Week 8: Sit 'Em
No longer a lock to be an every week fantasy starter, Tom Brady faces the Miami Dolphins this week. Brady has struggled to live up to his fantasy draft position so far this season, eclipsing 300 passing yards just once on the season. Brady has struggled to connect with his new wide receivers, but should see an increase in production now that Rob Gronkowski has returned. While I would not sit Brady on fantasy benches in all situations, I can definitely see leaving him on the bench if you have another decent option this week.
With 710 yards and six touchdowns over the past two games, Andy Dalton has ascended to borderline QB 1 status in fantasy leagues. I would not expect Dalton's success to continue this week as the Bengals face off with the New York Jets. The Jets currently rank ninth is the league against the pass, allowing just 225 passing yards per game. They held Tom Brady to 228 yards and no touchdowns last week, and I would advise fantasy owners to tread lightly in starting Dalton this week.
The struggling running back will have a hard time getting his season straightened out if the Dolphins continue to split touches between him and Daniel Thomas. Miller has looked to be the better player, but Miami seems intent on using both running backs, with Miller playing 33 snaps in week seven as opposed to Thomas' 29 snaps. Miller touched the ball ten times in week seven - totaling just 47 yards - while being held out of the endzone for the second straight week. Miami's opponent this week - the Patriots - have been poor against the run this season, but Miller still can not be counted on as a starter in fantasy leagues this week.
DeAngelo Williams had the opportunity to stake his claim as the Panthers' number one running back with Jonathan Stewart out, but has failed to impress through the first six games of the season. After rushing for at least 85 yards in each of the first three games of the season, Williams has turned in games of 39, 64, and 40 rushing yards in the next three games. The Panthers used Mike Tolbert at the goal-line and for 13 carries in week seven, a bad sign for Williams and his fantasy owners. Williams can not be started with any confidence in fantasy leagues this week against the Buccaneers and their 5th ranked rush defense.
The Dolphins' high priced off-season acquisition is still struggling to break out as Miami's go-to wide receiver. Wallace is coming off a five catch, 76 yard performance in a loss to the Buffalo Bills, but has been kept out of the endzone since week two. The Dolphins paid Wallace to be a top ten wide receiver, but he has been unable to stand out above Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson - with all three being used similarly in the Miami offense. Wallace could have another long week if Aqib Talib returns from injury, as he has been excellent in silencing opponents number one wide receivers so far this season. Fantasy owners can count on Mike Wallace as no more than a WR 3 this week, and I would even recommend finding a better option if Talib returns.