The Fantasy Football matchup for LeSean McCoy against the Dolphins looks merry and bright
The last time the Buffalo Bills played the Miami Dolphins Jay Ajayi rushed all over the Bills defense for 214 yards and a touchdown. It was Ajayi’s second straight 200-yard rushing game which has only been done by three other backs in NFL history. O.J. Simpson did it twice in 1973 and 1976, Earl Campbell did it in 1980 and Ricky Williams in 2002.
Ajayi would follow up those two games with a 100-yard performance against the Jets the following week but besides those three games he has not gained more than 80 yards rushing this season.
Ajayi has 1,004 yards on the season which means just under 53 percent of all his yards this season came in those three weeks. Four of his seven total rushing touchdowns also came in those weeks so if you started him in most other weeks you probably weren’t that happy.
Ajayi has a great matchup this week against a Bills defense who is ranked 27th in the league in average rushing yards allowed per game. Buffalo has given up 19 rushing touchdowns which is the second worst in the NFL to the San Francisco 49ers who have surrendered 22 touchdowns rushing this year.
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So which Ajayi will we see? The one who looked like one of the best backs in the NFL over a three-week span or the one who has been mediocre for most of the rest of the season? The answer lies a little bit in the middle but overall he should have a nice day.
Ajayi is a powerful back who can be elusive and the Bills have struggled against those type of rushers this year. Rex Ryan has had two different running backs rush for over 200 yards on his defense this season and you can bet he is going to focus on making sure that does not happen again. Look for Ajayi to have a nice game with just over 100 yards rushing and a touchdown.
LeSean McCoy is having one heck of a season topping the 1,000 rushing yard mark for the fifth time in his career and double-digit rushing touchdowns for the second time in his career despite having “Touchdown” Mike Gillislee get some of the goal line carries which has led to his seven rushing touchdowns this season.
Against Miami, McCoy had his worst performance of the season rushing for 11 yards on 8 carries before leaving the game in the third quarter with a hamstring injury which caused him to sit out the following week. He has recovered nicely since then and currently averages the fourth most points per week for a running back in standard yahoo scoring leagues.
He has a great matchup this week. Believe it or not, Miami allows more rushing yards than Buffalo. They are the third worst team in the league in average rushing yards per week with only the lowly Browns and 49ers behind them. Against those two teams, McCoy had two of his best days of the season combining for 293 yards and five touchdowns. In both games, he had over 140 yards rushing and at least two touchdowns.
While those are lofty stats to replicate you can still expect McCoy to have a monster game. There is a 55 percent chance of rain on Saturday in Buffalo so with the wet weather and the Bills anemic passing game you can bet they will focus on rushing the ball which is their bread and butter. I think McCoy will end up with over 120 yards rushing and he should be good for at least a touchdown.
Mike Gillislee is a risky start but he does have some value in leagues with multiple flex positions. I’ve basically had the same analysis for him each week. If you like to roll the dice you can start Gillislee but his fantasy value comes in the form of touchdowns and little else. After not scoring touchdowns in the first four weeks, he has scored in six of the past nine weeks in which he has played. Personally, I wouldn’t start him but if you’re the gambling type and want to go big or go home, you can take a chance on Gillislee hoping for a touchdown.
This game features three backs who all have some fantasy value but LeSean McCoy is the only one of the group who can be relied upon to put up big fantasy stats each and every week. Expect more of the same from him this week.