Dolphins vs. Patriots start/sit advice: Ryan Tannehill, Lamar Miller, Tom Brady, LeGarrette Blount
The Patriots have really run away with the AFC East of late. Can Miami close the gap?
After a rough 2-2 stretch to start the season, the New England Patriots have won eight of nine games to rise to 10-3, tied for the NFL’s best record. The Miami Dolphins, meanwhile, have had trouble getting their feet under them all season and are 7-6 now. Miami basically needs to win out to get a playoff spot, which doesn’t appear to be in their repertoire this season. Meanwhile, the Patriots are just gearing up for the postseason.
On the injury front, the Dolphins might be without tight end Charles Clay Sunday, as he deals with hamstring and knee issues. Even if he plays, he’ll be limited. On the New England side, wide receivers Brandon LaFell and Julian Edelman and running back Shane Vereen were all on the injury report, though all three are expected to play Sunday.
Sunday’s game, scheduled for 1 p.m. ET, will be played in Foxboro. Let’s look at the fantasy names to consider:
Start ‘em?: After underperforming through a host of premium matchups, it’s got to be nearly impossible to count on Ryan Tannehill against the Patriots’ strong pass defense. … Lamar Miller has been safe for a handful of fantasy points most of the year, though he appears to come with very little upside, and upside is a big deal in the fantasy playoffs. … Caleb Sturgis has been helpful for fantasy pretty much all year, even if he isn’t the best real-world kicker.
Sit ‘em: The Dolphins’ receivers have been underwhelming of late — Mike Wallace has fallen off the map, and Brian Hartline and Jarvis Landry haven’t filled the void as much as you might like. … If Charles Clay were healthy, he’d be tough to justify as a fantasy option. Injured, it’s impossible. … The Dolphins’ defense has fallen on seriously hard times of late.
Start ‘em: Even with a bit of tailing off of late, Tom Brady has averaged 17 fantasy points a game in his last four; he’s a must-start. … The team has been giving LeGarrette Blount more and more of the workload; he’s an RB2 unless Bill Belichick decides to get funny again. … Nothing has changed; Rob Gronkowski is still the top fantasy tight end. … Stephen Gostkowski‘s still the best fantasy kicker, too.
Start ‘em?: Both Julian Edelman and Brandon LaFell come into Week 15 banged up. More frustratingly, neither one has consistently outproduced the other, making both tough to trust. … Tim Wright is the threshold at tight end between clear potential for usefulness and the opposite. He still has the best chance at a touchdown of the lesser group. … The Patriots’ defense is slightly above-average; the Dolphins’ offense is slightly below. That combines for a questionable, but justifiable, fantasy play.
Sit ‘em: Between injury and disuse, Shane Vereen and Jonas Gray are off the fantasy radar right now.
Start in every league: Tom Brady, LeGarrette Blount, Rob Gronkowski, Stephen Gostkowski
Bench: Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, Jarvis Landry, Charles Clay, Miami defense, Shane Vereen, Jonas Gray