It’s been a long wait, but the Miami Dolphins are expected to get rookie RB De’Von Achane back from injury in Week 11 vs. the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday. Achane had been on injured reserve since Week 5 vs. the Giants due to a knee injury. Prior to the injury, he had bust onto the scene and was looking like a contender for Offensive Rookie of the Year. Instead, Achane missed games and the Dolphins continued to lean on veteran back Raheem Mostert. With Achane expected back, what does it mean for Mostert managers in fantasy football? We take a look.
Fantasy football impact: De’Von Achane return
What it means for Mostert
It means he may be relegated to a backup role. Though there is some reason to believe Mostert will still be involved in some capacity in Miami’s run game. In Weeks 3-5, Achane and Mostert shared the backfield. In three of those games, Mostert saw more total offensive snaps (97) than Achane (95). Let’s take a look at those three games for both players:
Mostert — 30 carries, 156 yards, 4 TDs, 12 catches, 109 yards, 1 TD
Achane — 37 carries, 455 yards, 5 TDs, 8 catches, 63 yards, 2 TDs
As you can see, Achane may have the best three-game sample of any RB in NFL history. Plus, a lot of both players’ production is from a 70-point game from the Dolphins against the Broncos. In the blowout loss to the Bills in that stretch, the Dolphins leaned on Achane and Mostert wasn’t as effective. Still, Mostert did have 10 touches and played 43% of the offensive snaps. In two of the three games in which Achane was heavily involved, Mostert still turned in a solid fantasy football performance.
What to expect in Week 11 vs. LVR
We could expect another big-time offensive performance from Miami. The Dolphins are coming off a bye week and a tough loss to Kansas City before that. We could see the Dolphins come out and want to make a statement against a weak, albeit recently motivated, Raiders team. Las Vegas still ranks 29th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game (135.6). Mostert is a little banged up at practice this week but that’s normal for a veteran. He should be active for Week 11.
If that’s the case and we have both backs playing, there’s a chance we see each productive for fantasy football purposes. At least for one week. We’ll have to see if Achane is on any type of snap count. Even if he is, we saw how explosive and productive he was in a small sample in those three games. Achane may not need many touches to have a big fantasy day. Mostert is a different story. If he’s involved similar to when Achane was healthy, Mostert should still see some touches. He’d be more reliant on getting into the end zone to get us there in fantasy. But given the matchup, that’s in the realm of possibility. At least for Week 11, both backs should be starts until we see otherwise.
What it means for the rest of the season
Mostert could be relegated to a backup/handcuff role if Achane completely takes over the backfield. It may not happen right away but unless Achane suffers a setback, he is very clearly the better running back. The Dolphins could ease him back but with Miami in the middle of a playoff race, you’d think Achane is the guy they lean on. If you’re a Mostert manager in fantasy it may be worth exploring other options.
Chances are your trade deadline in fantasy football is approaching. Shipping out Mostert feels like a smart move, even if you only get, say, a depth receiver or fringe FLEX play in return. If Achane takes over completely, Mostert would be a handcuff who would only be startable if Achane were to be injured again. It seems unlikely both backs can co-exist for fantasy purposes in the same backfield the rest of the regular season. The Dolphins also don’t have great matchups in the fantasy playoffs, here’s a look:
That doesn’t mean we should be down on Achane. He feels pretty matchup-proof when healthy. Though that was just for three games in mostly favorable matchups. But it’s still worth considering if you have both backs. Not to say you should be looking to trade Achane after Week 11. But if he pops, you could get peak value for him if you have good RB depth, which could be the case considering he’s been sidelined most of the season.