Dolphins vs. Bills: Fantasy Stars Set to Rebound on Thursday Night Football

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent INovember 15, 2012

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 13:   Brian Hartline #82 of the Miami Dolphins reacts after missing a pass during a game against the Washington Redskins at Sun Life Stadium on November 13, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills will kick off Week 11 on Thursday night in an AFC East showdown that will feature a handful of fantasy football stars on display. 

With two wretched defenses set to take the field, there is no shortage of smart fantasy plays to choose from on either side this week. While quarterbacks Ryan Fitzpatrick and Ryan Tannehill are sure to put up big numbers, they are not alone.

Let's take a look at a trio of fantasy stars who will rebound with big performances on Thursday night.


Reggie Bush, RB

Never mind Reggie Bush's massive struggles last week vs. the Titans (four rushes for 21 yards and a fumble), because on Thursday he'll face off against the NFL's worst rush defense in Buffalo.

The Bills have given up more yards and scores on the ground in 2012 than any other team in the league. In nine games, Buffalo has surrendered nearly 1,500 rushing yards (163.7 per game) and 16 rushing touchdowns.

Only two of Buffalo's opponents (Chiefs and Cardinals) this season failed to score a rushing touchdown against them. The most telling statistic is that Buffalo has given up two or more rushing touchdowns in four of its last six games.

Therefore, Reggie Bush owners can anticipate a strong performance from No. 22 in Week 11's opener.


Steve Johnson, WR

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Steve Johnson struggled only to find the end zone last weekend in New England, recording six receptions for 86 yards. In Week 11 against Miami, expect Ryan Fitzpatrick's No. 1 target to break out and score a touchdown for the first time since Week 7.

The Dolphins secondary ranks 28th in the NFL this season, and Miami has surrendered four touchdowns through the air over its last two games.

After starting the season on fire, Johnson owners are beginning to worry. He has only recorded one receiving score in his last six outings.

Fear not, though. On Thursday night, Johnson and the Bills will be back at home for just the fourth time this season. Johnson will find comfort playing in front of his fans, as will the Bills' aerial attack.


Brian Hartline, WR

No Miami Dolphins wide receiver has more targets or receptions than Brian Hartline. However, the former Ohio State Buckeye has yet to find the end zone since Week 4 at Arizona. What's more, he has posted double-digit fantasy points just once in ESPN standard leagues since that big day against the Cardinals.

That's about to change tonight.

The Bills rank 21st defending the pass heading into Week 11, and have given up 18 touchdown passes in nine games this season. Only New England, New Orleans, Tennessee and Washington have allowed more than Buffalo in 2012.

Yards have come easy for Hartline for the most part this season, but scoring has been an issue. On Thursday night, Hartline will have plenty of opportunities to get the ball in the end zone and post monster fantasy numbers. 


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