Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football flex of the week: Kenny Stills

October 23, 2016 - Miami Gardens, FL, USA - Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills (10) runs into the end zone on a touchdown reception in the fourth quarter against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla (Photo by Al Diaz/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire)
(Photo by Al Diaz/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire)

We all make mistakes and I’ll mark last week as such after backing Cordarrelle Patterson as a fantasy football flex. A few hours after my Patterson article went up, a report came out that he was in the concussion protocol.

After hitting on my previous three deep flex plays, it was a let down as Patterson only came up with three catches for 39 yards. So for Week 9 I’m back to the drawing board and looking at another wide receiver with upside in a plus matchup.

Kenny Stills has been an afterthought in the fantasy world throughout his two years in Miami. After having success in New Orleans, he’s had trouble finding a role in the Dolphins’ offense.

But I’m willing to say there’s light at the end of the tunnel after he came up with five catches for 100 yards and a touchdown two weeks ago against the Bills. While 66 yards and the touchdown came on poor tackling by the Bills’ secondary, it still showed what Stills brings to the table with his speed.

The main thing I’m counting on from Stills is that he’s getting a higher snap percentage in the last two games. That coincides with Miami’s turnaround and a reliance on the running game and Jay Ajayi.

For the first six weeks of the season, Stills was behind DeVante Parker in snaps and it showed in numbers. In weeks four and five, Stills only managed two receptions. In Miami’s last game before the bye, Stills saw 19 more snaps than Parker. It also happened to be the first time all season that Parker saw less than 82% of the offense’s snaps.

If that trend continues, it can only mean good things for Stills.

For this week, the Dolphins face the Jets, one of the best teams at stopping the run, but one of the worst at defending the pass, especially the deep ball. I backed Sammie Coates against this defense a few weeks ago and he came through.

Stills in that same mold as Coates in that he drops plenty of passes, but can also run past any defensive back. And right now, everyone is running past the Jets’ defensive backs.

The Dolphins may try and run the ball as much as previous games, but against this defensive front, it may not work as well. And so, that means more passes for Ryan Tannehill. Even if the running game works, that will open up play-action even more for Stills.

Similar to my previous flex recommendations, Stills is available in the majority of leagues and is cheap as they come in daily fantasy. With six teams on bye, owners will be looking at receivers off the waiver wire.

With the Dolphins coming off a bye, a lot of people will have forgotten what Stills did last time out, tying a season-high eight targets.

Stills may be risky and hard to trust (especially with Tannehill), but his upside is evident and against this defense, he could turn into a real nice play.

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