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Previewing the Dolphins-Falcons Matchup from a Fantasy Perspective

Mike Gesicki and Jaylen Waddle will look to have another productive outing at Hard Rock Stadium

The Miami Dolphins will look to end their five-game losing streak when they face the Atlanta Falcons at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday, and one of the many ways to examine the matchup is through the fantasy football perspective.

In that vein, let's look at Sports Illustrated Fantasy Editor Michael Fabiano's Week 5 Start 'Em and Sit 'Em as they pertain to the Dolphins-Falcons battle at Hard Rock Stadium.

We'll list the players mentioned in the matchup with Fabiano's comments and offer our take on that particular projection.

Start 'Em

Falcons QB Matt Ryan: "You know the old saying, “desperate times call for desperate measures?” Well, Ryan should be considered a viable starting option this week with six teams on a bye. He’s put up 21-plus fantasy points in two straight games, and a contest against the Dolphins makes him a nice streamer. Their defense has allowed 13 touchdown passes and the eighth-most points to enemy signal-callers."

Our take: Ryan's prospects for this game actually could be dependent on whether Xavien Howard and/or Byron Jones can play after they both sat out against Jacksonville because of injuries. Even if they do play, though, it's fair to point out this is not an easy matchup for the Miami pass defense, especially with the expected of Falcons star wide receiver Calvin Ridley.


Falcons RB Cordarrelle Patterson: "Patterson has been one of the top fantasy running backs in the NFL, averaging over 20 points in his first five games. He should continue to shine this week as the Falcons travel to South Beach to face the Dolphins. Their defense has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points per game to running backs, including the ninth-most receiving yards, so Patterson is a solid pick."

Our take: Patterson made his mark in the NFL as a kick returner and he's clearly not a prototypical running back. That said, his speed is going to present a challenge for the Dolphins defense.


WR Jaylen Waddle: "Waddle is coming off a huge game in London, posting 10 catches for 70 yards and two touchdowns. He’s seen at least six targets in four of his last five games, and a matchup against the Falcons is favorable. Their defense has allowed seven touchdowns and the 10th-most points per game to receivers, and five wideouts have scored 16-plus fantasy points in their five contests."

Our take: Until further notice, there's no reason not to use Waddle if you're a fantasy owner because he clearly looks like Tua's favorite target.


TE Mike Gesicki: "Gesicki continues to be a target monster in the Dolphins offense, posting no fewer than six and as many as 12 targets in each of the last five games. That trend should continue against the Falcons, as the Dolphins are dealing with injuries at wide receiver, and Tua Tagovailoa has faith in Gesicki based on last week's target share. At a thin position, Gesicki remains a top-10 tight end."

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Our take: "Like Waddle, Gesicki should remain a play until we see signs of him slowing down because he's become a big factor in the offense."


Sit of the Week

K Jason Sanders: "Sanders posted a respectable eight points last week, but it was just the second time he’s scored more than five points in a game this season. I’d keep him on the sidelines against the Falcons, who have given up five-of-six field-goal conversions and the eighth-fewest points per game to kickers."

Our take: Hmm, not sure about that one. One would think the Dolphins would be able to mount some drives against Atlanta, which would mean some field goal opportunities at the very least.


More starts

-- Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa

-- Falcons K Younghoe Koo




QB Start 'Em, Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence — 319 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 0 interceptions ... The Dolphins limited the damage in terms of touchdowns, but they did give up some yards.

More RB Starts, RB Myles Gaskin — 5 carries, 9 yards; 2 catches, 5 yards ... Yeah, it was a rough game all around for Gaskin, who dropped three passes.

WR Start 'Em, Jaguars WR Laviska Shenault Jr. — 6 catches, 54 yards ... Shenault didn't have big numbers, though he did come up with that crucial catch before the game-winning field goal.

More TE Starts, TE Mike Gesicki — 8 catches, 115 yards ... A big day for Gesicki, his going out of bounds short of the sticks twice notwithstanding.

More TE Starts, Jaguars TE Dan Arnold — 2 catches, 27 yards ... Arnold did very little damage, though he should have had another reception for 15 yards or so had he not had a bad drop.

K Start 'Em, K Jason Sanders — 2-3 on field goals, 2 PATs ... Sanders would have had a great outing had he been able to make his 58-yard attempt at the end of the first half, but the kick wasn't close at all.