Game Predictions & Player Projections - CLE vs. MIA

David Dorey, @DMDorey

Prediction: CLE 10, MIA 27 (Line: MIA by 10)

UPDATE: Corey Coleman broke his hand in practice on Wednesday and has been removed from the projections. Arian Foster has also been removed as he will not play.

The Browns assume their natural place in the cellar of the AFC North with an 0-2 record and they are on a pace to go through 16 quarterbacks this year. The 0-2 Dolphins are similar to the Browns in that they both are in the bottom three for points scored this year. This should be the one week that the Dolphins look good.

Cleveland Browns

1 @PHI 10-29 10 @BAL ---
2 BAL 20-25 11 PIT ---
3 @MIA --- 12 NYG ---
4 @WAS --- 13 BYE ---
5 NE --- 14 CIN ---
6 @TEN --- 15 @BUF ---
7 @CIN --- 16 SD ---
8 NYJ --- 17 @PIT ---
9 DAL ---      
News | Statistics | Roster
CLE @ MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Tyrod Taylor 20 200
RB Carlos Hyde 40 3-20
RB Duke Johnson Jr. 20 3-30
WR Jarvis Landry 8-120,2

Pregame Notes: The year just gets worse for the always beleaguered Browns who are onto their third starting quarterback. Josh McCown was able to get the passing game going last week but until he returns, there's no reason to expect much from this offense. The rushing effort has quietly exceeded expectations but even that is likely to falter soon with no passing game to concern defenses. That means that there will be trash time fantasy fortunes to be had later on but at least for this week, the outlook is fairly bleak.

QUARTERBACK : Josh McCown threw for 260 yards and two scores and ignited the rookie Corey Coleman but his shoulder injury is certain to impact this week and likely many more. The rookie Cody Kessler was drafted out of USC by the Browns with their 3.31 pick and he was the sixth quarterback selected in the draft. But Kessler did not impress in the preseason and there's no expectation of him being anything more than "just the best we have for now."

RUNNING BACK : Fantasy drafts were all over Duke Johnson as the sleeper this summer but that has not panned out. Johnson has not rushed more than three times in any game and even has been more limited as a receiver with just seven catches for 72 yards over the two weeks. Isaiah Crowell has been the surprise. He's scored in both games and comes off 133 yards on 18 runs against the Ravens. He's top ten for running backs after two weeks and ranks third best with 195 rushing yards. So far he has been the lone productive consistency on this team and that's almost certain to continue.

WIDE RECEIVER : By the time Josh Gordon shows up, hard to say what he will be returning to find. Corey Coleman was held to two catches for 69 yards in the opener but than blew up on the Ravens secondary with 104 yards and two touchdowns on five receptions last week. Terrelle Pryor started out with 68 yards on three catches but last week only managed three receptions for 32 yards. Switching to the rookie Cody Kessler depresses the outlook for this week and beyond.

TIGHT END : At least Gary Barnidge had catches in Week 2. After being blanked in the opener, he was still held to only four catches for 37 yards even playing with McCown. Now that the rookie is going to be the starting quarterback, Barnidge is no safer a start.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: This is the Dolphins first home game so they'll play better. But they already allowed around 100 rushing yards in each of their first games and LeGarrette Blount ripped them for 123 yards and a score last week. If a touchdown happens for the Browns it is much more likely to be from Crowell rushing the ball. He's still worth a start this week as the only working piece of the offense.

Barnidge is still very risky but he faces a defense that gave Martellus Bennett 114 yards and a score last week.

Corey Coleman is the only receiver who merits any consideration but how a rookie quarterback in a road game is going to perform cannot be known. Coleman should be able to get some moderate yardage but don't expect any repeat of last week. The Browns offense just enters a new stage with a rookie quarterback.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 28 9 27 30 31 25
Preventing Fantasy Points MIA 24 16 26 25 11 23

Miami Dolphins

1 @SEA 10-12 10 @SD ---
2 @NE 24-31 11 @LA ---
3 CLE --- 12 SF ---
4 @CIN --- 13 @BAL ---
5 TEN --- 14 ARI ---
6 PIT --- 15 @NYJ ---
7 BUF --- 16 @BUF ---
8 BYE --- 17 NE ---
9 NYJ ---      
News | Statistics | Roster
MIA vs CLE Rush Catch Pass
QB Brock Osweiler 270,2
QB Ryan Tannehill 20 330,3
RB Kenyan Drake 50 3-20
RB Frank Gore 60 5-20
WR Danny Amendola 3-30
WR DeVante Parker 6-80,1
WR Kenny Stills 2-30

Pregame Notes: The Dolphins have been more competitive than an 0-2 start suggests but the early schedule has been a killer and even after this home opener they hit the road to face the Bengals next week. It only took two weeks for Arian Foster to be injured and even then it came at the start of the game. That casts more doubt on the rushing offense that has hardly been stellar so far anyway. But that will mean more passing attempts which makes Jarvis Landry look even better. This week should be an excellent chance for the Fins to get that much needed first win.

QUARTERBACK : After a disappointing opener in Seattle, Ryan Tannehill passed for 389 yards and two scores in New England while adding 35 yards as a rusher. He has nearly no rushing support and his 45 passes thrown last week may become the norm. More encouraging still was involving DeVante Parker so much in his first action of the year. This offense relies almost entirely on the wide receivers to move the chains and get the scores.

RUNNING BACK : Arian Foster injured his <insert body part> and is expected to be out for <Wild Guess> before returning to a new and bigger injury at a later date. Foster's groin strain will keep him out at least one week and the beauty of a groin strain is that you can never be sure when it is healed or if it will pop back up. Jay Ajayi had a timeout in Week 1 but returned to a lofty 14 yards on five carries versus the Patriots. Kenyan Drake scored once and gained 12 yards over his two carries in the game. He clearly is the one to own in this backfield as he has the only upside in the non-Foster crew.

Ajayi will start but Drake will enter the rotation more.

WIDE RECEIVER : Jarvis Landry had a monster game when he caught ten passes for 137 yards last week. That makes two straight games with over ten targets and there's no reason to expect that to change anytime soon. DeVante Parker missed Week 1 because of the lingering nature of his hamstring injury but stepped up to eight catches for 106 yards. He's still not 100% but playing like he was. Parker ended 2015 on a high note with three solid games to end the year and now opens with a 100+ yard effort. That is exactly what this offense needs.

TIGHT END : Jordan Cameron ended with five catches for 49 yards and a score but his Week 1 showing of two catches for six yards is more indicative of his normal production.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Browns have allowed two passing scores and 275+ yards each week so expect a good game from Tannehill with a shot at a big performance in his home opener. Both Parker and Landry are must starts this week and even Joe Haden will only match on Kenny Stills - not that he's been nearly as good this year anyway.

The Browns have been decent against running backs but the Eagles and Ravens hardly have elite players. Then again, neither does Miami. Ajayi is very hard to recommend even in this good situation. Drake is an unknown but last week suggests he is worthy of a desperation play if you lost most of your running backs last week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 12 23 17 19 25 12
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 19 11 22 28 25 25

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