Week 1 Observations: Dolphins/Browns
- Updated: September 10, 2013
People will be down on Brandon Weeden for this 3 INTs in this game but from what I saw, two were badly bobbled passes off of the intended receiver that were followed by some very lucky defensive catches. The Dolphin’s pass rush also cut through the Browns OLine more frequently than anyone anticipated, resulting in 6 sacks and a lot of pressure on Weeden. I think that the Miami DLine was also the reason that Trent Richardson didn’t receive many carries this week and only gained 47 yards on the ground and 30 in the air. That being said, I don’t think Weeden threw the ball very well despite his bad luck. I do think Richardson displayed his skill on the few opportunities that he was given and I believe he will rebound. The workload will certainly pick up and I do like that T.Rich was targeted 6 times as a receiver. Weeden is only worth rostering in an emergency until he shows us more.
Jordan Cameron certainly tried his best to keep the Browns competitive, making a great catch in the corner of the endzone for the only Cleveland TD. He also made several important catches to move the chains for the Browns and is locked in as a cornerstone of the Browns passing game. Brandon Weeden can make enough throws to feed the Cambeast but as always, bad QB play trickles down. The return of Josh Gordon in week 3 will hopefully help stretch the field and take the burden off of the overmatched Greg Little (4 catches on 10 targets) who has talent but has yet to fully grasp it. Davon Bess was targeted 10 times and got 5 of them for 47 yards. I don’t expect that same level of targeting to continue but Bess is certainly worth a look in deeper leagues with an added PPR bonus as always. Travis Benjamin also drew 8 targets and caught 3 for 44 yards but to me Benjamin doesn’t have enough physical presence to make an impact as a receiver.
Lamar Miller was obviously a huge disappointment for those (including myself) who started him and expected at least RB3 numbers. Instead owners got a glaring zero points on 10 carries that resulted in 3 yards and 1 catch for 7 yards. The goal line TD in the game went to Daniel Thomas who received 8 carries and produced an equally bad 14 yards. I suppose we all should have listened to Joe Philbin when he said that Miller and Thomas are in a timeshare. I think Miller has a breakout game sometime in the next 3 weeks (possibly as soon as next week at Indianapolis) and owners should hold tight. The Cleveland run defense is tough and the Miami OLine didn’t run block very well at all. Hopefully they will get it together with some more practice.
The surprise of the game goes to Bryan Hartline. Hartline thrived as the beneficiary of increased coverage on Mike Wallace, who only had 1 grab for 15 yards and was targeted only once in the first half. Wallace was well covered by lock down corner Joe Haden all game while Hartline was covered by a shifting mass of different players and ate up 15 targets in such poor coverage, snagging 9 of them for 114 and a score. Definitely grab him if he is available as a WR3. Brandon Gibson also had a nice game (77 yards from 7 catches on 10 targets) and might be worth a stash but he and Wallace will likely swap their target count in most weeks. It is good that Ryan Tannehill attacked the right points in the defense and I think his development is coming along smoothly. Tannehill and Weeden actually put up very similar numbers though Tannehill threw the ball 38 times and Weeden threw the ball 53 times for 17 more yards and 2 more picks. Not quite yet a real fantasy commodity, Tannehill might be a great dynasty/keeper hold.