No shock coming from this game – The Patriots rolled Miami. It would have been a bigger margin but the Dolphins got a scoop and score TD off a bad shotgun snap after the Pats raced out to a 14-0 lead. Otherwise, Miami got manhandled.
New England is going to win out and go 14-2 unless they lose to the Steelers Week 15…what a game that is going to be.
Miami is 4-7, and may statistically be in the playoff chase still but they are a dreadful team and will never make the playoffs.
I wanted to review this game tape to see more of top free agent pickup Kenyan Drake, so we’ll start there…
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- I wanted another look at Kenyan Drake (9-20-0, 3-27-1/4) ASAP just to get more of a feel for his game because he’s either a top free agent grab or you have him and may consider starting him this week.
I re-watched the tape, and sorry…I didn’t see anything new. He ran tough, but his line stinks…and he took over lead duties later in the game when Damien Williams got hurt, and the contest was out of hand and not much to glean. Drake got a cheap late TD on a little dump pass and score. It was cheap and easy.
I think Drake is a top guy to grab for two reasons:
(1) I love the way he’s running the ball this season. He’s showing his speed often but also a surprising physicality. I thought he should have gotten a bigger push when Jay Ajayi got traded. He got touches but was secondary to Williams. For the touches Drake did get – he looked good.
(2) The Dolphins, literally, have no one else.
Here are his backups in order…
*Senorise Perry…who is not bad, but he got concussed on special teams before the half and was removed from the game. Likely out this week.
*The team activated De’Veon Smith off the practice squad…a rookie RB from Michigan who shouldn't be in the NFL. He’s too slow. Good hands, tries hard…not ready for primetime.
*The team is rumored talking to free agent Jeremy Langford…and that’s as bottom of the barrel as it gets.
Drake will get all the touches he can handle, in theory, ahead. Whether he makes lemonade in this situation, we’ll see. Drake is athletic, experienced, and all they got. He should be good for something. Of course, tough matchup with Denver right off the bat.
-- Rex Burkhead (13-50-1, 2-3-1/2) now has 4 TDs in his last 6 games…a pace for 10+ TDs in a 16-game season. Burkhead isn’t wowing anyone with athleticism, but he so steady and sneaky-great in the passing game…he’s the guy sent in on red zone and goal line more times than not.
On one series in this game, we got Burkhead’s recent run in a nutshell…
Burkhead came across in motion from a flanker position and took a handoff from Tom Brady, and darted through traffic for 22 yards…taking hits and staying upright, and ‘willing’ his way to the 1-yard line. The next play they give it to him for the easy score…stuffed. They then send him in motion last second from the RB position, and he ran the most Wes Welker timing route and Brady tossed it before he turned and before the defender even knew it -- and a quick TD pass to the pylon. Burkhead can do so many things.
This TD story isn’t going away – Rex is a threat for a TD every week, if not 2 TDs…
Dion Lewis (15-112-0, 1-1-0/2) has taken over the main carry duties, but often leaves for Rex in the goal line spots.
James White (3-13-0, 1-2-0/2) has lost his relevance. He’s been a little ineffective, and not as good a runner as Lewis and not a route runner like Rex. This is a Rex-Dion backfield.
-- Wow…nice Kenny Stills (3-47-0/6) + Matt Moore connection…? Just an average output on average targeting. Hard to see him doing much vs. Denver next game.
DeVante Parker (1-5-0/3) didn’t help either. What a terrible WR, like I’ve been crowing about for two years now. Parker is a puss. He caught the very first pass of the game for Miami, and never caught another pass again…not even in the garbage time.
The Dolphins drove down to the red zone before the half, and if they scored they would have cut the lead to 21-17. Moore tossed an alley-oop to Parker…who just watched it float, the cornerback moved Parker out of the way to adjust and go get the pick. Parker NEVER adjusts or fights for things. He is a very passive WR. I think Moore was pissed and barely looked at him the rest of the game.
I’ll be waiting for all those DeVante/Miami fans who ripped me on Twitter this preseason for talking about what a puss Parker is to send me an apology. Do you think I’ll get any? Don’t all online bashers come back and apologize if they were ultimately wrong?
-- Julius Thomas (5-52-0/6) had some decent numbers in this game, and his targets and catches have been rising but note that a lot of this game’s work/output came in garbage time in a cluster/bunch. You'll take it but could you really start Thomas with confidence next week in fantasy? I don’t think so.
-- I know you thought I was the worst DST projectionist in history if you went with our Patriots DST to start 2017 (and ignored our brilliant Jacksonville plan). I just want to put out there for the record…the Pats have moved up to #12 among all DSTs in PPG this season now. Tyrod-Moore-Ben-Tyrod to finish out.
After a terrible start, the Pats have come on with a fury – 7 straight games holding an opponent to 17 points or fewer. More coming with this schedule.
Snap Counts of Note…
28 = Burkhead
28 = D. Lewis
18 = J. White
62 = Cooks
43 = Dorsett
39 = Amendola