. He was then carted shortly thereafter to the Dolphins locker room.
Coach Adam Gase offered no real update on Grant’s status other than that it’s a wait-and-see. As for Parker, same thing is being hoped, even though, the media reported him walking around in the locker room after the game with his left arm in a sling. You combine those injuries with Kenny Stills being slowed by a groin injury and Albert Wilson already out for the year having hurt his hip a few weeks ago, and the Dolphins may be looking for Mark Duper or Nat Moore to come out of retirement at this point.
Bigger than just the physical injuries, the Dolphins appear spent in the figurative sense as well. The frustration mounted as Aaron Rodgers continued to carve them up throwing darts all over the football field Sunday night in the Lambeau cold. He finished with only 195 yards passing, but did have two TDs. And, they marched on the Dolphins defense, whenever he wanted.
It was almost as if Miami was just helpless to do anything against him, and they are watching their season wind down.
Consider that backup quarterback Brock Osweiler was not able to spark the team for the third consecutive game. So poor is the offensive output, that Miami has not scored a touchdown in their last nine quarters dating back to the Thursday night loss in Houston.
The Dolphins aren’t playing with any confidence, at least from the guys that are replacing the injured players. Remember, with Miami at full strength early in the year they got off to a 3 – 0 start.
So, the bye week comes now and perhaps, starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill shoulder will be healed enough that he can practice in 10 days and maybe play at Indianapolis. It’s anybody’s guess as to who, out of the names above, will actually be healthy enough to help Tannehill and the Dolphins for the final six games.
Finally, even though Miami would appear by record to be very much in the hunt for an AFC wild-card spot, they don’t look like a playoff team.
No. They’re banged up and look like a team that will be watching the postseason like everybody else.
Gameday- Dolphins travel to chilly Lambeau Field
Who: Dolphins (5-4) at Packers (3-4-1)
When: Sunday 4:25 p.m.
Where: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI
Spread: Packers by 10 points (Courtesy of VegasInsider.com)
Here’s what to watch:
Dolphins defensive coordinator Burke under scrutiny
It has been a tough few weeks for the Dolphins all the way around, but specifically on the defensive side of the ball, the struggles are mounting. And when you throw in a player pouting and essentially pulling a mutiny on the sidelines last Sunday, it’s not good for the defensive coordinator.
That’s what happened a week ago when Pro Bowl safety Reshad Jones refused to go back in the game on two occasions during the second half of the Dolphins close 13 – 6 win over the Jets. It’s been a big topic in South Florida for the last few days, and it obviously has defensive coordinator Matt Burke having to answer for what’s going on in the defense of meeting rooms, practices, etc.
Dolphins Live: Defensive Coordinator Matt Burke meets with the media. https://t.co/2145Fq3uaU
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) November 8, 2018
As the press continued to poke at him about the Jones situation, you could tell that Burke is over it, as is coach Adam Gase, and they want to move on for this week. However, Jones didn’t make that any easier, when he basically refused to apologize for not wanting to play.
And, moving past it may also be easier said than done, when the opponent is All-Pro quarterback and former League MVP Aaron Rodgers at his house, Lambeau Field.
Yes, the Dolphins have some pass rushers, and that would include second-year defensive end and former number 1 pick Charles Harris returning to practice this week after a calf injury, and he may be able to play. Veteran Cam Wake came alive pressuring Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold repeatedly, and registering a couple of sacks.
However, the defensive plays have been few and far between, as the Dolphins have lost four of the last five games.
That brings us back to Burke, who was elevated after coaching the linebackers in 2016, when Vance Joseph left Miami to become Denver’s head coach. After spending his entire pro career as a linebackers coach, this is his first opportunity to be the guy in charge of the defense.
So, he and Gase can get aggravated with the questioning of what we’re seeing, but the bottom line is: if the Dolphins defense doesn’t continue to step it up, like they did last week, there is going to be much more scrutiny of him.
The oddsmakers have the Dolphins as double-digit underdogs to Rodgers and the Pack.
Now, let’s see if Burke’s unit will rally together, play solidly and give Miami a chance to win Sunday.
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