Carolina Panthers (5-6, 5-6 ATS) at Miami Dolphins (4-7, 5-5-1), 1 p.m
Brolley’s Panthers Stats and Trends
Carolina is 10-2 ATS in their last 12 road games.
The Panthers are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games.
Carolina is 5-1 toward unders in its last six games as a favorite.
Cam Newton showed he’s still the same limited passer from the last couple of seasons, with an aDOT sitting at just 5.9 yards. He still gave this offense some stability at the position by completing 21/27 passes for 189 yards (7.0 YPA) and two touchdowns, and he added 10/46/1 rushing for a healthy 26.2 FP in his first major action of the season. Miami’s defense has held its last three opponents (Jets, Ravens, Texans) to 26 combined points, and Lamar Jackson posted 238/1 receiving and 9/39 rushing in this matchup in Week 10.
Christian McCaffrey has cleared 105+ scrimmage yards in each of his first three games back from the injured reserve, and he’s coming off a season-high 90% snap share. He’s averaging 12.7/68.7 rushing and 7.7/60.0 receiving per game with one TD since returning to the lineup. The Dolphins are giving up the 11th-fewest FPG (22.7) to RBs this season.
D.J. Moore’s days as a WR1 have long since passed when he posted 15+ FP in each of the first four weeks, but he at least has a chance to hang around as a WR2 with Cam bringing some stability to the quarterback position for the rest of the season. Moore had fallen below 10 FP in four of his last six games and below 14 FP in every game in Weeks 5-10. He rebounded in his first full game with Cam, posting 5/50/1 receiving on seven targets (26% share) for 16 FP against Washington. The Dolphins had all kinds of trouble with Elijah Moore last week, with the rookie going for 8/141/1 receiving.
Even in a one-score loss, the Panthers attempted fewer than 30 passes for just the second time all season. Robby Anderson has a faint pulse again since 78% of Cam’s passes went to either Moore, CMC, or Robby in Week 11. He’s posted 9/67/1 receiving on 12 targets since Sam Darnold permanently left the lineup. The Dolphins held Corey Davis to 3/35 receiving on six targets last week.
Brolley’s Dolphins Stats and Trends
The Dolphins have won and covered in three straight games.
Miami has played under the total in four straight games.
Tua Tagovailoa played extremely efficiently in a victory over the Jets in Week 11, completing 27/33 passes for 273 yards (8.3 YPA), two touchdowns, and one INT for 18.5 FP. Tua has 18+ FP in three of his last four full contests and he’s averaged 39.8 pass attempts per game in those contests. Taylor Heinicke threw for 206 yards and three TDs in this matchup last week, which snapped Carolina’s run of holding QBs under nine FP in three straight contests.
Jaylen Waddle continues to post steady production as the team’s default #1 WR with DeVante Parker (hamstring, IR) and Will Fuller (finger, IR), hanging double-digit FP and 60+ yards in five of his last six games. He’s averaging an excellent 6.2 catches per game and he’s seven targets away from hitting 100 for the season. Terry McLaurin went for 5/103/1 receiving against the Panthers last week, and he was the first WR to clear 65+ receiving yards against them since Week 6.
Mike Gesicki returned to form with 5/50 receiving on six targets against the Jets, a week after he hung a goose egg on Thursday Night Football on seven targets. He hasn’t scored more than 10.0 FP since Week 7, but he’s still seen 6+ targets in nine of his last 10 contests. The Panthers are giving up the eighth-fewest receiving yards per game (40.7) to TEs, and they held Zach Ertz, Hunter Henry, and Kyle Pitts each to under 10 FP in Weeks 8-10.
Myles Gaskin has been fed with 15+ touches in five straight games, and he’s coming off season-highs in carries (23), rushing yards (89), touches (26), and snap share (74%) last week. The Panthers are allowing 4.4 YPC to RBs, but they’re still giving up the second-fewest FPG (18.5) to the position.
Barfield’s Pace and Tendencies
Pace (seconds in between plays): 28.4 (22nd)
Plays per game: 68.9 (10th)
Pass: 59.0% (21st) | Run: 41.0% (12th)
Pace: 26.4 (3rd)
Plays per game: 66.8 (15th)
Pass: 66.3% (4th) | Run: 33.7% (29th)
All pace / play data is from the last eight weeks.
If you’re looking for the sneakiest shootout game of the week, this is it. These two sides combine for the third-best adjusted pace / play volume on offense and could end up being even faster if the Panthers have to chase the Dolphins. Over the last eight weeks, the Panthers are the fifth-fastest team to the line of scrimmage in between plays when trailing (24.1).
On that note with Carolina, they (unsurprisingly) went very balanced with their play selection last week. The Panthers were 54% pass | 46% run on early-down, non-red-zone plays and Cam Newton was effective through the air with 8.6 YPA on those 19 early-down passes.
Miami ended up going way more run-heavy last week against the Jets awful run defense with 34 passes to 33 runs, but this should be a spot where they revert back to their pass-heavy ways against a much more formidable Carolina run defense. Even with last week’s more balanced plan, Tua Tagovailoa is averaging 39.8 pass attempts per game over his last four starts.
Huber’s Key Matchup Notes
When Cam Newton does look to pass, he’ll need to circumvent a Miami pass rush that’s manufactured the most QB pressures this season. I’ve never seen a team generate this vicious of a pass rush while its O-line also surrenders the most QB pressures to opposing defenses. It’s certainly not going to help Newton’s cause that his O-line has permitted the third-most QB pressures.
Dolan’s Vantage Points
The Panthers lost in Week 11 despite an overall promising performance from QB Cam Newton, who has had less than two weeks in the offense.
Cam Newton rushes for a 24 yard TD, runs to midfield, puts the ball on the logo, does his Superman celebration, and the crowd goes wild.— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) November 21, 2021
Just like old times... pic.twitter.com/CHCRMHlpOG
All I wanted was for Cam to show some baseline competence, and he did that, despite Carolina playing overall conservatively. And it gave DJ Moore some life last week. However, Miami is likely to blitz the hell out of him — Newton didn’t throw a single TD against the Dolphins last year, though he didn’t have a receiver of Moore or even Robby Anderson on the Patriots last year.
Anyway, Christian McCaffrey is good! He’s led the Panthers in rushing and receiving in each of the last three games. Here’s more from Graham, with Stat-Pack:
I was wondering if the Panthers would ever let Christian McCaffrey start playing all of the snaps again given all of his injury issues over the last two years (and hoping they wouldn’t go back to that plan). Nope!
CMC was on the field for 90% of the Panthers plays in Week 11, a season-high.
If we remove the game that he got hurt (Week 3) and his first game back from injury (Week 9), CMC has finished as the RB1, RB3, RB4, and RB3 in his four true full games.
The Panthers passing attack was pretty conservative overall in Cam Newton’s first start. His average depth of target was just 5.6 yards downfield and just two of his 27 passes traveled 15+ yards in air.
Cam’s target distribution was locked in on their three best players: CMC (30% target share), DJ Moore (26%), and Robby Anderson (22%).
He came through in a clutch spot last week — when a lot of fantasy players needed to fill in Lamar Jackson or Matthew Stafford’s spot in the lineup, so Tua Tagovailoa has plenty of good graces. And our Jake Tribbey is content to ride with him again. While Carolina has been a tough matchup, Taylor Heinicke lit them up last week. From Streamers:
In full games this season, Tua is averaging 19.4 FPG. Over the full season, 19.4 FPG would make Tua the QB12. Better yet, he’s been remarkably consistent, scoring no less than 15.2 fantasy points in a full game this year. For reference, there are 9 QBs with more than 7 games played who average less than 15.2 FPG over the entire season. Carolina is one of the tougher matchups for QBs this season, allowing the 4th-fewest schedule-adjusted FPG (-3.3). Even so, with the way Tua is playing, he can be considered a high-end QB2 despite the tougher matchup.
One thing I’ve liked about the way the Dolphins have played of late, at least from a fantasy standpoint, is that they’ve started narrowing their usage tree, getting the ball in the hands of their best players. Their target tree has been exceptionally thin, with mostly Jaylen Waddle and Mike Gesicki (25 and 21 targets, respectively) bearing the fruits of Tua’s labor.
Last week, they did it in the backfield as well, making Salvon Ahmed a healthy scratch and giving Myles Gaskin a season-high with both 23 carries and a 74% snap share. Of course, that was in a golden matchup with the Jets and this one isn’t nearly as pristine, but at least the Dolphins started to give one of their mediocre RBs the lion’s share of touches as opposed to three mediocre RBs.
So what could the Dolphins do to mess that up? How about adding another mediocre RB!
The Miami Dolphins have claimed RB Phillip Lindsay, per his agent @MikeMcCartney7— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) November 24, 2021
Of course, things could be getting more complicated from a pass-catcher standpoint, with DeVante Parker (hamstring) eligible to come off of IR and Will Fuller (finger) — remember him? — still apparently lurking as well. It just doesn’t seem like this will be the week for either.
Brian Flores says Michael Deiter is returning but not yet on Will Fuller, DeVante Parker— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) November 24, 2021