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AFC East Player Analysis
Mike Rumsey,, Senior Staff Writer

Miami Dolphins (vs San Diego Chargers)

QB Ryan Tannehill: Typically passes the ball around 30 times per game, the product of Miami keeping things pretty balanced from a playcalling standpoint. What appeals more to fantasy owners is the sizable uptick of rushing yards. San Diego would seem a formidable matchup and happens to be stingy in regards to passing yards allowed, yet over the past three weeks has given up eight touchdowns through the air. ( 217 yds pass with 2 TDs and 1 Int; 24 yds rush )

QB Matt Moore: ( 4 yds pass )

RB Lamar Miller: He isn't a volume runner -- Lamar has yet to see 20 carries in a game, and seldom sees 20 touches -- but manages to produce, regardless. This offensive scheme has worked wonders for Miller in the short term. You needn't fear the Chargers run defense as they are middling of late. ( 66 yds rush; 3 catches for 20 yds )

RB Daniel Thomas: Gets a handful or so of touches per game, but carries minimal fantasy value. ( 30 yds rush; 2 catches for 15 yds )

RB Damien Williams: ( 6 yds rush; 1 catch for 2 yds )

WR Mike Wallace: Although not an every-week starter for the majority of fantasy owners, Wallace is more routinely posting double-digit games than in his debut season as a Dolphin. He's the primary receiving option in this offense, routinely pacing his teammates in targets -- including in the red zone. Note: in two of their last three games, the Chargers defense yielded three-or-more touchdowns to opposing wide receivers. ( 2 yds rush; 5 catches for 62 yds and 1 TD )

WR Brian Hartline: A reliable (if low ceiling) fantasy play in PPR formats, not too long ago, Hartline is now unowned in plenty of leagues. His role in the offense appears to be lesser by the week. ( 4 catches for 48 yds )

WR Jarvis Landry: His role in the offense continues to expand, despite the obvious lack of experience as a rookie. More quickly than many anticipated, Landry is a viable option in deeper leagues. ( 4 catches for 37 yds )

WR Brandon Gibson: Doesn't see a tremendous amount of playing time these days, given Jarvis Landry's emergence. ( 2 catches for 17 yds )

WR Damian Williams: ( 1 catch for 8 yds )

WR Rishard Matthews: While he did score a touchdown in a Week 8, the reality is that Matthews is pretty far down the depth chart. ( 2 catches for 21 yds )

TE Charles Clay: Just one touchdown on the year and only once has he surpassed 35 yards receiving. As much as he delivered for fantasy owners last season, Clay is not the answer at present. ( 3 catches for 32 yds )

TE Dion Sims: Targeted just twice per game, Sims has demonstrated enough play-making ability to indicate that he could soon become more of a factor. ( 1 catch for 9 yds )

TE Gator Hoskins: ( 1 catch for 1 yd )

PK Caleb Sturgis: Back in Miami following a pair of road games, which helps Sturgis somewhat. ( 2 XPs, 1 FG and 1 missed FG )

Def Miami Dolphins: After last week's explosion, this defense has risen to #2 in average fantasy points per game in a lot of formats. San Diego certainly isn't what one would refer to as a favorable matchup but Cameron Wake, Olivier Vernon, Reshad Jones & company are bringin' it. ( 2 sacks, 1 INT, 1 Fumble )

New England Patriots (vs Denver Broncos)

QB Tom Brady: Brady responded to all the 'end is near' proclamations by leading his team to four consecutive wins, completing 100 passes for 1,268 yards and 14 touchdowns (no interceptions) over that period. Plus, the Broncos defense has been a favorable matchup for quarterbacks, meaning you'd have to have a compelling reason to bench Brady. ( 243 yds pass with 2 TDs and 1 Int; 2 yds rush )

QB Jimmy Garoppolo: ( 18 yds pass )

RB Shane Vereen: The abundance of work he gets in the passing game helps immensely but the fact is, Vereen doesn't play the integral role in this offense that many forecasted. Denver has been a tough out for many an opposing running back, meaning fantasy owners with a decent alternative are probably benching Vereen this week in some cases. ( 37 yds rush; 4 catches for 34 yds )

RB Jonas Gray: Solid in more of a feature role, last week. Well worth a roster stash, as this offense has sorely needed a reliable between-the-tackles runner of Gray's ilk. ( 33 yds rush; 1 catch for 8 yds )

RB Brandon Bolden: ( 14 yds rush; 1 catch for 6 yds )

RB James White: ( 6 yds rush; 1 catch for 2 yds )

WR Brandon LaFell: Led the team in targets last week but more importantly, he's scoring touchdowns and appears to finally possess sustainable fantasy value. A rather tough matchup in Week 9, but until LaFell fails to come through, he makes for a promising lineup option. ( 2 yds rush; 7 catches for 81 yds and 1 TD )

WR Julian Edelman: His target count has steadily decreased, culminating in a single reception last week. It is becoming difficult to justify starting Edelman. ( 3 yds rush; 7 catches for 68 yds )

WR Danny Amendola: A non-factor this season, with respect to the touchdown he contributed a couple weeks ago. At least he's logging snaps, which is more than Aaron Dobson can say. ( 3 catches for 27 yds )

WR Aaron Dobson: ( 1 catch for 17 yds )

WR Brian Tyms: ( 1 catch for 1 yd )

TE Rob Gronkowski: The potential for games like the three-touchdown performance he put together last week was what prompted early-round fantasy draft investment in Gronkowski. This is the upside you envision when inserting him into lineups each and every week. ( 5 catches for 74 yds and 1 TD )

TE Tim Wright: Caught a touchdown pass in three of the past four games, so if you're hollow at the position Wright is worth a look. ( 3 catches for 28 yds )

TE Michael Hoomanawanui: ( 1 catch for 7 yds )

PK Stephen Gostkowski: With Tom Brady getting the most out of this team's scoring potential, Gostkowski is mopping up the points. ( 3 XPs, 2 FGs )

Def New England Patriots: To their credit, this unit has enjoyed two banner weeks among their last three outings. Given the caliber of New England players banged up and the fact Denver is easily the worst fantasy matchup for opposing defenses, however, you're going to want to avoid these guys in Week 9. ( 2 sacks, 1 INT, 1 Fumble )

New York Jets (vs Kansas City Chiefs)

QB Michael Vick: Declared the starter against a K.C. team that has been very good in pass defense. Wasn't terrible in relief of Geno Smith last week -- oh, except that he fumbled the ball four times. ( 149 yds pass with 1 TD and 1 Int; 35 yds rush )

QB Geno Smith: This marks the first game in which Michael Vick gets the nod rather than Geno. If he is on your team due to inferior options, Smith belongs on your bench until further notice. ( 39 yds pass and 1 Int; 7 yds rush )

RB Chris Ivory: Not only has Ivory been effective with his carries, he's also shown he can stay relatively healthy even with a larger workload. With three touchdowns over his last two games and five on the year, Ivory is among the nicer surprises at a position of scarcity, in fantasy. ( 58 yds rush; 1 catch for 10 yds )

RB Chris Johnson: Let's take stock of Johnson's fantasy production thus far, shall we? Average to decent numbers in three of New York's games, along with a whole lot of trash. Chances are, you can do better in the way of running back depth. ( 36 yds rush; 2 catches for 12 yds )

RB Bilal Powell: ( 16 yds rush; 1 catch for 8 yds )

WR Eric Decker: One would think the Percy Harvin acquisition would ultimately result in players like Decker drawing less double-teams and give the offense a swift kick in the pants. Judging from Decker's seven for 40 stat line, though, we're going to all need some patience. Until the quarterback play moves up a notch, there's less fantasy value to be mined from this offense. ( 5 catches for 52 yds )

WR Percy Harvin: Did more damage with several carries than he did as a pass catcher, in his debut with the Jets. Harvin is probably worth a roster spot in most league formats, especially if you have the luxury of sitting him at first. We don't anticipate Harvin toasting secondaries anytime soon. ( 8 yds rush; 3 catches for 29 yds )

WR Jeremy Kerley: Hauls in a pass or two, each week, but at this point offers negligible fantasy value. ( 2 yds rush; 3 catches for 29 yds )

WR Greg Salas: ( 1 catch for 19 yds )

WR T.J. Graham: ( 1 catch for 5 yds )

TE Jeff Cumberland: His receiving numbers have been pretty low, partly due to rookie Jace Amaro carving out such an active role. ( 2 catches for 26 yds )

TE Jace Amaro: With 50+ yards receiving in four of his last six games, Amaro evidently has the commitment of this coaching staff behind him. Note: the Chiefs defense has conceded seven touchdowns to opposing tight ends, one per game. ( 3 catches for 30 yds )

TE Zach Sudfeld: ( 1 catch for 2 yds )

PK Nick Folk: Not a banner year for Folk, as this team more often struggles to advance into scoring territory. ( 1 XP, 2 FGs )

Def New York Jets: Not a good matchup here, then again the Jets defense has been irrelevant for fantasy anyway. ( 3 sacks )

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