Wednesday’s major NFL news was a sobering reminder that football is just a blip on the radar compared to Mother Nature.
The Miami Dolphins’ Week 1 matchup against Tampa Bay Buccaneers in South Florida on Sunday has been postponed until Week 11, due to the havoc Hurricane Irma is expected to wreak on the region this weekend. Considering the potentially disastrous circumstances, it’s the right move for the safety of everyone involved.
The unprecedented move still leaves players in a tricky spot, though, as the Dolphins and Bucs both will lose their midseason bye and play 16 consecutive weekends of football starting in Week 2.
To that end, the postponement also has plenty of ramifications for fantasy football owners as they enter their season. Here a few important factors to consider in the wake of Wednesday’s rescheduling.
1. The points from the Dolphins-Bucs game ONLY will count toward your Week 11 matchup.
This seems simple, but it bears mentioning: Any stats from this game won’t be retroactively counted toward your Week 1 total. Think of this as Miami and Tampa Bay having a Week 1 bye: Any player from either team should be out of your starting lineup before action begins Sunday, as they won’t garner any fantasy points, period.
That means quarterback Jameis Winston, running back Jacquizz Rodgers, wide receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson and tight end Cameron Brate on the Bucs; as well as QB Jay Cutler, RB Jay Ajayi, WRs Jarvis Landry and DaVante Parker and TE Julius Thomas on the Dolphins all should be replaced.
2. Doug Martin now won’t be eligible to play until Week 5.
Martin is suspended for the first three games of the season, but since the Bucs are on a “bye” of sorts, Week 1 doesn’t count as one of those games. He’ll still sit out Weeks 2, 3 and 4 before returning to the field in Week 5. That’s a tough break for Martin owners, as his first game back is a tough matchup against the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.
3. Jacquizz Rodgers owners should be in the market for a fill-in.
Fantasy owners will be scrambling to replace big names like Ajayi and Evans in their starting lineups. But Rodgers was a popular starter as the Bucs’ interim No. 1 back with Martin on suspension, so if he’s in your lineup, you’ll need to scan the waiver wire for a replacement. We’d still advise holding onto him, though; Tampa Bay has a juicy matchup against the Chicago Bears in Week 2.
4. Bucs and Dolphins players could see a late-season drop in productivity.
Believe it or not, NFL players are human, and 16 games in a row is a LOT.
We’re not saying you should steer clear of top-tier guys like Evans or Ajayi, but it’s worth keeping in mind: These guys could wear down by the end of the regular season after playing so many consecutive games, which could impact their fantasy outputs. Conversely, it might be smart to take advantage of late-season offensive matchups against the Dolphins or Bucs defenses if fatigue or depth becomes an issue there.
Thumbnail photo via Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports Images
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