Adam Levitan

Football Daily Dose

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Marshall Law

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Most NFL offenses are afraid to throw at Darrelle Revis. They are so frightened that they simply let Revis take their best receiver out of the game. The Dolphins, however, employed the exact opposite strategy Monday night. Smart? Probably not. A vote of confidence for Brandon Marshall? Definitely.

In a somewhat surprising move, the Dolphins threw at Revis from the opening whistle. By the time it was said and done, Matt Moore targeted Marshall 10 times when he was covered by Revis and 13 times overall. Perhaps more surprisingly, Marshall was often effective and finished with six catches for 109 yards -- but he could have had much more.

Revis barely got a hand in a goal-line fade early on. Moore threw slightly behind an open Marshall on a goal-line slant later in the first half. And Marshall lost his balance and drifted out of bounds while clear of the defense in the second half. Considering the nightmare matchup, owners should be extremely encouraged.

As the Dolphins get used to playing with Moore and they get some softer secondaries on the schedule, the touchdowns will come. And with Miami likely to be playing from behind a ton more this year, the high target-volume will be there as well. If they'll force-feed Marshall when Revis is on him, imagine what they'll do against mere mortal corners.

DOLPHINS at JETS RANDOM THOUGHTS
Daniel Thomas (hamstring) was active and appeared healthy. With winnable games against the Broncos and Chiefs in two of the next three weeks, he should get more work. … Reggie Bush got the first carry of the game and showed good burst overall. But the Dolphins’ refusal to use him in the passing game is mind-boggling. He left with a stinger but later returned. … Shonn Greene is what he is. Nothing special, and the Jets’ line isn’t elite anymore either. … Santonio Holmes has elite talent but it’s getting wasted by Mark Sanchez. Selling high off tonight’s touchdown is a good play. … Plaxico Burress doesn’t even look like he’s playing hard. His only value is in random red-zone fades. … Jeremy Kerley was open more times last night than Derrick Mason was all year before getting dumped.

Editor’s Note: For early rankings, projections, the Running Back report, the top-200 going forward list and much more, check out the Season Pass!

NEWS OF THE DAY #1
Brandon Lloyd was traded to the Rams. For all the fallout, bang it here.

NEWS OF THE DAY #2
The media was so caught up in the Jim Schwartz/Jim Harbaugh fracas that we heard little about an injury that could potentially alter the Lions’ season: Jahvid Best suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter.

This would be a concern if it was Best’s first career concussion. Since he had  a really severe concussion in college and another one this training camp, it’s downright scary. Although the secretive Lions didn’t provide a real update Monday, it would be a surprise if Best played this week. And with the bye looming in Week 9, it’s possible we won’t see Best until mid-November.

It’s a major blow to owners of both Best and Matthew Stafford. Best’s ability to make big plays in the passing game was a huge part of the Lions’ offense and Stafford’s success. Through six games, Best was averaging 4.5 catches for 47.8 yards per game.

Jerome Harrison was surprisingly inactive last week, a sign that he’s fallen behind Maurice Morris on the depth chart. Look for Morris to be the primary back and best fantasy add while Best is sidelined.

NEWS OF THE DAY #3
The preseason hype surrounding Felix Jones came with sound reasoning. He was the clear feature back, passing-down back and goal-line option on one of the league’s most explosive offenses. He also possesses special measurables that made him a first-round pick back in 2008.

Alas, this season doesn’t look like it was meant to be. Already dealing with a shoulder injury for much of the year, Jones went down with a high-ankle sprain Sunday. He’s tentatively expected to miss 2-4 weeks, which will include dream matchups with the Rams and Eagles.

The add here is DeMarco Murray as Tashard Choice was reportedly on the trade block prior to the Jones injury. Murray isn’t much of a prospect as a runner, but is looking at 10-15 touches as a pass-catching specialist.

INJURY QUICK SLANTS
Peyton Hillis (hamstring) is in major doubt for Week 7. The Browns signed Chris Ogbonnaya off the street Tuesday. … Vincent Jackson (hamstring) didn’t practice Monday, but Antonio Gates, Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert did. … Sam Bradford (ankle) looks like a longshot to play Sunday. … Jason Campbell (collarbone) is out at least six weeks. … Andre Johnson (hamstring) still isn’t expected back until Week 8. … David Garrard needs back surgery, leaving him off the Raiders’ radar. … Chris Ivory (foot) is ready to go, but his role is uncertain.

DEPTH CHART QUICK SLANTS
Carson Palmer is not expected to be traded by Tuesday’s deadline. … Jonathan Baldwin is healthy but may not be active Sunday. … The Redskins declined to name a starter between John Beck and Rex Grossman. … Mark Clayton (knee) expects to play Sunday, but he has a long way to go to be a factor. … The Rams released Mike Sims-Walker. …  C.J. Spiller is being used as a full-time wideout. … The Vikings haven’t yet decided between Donovan McNabb or Christian Ponder as their starter going forward. … Chad Ochocinco played just seven snaps Sunday. … Stevan Ridley played just eight snaps Sunday. He’ll need a BenJarvus Green-Ellis injury to get truly relevant. … Cedric Benson is expected to have 2-3 more weeks until word is passed down on his possible suspension.

Editor’s Note: Sick of your team yet? Get a new one and win real cash with SnapDraft!

WAIVERS
DEFENSIVE SPOT STARTS
Adding a different defense/special teams each week based on matchups is a fine strategy. Here are units that might be on waivers to consider this week for streaming purposes:

1. COWBOYS vs. Rams - It’s very possible that the Cowboys were dropped last week as they had a nightmare matchup in New England. Now they get a dream setup at home against a Rams team that may be without their starting quarterback.   

2. SAINTS vs. Colts - Curtis Painter is certainly showing rapid improvement. But the Saints should be extra jacked up to finally get a home after three straight on the road.  

3. RAIDERS vs. Chiefs - Oakland’s defense showed really well against the run last week, shutting down Peyton Hillis and Montario Hardesty. That bodes well for a matchup with the Chiefs’ elite run-blocking line. 



Check out Gregg Rosenthal's Week 7 waiver pickups.



Adam Levitan is in his sixth season covering football and basketball for Rotoworld. He won the Fantasy Sports Writers Association award for Best Series in 2011 and 2009, and ESPN's overall fantasy football title in 2000. Find him on Twitter.
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