The Miami Dolphins topped the Buffalo Bills on Thursday by a score of 22-9, as the two AFC East teams squared off to keep postseason hopes alive. The latest installment of Thursday Night Football followed the season-long trend of low scores and minimal fantasy impact, but both teams did provide some noteworthy backfield developments.
Buffalo running back Fred Jackson (groin) was inactive, leaving Anthony Dixon and Bryce Brown as Buffalo’s top backs. It was Brown who got the “start” and contributed the most from a fantasy perspective, as he turned in 71 total yards on 13 touches including seven receptions. Brown has now totaled 13 catches and 122 receiving yards over the last two weeks and is the most desirable fantasy back in Buffalo while Fred Jackson is out. Dixon handled the majority of the rushing attempts but only racked up 35 yards on ten carries. Brown is the running back to own while Fred Jackson works his way back and the gap between he and Dixon grows a bit wider in PPR formats.
Lamar Miller (shoulder) was not expected to handle a full workload on Thursday but the Miami lead back was in fine form as he took 15 carries and turned them into 86 yards. Damien Williams, who was involved in the Miami backfield split in Week 10, didn’t receive a single carry as it was Daniel Thomas backing up Miller throughout the night. Neither Damien Williams nor Daniel Thomas look like worthwhile handcuffs in this situation, so Miller owners can find a more productive use for their last roster spot. The most fortunate news from this game is that Lamar Miller emerged with no setbacks and will be ready to roll in Week 12.
Bills at Dolphins Quick Slants
Buffalo wide receiver Chris Hogan had a busy night, catching seven of nine targets for 74 yards. Hogan has been targeted by Kyle Orton 16 times over the last two weeks and is nudging his way into PPR flex consideration. … Miami rookie Jarvis Landry continued his steady play of late, catching all five Ryan Tannehill targets for 46 yards and a touchdown. This future PPR stud has now caught at least five passes in three straight games. … Mike Wallace was targeted seven times on the night but caught just four passes for 38 yards. It was a fairly typical 2014 performance from Wallace, although he did not find the end zone in this contest. The continued struggles of Tannehill in the deep passing game will likely handcuff Wallace for the remainder of the season. … Sammy Watkins (groin) was active but caught just three of seven targets for 32 yards. As long as no news of setbacks emerges from Buffalo next week, Watkins should get back on track as the Bills take on the New York Jets in Week 12.
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In Other News…
With Anthony Fasano (knee) missing another practice on Thursday, Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce could be looking at an increased workload on Sunday as the Chiefs host the visiting Seattle Seahawks. Coach Andy Reid announced on Thursday that Kelce is “up to speed with the whole deal right now” and the young athletic tight end could be ready to shine with extra snaps due to Fasano’s absence. Kelce is already on the TE1 map, but he could slide himself into the upper tier of fantasy tight ends if Fasano does indeed sit.
Adrian Peterson’s grievance hearing is scheduled for Monday at 2pm ET as the NFLPA attempts to have Peterson reinstated to the NFL. The final verdict will be determined by November 22nd at the latest, so hopeful Peterson owners will know the fate of their potential playoff lottery ticket prior to Week 12.
Despite rookie Andre Williams struggling in his absence, Rashad Jennings (knee) may not be ready for a normal workload upon his Week 11 return, according to coach Tom Coughlin. Jennings should still handle the majority of the rushing duties for the Giants and all of the passing game work, and is worth a start despite committee concerns. The Giants average 28 rushing attempts per game, so even a 60% share would net Jennings 17 carries and make him flex worthy at absolute worst.
Houston coach Bill O’Brien announced on Thursday that Arian Foster (groin) will “definitely” be a game-time decision on Sunday as the Texans take on the Cleveland Browns. Stay tuned for more news out of Houston in coming days, but Foster owners would be wise to have backup Alfred Blue in the on-deck circle.
News and Notes
Michael Crabtree’s fantasy value is sinking rapidly and the San Francisco receiver is becoming upset with his role in the 49ers offense, referring to himself as a “third-down receiver.” Fantasy owners should refer to him as a “bench receiver.” … Cleveland coach Mike Pettine refused to throw fantasy owners a bone on Thursday as he declined to announce who would start at running back this week for the Browns. Terrance West has seen the most work of late, so he will likely continue to lead the Cleveland backfield trio. … With Ronnie Hillman (foot) not practicing this week, C.J. Anderson will be handed the keys to the Denver backfield and is a decent bet as a RB2 on Sunday. … Doug Martin (ankle) returned to practice on Thursday, which creates a mess in the Tampa Bay backfield. Rookie Charles Sims is the best bet for fantasy production, but Bobby Rainey will remain in the picture as well. Don’t let the name value of Martin trick you into starting him this week. … Ryan Mathews (knee) is set to regain his role as San Diego’s lead back as he returns from a lengthy absence due to knee troubles. Feel free to start Mathews this week in a nice matchup against Oakland.
Injury Quick Slants
Reggie Bush (ankle) missed Thursday’s practice and could be rested this week according to coach Jim Caldwell. Theo Riddick and Joique Bell would see their fantasy fortunes improve in this scenario. … Brandon Marshall (ankle) owners received good news on Thursday as the Chicago wide receiver was a limited participant in Thursday’s practice. Marshall will be worth a start on Sunday despite this most recent ding. … Robert Griffin III (ankle) has been a full participant in practice this week and draws a gravy matchup against Tampa Bay where he will be a borderline QB1 option. … In non-surprising injury news, Cam Newton admitted on Thursday that he has been playing hurt. Cam’s bad wheel is putting a severe dent in his fantasy value. … Giovani Bernard (hip) missed practice again on Thursday and remains on track to miss Week 11, making Jeremy Hill a great start once again. … Jordan Cameron (concussion) sat out on Thursday and has virtually no shot of playing this weekend. … Tight end Delanie Walker (concussion) did not practice on Thursday and looks doubtful to see the field in Week 11. … DeAngelo Williams (foot) missed practice on Thursday while fellow Carolina back Jonathan Stewart (ankle) was limited as the Panthers prepare to face the Atlanta Falcons. Stewart is the only fantasy option in this backfield worth flex consideration this week. … Jerick McKinnon (back) was a late addition to the Minnesota injury report on Thursday but did manage to practice in limited fashion. He should be good to go this weekend.