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New York Jets v Miami Dolphins

FANTASY FOOTBALL – Week 8 Bye Replacements: Runnin’ Ryan Tannehill


FootballNFL

**All Bye Week Replacements are owned in less than 50% of leagues**

Quarterbacks

On Bye: Eli Manning (NYG), Colin Kaepernick (SF)

  1. Carson Palmer (ARI) vs. PHI
  2. Ryan Tannehill (MIA) @JAC
  3. Kyle Orton (BUF) @NYJ
  4. Brian Hoyer (CLE) vs. OAK
  5. Austin Davis (STL) @KC

It appears that new offensive co-ordinator Bill Lazor has finally figured out how to use quarterback Ryan Tannehill effectively which means nothing but good things for those in need of a pivot in Week 8. The third-year QB’s job security was called into question following a Week 3 loss to the Chiefs, a slight overreaction, but maybe not unjust considering to that point Tannehill had completed just 56.5% of his passes. Well, in his three starts since then, Tannehill has bumped that figure to an astounding 72.3% with a clear focus on shorter, higher percentage routes. For the season the Dolphin sits in a tie for 20th most accurate QB on 20+ yard passes at 38.9% – a distinction he shares with the vaunted Charlie Whitehurst. However a massive 90.4% (85 of 94) of Tannehill’s throws against the Raiders, Packers, and Bears were fewer than 20 yards. You know, like logic was being used in game-planning. Now, I’ve made the point several times in this article that Jacksonville’s defense is the most susceptible in football to chunk plays in the air, but that’s not to suggest they aren’t just terrible in general. While the unit has risen to about league average in fantasy points allowed to QBs, much of that has to do with their competition the past three weeks. Ben Roethlisberger, the aforementioned Whitehurst, and Brian Hoyer managed just a single touchdown the past three weeks, but still put up a respectable 240.3 yards per game. This won’t sustain. It’s also not to suggest that one must throw deep to be successful. In fact only one QB has a lower propensity to chuck it deep than Tannehill this season – Aaron Rodgers. He’s not awful. Plus, Miami has apparently also realized the athleticism their former college wide-receiving quarterback possesses as Tannehill’s 150 yards rushing rank only behind Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick, and Cam Newton, while his 6.81 yards per carry are behind only Wilson’s insane 8.6 mark. To summarize in simplicity, everything is coming up Tanne-Milhouse.

Runningbacks

On Bye: Andre Williams (NYG), Frank Gore/Carlos Hyde (SF)

  1.  Tre Mason (STL) @KC
  2. Denard Robinson (JAC) vs. MIA
  3. Isaiah Crowell (CLE) vs. OAK
  4. James Starks (GB) @NO
  5. Bryce Brown (BUF) @NYJ

These rankings are generally specific to just the week ahead, but let me take this opportunity to somewhat temper Denard Robinson expectations. Unlike Storm Johnson, Robinson might actually have some legitimate talent, however, very much in Storm’s cool name vein, Robinson’s value is elevated due to easy name recognition. He played for an incredibly public college team in Michigan and, of course, has a fantastic nickname. But how much of Sunday’s performance can we pin on Shoelaces and how much is a product of Cleveland’s terrible run defense? The Browns have surrendered an NFL worst 155.5 rushing yards per game through seven weeks, more than enough to assist a Jaguars offensive line that ranked 29th according to DVOA entering Week 7. Unfortunately for Robinson backers, only the latter of those two facts will be a constant for the RB. Now, Robinson did have the highest yards per attempt (5.8) of any runningback last week and his 22 carries were the fourth most of any back – there’s value in that. However, he’ll continue to lose third down snaps to Jordan Todman (a far better blocker) and, like I said, better defenses are coming – like the Dolphins. Yes, Miami has given up the 10th most fantasy points to RBs in PPR formats so far in 2014, but they actually rank 10th in overall running yards allowed per game at 100.3 and have only given up two rushes over 20 yards this season. Matt Forte did just hang 28.9 points on them, but 18 of these were on receptions, which, if you haven’t noticed, isn’t really in Robinson’s skill set. I have no problem with picking up a guy who seems like he’ll get touches, but don’t get too excited because you’re not just owning Robinson – you now own the entire Jaguars’ running game.

Wide Receivers

On Bye: Rueben Randle/Odell Beckham Jr. (NYG), Michael Crabtree/Anquan Boldin/Stevie Johnson (SF)

  1. Doug Baldwin (SEA) @CAR
  2. Riley Cooper (PHI) @ARI
  3. Greg Jennings (MIN) @TB
  4. Brandon LaFell (NE) vs. CHI
  5. Malcolm Floyd (SD) @DEN
  6. Jarvis Landry (MIA) @JAC
  7. Robert Woods (BUF) @NYJ
  8. Andrew Hawkins (CLE) vs. OAK
  9. Davante Adams (GB) @NO
  10. Donte Moncrief (IND) @PIT

While the Percy Harvin trade did little to effect Wilson’s overall value either positively or negatively, it did do quite a bit to the rest of the Seattle wide receiver group – specifically Doug Baldwin. Really, Baldwin was already sort of the number one for the Seahawks if you go by snaps alone. While Harvin was only playing 60.1% of Seattle’s offensive snaps, Baldwin has been on the field 88.7% of the time and actually saw his lowest share of snaps Sunday against the Rams since Week 1. Yet, he saw easily his highest total of targets. Baldwin caught seven of the nine balls thrown his way during Week 7, a stark contrast for a guy who was only averaging 4.8 targets a game through six weeks. Still, for as much as Harvin’s absence helps, it might be the lack of defense truly playing the biggest role. The biggest hit on Wilson and any other, non-Lynch member of Seattle’s offense coming into the year was that they just didn’t throw the ball enough. This hasn’t been the case in 2014. Wilson is, on average, taking four more drop backs per game this season (35.3 to 31.4 in 2013) – most likely a result of closer games and longer fields. Either way, Baldwin projects nicely going up against a Panthers team that has allowed at least one 20+ point wide receiver in five straight weeks and are giving up the sixth most fantasy points to wide outs overall this year in PPR leagues. Baldwin is the perfect mix of instant return and projectable upside.

Defenses/Special Teams

On Bye: New York, San Francisco

  1. Miami @JAC
  2. New York vs. BUF
  3. Minnesota @TB
  4. Dallas vs. WAS
  5. Oakland @CLE

For the first time all season Jacksonville did just enough on offense to prevent the opposing defense from scoring double-digit fantasy points. Sadly, Cleveland had to settle for a measly eight – still good for a Top 10 DST. The Jaguars have surrendered an NFL worst 29 sacks so far this season and while the Dolphins rank outside the upper tier of sack teams at just 17, they still employ Cam Wake and will benefit from the return of 2013 third overall pick Dion Jordan this weekend. Also, Blake Bortles is tossing an interception every 17.4 passes. That’s so bad it’s impressive. If you can’t grab Miami, the Jets are a decent back-up plan under similar pretenses. New York has the sixth most sacks in football (20) and the Bills have allowed 11 in their past two games – a big factor in their current four game streak of giving up double-digit points to fantasy defenses. Basically, keep it with the AFC East.


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