Monday Night Football
Miami @ Tampa Bay
Finally realizing their early-season passing-based offense put far too much burden on their expansion-level pass protection, the Dolphins re-prioritized balance following an embarrassing Week 7 home loss to Buffalo. (Had playcaller Mike Sherman made this run-game commitment before the season, perhaps his franchise quarterback wouldn't be on pace to take 70 sacks.) In two games since, Miami has 61 runs compared to 70 passes, which essentially qualifies as run-first offense by today's NFL standards. Lamar Miller has reemerged as the Fins' clear lead back, with 41 touches over that span to Daniel Thomas' 23. Miller will enter Monday night coming off consecutive 110-plus total-yard efforts with a 5.51 yards-per-carry average since the Week 6 bye. Although it's concerning that Miami lost two starting offensive linemen to the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin fiasco, those absences could be offset Monday night by a collapsing Tampa run defense. The Bucs have served up 327 yards and three rushing touchdowns on 62 carries (5.27 YPC) to their last two opponents. Miller is an attractive RB2/flex. ... As the plodding lesser half of Miami's committee, Thomas will likely only pay Week 10 dividends on the off chance he finds the end zone against the Bucs. He's done so in 3-of-8 games so far. Thomas' single-game high for total yards is 58. ... Ryan Tannehill's target distribution since the Week 6 open date: Mike Wallace 28, Brian Hartline 22, Charles Clay 14, Rishard Matthews 11, Miller 10, Thomas 4.
Wallace has been a boom-or-bust WR3 this season, and will remain so on Monday night. The Bucs have begun using Darrelle Revis in more man coverage. Revis played a big role in holding Golden Tate under 30 yards on three catches last week. ... Hartline will have more opportunities if Revis shadows Wallace, although Hartline's lack of big-play ability still limits his ceiling. He's failed to clear 70 yards in seven straight games and is scoreless since Week 3. I do think Hartline would be a better PPR bet than Wallace in Tampa Bay. ... Tannehill isn't a recommended QB1 streamer, but he's worth firing up in two-quarterback leagues. Over their last four games, the Bucs have been shredded by Nick Foles, receiver-depleted Matt Ryan, Cam Newton, and Russell Wilson for a combined 84-of-115 passing (73%) for 1,007 yards (8.76 YPA) and a 10:2 TD-to-INT ratio, with three more scores on quarterback runs. Tannehill can be dangerous in a clean pocket. Tampa Bay is tied for 27th in the NFL in sacks. ... The Buccaneers have allowed the 15th most fantasy points to tight ends, giving Clay a middling matchup. Although Clay is a highly effective and versatile H-back, his passing-game usage has been fairly inconsistent week to week. He's a low-upside TE1. ... Matthews has replaced Brandon Gibson as the Dolphins' third receiver and lacks fantasy value beyond deep Dynasty leagues. He has ten catches on the season.
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The Bucs enter Week 10 having dropped 13 of their last 14 games under Greg Schiano, who is lucky to still have his job following a Week 9 meltdown loss to the Seattle, where Tampa Bay grabbed a 21-0 first-quarter lead. It’s like Bucs ownership isn’t even paying attention. The lone shining light on Tampa's end was rookie tailback Mike James. The sixth-round pick consistently reached the second level against a surprisingly soft Seahawks run defense, setting career highs in total yards (166) and single-game YPC average (5.6). James is a mediocre talent, but volume and effective run blocking can buoy him into low-end RB2/flex territory. Dolphins DC Kevin Coyle's disappointing run defense ranks 21st in the NFL with nine rushing touchdowns allowed through eight games. Miami's front seven is getting moved off the ball far more often than it was the past two seasons. Despite an abundance of defensive line talent, the Dolphins have been gashed by Patriots and Bengals tailbacks for 298 yards and four TDs on 63 carries (4.73 YPC) over the last two games. ... Mike Glennon is playing smart football, showing a willingness to make throwaways rather than accepting sacks and posting a 5:0 TD-to-INT ratio over his last three games. He'll have his work cut out against a Fins pass defense that can generate consistent up-front pressure and has held enemy quarterbacks to nine passing touchdowns compared to 11 interceptions on the year. Glennon is a low-end QB2 in Week 10.
Glennon's target distribution on the season: Vincent Jackson 64; Tim Wright 28; Brian Leonard 17; Tiquan Underwood 13; James 11; injured Doug Martin 10; Chris Owusu 7; Tom Crabtree 5. ... Fantasy owners should've anticipated all along some ups and downs for V-Jax. His quarterback is a third-round rookie. Still, these are Jackson's stat lines in Glennon's five starts: 2-27; 9-114-2; 10-138-2; 5-79; 2-11. Jackson is a boom-or-bust WR2, but I'd still play him every week. The Fins use LCB Brent Grimes as a stationary corner, and V-Jax plays enough on the opposite side of the formation and in the slot that he will avoid Grimes' coverage on the majority of Monday's snaps. ... Look for Underwood to see more of Grimes in this game. Replacing Mike Williams at "Z" receiver, Underwood was targeted three times by Glennon in Week 9. ... Wright is a logical Week 10 TE1 streamer. An athletic "flex" player in OC Mike Sullivan's offense, Wright will take on a Dolphins defense allowing the third most fantasy points to tight ends. Undrafted rookie Wright has strung together consecutive box-score lines of 7-91, 2-15, 5-48-1, and 4-58-1 over his last four games.
Score Prediction: Buccaneers 20, Dolphins 17