Game Overview ::
By hilow >>
- RB Miles Sanders did not practice Wednesday with a shoulder injury – he has seemingly picked up new ailments with each game played this week.
- S Xavier Woods did not practice Wednesday with a hamstring injury.
- CB Donte Jackson returned to a full showing Wednesday after missing Week 4 with a shoulder injury.
- RB De’Von Achane was placed on IR, while Jeff Wilson returned to a limited session Wednesday after having his 21-day practice window opened.
- There is likely to be significant interest in the Miami backfield this week, and for good reason.
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How carolina Will Try To Win ::
Frank Reich’s Panthers have run an uptempo offense (28.3 seconds per play) with extreme pass rates (40.4 pass attempts per game behind the 20th-ranked pass rate over expectation), but a lot of that has largely been due to necessity after playing through countless negative game scripts while sitting at an 0-5 record. In other words, the Carolina offense has been influenced primarily by their defense, which has allowed 1.46 yards before contact, given up 4.9 yards per carry, is tied with the Giants for most rushing scores allowed through five weeks, and allowed 6.1 net yards per pass attempt. The Panthers run zone coverages at one of the highest rates in the league but have ceded the fifth most yards per coverage snap from zone this season. To summarize, the Panthers have not been able to stick to their game plans due to a defense that has not yet performed to their potential, effectively forcing extreme pass rates as games have progressed – not the best formula for a team with a rookie quarterback.
Miles Sanders missed practice Wednesday with a shoulder injury that he sustained in Week 5. Sanders has seemingly been on the injury report every week since the season started and now appears truly questionable for Week 6. Chuba Hubbard is the only other running back to see offensive snaps to this point in the season and would likely jump into a “lead back plus” role for the Panthers should Sanders be unable to go. The Dolphins have held the opposition to just 1.22 yards before contact and 4.0 yards per carry this season under newcomer defensive coordinator Vic Fangio’s two-high, zone-heavy, 3-4 defense. Nothing about the matchup screams elite upside outside of a role that has yielded 38 targets to running backs this season, good for almost eight per game through five weeks. Should Hubbard serve as the primary back in the absence of Sanders, he could be set up well for six to eight targets in this spot at an affordable $4,300 in salary. Sanders being active would leave the backfield rather uninteresting, considering a split in snaps and opportunities that have been fairly even over the previous three weeks. Raheem Blackshear would be the likeliest back to step into change-of-pace duties behind Hubbard should Sanders miss.
Veteran wide receiver Adam Thielen has been a product of the increased pass volume induced via negative game environments through five weeks, with his 46 targets the eighth most in the league. That said, his underlying metrics are far from elite. His 23.1 percent targets per route run ranks 37th, his 1.98 yards per route run ranks 34th, his 8.6 yards per target ranks 37th, and he has seen just two deep targets with a 7.4 aDOT. Even so, two games with 13 or more targets where he also found the end zone has returned 30+ fantasy points twice in five games. Just realize his chances of breaking 100 yards and scoring a touchdown are rather slim, and if he isn’t hitting those thresholds, he is likely to disappoint in a short-area role. With D.J. Chark and Jonathan Mingo fully healthy, the snap rate split amongst the team’s wide receivers is extremely condensed amongst those three in an offense that plays almost exclusively from 11-personnel. Tight end Hayden Hurst has not played more than a 61 percent snap rate in any game this season. Chark’s downfield role (15.3 aDOT) brings theoretical upside should he finally connect with rookie quarterback Bryce Young. The two-high defensive shell for the Dolphins makes the chances of a downfield strike through Chark less likely than in other matchups around the league.