Game Overview ::
By hilow >>
- Both teams have robust injury reports heading into their Week 8 matchup.
- For the Dolphins, LT Terron Armstead, NB Kader Kohou, DE Emmanuel Ogbah, and CB Xavien Howard are the names to watch on the injury report, each of whom missed practice Wednesday.
- The Lions had nine players miss practice Wednesday, with another three listed as limited. Big names to follow are TE T.J. Hockenson and WR Josh Reynolds. Amon-Ra St. Brown got in a limited practice, but it was eventually reported that he did not suffer a concussion in Week 7, while D’Andre Swift returned to a full practice.
- Both defenses run man coverage at elevated rates (Lions rank first, Dolphins rank third in man coverage rates).
- Tyreek Hill against primary man coverage is not likely to go well for the Lions.
- Detroit’s top overall second-half pace of play hints at the upside potential of this game environment.
How miami Will Try To Win ::
Gauging the intent of the Miami offense has been difficult, considering the vast turnover at the quarterback position. Consider this – the Dolphins have finished only three games with the same starting quarterback that started the game this season. They are 3-0 in those games. Tua Tagovailoa was forced from Week 3’s contest with his back/neck injury. He was forced from Week 4’s contest with a concussion. Teddy Bridgewater then started Week 5 before leaving after just one snap with a concussion. Skyler Thompson then started Week 6 before leaving in the second quarter, passing the baton back to Bridgewater. On the one hand, we have a Dolphins offense that has been at or above league average in pass rate over expectation in all three of Tua’s full games played (barely in Week 7). On the other hand, we have coach speak indicating they want to operate a run-balanced offense. Either way, it’s difficult to make sweeping statements regarding the intent of this team with only three games of normal operating procedures. As such, it’s probably a good idea to view the Dolphins similarly to the way we were projecting other teams in Week 4, with a wider range of potential outcomes with respect to team intent. Their overall 63.92% pass rate ranks fifth in the league through seven weeks, carrying the obvious caveats previously mentioned. That said, we should get a good glimpse at their true intentions this week against a Lions defense that can basically be beaten any way the Dolphins choose. Finally, the Dolphins rank near the middle of the pack in first-half pace of play, overall pace of play, and situation-neutral pace of play.
Head coach Mike McDaniel has a relative embarrassment of riches when it comes to dynamic skill position players, with each of Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, and Raheem Mostert all amongst the fastest players in the league. Mostert emerged as the unquestioned lead back in Week 4, averaging a 68.5% snap rate and 19 running back opportunities per game over the last four contests. Of note here, Mostert has run the ninth most routes at the running back position this year yet averages just under three targets per game (3.25 per game over the last four). Expect Chase Edmonds to serve as the clear change of pace back, seemingly miles behind Mostert. The pure rushing matchup yields an above-average 4.535 net-adjusted line yards metric against a Lions defense allowing a robust 5.41 running back yards per carry. Finally, the Lions have allowed ten rushing scores on the season – most in the league.
Tyreek Hill leads the league in targets per route run rate (35.5%) and ranks second in team target market share (32.4%), while Jaylen Waddle checks in at 24.7% and 22.0%, respectively. The duo leads the league in total receiving between a team’s top two options with 1,394 receiving yards. That said, Waddle has just two games with double-digit targets, while Tyreek Hill has hit double-digit looks in all but two games. Notably, four of the five combined touchdowns between the two have come in the one blowup game against the Ravens, likely indicating there is meat yet left on the bone for these two once touchdown variance swings in their favor. The $22-million wide receiver Cedrick Wilson has been beaten out by Trent Sherfield for the WR3 role, while Mike Gesicki has been relegated to a standard range of snaps of 40-60% due to his shortcomings as a blocker. Gesicki could see an uptick in snaps this week should blocking tight end Durham Smythe miss with a hamstring injury (DNP on Wednesday). The Dolphins have run above average 21-personnel rates through the utilization of fullback Alec Ingold this season, playing primarily from 11- and 21-personnel. Finally, Tyreek Hill grades as the top wide receiver (per PFF) against man coverage this season, and the Lions run man coverage more than any team in the league. Hill should have no problem shaking Jeff Okudah and Amani Oruwariye on first-read passes.
How detroit Will Try To Win ::
- One “rule” in DFS is…
- It’s far less effective to “try to be different” in spots where you cannot gain a material edge (i.e., if you’re “different” on a guy who can only go 3.5x to 4x his salary in a best-case scenario, or who — at the higher ends of the price range — cannot put up a “had to have it” score, you’re really just making things more difficult on yourself), and it’s hugely effective to be “different” in spots where you can gain massive separation from the field if you are right
- Taking that same thought and applying it to this uniquely ugly DFS slate :: it’s far less effective to load up on a game that “might outperform the other games on the slate by a small amount” than it is to load up on a game that could potentially create massive separation from the field
- We can think back to the Baltimore/Miami game in Week 2 for an example of what we mean here; it’s great when you load up on a game and that game goes well, but the true edge lies in those weeks when one game outperforms all the others by a significant margin, and that’s the game you loaded up on
- With eight of the 11 games on this slate carrying Over/Unders of 44.5 or lower, there’s very clear potential for most of the games on this slate to disappoint, and for “one game that goes off” to become the spot you had to be on; if that does, in fact, end up happening this week, this particular game is a great candidate to fill that role
- Tyreek + Amon-Ra St. Brown is one of my favorite pairings this week, with Tyreek seeing 12+ targets in all but two games, and ARSB highly likely to return to double-digit targets this week after a weird stretch of games; a big game from one of these guys creates a game environment in which the other becomes likelier to hit for a big game as well
- My “cheap large-field specials” at WR last week (the guys who didn’t “project well on paper,” but who nevertheless had big point-per-dollar scores in their range of outcomes, while opening up salary for elite plays elsewhere) were Nico Collins, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Marquise Goodwin, Sammy Watkins, and Kalif Raymond; that was before the Josh Reynolds injury, which means I’ll be happy — in this game environment — to include him on my list once again
- Raheem Mostert is a top option for me among the lower-cost running backs, and while I’ll always contend that D’Andre Swift is overpriced for his role (he has never once topped 31 DK points, and he has topped 29 points only twice), this doesn’t change the fact that he’s capable of “getting there” on his limited volume; he’s a guy I typically let others chase, but I do like him this week
- Jaylen Waddle is a “higher risk, but equal upside” option alongside Tyreek Hill, while Tua Tagovailoa is also capable of hitting for a big game here (for that matter, Jared Goff is capable of hitting for a big game here as well)
- I’ll have pieces from this game on just about every roster I build this week, and I’ll be considering an over-stack on my Main Build
- To be clear: just like any other game, this one could fail; but given what else is available this week, this game is particularly attractive as a potential separator from the field
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