NFL Wild Card Weekend

Miami Dolphins vs Pittsburgh Steelers Preview

The Pittsburgh Steelers enter the playoffs on a seven-game winning streak. They tied for the most postseason victories (34) in league history. They are not focused on their string of successes though. Instead, the Steelers will be looking to atone for one of their worst performances of the season when they host the Miami Dolphins on Sunday in an AFC wild card weekend matchup (Enter contest).

Pittsburgh secured the AFC North title and the No. 3 seed in the conference with its strong finishing run, which partly was necessitated by a four-game losing streak that started with a 30-15 drubbing in Miami on October 15. The Steelers will be at home in the rematch and temperatures are expected to peak at a frosty 20 degrees on Sunday.

The Dolphins won nine of 10 prior to a loss to New England in the regular-season finale to nail down their first postseason berth since 2008, but they lost starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill to injury in Week 14 and will be forced to go with veteran Matt Moore versus Pittsburgh. Moore will be making his first career postseason start.

ABOUT THE DOLPHINS (10-6)

No matter who is under center, Miami’s game plan figures to follow the blueprint of the mid-October matchup. Running back Jay Ajayi tore through Pittsburgh’s defense for 204 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries. It was the first of three 200-yard rushing performances this season by Ajayi. Quarterback Matt Moore, who had just 30 pass attempts in his previous four seasons with the Dolphins, put up solid numbers in his three starts (674 yards, eight TDs, three interceptions). He has a trio of talented wide receivers in Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills. Miami’s defense ranked 30th against the run (140.4 yards per game). They did limit the Steelers rushers to 53 yards in the first matchup.

ABOUT THE STEELERS (11-5)

Le’Veon Bell ran a season-low 10 times against Miami, but he recorded at least 20 carries in each of his last six games before sitting out Week 17. He was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Month for December/January after rushing for 569 yards and four touchdowns while catching 18 passes in four games. Bell is one of two elite weapons for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The quarteback has two Super Bowl championships on his resume. He also has one of the league’s top wideouts in Antonio Brown. Brown is the conference leader with 12 touchdown receptions. He surpassed 100 catches for the fourth straight season and totaled 481 receptions during that time. It’s the highest reception total in any four-year span in NFL history. Roethlisberger is 11-6 in the playoffs, tied for the seventh-best all-time winning percentage. Pittsburgh’s defense led the league with 21 sacks from Weeks 11-16.

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Dolphins (1-2) vs Bengals (1-2)

Adam Gase may be a first-time head coach, but the 38-year-old was quick to light a fire under his underachieving team. He benched former first-round pick Ja’Wuan James after he got burned on a rush that led to a strip sack during last week’s contest. Gase hopes his aggressive action will provide a jolt for the sputtering Miami Dolphins, who will look to prevent their third 1-3 start in five years on Thursday when they visit the Cincinnati Bengals (Enter Contest).

About the Dolphins

With veteran Arian Foster still nursing a groin injury, Gase will be using rookie Kenyan Drake as the starter in a four-tier running back carousel. Jay Ajayi, Damien Williams and Isaiah Pead. will round out the carousel. Ajayi had an 11-yard touchdown run in overtime last week. The Dolphins’ 25th-ranked ground attack is mustering just 83 yards per game. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill leads his team in that department with his 54 yards accumulated. Fortunately for the Dolphins, the air game fairs much better. Tannehill continues to click with trusted target Jarvis Landry (AFC-leading 314 yards receiving) and fellow wideout DeVante Parke. Miami will go with Dion Sims this week because fellow tight end Jordan Cameron nurses the fourth concussion in his six-year career.

The sputtering Dolphins’ defense allowed 169 yards rushing last week and an NFL second-worst 147.3 yards per game. In the last meeting with the Bengals, DE Cameron Wake recorded three sacks. The final sack resulted in a safety during overtime and led Miami to a 22-20 victory.

About the Bengals

While Miami was fortunate to walk away with its first win, Cincinnati has followed its impressive season-opening victory over the New York Jets with a 24-16 loss to Pittsburgh in Week 2 and a 29-17 setback to Denver on Sunday. Mercurial Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict is eager to stop the bleeding when he makes his season debut on Thursday after serving a three-game suspension for repeated violations of safety-related playing rules.

Running Back Jeremy Hill scored twice last week. He had 10 rushing touchdowns in his last 11 games. Andy Dalton (AFC-best 938 passing yards) has been limited to just 206 yards passing last week versus the Broncos. After an amazing first week, A.J. Green collected just 10 catches for 115 yards combined in his last two games. Cincinnati Pro Bowl TE Tyler Eifert (ankle) is not expected to make his season debut. CB Dre Kirkpatrick (hamstring) has been held out of both practices this week, leaving his status for Thursday’s game in question.

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New York Giants versus Miami Dolphins Monday Night Football Fantasy Picks 12-14-2015

The Miami Dolphins will be home for Monday night football as they meet the New York Giants. NFL fantasy GMs can tune to ESPN on December 14th at 8:30PM Eastern Time to follow the results of their one day leagues.

The Giants are in the middle of the NFC East race with a record of 5-7. They are on a three game losing streak after they are beaten 23-20 at home last week to the New York Jets. Defense has been a major issue for the Giants on the year as the club ranks 32nd and last in the NFL against the pass as they allow 314 yards per game through the air.

The Miami Dolphins enter Monday night football with an identical 5-7 mark. They have struggled on both sides of the football ranking 27th in total offense (326 yards per game) and 28th in the NFL in total defense (390 yards per game). A two game losing streak was broken last week as Miami was able to earn the 15-13 victory at home to Baltimore. They have been held to 17 points or fewer in four of their past six games.

New York Giants QB:

Eli Manning

The Giants veteran quarterback is completing 62.3% of his throws for 3318 yards with 24 touchdowns and 10 picks. Last week against the Jets Manning threw for 297 yards with a touchdown and pick. He has thrown for multiple touchdowns in four of his past five games.

New York Giants RB:

Rashad Jennings

Jennings has rushed 116 times in 2015 for 431 yards with a touchdown. He is rushing for just 3.7 yards per carry on the year which surprisingly is not a career low. In 101 rushing attempts in 2012 Jennings ran for 2.8 yards per rush average.

Shane Vereen

The former New England Patriot has rushed 51 times for 216 yards for 4.2 yards per rush. He has caught 42 balls for 349 yards and three touchdowns. He is on pace for the same receiving yardage that he had in the 2014 season. Vereen was a key cog for the Patriots on third down extending drives. He is not having the same impact with the Giants as he did in his years with the Patriots.

Andre Williams

Williams has been a major disappointment in 2015 as he has rushed for 202 yards on 71 carries for 2.8 yards per carry average.

New York Giants WR:

Odell Beckham

The Giants wide out has caught 78 passes for 1154 yards with ten touchdowns. He is averaging 14.8 yards per catch on the season. Against the Jets last week Beckham had six catches for 149 yards with a touchdown. Two weeks ago at Washington he grabbed nine passes for 142 yards and a touchdown. Beckham has a touchdown reception in three straight games.

Miami Dolphins QB:

Ryan Tannehill

Tannehill has completed 61.5% of his throws in 2015 for 3079 yards with 21 touchdowns and 11 picks. In the win at home to Baltimore last week the veteran signal caller hit on 47.4% of his throws for 86 yards with a touchdown. Prior to that performance against the Dolphins Tannehill had thrown for multiple touchdown passes in three straight games.

Miami Dolphins RB:

Lamar Miller

The Dolphins leading running back has rushed 139 times for 680 yards and five touchdowns. He is averaging 4.9 yards a carry on the season. Last week in the win against Baltimore, he rushed 20 times for 113 yards. When the Dolphins run the ball and give Miller a high number of carries they have success.

Miami Dolphins WR:

Jarvis Landry

Landry has caught 79 passes for 823 yards with four touchdowns. Two weeks ago at the New York Jets had grabbed 13 balls for 165 yards and a touchdown.

Kenny Stills

The three year veteran receiver has caught 20 passes for 343 yards with two touchdowns. He had no catches against the Ravens and had just two receptions for 12 yards in the loss in Week 12 against the Jets.

NFL Monday Night Football Real Money Fantasy League Picks

QB: Eli Manning (Giants)

RB: Lamar Miller (Dolphins)

WR: Odell Beckham (Giants)

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Miami Dolphins versus New England Patriots Thursday Night Football Fantasy League Picks 10-29-2015

It will be action from the AFC East division on Thursday Night Football as the New England Patriots will be home to meet the Miami Dolphins. Fantasy football draft GM’s can tune to CBS TV at 8:30PM Eastern Time on October 29th to follow the results of their roster picks.

 

The Miami Dolphins are a hot football team since the coaching change. Under Dan Campbell they have posted back to back victories by margin. Two weeks ago it was a 38-10 road win at Tennessee. Last week the Dolphins took a 41-0 halftime lead on the Houston Texans in their 44-28 victory to move to 3-3. Miami got back to emphasizing their run game and it has worked with two straight wins. Last week in their blowout win against the Texans the team ran for 248 yards. In their win against Tennessee the Dolphins were able to gain 180 rushing yards. During the 1-3 start Miami did a poor job running the football. The run game has aided Ryan Tannehill and made him a better quarterback. Their defense has looked much improved as the club is more aggressive and taking better angles at defenders as they make tackles. The Dolphins have moved to ninth best in the NFL in scoring offense as they average 24.5 points per game.

 

The New England Patriots are now a 6-0 after 30-23 victory at home to a good New York Jets team. The Patriots offense has been outstanding this year. They have scored 30 or greater points in five straight games. The Patriots are the top scoring offense in the NFL as they average 35.5 points per game. In their win against the Jets, New England simply abandoned the run as they did not want to waste downs against a very good defense that can defend it. So the game plan was for Tom Brady to throw and he had 54 passing attempts in the victory. The Dolphins had problems stopping the run so don’t be surprised if the Patriots change gears and run more. With a short week it made sense to not pile up carries for their running backs because it’s a position where the players get beat up.

 

Miami Dolphins QB:

 

Ryan Tannehill

 

The Dolphins veteran quarterback got a big contract in the offseason. He is hitting on 62.6% of his passes for 1628 yards with 13 touchdowns and 7 picks. Tannehill completed 18 of 19 throws for 282 yards with four touchdowns and no picks. In the win at Tennessee, Tannehill had two touchdowns and two picks.

 

Miami Dolphins RB:

 

Lamar Miller

 

Miller has run for 419 yards on 70 carries with two touchdowns. He is averaging 6.0 yards a carry on the year. Campbell is running twice as much as head coach of the Dolphins. Miller had 175 rushing yards in the win against Houston with a touchdown on his 14 carries. In the last two games Miller has 288 rushing yards on 33 carries.

 

Miami Dolphins WR:

 

Rishard Matthews

 

The fourth year wide out leads the Dolphins with 26 catches for 438 yards with four touchdowns. Last week in the victory against the Texans Matthews caught three balls for 75 yards and a touchdown. He is averaging 16.8 yards per catch on the year.

 

New England Patriots QB:

 

Tom Brady

 

Brady is completing 69% of his throws this year for 2054 yards with 16 touchdowns and one pick. His completion percentage ties a career high. In the win against the Jets it was the Tom Brady show as he hit on 63% of his throws for 355 yards with two touchdowns and no picks.

 

New England Patriots RB:

 

LeGarrette Blount

 

The Patriots featured running back has 52 carries for 246 yards on the year with four touchdowns. He is running for 4.7 yards a carry on the campaign. Blount had just three carries last week as the team abandoned the run against the Jets.

 

New England Patriots WR:

 

Julian Edelman

 

Edelman has 45 catches for 503 yards with four touchdowns. He caught five balls for 54 yards last week in the win against the Jets.

 

NFL Thursday Night Football Real Money Fantasy League Picks

QB: Tom Brady (Patriots)

RB: Lamar Miller (Dolphins)

WR: Julian Edelman (Patriots), Rishard Matthews (Dolphins)

TE: Rob Gronkowski (Patriots)

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NFL Fantasy Football Draft News 10-1-2015

New York Jets versus Miami Dolphins NFL Fantasy Football Preview 10-1-2015

A battle between two AFC East division rivals across the pound as the Miami Dolphins will meet the New York Jets. Fantasy football draft GMs can tune to CBS on Sunday October 4th from London England at 9:30AM Eastern Time to follow the result of their roster picks.

These divisional foes in their two meetings last year split with each team winning at home. Interesting that the road team has won the past six meetings but this game is played on a neutral field in London England.

The New York Jets suffered their first loss of the year last week in a 24-17 defeat at home to the Philadelphia Eagles. The Jets were mistake prone in the loss by committing four turnovers in the game. They also had a special teams miscue by allowing a punt return for touchdown. They found themselves down 24-7 at the half. The Jets made good halftime adjustments defensively and shut out the Eagles in the second half. Unfortunately the offense produced just ten points and came up seven points shy on the scoreboard losing 24-17. The Jets defensive performance was pretty good by allowing just 123 rushing yards on 39 carries and 108 passing yards to Philadelphia. New York is the top scoring defense in the NFL by giving up just 13.7 points per game. They allow 298 yards of offense to their opponents good for fourth best in the league.

The Miami Dolphins are a 1-2 football team. They opened up with a seven point road win at Washington then dropped games at Jacksonville and in their home opener last week to Buffalo 41-14. It was an ugly loss last week for the Dolphins as they were down 27-0 at the half. Miami had huge problems defending the Buffalo run game by allowing 151 yards rushing in defeat. Another issue for the Dolphins in the game was their tackling which looked amongst the worst of any team competing on Sunday. The Dolphins had a -3 turnover margin in defeat.

New York Jets QB:

Ryan Fitzpatrick

The Jets starting quarterback is completing 62% of his throws for 705 yards with six touchdowns and five picks. Against Philadelphia last week Fitzpatrick went 35 of 58 for 283 yards with two touchdowns and a season worse three interceptions.

New York Jets RB:

Chris Ivory

The veteran back has 34 carries for 148 yards with two touchdowns for 4.4 yards per carry average. Ivory is splitting carries with Bilal Powell.

Bilal Powell

He has an equal amount of carries as Ivory with 34 rushing attempts and he has run for 131 yards and no touchdowns. Powell is running for 3.9 yards a carry this year.

New York Jets WR:

Brandon Marshall

Marshall has been targeted 33 times which is 16 more than any other Jet. He has 23 catches for 272 yards with three touchdowns.

Miami Dolphins QB:

Ryan Tannehill

A recipient of a huge contract in the offseason it’s time for this fourth year starter to lead this team to a playoff spot. Tannehill has completed 61% of his throws this year for 882 yards with five touchdowns and three picks. Those three picks came last week in the loss to the Bills.

Miami Dolphins RB:

Lamar Miller

Miller is looking like a fantasy dud thus far. He ran for 1099 yards and 5.1 yards a carry average last year. In 2015 after three games Miller has 30 carries for 105 yards with no touchdowns and 3.5 yards per carry average.

Miami Dolphins WR:

Rishard Matthews

The fourth year receiver out of Nebraska leads the Dolphins with 16 catches for 262 yards and three touchdowns. Last week against the Bills, Matthews caught six balls for 113 yards with two touchdowns.

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Seattle Seahawks versus St Louis Rams NFL Fantasy Preview

The Seattle Seahawks will look to recover from a heartbreaking Super Bowl loss as they must contend with a division opponent in week one in the St Louis Rams. They meet in this NFL game on Sunday September 13th and fantasy football draft managers can tune to FOX at 1PM Eastern Time to follow the results of their rosters.

In their 2014 meeting the clubs split winning at home. The game held in St Louis was won by the Rams 28-26. Seattle outgained St Louis by 188 yards as they piled up 171 rushing and 292 passing yards on the Rams defense. The difference was the Rams got a touchdown on special teams and went 3 for 3 inside the red zone. Seattle was 3 of 5 inside the red zone and neither team had a turnover.

Russell Wilson:

The Seahawks quarterback was given a new contract over the offseason. With Wilson paid it will impact the amount of depth the Seahawks can provide on both sides of the ball. In 2014 Wilson completed 63% of his throws for 3475 yards with 20 touchdowns and 7 picks.

Marshawn Lynch:

Lynch was productive in 2014 as he ran for 1306 yards and 13 touchdowns with 4.7 yards per carry average.

Jimmy Graham:

The tight end was a new acquisition for the Seahawks coming over from New Orleans in free agency. Graham a season ago caught 85 passes for 889 yards with ten touchdowns.

Tre Mason:

The Rams running back was once again held out of practice due to a hamstring problem.

Todd Gurley:

The Rams first round running back will not play in week one as he recovers from knee surgery in his final year in college.

Benny Cunningham:

Looks like Cunningham would get the start at running back if Mason can’t play in week one. The third year back rushed for 246 yards last year with three touchdowns and 3.7 yards per carry average.

Miami Dolphins versus Washington Redskins Daily Fantasy Draft Preview

The Washington Redskins will look to rebound from a poor 2014 season as they open up against the Miami Dolphins. Fantasy GM’s can tune to CBS on Sunday September 13th to follow up on their roster picks.

Not much series history in this AFC versus NFC battle.

Ryan Tannehill:

Miami made a long term financial commitment to Tannehill. Last year he threw for 4045 yards with 27 touchdowns and 12 picks.

Lamar Miller:

Miller was productive running back for the Dolphins as he ran for 1099 yards and 5.1 yards per carry. He scored eight touchdowns and had 57 first down gains.

Greg Jennings:

Wide receiver Greg Jennings with Minnesota in 2014 grabbed 59 passes for 742 yards and six touchdowns.

Indianapolis Colts versus Buffalo Bills What Fantasy Draft Managers Need to Know

The Rex Ryan era begins in Buffalo on Sunday September 13th as the Bills host the Indianapolis Colts at 1PM Eastern Time on CBS TV.

The latest meeting between these teams was in 2012 with the Colts winning 20-13 at home.

Andrew Luck:

The four year starting quarterback had 40 touchdown passes last year. He completed over 61% of his throws for 4761 yards. He would like to cut down on the 16 picks from a season ago.

Frank Gore:

The former San Francisco 49er was acquired in free agency from San Francisco. He ran for 1106 yards last year with four touchdowns and 4.3 yards per attempt.

Andre Johnson:

The former Houston Texan came along with Gore in free agency. He is a 13 year pro who has seen his production dip considerably last season.

LeSean McCoy:

The Buffalo Bills running back is expected to play on Sunday despite a hamstring problem that sidelined him in much of the preseason.

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