Preseason Week 2 Fantasy Football Game Recap: Miami Dolphins vs. Houston Texans

2RH179W Miami Dolphins quarterback Skylar Thompson (19) calls a play in the huddle with Miami Dolphins running back De'Von Achane (28), Miami Dolphins tight end Julian Hill (89), Miami Dolphins tackle James Tunstall (79), Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Lester Cotton (66) and Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Alama Uluave (62) against the Atlanta Falcons during an NFL pre-season football game, Friday, Aug. 11, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Doug Murray)

Dameon Pierce could have an expanded role: Pierce played every snap on the first two drives, including those on medium or long third downs.

De’Von Achane remains fifth on the depth chart: Miami still has four running backs who are ahead of him, between those who played before him and those who had the game off.

• Both wide receiver depth charts become clearer: Both teams rested a number of key wide receivers in Week 1, but this week looked more similar to the regular season.

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Dameon Pierce takes every snap on the first two drives: Pierce could have a bigger role in the Texans’ offense this season.

  • Pierce was consistently on the field for first and second downs last season — but off the field on third down. 
  • He played 3% of snaps last season on third- or fourth-and-5-plus and took four snaps in those situations on the first two drives.
  • This could simply be Houston allowing him to gain more experience there and changing strategies in the regular season. We have seen a few teams not have a rotation of players in the preseason only to rotate once the regular season starts.
  • If anything, this is good news because it leaves the opportunity open for Pierce to have that role in the regular season — even if it’s not guaranteed at this point.
  • Pierce played only two drives, with Devin Singletary taking over on the third drive while most of the starters kept playing.

Texans wide receivers become a little more clear: Robert Woods, Nico Collins and Noah Brown were the clear starters for this game.

  • Robert Woods and Noah Brown were among the veterans who had last week off.
  • Nico Collins started ahead of Brown, but there were several two-receiver sets where Brown was in instead of Collins.
  • John Metchie III was the slot receiver in Week 1 but didn’t play in this game until the third drive while Brown took a drive off. Brown returned for the fourth drive to end the half.
  • Tank Dell warmed up for the game but was in street clothes by kickoff. Per coach DeMeco Ryans after the game, Dell was feeling some tightness but there are no long-term concerns.
  • It’s hard to draw any major conclusions about Woods, Collins or Brown without knowing how much a healthy Dell would have played. The only clear conclusion is that Brown is ahead of Metchie for the slot role.

Dalton Schultz’s playing time could be limited: Teagan Quitoriano started for the Texans instead of Schultz.

  • Schultz consistently played in 11 personnel, but he was always off the field when either Andrew Beck or Dalton Keene were on the field with Quitoriano.
  • Houston also had a 12-personnel package with both Schultz and Quitoriano, which the offense used for multiple plays on the first two drives.
  • The Texans started mixing in some backups on the third drive, which included a play with Dalton Keene and Nick Vannett at tight end even though Schultz was still playing.
  • This shouldn’t be too big of a problem for Schultz in terms of volume, but it could be an issue for his touchdown total.
  • Houston’s first drive consisted of four plays where they were six to seven yards away from scoring, and Schultz was on the field for only half of those plays.
  • He should be a borderline fantasy starter this season, but his upside will be limited.

De’Von Achane is still low on the depth chart: He remains fifth on the depth chart and didn’t see his first offensive snap until the middle of the second quarter.

  • Raheem Mostert started for Miami. Salvon Ahmed also took snaps with the starters.
  • Jeff Wilson Jr. has missed both preseason games and is presumably ahead of Achane, while Myles Gaskin started the preseason last week before Achane received an offensive snap.
  • While Achane is not in danger of losing his roster spot thanks to his special teams ability, it’s starting to seem like we might not see much of him on offense early in the season.
  • Considering his talent, there is certainly a chance he earns more playing time as the season progresses and could become a starter. However, the odds of that are getting lower as long as players like Ahmed are still involved.
  • It was reported that Achane was carted off the field and to the locker room in the third quarter. His injury will be one to keep an eye on. Even if he is out for only a few weeks, it may further delay when he could start seeing time with the starters.

The Dolphins’ wide receiver depth chart becomes clearer: Miami had more wide receivers available this week, allowing for more information about how the depth chart will shake out.

  • Cedrick Wilson Jr. and River Cracraft started the first preseason game and Braxton Berrios came in for three-receiver sets. Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle and Robbie Chosen weren’t playing that game.
  • Hill and Chosen started this game, showing that Chosen is ahead of both Wilson and Cracraft on the depth chart.
  • Once Waddle is ready to play, he will be taking Chosen’s spot in the starting lineup. But Chosen should see plenty of playing time when Hill or Waddle needs a break.
  • Berrios continued to consistently be the third player in three-receiver sets but didn’t play in two-receiver sets. He seems locked into that third role when everyone is healthy.
  • Not that many receivers in Miami will have fantasy value outside of Hill and Waddle, but Berrios is the most likely to have standalone value among the backups, while Chosen will be the top handcuff option.
  • Wilson didn’t play any snaps with the first team in this game. The Texans would face a lot of dead money and little cap relief if he doesn’t make the team, but that is certainly possible.

Miscellaneous Notes

Table Notes

Snaps include plays called back due to penalties, including offensive holding or defensive pass interference. The other three stats have these plays removed.

Targets may differ from official NFL sources. The most likely discrepancy would be from a clear thrown-away pass, where the NFL may give the target to the nearest receiver, while this data will not.

Carries are only on designed plays. Quarterback scrambles won’t count for the total number of carries in the game.


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