DOLPHINS // JETS OVERVIEW
Each of these teams started the year on the right foot, with an out-of-division win. I love that one of these teams will come out of this game at 2-0 — and while it will be incredibly difficult for either of these teams to make the playoffs, I’ll be interested to see where the Jets are able to take their season if they notch a 2-0 start. I was very impressed with Jeremy Bates’ offense on Monday night (more on this in a bit), and the Jets could make noise in the box score throughout the season this year.
DOLPHINS PASS OFFENSE
Lost in the excitement of the big Week 1 game from DFS darling Kenny Stills was the fact that he received only five targets — or rather, the same number as Courtland Sutton and Donte Moncrief, and fewer than Dede Westbrook. He will need to be far more heavily involved in order to consistently pay off his rising price tag (he’s still sitting at 10.6% and 10.7% of the salary cap on FantasyDraft and FanDuel, but he has spiked to 11.4% on DraftKings).
Onto a few more positive notes for Stills: the Dolphins are moving him around the formation, and head coach Adam Gase has talked about making sure Stills is being used at all levels of the field. While his greatest DFS asset is his deep ball ability, this does not mesh particularly well with the skill set of Ryan Tannehill. Getting the ball to Stills on short routes will raise his floor, and will create opportunities for him to see seven to nine targets per game.
Behind Stills (or rather…in front of Stills, as two of them saw more targets), Danny Amendola, Jakeem Grant, and Albert Wilson rotated snaps, though Amendola ran 29 pass routes, compared to 18 for Wilson and 14 for Grant. In light of those underlying numbers, Grant’s five catches on seven targets appear more fluky than predictive, while Amendola’s four catches on six targets have room to grow. Amendola showed his floor last week, though it’s fair to question his ceiling. (Note: DeVante Parker is now expected to suit up this week as well. He brings high talent-driven upside to the field; but his floor is low given his career-long inconsistency and the likelihood of the Dolphins rotating him in rather than featuring him right away.)
This passing attack rounds out with rookie tight end Mike Gesicki, who has all the talent in the world, but was used sparingly in the pass game last week, with only 11 pass routes run and only two targets.
The matchup is above-average for all these guys. The big concerns are Tannehill’s affinity for low-upside attempts and the non-aggressive nature of this team as a whole. Miami ranked 29th in Situation Neutral pace of play last year.
DOLPHINS RUN OFFENSE
Frank Gore stole 18 snaps from Kenyan Drake last week, but with Drake on the field for 74.2% of the Dolphins’ plays, he appears to be comfortably in the second tier of running back workloads, behind only the elite, 85-to-90% usage guys (the D.J.s, the Gurleys, the Conners/Bells). Perhaps even more importantly, Drake ran a pass route on 24 of Tannehill’s 34 drop-backs.
The Dolphins will rarely project as a high-volume team this season, so Drake’s Week 1 line of 14 carries and three catches should be about where our expectations reside; but with the Dolphins as road underdogs in this spot, Drake gets a small boost in pass game expectations. The Jets were slightly above-average against the run last season and appear set for small improvements this year, but workload is a bigger concern for a guy who costs 11.6% of the salary cap on DraftKings and who is less valuable on FanDuel — where his catches aren’t as valuable, and where the low touchdown expectations for Drake and the Dolphins need to be taken even more fully into account. Drake does show up as a nicer value on PPR-scoring site FantasyDraft, where he costs only 10.8% of the cap. His floor is lower than we would love to grab, but his ceiling remains noteworthy.
Frank Gore should mix in for a handful of carries on his limited snaps. He’ll have a share of the team’s touchdowns this season, but overall upside will typically prove to be thin.
JETS PASS OFFENSE
Miami plays a zone-dominant coverage scheme and blitzes at an above-average rate, while rarely generating pressure on the quarterback. This puts strain on their talented secondary to hold an offense in check for longer than they should have to, and leads to occasional breakdowns on the back end. This is what the Jets should be looking to exploit this week. Only two teams allowed more pass plays of 20+ yards last year than the Dolphins.
This would seemingly create a good spot for the Jets to attack with Robby Anderson, who will make for an interesting pivot off Quincy Enunwa. Against the Lions’ man-heavy coverage tendencies last week, the Jets used Quincy Enunwa’s big body much like a tight end — getting him matched up against linebackers and safeties and working the middle of the field. With the Dolphins leaning more toward zone coverage, it would actually make sense for Bates to change things up this week and try to free up Anderson on some deep shots. After the success Enunwa had last week, he’ll be able to suck coverage into the shorter areas of the field while creating favorable matchups for Anderson deep. This obviously moves into the “trying to get inside a coach’s head” area, and is by no means authoritative, but it pulls Anderson into high-upside, low-owned tourney consideration as an ultra-talented guy who could genuinely see six to eight valuable targets while everyone in the DFS community is looking the other way.
It should also be noted that in Week 1, Enunwa was the clear focal point of the offense, and we know little enough about Bates’ approach at this point that we need to consider that this might remain the case moving forward. With plenty of pre-snap motion and creativity last week designed to throw off the Lions’ scheme, it shouldn’t surprise us if the Jets show something a little different in this game against a totally different Dolphins unit; but it’s impossible to ignore the fact that Enunwa ran 21 pass routes last week to Anderson’s 16, and was targeted 10 times to Anderson’s one. Pricing on all three sites was set before Enunwa’s monster-usage game, making him a clear Chalk option this week after a 10-target outing.
Four different tight ends saw at least 15 snaps for the Jets last week. Until that rotation shakes itself out, those guys are obviously nothing but dart throws. Terrelle Pryor played 40% of the team’s snaps and was on the field for 45.8% of Sam Darnold’s pass attempts. If Jermaine Kearse returns this week, Pryor’s workload appears likely to dry up even further.
JETS RUN OFFENSE
Sure enough, Bilal Powell operated as the “lead back” last week — receiving over 60% of the snaps and touches before Crowell took over to salt away the game. Both guys played 24 snaps, with Powell receiving 13 touches and Crowell receiving 10. Our boy Trenton Cannon soaked up seven touches of his own down the stretch, and in a more competitive game those should be divided up between Powell and Crowell, but each guy is seeing too little work to be an appealing option until their prices drop further. Miami did finish bottom-five in the NFL last year in runs of 20+ yards allowed, so there is upside for one of these guys to pop; but the floor is low, and the workload is uncertain.
At this point, nothing in this game stands out to me as being particularly appealing or valuable, with low, price-considered floors on all the running backs, and with volume questions on all the receivers. Enunwa is the best bet in cash games, given the monster workload he saw last week, though I expect I’ll stay away myself, as there is a genuine chance that Bates is a very good offensive coach; and a very good offensive coach would be tempted this week to use Enunwa more lightly, and to feature Robby Anderson more heavily. This makes Enunwa a tourney-only play for me, while also pulling Anderson into the “week-winning upside” conversation in tourneys. The floor on Anderson is low, in case he is simply not being featured this season the way he was in the past; but the likeliest scenario in this spot is at least five to six targets for him, and he has room to grow from there.
On the other side, Stills stands out for his upside, but until he begins to see more targets, I’ll have concerns about his floor; and Amendola showed his floor last week, but we should have concerns about his ceiling. With options on this slate like “Chiefs at Steelers,” “Browns at Saints,” “Broncos vs Raiders,” and “Rams at home,” it will be difficult for a game like this to produce a week-winning score.