Brian Hartline: Why Dolphins WR Will Need to Be Evaluated Every Week

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer ISeptember 19, 2012

Sep 16, 2012; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins receiver Brian Hartline (82) during the game against the Oakland Raiders at Sun Life Stadium. The Dolphins defeated the Raiders 35-13. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Brian Hartline had never caught more than five passes in a single game before Week 2.

Then the Miami Dolphins receiver erupted for nine catches and 111 yards against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.

That tends to catch the attention of fantasy football fanatics everywhere.

Hartline was targeted a team-high 12 times by rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill in the 35-13 romping of the Raiders in Week 2. (Davone Bess received the second-most targets with six.) This was after Hartline got the most looks (six) against the Houston Texans in the Dolphins season opener.

If you are looking at which Dolphin receiver to nab this season, Hartline is clearly "the one."

But it must be noted that, while impressive, the fourth-year wideout from Ohio State did do this against the Raiders.

Let's examine the Raiders cornerbacks this season, shall we? 

First of all, they have lost both their starting cornerbacks from 2010, Nnamdi Asomugha and Stanford Routt. They replaced those guys with two injury-prone corners in Ron Bartell and Shawntae Spencer this season.

Guess what happened?

Bartell broke his left shoulder blade in the first quarter against the San Diego Chargers in Week 1 and is out until at least Week 10, per Spencer sprained his right foot against the Dolphins in the fourth quarter on Sunday and is out indefinitely

So, to put it lightly, the Raiders secondary is a disaster right now (and, yes, that's putting it lightly).

Also, keep in mind that Hartline wasn't nearly as successful against a much better defense in the Texans in Week 1, posting 50 yards.

Last but not least, you are still dealing with a rookie quarterback in Tannehill, who will undoubtedly have his fair share of ups and downs (as we saw in Houston).

My advice?


Hartline is not a bad guy to stash on your bench if you need help at receiver, but don't expect to start him every week and run away with your fantasy league's title. He is purely a situational player right now. Use him when the Dolphins face a poor pass defense.

Given the Dolphins face the New York Jets (twice) and the rising Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams in the next few weeks, you may only have a couple legitimate opportunities to use Hartline through Week 9: against the suddenly struggling Cincinnati Bengals and the Indianapolis Colts.

Moreover, if you already have Hartline and you are able to get something respectable for him in a trade, I suggest you pull the trigger immediately.


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