In the Miami Dolphins’ first home game of the season, fans will get to see a wide receiver matchup that features Dolphins’ WR Albert Wilson and Cole Beasley of the division-rival Buffalo Bills. 

Both receivers are players that have experience in the league, but not in terms of being No. 1 receiving options for their respective teams. Will the matchup between the two short-field, slot receivers provide a better look at the receiving core for both the Dolphins and the Bills?

Wilson Has Had Rocky Transition in Miami

Wilson has had a background role for a young Dolphins football team after coming over from the Kansas City Chiefs in 2018. His transition to Miami has been rocky, as he has yet to complete a full season due to injuries.

He played in just seven games in 2018 after landing on injured reserve and played in 13 in 2019. Wilson made just three starts in 2018 and made just four in 2019 while still easing back into play after his hip injury. He caught 43 passes for 351 passing yards, averaging 8.2 yards per catch. While his injuries capped his playing time, he battled for looks behind DeVante Parker, Preston Williams and sometimes Allen Hurns and Isaiah Ford.  

Beasley Coming Off Best Season in Eight-Year Career

Beasley, on the other hand, is coming off his best NFL season in the midst of his eight-year career. After moving on from the Dallas Cowboys to the Bills after seven years, Buffalo found how to utilize Beasley’s array of talents. 

He started in 10-of-15 games played in 2019 and averaged 11.6 YPC on 67 catches and 778 yards. This was the now 30-year-old’s second-highest in his career (833, 2016). The yards-to-receiving ratio though was the best in his career. Beasley’s six TDs also marked a career-high.

Wilson, Beasley Have Different Paths to Success in 2020

While Beasley is likely feeling good about his 2019 strides, Wilson can only hope his hip will allow him to take longer strides in 2020. He restructured his contract in the offseason, taking a significant pay decrease, in order to be salvaged and make the 55-man roster. Wilson’s health forced him to go from a guaranteed $9.4 million dollars this season to $1 million dollars, with up to a possible total of $3 million dollars. The move allowed Miami to save between $5-6 million dollars in cap space and for both parties to work toward a healthier season and long-term future investment.

Miami, Buffalo Eyeing Top Spot in AFC East

Miami took advantage of the 2020 offseason free agency period and needed the cap room. Buffalo also has an emerging opportunity to solidify itself at the top of the AFC East now that the evil empire New England Patriots had a huge roster overhaul.  

Both teams need to be able to solidify a three-man receiving core in order to do so, and Wilson and Beasley seem to be the ones who will make or break that accomplishment. Both are In similar positions with their teams’ rosters being young, and both possessing talent to help other teammates on and off the field. 2020 can prove to be a turning point for both veteran players, but what they have to do is both simple and hard at the same time.

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Wilson, Beasley’s Play is Similar, But Different For Respective Teams

Wilson and Beasley need to become more vital pieces to their respective offenses. While they’ve proven they can aid in the short field and slot, both need to be more consistent. If they continue to work hard in practice and make an impact on the field, they will be on the receiving end of more plays down the road. 

The Bills now have guys in John Brown and Stefon Diggs that should allow Beasley to play in the middle of the field. He has that working for him. The Dolphins, on the other hand, are looking to develop their strong offensive cores, but have WR injuries preventing true growth. After Williams tore his ACL in November, his status is up in the air for the season opener. Wilson has often been slated above Hurns and Ford in snaps and could find himself quickly thrust into the No. 2 role. This could be deal-breaking for him if he can’t adjust to the added workload and growing presence needed from him on the team.

In analyzing the depth every player brings, both Wilson and Beasley will look to step up to the plate and be on the receiving end of more passing plays that could possibly end up producing more touchdowns for their franchises while bringing their experience with them. 

Both Are Backup Options in Week Two

Looking at how both players will help their teams in week two, they will most likely serve as backup options for their coaches instead of primary options for different reasons. With the Dolphins, Parker was the No. 1 WR for the team last season and will most likely be that same option in 2020. 

Beasley Stuck Behind Diggs, Brown; Wilson Stuck Behind Parker

Beasley on the other end of the spectrum will have competition for the starting spot for the Bills since they now have receivers like Diggs who did a lot of damage with the Minnesota Vikings and Brown who was the number one receiver for the Bills in 2019. Brown will likely fall to No. 2 and Beasley will fight for targets mostly with him. 

Seeing the depth in which both guys have to deal with this upcoming season, both Beasley and Wilson will possibly be relieving receivers that could prove to be energy boosters in the matchup. Whoever can get open more and garner open targets, the more likely they’ll each be able to personally extend drives and create scoring plays. 

Wilson Over Beasley in Week Two

Wilson has to have the edge to produce in the matchup though even though both receivers have similar styles, just because of him possibly entering the game with a larger role. He not only has less competition to win the role, but he may also simply be expected to handle more of the workload and it already being drawn up in the game plan.

– Daniel Roberts is a Sports Contributor for Full Press Coverage Miami Dolphins. Like and follow on and Facebook.

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