How Miami Dolphins Become Unbeatable; Its Counterpuncher Emerges As A Fantasy Football Must-Start

How Dolphins Become Unbeatable; Dolphins’ Counterpuncher Emerges As A Fantasy Football Must-Start

How Dolphins Become Unbeatable; Dolphins' Counterpuncher Emerges As A Fantasy Football Must-Start

Few Keys to Unlock the Potential of Dolphins

The Dolphins have an answer.
This season, I felt the Dolphins’ goal was to find a way to counteract good defenses and savvy coaches who could take away their first pitch. That proved unnecessary in Week 1 courtesy to a Chargers squad that does not meet the bill in the least.
However, the significance of it could not have more clearer than on Sunday night in Week 2.
It’s a cliche, but it’s true in sports that Bill Belichick will try to take away what you do best.

It’s no surprise that Tyreek Hill was held to 40 yards on nine targets (albeit he did score a touchdown). Tua Tagovailoa’s time to throw and air yards per target both fell short of the high marks he achieved in Week 1. Jaylen Waddle had a 21.5 yard per catch average but only grabbed four passes. It’s not like he took over the game.
Instead, Miami won because to a strong defense and a strong running game. As I usually say about Raheem Mostert, he’s here for a good reason, not a long time… And, wow, did it ever get nice on Sunday night.
On his 18 carries, Mostert added 0.30 EPA per play. Any running back who adds that much EPA each tote is notable.

To put it into perspective, Tua added 0.37 on his dropbacks — we know that passing adds considerably more value and is more efficient than rushing in these metrics — and he placed sixth among all quarterbacks in Week 2.

That was the value Mostert brought with his rushes. He was keeping Miami in positive down and distance while also adding big-play juice. Notably, he found the end zone twice in two weeks, giving him three visits to the paint.

Adding this element to the attack just adds to Miami’s ability to put opponents in a bind on any given week. It improves the incredibly undervalued Tua, and it will eventually open up even more wide-open windows in the downfield play-action game.

As if Miami needed another one

There’s a slight anxiety in the back of my mind about what might happen to this ground game if Mostert were to miss time. The depth chart behind him is thin, with De’Von Achane still getting into shape and Jeff Wilson on injured reserve. Unfortunately, Mostert has struggled with this throughout his career.

However, he’s here right now to take advantage of the situation. And as long as that’s the case, he’s a must-start in fantasy football, and he’ll keep the Dolphins in the hunt.

In terms of the future, if injuries continue to plague this bunch, Miami is the type of swing that may be significant at the (relatively inactive these days) NFL trade deadline.
You may have heard that the Dolphins are interested in a running back from Indianapolis.

That concept is even more intriguing after seeing it on Sunday night. They don’t need that move right now, but it’s a long season.
The Ravens’ offensive’s early signs of success Lamar Jackson and the Ravens’ offense didn’t clutter the stat sheet in Week 2, but they still won. They displayed a plethora of encouraging indicators when seen in context.

In that context, keep in mind that the Ravens beat an AFC contender despite playing without two of their starting offensive lineman and still learning a new playbook.

Their reception area is still not the cleanest. Rashod Bateman is still being eased back into the lineup gradually after a difficult offseason of rehabilitation, while Odell Beckham Jr. departed Sunday’s game with an ankle injury.

This was no simple task, but Jackson and his team pulled it off. Jackson had the third-highest success percentage among Week 2 quarterbacks, as well as the eighth-highest air yards per target average. In Week 2, we saw a touch more verticality from this attack, including a downfield strike to rookie Zay Flowers.

Nothing, though, exemplifies the encouraging indicators of this offense more than Nelson Agholor’s day. No, I’m serious.

Headshot of Nelson Agholor: Targets

Normally, a veteran like Agholor would have been a key contributor for the Ravens. He serves as a depth element in this offense, stepping in when there are injuries. Jackson made the most of Agholor, who finished as Baltimore’s leading receiver with six targets.

This unit will be a terrific bunch with additional time. It is already on the correct track. It could be fully operational by December. It takes time to learn new things. The offensive of the Ravens will be worth the wait.

Puka Nacua Real

The 49ers won the game and appeared to be the superior offensive throughout. That comes as no surprise. Nonetheless, I came away from this game lot more prepared to discuss the Rams, who continue to outperform expectations.

Matthew Stafford dropped back to pass an incredible 60 times while taking only one sack. That was his only sack of the season, and it didn’t come until late in the second half.

Avoiding penalties against Seattle is one thing; Nick Bosa and the 49ers are a another story. This favorable trend has allowed Stafford to thrive and discover young offensive stars, most notably Puka Nacua.
With 26 catches in their first two games, Nacua now holds the record for most catches by any player. He was targeted 20 times in Week 2 alone, and he currently leads the NFL in targets. It’s unusual for a Day 3 rookie receiver, but it makes sense if you know this player’s game from college.

Everything about Nacua’s performance in Week 1 screamed long-term success. What’s the best part? He previously exhibited the majority of his abilities at BYU.

Nacua would have been drafted higher if he hadn’t had so many mistimed college injuries. He’s already demonstrating it. He has the ability to beat man coverage and win outside. The Rams will not sign a young player who can do that off the field. Stafford is already aware of his dependability.

When Cooper Kupp returns, don’t expect Nacua to take a back seat. Instead, expect the Rams to have two receivers who routinely create separation and have rock-solid, dependable hands. With Stafford playing at his present level, having a duo of wideouts like that is an intriguing option.

The role of James Cook

Those who have James Cook on their fantasy squad will be disappointed to see Latavius Murray and Damien Harris score two touchdowns against the Raiders. Cook, on the other hand, had a fantastic game, and it’s difficult to complain about 150 yards from scrimmage. Especially considering he has a role that allows him to continue having these types of trips.

Cook was responsible for 57% of the running back touches and ran a healthy number of routes. He was targeted four times and caught all of them for 36 yards. With a 56% running success rate in a relatively stress-free win against the Raiders, he’s been a consistent provider of rushing efficiency.

Cook appears to be an ADP-buster and a solid RB2, despite his lack of top potential. More importantly, I believe his role thus far is a good example of how the Bills’ offense is evolving.

Josh Allen performed significantly better than he did on Monday night last week. It’s not a high bar to clear, but he did. Allen had a 4.5 average depth of throw and stayed within himself, finishing with a 19.5 EPA.

He simply didn’t act like Superman because he didn’t have to.

Cook and Harris moved chains. On late downs, the Bills were 83% successful. When was the last time the Bills’ run game served as a meaningful counterpunch to their explosive aerial attack? Not often in Josh Allen’s tenure. Having that on hand will help keep their quarterback out of unnecessary confusion and give defenses something else to think about.

Cook appears to be a quiet breakout candidate who isn’t getting enough attention in the league. This is true for both fantasy football players and his actual NFL squad.
Nico Collins is making a name for himself.
For the second week in a row, the Texans’ passing offense performed admirably.

C.J. Stroud entered Week 2 with a slew of offensive line injuries. The Texans were without four of the five players they planned to open the season with. That made this game much more dangerous after starting the season on the road in Baltimore. The Colts maintained a lead throughout, but Stroud performed admirably and has continued to operate a quality passing game.

He has also established an instant rapport with his starting wide receiver, Nico Collins. This developing relationship has been one of the most surprising early tales in fantasy football… but perhaps it shouldn’t be so astonishing.
Stroud has targeted Collins 20 times in the first two games, gaining 226 yards and scoring once. In the passing game, the Texans have received contributions from Robert Woods, Tank Dell, and others, but Collins has been the focal point of the offense.

In fantasy football, he appears to be someone you’d want to start every week.

Collins’ season-opening performance is a significant justification for the quest of isolating receiver play from their surroundings. Over the last two seasons, the Texans’ passing offense has been one of the worst in the league. The combination of nightmare play-calling, design, and quarterback play has resulted in an offense where all statistical outcomes must be discarded.

Collins, on the other hand, displayed X-receiver tendencies as a man who could separate over the middle and win downfield. Collins only needed a talented quarterback like Stroud to put the promise into the box score.

Five reasons why I don’t care about the Patriots’ offensive investments

This year’s Patriots offense is stronger. Some of the efforts they’ve made in the unit over the last few years — senior player acquisitions and the drafting of Mac Jones — are beginning to show signals that they’ll be able to return to viability after a disappointing 2022 season. Bill O’Brien was the huge investment they made this year, and it’s already paying off.

The problem is that I now believe the Patriots’ offense is just good enough to be league average.
New England has capable players at all starting positions. This includes Jones, who appears to be a far better player than he was as a rookie. He is precise and executes the offensive nicely. But all of that has felt like a self-inflicted fight just to get back to average, and I’m not sure where the path to busting through the glass barrier of the NFL’s 16th-best offensive is.
O’Brien’s offense is moving quickly, and Jones is routinely executing the no-huddle.

This season, he has dropped back to pass 105 times, second only to rookie C.J. Stroud. But they’ve been in such a rush to get off the field that they’ve been throwing a bunch of 7-to-10-yard stop routes that are far too frequently defended.

The Patriots lack playmakers. They don’t have a reliable separator, someone who can make big plays with the ball, or a vertical weapon who can win in isolation.

It’s a good group that works well together. It only fits into a fairly ordinary image.

Is there any hope for the Jets’ offense?

Going into Dallas against that defense couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Jets in their debut game under Zach Wilson, 3.0.

Unfortunately, you can’t get much worse outcomes. Garrett Wilson scored on a 68-yard catch-and-run after Malik Hooker failed to make a tackle. Wilson is capable of doing so at any time, but that was only one of his two catches on eight targets in Week 2.

Zach Wilson led all rushers with 36 yards. The backs gained 24 yards on 10 carries, and Dalvin Cook fumbled. Of course, the offensive line was a huge worry. Every other pass rusher felt like a tidal wave was pouring down on Wilson, ready to wash him away.

Wilson finished the day dead last in EPA per dropback – and comfortably so. Yes, this was a hard patch for this offensive, but there is little to take away from this performance.

You’re more imaginative than I am if you can tell yourself a story about how things will improve.

Aaron Rodgers made news last weekend when he stated that he was sure that the novel medical technique he underwent will give him a chance to participate in the playoffs. Whether he’s correct or not, a few more games like this and it won’t matter if he can make it back since the playoffs will be a long-forgotten distant fantasy.

The Broncos’ resurrection under Sean Payton

It’s not exactly the same embarrassing disaster, but the 2023 Denver Broncos look a lot like the 2022 version thus far.

The Broncos produced an intriguing finish, but one that may instill false hope. Russell Wilson threw a Hail Mary that popped in the air many times before landing in the end zone in the hands of Brandon Johnson. A brief burst of joy was followed by a listless two-point effort on a Russell Wilson pass to a blanketed Courtland Sutton.

Prior to that desperate heave, it was looking like another terrible performance for Denver, leaving me to wonder, “What does this team do really well?”

The Broncos sacked Sam Howell four times while allowing him to complete nearly 70% of his throws. He was able to pick his locations and deliver the ball to a variety of targets. This Broncos defense is solid but not spectacular. It’s surely not enough to compensate for an offensive that is still in the dark.

Payton and company poured a lot of money into the offensive line and other blocking tight ends in order to bolster the run game. They only gave the ball to their tailbacks 14 times. Javonte Williams has been getting the majority of the work, and he appears to be in good shape despite being a step slower after suffering a serious injury. They still haven’t figured out a rotation.

About Author