Kickoff: Sunday, September 17th, 7:20 PM CDT
Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts
Betting Odds: MIA -2, 46.5 total via Odds Shark
Writer: Steve Bradshaw (@SteveBradshawFF)
Tua Tagovailoa (Start, QB2)
Tua Tagovailoa came out and dominated in Week 1, finishing with 28.1 points against the Chargers. As anticipated, this game was a shootout, and Tagovailoa was able to take full advantage. Tagovailoa is an elite quarterback when healthy, and he showed everyone that fading him this off-season was a bad idea.
This week, however, I have to put Tagovailoa as a QB2 just because of his matchup. Unlike last week, the Patriots are going to slow the game down by running the ball, which is shown with an over-under of 46.5. On top of this, the Patriots have a strong defense and held Jalen Hurts to 12.5 points last week. I’m excited about Tagovailoa for the rest of the season, but you should only start him in a 2QB format this week.
Raheem Mostert (Start, RB2), Salvon Ahmed (Sit)
Many were worried about the involvement of De’Von Achane before the season, but due to injuries around him, Raheem Mostert has cemented himself as the clear starting back. Mostert had a good Week 1, finishing with 13 points and an RB18 finish. Although Mostert only had ten carries and two targets, he was still efficient with these touches. A lot of this has to do with the game script rather than the lack of talent from Mostert.
Heading into Week 2, I have Mostert as a low-end RB2 due to how this game should play out. This week the, Dolphins should run the ball more since they’ll be in a close game that they’re favored to win. Keep in mind that the Patriots only allowed 8.7 points to the Eagles’ running backs last week, so you have to temper your expectations slightly.
Salvon Ahmed is currently listed as the backup for the Dolphins, but this is strictly because of the Achane injury. Ahmed hasn’t been fantasy-relevant since his rookie year, and that won’t change now. Last week, he had three carries for 11 yards, and you should expect a similar workload in week two. There’s absolutely no reason you should be starting Ahmed in any format.
Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends
Tyreek Hill (Start, WR1), Jaylen Waddle (Start, WR2), Braxton Berrios (Sit), Durham Smythe (Sit)
After watching Week 1, Tyreek Hill is the easiest roster decision you’ll ever make. No matter what, he’s always going to be a WR1, especially when he’s coming off a 44.5-point performance. The Patriots gave up 20.3 fantasy points to wide receivers in week one, which is worth noting. Hill should be able to dominate this Patriots secondary, but my only concern is the pace of play.
In week one, Hill was able to dominate in a shootout, but his numbers should fall back to earth in a lower-scoring game. That said, having Hill fall from 44.5 points still lands him as unquestioned WR1 for Week 2.
Even though Jaylen Waddle had a rough game against the Chargers, this was because Hill was on fire all game. As we said with Hill, the Patriots weren’t great against wide receivers last week, which should allow Waddle to bounce back. This won’t be a great game script, but Waddle is too talented to put him lower than WR2.
Braxton Berrios was able to draw five targets in Week 1, but I expect this to drop off going forward. Last season, the Dolphins had a concentrated target share between Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle at close to 50%.
Berrios has never been someone you can trust, and even though he had a 7.2-point performance last week, he should be a sit for week two. The game script is much worse, and Berrios has never been very involved in this offense. You shouldn’t be starting Berrios almost ever, and certainly not in week two.
Despite being named the starting tight end, Durham Smythe has almost no fantasy relevance. As we mentioned above, Hill and Waddle should see most of the targets. Smythe had a solid week one with 7.4 points on seven targets. That said, Smythe has never proven he can be a consistent producer, and his situation is much worse than last week.
New England Patriots
Mac Jones (Start, QB2)
After a great performance against a tough Eagles defense, Mac Jones showed he should be a QB2 from now on. Jones was a massive surprise, finishing with 25.1 points, which was good for QB2 on the week. This should be a close game against the Dolphins, who gave up 20.92 points against Justin Herbert in week one.
It’s unrealistic to expect Jones to continue this elite level of play, but he’s slowly moving his way up the ranks. I don’t see Jones breaking 18 points again, but he should be viewed as a high-end QB2 at this point.
Rhamondre Stevenson (Start, RB1), Ezekiel Elliott (Sit)
Rhamondre Stevenson didn’t have a great week one performance despite scoring 14.9 points. For one, he only averaged 2.1 YPC on 12 carries, and Ezekiel Elliott had more targets than him. Keep in mind that Stevenson was sick leading up to the game, which allowed him to play, but it seems like he wasn’t 100%.
Now that Stevenson has a week to recover from his illness, he should be back to full strength for week two. This should be a good game script where the Patriots have to pass the ball, but at the same time, it will be close enough that Stevenson will see some carries as well. Stevenson will continue to eat in the receiving game, just like in week one, where he had six catches for 64 yards. You should be starting Stevenson as your RB1 heading into week two.
Although Stevenson was sick, Elliott couldn’t capitalize on his opportunities and finished the week with 7.3 points. Elliott will likely only have relevance in games the Patriots are winning, and in week two, they’re 2-point underdogs. While Elliott had seven targets, this was clearly a mistake, considering he caught five of them for 14 yards. You shouldn’t expect this in Week 2, or ever again.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
JuJu Smith-Schuster (Start, Flex), Kayshon Boutte (Sit), Kendrick Bourne (Start, Flex), Hunter Henry (Start, TE1), Mike Gesicki (Start, TE2)
JuJu Smith-Schuster had a rough week one with 7.3 points, and I’m not willing to move him any higher than my flex spot going forward. Smith-Schuster had seven targets but only caught four passes for 33 yards.
Jones did a great job spreading the ball out to his wide receivers, making it hard to pinpoint one guy. To make matters worse, the Dolphins had a strong week one showing in the secondary, only allowing 14.5 points to receivers.
DeVante Parker isn’t expected to play in week two, which means the rookie Kayshon Boutte will step in. There’s too much target competition to even consider playing the rookie in week two.
Kendrick Bourne was a massive surprise, finishing the week as the WR5 with 24.4 points. Bourne looks like the one receiver you can trust early, as Jones clearly favored him with 11 targets. The matchup isn’t great, but after seeing Bourne establish himself as the WR1 last week, you can feel good about putting him in your flex spot.
The theme of surprise continues as Hunter Henry finished as the TE1 with 16.6 points in week one. Henry showed he’s the TE1 on this offense by commanding six targets and catching five of them for 56 yards to go along with his touchdown. The Dolphins struggled against tight ends in week one, giving up 10.4 points. With how bad the tight-end landscape is, you can book Henry as a TE1 for Week 2.
Mike Gesicki had a quiet game, scoring 6.6 points, while his counterpart finished as the TE1. This is a bad sign, and you should be worried about Gesicki in the future. However, Gesicki is still a talented player, and as we mentioned before, the Dolphins struggled against tight ends in week one. It’s nothing to be excited about, but you can start Gesicki as a low-end TE2 this week.
– Steve Bradshaw (@SteveBradshawFF)