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Other Week 14 Game Recaps

Week 14 Game Recap: New York Giants 31, Miami Dolphins 24

What you need to know

New York Giants

∑ Odell Beckham jr. may not be able to be stopped, only contained. Defenses know he is a strong playmaker but Beckham jr. can make the toughest catches that most receivers will never make. He is routinely doubled but still makes plays in the short passing game if necessary. A staple in this offense, the Giants would be lost without him. ∑ In a twist and reverting to old habits, the Giants leaned on veteran running back Jennings for most of this game. This may be simply due to the production he was getting on the ground and they decided to stick with him. Perhaps the Giants are also realising that their 4 headed backfield is ineffective. Regardless, Jennings is the only playable running back for New York. ∑ When Beckham jr. goes off like in games like this, teammates Randle/Tye/Harris will normally suffer but both Randle and Tye got touchdowns which showed that Manning will spread the ball and anyone can score.

Miami Dolphins

Ryan Tannehill is going to be too inconsistent to be a trusted fantasy play down the stretch, but Jarvis Landry will continue to get fed more than enough targets to trust in PPR leagues. Lamar Miller is extremely talented, so much so that you have to keep playing him, but even when the Dolphins see this up close and personal, they underuse him. They tried to jumpstart Dion Sims, but his hands let the team down.

New York Giants

QB Eli Manning, 66 offensive snaps, Pass: 27 - 31 - 337 - 4 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - -2 - 0
Eli Manning was excellent on Monday night and highly productive for his team. Manning played one of his best games and was helped by his teammates. The Giants offensive line was much improved and gave Manning adequate pass protection several times in key pass situations. Rashad Jennings even managed to provide somewhat of a running with over 80 yards which helped Manning keep the defense honest. Manning used slants well and converted third downs with excellent communication with his receivers at the line of scrimmage. Manningís first touchdown was a simple curl route to Randle in the redzone. Randle found a gap in the zone coverage and held onto the pass well. Manning later successfully found Beckham deep down the field on a deep post pattern, leading his receiver well. Manningís second touchdown was a corner route to tight end Tye, which was in large part due to the excellent pass protection he got which gave him the necessary time to survey the endzone. Manning felt the rush well at times and checked down passes to his running back before the rush got there on numerous occasions. Manningís third touchdown was in part due to an unbelievable catch attempt by Beckham jr. Manning threw an out route pattern in the endzone and Beckham was somehow able to drag his feet just enough to keep the catch in bounds, despite the pass being thrown outside. Manning had an opportunity for a big play to Nicks on a scramble but his pass was highly erratic. Manningís final touchdown was helped by blown coverage on Beckham jr. after a slant and up pattern was not picked up by the Miami secondary. Manning recognised it quickly, fired the pass down the field and let Beckham jr. run all the way untouched into the endzone. Manning had several clutch key passes to help seal the game and fantasy owners canít complain about this performance one bit with the production to match his accuracy.

RB Rashad Jennings, 40 offensive snaps, Rush: 22 - 81 - 0, Rec: 2 - 21 - 0 (2 targets)
Rashad Jennings normally plays the token ďstarterĒ running back role before fading into the background due to the number of running backs the Giants like to use. Monday night was different however, as Jennings was allowed to get into a rhythm and received the bulk of the workload from the Giants. Jennings had one of his best games of the season, despite posting average fantasy numbers. The Giants blocked well for Jennings for the most part and allowed him to get into the secondary on many plays up the middle. Jennings showed a lot of patience in this game on slow developing plays like tosses which paid off when his blocks were successful. Jennings did not rush to the line of scrimmage and picked many key first downs on the ground for the Giants. Jennings burst forward past the line of scrimmage on multiple occasions and fell forward to finish every run. Occasionally the Giants offensive line leaked a defender and Jennings would be blown up in the backfield for a heavy loss however. Jennings was also useful out of the backfield as a receiver when Manning was pressured and looked like a true workhorse back for this team. Whether or not this trend will continue is hard to guess as the Giants normally rotate all their running backs fairly evenly. Jennings did wear the defense down a little bit however in this game and deserves more work going forward.

WR Odell Beckham Jr, 62 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 166 - 2 (9 targets)
Odell Beckham jr. started off slow but exploded in the second half with several monster plays. Beckham jr. started off with some short comeback routes and slants inside, showing good chemistry with Manning at the line of scrimmage. Beckham jr. was flagged for pass interference on a deep attempt but this was quickly forgotten as he hauled in a big play on a post route minutes later. Beckham beat his man inside and quickly gained separation down the field for Manning to throw into. Beckham jr. had a jaw dropping touchdown catch on the sideline of the endzone on an out route. Manning threw a pass outside and looked like it was going incomplete but Beckham jr. snagged it and dragged his feet perfectly while staying in bounds just enough to record the catch. Beckham jr. also drew pass interference when going deep on the sideline in the second half, gaining the Giants good field position. Beckham jr. did have one pass knocked out of his grasp on a high curl route but no one will remember as he scored quickly again with a big play down the field. Beckham jr. ran a slant and up pattern that the Dolphins failed to pick up down the field and Beckham jr. exploded down the field untouched for the 84 yard catch & run. Beckham jr. helped seal the game on a curl route as time was expiring and truly gave incredible effort throughout this game.

WR Dwayne Harris, 31 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 41 - 0 (5 targets)
Dwayne Harris had an average performance for him which can only be expected as Beckham jr. was so explosive in this game. Harrisí first catch was a crossing pattern short of the first down. The Giants continued to use Harris over the middle from the slot position, which benefits his size and quickness but somewhat lack of true speed. Harris also worked the short passing game with a slant and quick out at the line of scrimmage but wasnít able to get many yards after the catch due to tight defense by Miami. Randle/Tye and Beckham jr. were the redzone targets for Manning unfortunately for Harris and he failed to get many looks here or down the field. Harris always has potential in this offense if teams double Beckham jr. a lot but he will have average games also. He excels at the slot position and can burn teams deep with seam routes and slants over the middle when asked to. His reliable hands and utility on third down keep him an important cog in this offense but Manning has other weapons he must also use with different skillsets.

WR Rueben Randle, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 58 - 1 (6 targets)
Randle started off this game with a series of excellent timing patterns and managed to get himself a touchdown also. Randle ran short routes such as slants/outs and curl routes against man to man coverage which he was able to win at the line of scrimmage. Randle did have one drop due to lack of concentration as a pass was thrown in traffic on a curl route however. Randle scored his touchdown on a simple curl route in the redzone. Randle found a soft spot in the zone coverage of Miami and turned around wide open for the score. Randle was somewhat of an afterthought after the first half however as second year sensation Beckham jr. began to take over the game. Randle still has potential as a number 3 receiver in PPR leagues and can score occasionally though his production is not reliable with Beckham jr. as a teammate to share the ball with.

TE Will Tye, 49 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 30 - 1 (5 targets)
Will Tye didnít get many looks downfield from Manning on Monday night but fantasy owners will be happy with his touchdown. Tye worked the short passing game for most of the night and was able to get open several times against the Dolphins. Tye used good route running and quickness to haul in passes over the middle and towards the sideline on out routes. Tye managed to score a touchdown in the endzone on a corner route thanks to some excellent pass protection up front. Tye ran his route alone as the defense did not pick him up but Manning was afforded the necessary time to be able to find his tight end in the corner of the endzone. Tye was somewhat quiet after this in the passing game as superstar receiver Beckham jr. stole the show but his contribution was noted. Tye has shown excellent hands and a willingness to fight for any ball for several weeks now and has produced more consistently than injured original starter, Larry Donnell.

Miami Dolphins

QB Ryan Tannehill, 67 offensive snaps, Pass: 25 - 41 - 236 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 24 - 0
It was another up and down game for Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins as they fell to the Giants on Monday Night Football. Itís likely the negatives outweighed the positives, as even though Tannehill didnít turn the ball over, Miami relied on his arm far too often and drives stalled. In a competitive game that the Dolphins were winning as late as the third quarter, Miami still had a 41-22 pass-to-run ratio, something Dan Campbell vowed to correct. Lamar Miller himself ran through the Giants defense in the first half, only to see 5 carries in the second half and 12 overall. Thatís not completely on Tannehill, but with the ability to audible in the offense now (which he did with some success on Monday), he shouldíve taken it on himself to check out of the pass to the run. Additionally, when a quarterback attempts 41 passes, producing 236 yards (5.8 YPA) isnít an outcome that means they won. Tannehill locked into Jarvis Landry, which usually isnít a terrible means of ball movement, but Landry didnít play as well as his numbers let on. Additionally, Tannehill missed him on a number of throws.

While there were a number of negatives, Tannehill still managed to make a few plays that signify the potential he still has, but needs to further tap into. His lone touchdown came on an audible, where he identified what the Giants defense was doing pre-snap, adjusted his protection, and found Kenny Stills on a deep corner route for a 47-yard touchdown. Tannehill also has been more than comfortable on the run, and he was able to make some plays outside the pocket. However, due to some drops from his receivers, those plays werenít made. The Dolphins also went back to something that had been successful in 2014. The zone read plays, which had been a staple in Bill Lazorís playbook, had been successful 3-5 times a game. Zac Taylor dove into those old plays and Tannehill added some nice gains on just 4 carries.

RB Lamar Miller, 39 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 89 - 2
Lamar Miller looked unstoppable in the first half against a leaky New York run defense, repeatedly gashing through the defense for chunk yardage, including two big TDs. He then went missing in the second half, as even though the Dolphins were squarely in a competitive game, they all but abandoned the run, and the offense got stuck in the mud. Miller did his damage in a number of different ways for the Dolphins. His first touchdown came on a blitz from the Giants. The run was designed up the middle, but he instead bounced outside and was free to scamper into the end zone from 14 yards out. His next run was even better, as another designed run up the middle was nearly thwarted, but he shook off multiple Giant defenders, and finished his run through the middle of the field. In a competitive game, with the Miami defense unable to really stop Eli Manning and Tannehill and the passing offense struggling, it wouldíve made perfect sense to ride Miller in the second half. However, Campbell, Taylor, and company had other plans. The Dolphins came out throwing in the second half, scored first, to take a 24-17 lead, but never stopped attempting passes. They didnít score the final 25 minutes of the game and never were really close. With Millerís impending free agency, a conspiracy theorist could surmise that theyíre attempting to deflate his value a bit in an effort to resign him. However, the Dolphins have never shown, consistently, that they want to give Miller the ball. His free agency will be one of the key fantasy stories of the offseason for the Dolphins.

RB Jay Ajayi, 17 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 15 - 0
Ajayi once again played second fiddle to Lamar Miller in the Miami backfield on Monday night. While his snap count did rise from recent weeks, he was still held in check by a Giants defense that had been gashed by Lamar Miller. Ajayi was in mostly during early down, run situations, so the running lanes simply werenít there for him to exploit. The rookieís role has definitely expanded since he came off the IR/Designated for Return, so it will be interesting to see how much the Dolphins want to feature him now that theyíve been eliminated from the playoff race. With Lamar Millerís future in doubt, Ajayi could be auditioning for a starting role in 2016.

RB Damien Williams, 9 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 11 - 0 (3 targets)
Damien Williams, whoís been relegated exclusively to return duty since Jay Ajayi came off the IR, has seen a growing role as a change of pace back/3rd down back in recent weeks. While Lamar Miller was gobbling up any running back targets early in the season (and doing a great job out of the backfield) with 33 catches over his first 9 games, he has just 6 catches over the last 4 games. While Williams hasnít done much in that time out of backfield (5 catches in 4 games), he is snatching away some valuable targets that would help Miller negate the low-carry games that heís had throughout the season. While Williams isnít a fantasy option, he further hurts Lamar Millerís value.

WR Jarvis Landry, 44 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 0 - 0, Rec: 11 - 99 - 0 (18 targets)
In whatís becoming a theme in recent weeks, Jarvis Landry had another high volume-low efficiency game for the Dolphins on Monday night. He did see a season high in targets; however, he only caught 60% of them. Additionally, he was just one yard away from recording his third 100-yard receiving game of the season. Yet, on 18 targets, with 11 catches, you should be able to eclipse the 100-yard mark. Landry dropped a few balls and wasnít particularly self-aware on a few plays. Early in the game, he squirmed out of a tackle, moving backward, and into another tackle, which prevented him from picking up the first down. He dropped a ball on a comeback route when Tannehill scrambled from the pocket and delivered a perfect throw; his drop also prevented a first down. Landry didnít get help from his quarterback when he was running free down the field, a play that wouldíve resulted in a 60-yard touchdown. Tannehill overthrew him and the Dolphins continued to struggle to move the ball in the second half. Landryís physical limitations will always prevent him from breaking into the top 15 or so WRs in football. As long as he remains a high-volume target, he will be on the WR2 landscape, but once DeVante Parker gets up to speed (likely by 2016), expect Landryís target and catch numbers to drop. However, the emergence of a viable WR1 could help Landry in the long-term.

WR DeVante Parker, 64 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 16 - 0 (5 targets)
DeVante Parker struggled on Monday night, as it is accustomed for rookie WRs to do. Parker was in Dominic Rodgers-Cromartieís pocket for most of the night, finding it difficult to gain separation. DRC is not afraid to go toe-to-toe with big, physical wide receivers, and Parker just wasnít ready for the fight that the CB was going to give him. While itís been a tough year for Parker, as he struggled to get onto the field for much of the year, it looks like the Dolphins may be forced to shut down Rishard Matthews, and with nothing to play for, it seems like the best move. That will allow Parker to start the remaining three games of the season, gain some confidence and some chemistry with Ryan Tannehill, and get the much needed reps that he missed early in his rookie season. Heís flashed high-level playmaking ability so far in his young career.

WR Kenny Stills, 46 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 49 - 1 (3 targets)
Kenny Stills came out of the woodwork for a big play in Monday nightís game against the Giants. Stills did see a slight bump in snaps with Jarvis Landry ailing and coming out for a few plays here and there during the game. However, besides his 47-yard touchdown, he only saw two other targets and remains an afterthought outside of being a deep threat. The touchdown was very beautiful though, as Stills ran past the coverage of Prince Amukamara on a corner route and then outran Craig Dahl to the pylon after catching a perfect pass from Tannehill. The Dolphins will consistently look for 1-2 deep balls to Stills per game, but he remains off the fantasy radar.

TE Dion Sims, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 14 - 0 (5 targets)
Dion Sims saw some early targets, but fumbled one away to the Giants, giving them some early points. Then, on another drive later in the first quarter, Tannehill threw a perfect seam route that Sims got his hands on, but couldnít reel in. Like Cameron, he was barely seen from over the rest of the game from a receiving aspect, usually staying in to help protect his quarterback. Sims just isnít a naturally smooth catcher of the football, which is the easiest reason for his repeated drops, fumbles, and other mistakes. He is, however, a very good blocker, so thatís where his future likely lays.

Need to Know: Aside from Reshad Jones, who is playing at a high level, nobody on the back-7 for the Dolphins is particularly good at the moment. Asking anyone to cover Odell Beckham Jr. is a tall task, but Brent Grimes looks like he had cinder blocks on his feet last night. The Dolphins figure to be in some shootouts over the rest of the season with their linebackers and secondary looking so poor in coverage. Anyone relying on Jarvis Landry in the fantasy playoffs can rest easy.

TE Jordan Cameron, 44 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 35 - 0 (4 targets)
Jordan Cameron started off hot on Monday night, catching a pair of passes in the first quarter. However, as he has done all season, he went missing and caught one ball the rest of the game. Tannehill was targeting the tight ends (Cameron and Sims) early and often on the opening drives, but then when silent over the rest of the game as Jarvis Landry saw the bulk of the targets. However, his 35 yards were the most heís seen since Week 8, underlining how much this season has been a disappointment for him. He was droppable quite a while ago and will not be on the fantasy radar for the rest of the season. Fantasy owners will have to hope the right coach finds his way to Miami this offseason to unlock the talent that Cameron possesses. He could also become a cap casualty as well.