Updated Oct. 29, 2011 @ 7:33 p.m. ET
The Dolphins downgraded CB Vontae Davis and RB Daniel Thomas to out for Sunday's game against the Giants, both with hamstring injuries.
Davis, the team's top corner, has battled injuries all season. This is the third game Davis has missed this season.
Thomas, the team's second-round pick, has also struggled to stay healthy, having played in only three games this season. He has 75 carries for 302 yards on the season.
The way we see it
Without Davis, look for CB Sean Smith to be called on to cover Giants top receiver Hakeem Nicks. It's a tough blow to a Dolphins secondary that has been banged up this season. In the backfield, Reggie Bush will get extra touches with Thomas out. Steve Slaton may be active, as well, to help Bush and Lex Hilliard with the run game.
PFW fantasy spin
While surprising, this news shouldn't be. Hamstrings need rest to heal, and Thomas' performance at less than 100 percent has been horrible with a two-game average of 17-50-0. Those are only bye-week or injury fill-in numbers at best, so this is a good move for his long-term productivity. Sitting him will benefit your team in the long run.
Upgrade Reggie Bush and Lex Hilliard in your rankings, but realize they both have fantasy ceilings although they do have a great matchup, making them acceptable fantasy plays. The Giants are allowing 172.3 offensive yards and 1.7 TDs per game to opposing backs over their last three games. Bush makes a flex or bye-week fill-in while Hilliard makes an injury fill-in. Steve Slaton may or may not be active, but he is merely depth for the team and has no fantasy value.
Neither player has posted anything of note the last two weeks, and Bush has a two-game average in utilizations and offensive yards of 12-62-0 whereas Hilliard hasn't seen a carry in two games, so he is risky. Both have upside because of the matchup, and Hilliard did see an increase in reps during practice this week, assuring us he'll be utilized.
Nicks is a start in all formats as the Giants' top wideout. Already a top-five receiver this week, he could post even bigger numbers. The loss of Davis gives a slight bump to WRs Mario Manningham and Victor Cruz as the overall talent of the Dolphins' secondary drops. Manningham is an outstanding No. 2 and Cruz a No. 3 or flex-play receiver.