It’s fitting that a Thursday night game falls on the night of Halloween.
Too fitting, actually.
Fantasy owners have been accustomed to seeing Thursday night games scare them away from starting certain options, and that may very well be the case for tonight’s matchup on Halloween. Let’s breakdown what fantasy owners may need to know before submitting their lineups this evening.
The Emergence of Marvin Jones
Are you kidding me? When Jones scored three touchdowns in the first half of Sunday’s game, I thought to myself, okay, a rare good game. And then, he scored yet another touchdown in the second half, finishing with a ridiculous four scores. Unreal. The mind-boggling aspect is the fact that Jones played just 18 snaps in the game, hauling in all eight of his targets for 122 yards and those four touchdowns. While he certainly won’t ever score four touchdowns in a game anytime soon, it is worth noting that Jones had found the end zone in two consecutive games prior to Sunday afternoon, and is clearly emerging into a popular red zone target for Andy Dalton. All four of Jones’ scores came from inside the red zone last week, and as Mike Clay of PFF points out, Jones is an unsustainable 6-6 on end zone targets this season. If you need to play him on Thursday night, I wouldn’t blame you, but temper expectations. On the season, Jones is only seeing 34.8 snaps per game, while Mohamed Sanu is playing 51.9 snaps. However, Sanu is questionable for this game, and considering it’s a short week, his status is up in the air.
The Dolphins Running Back Situation
Anyone could see that Lamar Miller is clearly the most talented running back in South Beach. Anyone. However, offensive coordinator Mike Sherman is sold on splitting the workload between Miller and plodding back Daniel Thomas. It’s frustrating for those who were high on Miller coming into this season. Miller is still seeing an edge in the snap count, but not enough to make him a consistent fantasy option among running backs. He is currently seeing 36.6 snaps per game compared to Thomas’ 32.7. Miller is dominating the carries, currently seeing 29 more carries than Miller. It’s hard to fully trust either guy in Thursday’s matchup against the Bengals, who are allowing the eighth-fewest fantasy points per game to rushers (16.18 per game), and have not surrendered a rushing touchdown since Week 3. I’d still choose Miller between the two, but wouldn’t be surprised if once again, Thomas is the one to find the end zone, because fantasy hates us all.
Over the last three weeks, no quarterback has been as red hot, as Red Dalton. Andy Dalton has been outstanding for fantasy owners, tossing for 1,034 yards, 11 touchdowns and just two interceptions during that span. He’s been the number one fantasy quarterback during the last three games, which has allowed him to climb up to the number six spot among all fantasy signal callers on the season. He’s been awesome, and this is what we usually get out of Dalton. An incredible hot streak, followed by a handful of stinkers. Could this be the first week of the stinkers? Perhaps. Miami has been strong against quarterbacks, allowing less than 17 fantasy points per game to the position. However, with guys like Peyton Manning, Matthew Stafford and Colin Kaepernick on a bye, you may have to use Dalton this week, and considering how hot he’s been, I’d keep riding that hot hand.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.