Miami Dolphins (1-1, 1-1 ATS) at Las Vegas Raiders (2-0, 2-0), 4:05 p.m.
Implied Team Totals: Dolphins 19.75, Raiders 24.25
Spread/Total Movements: 4.5 to 3.5 to 4.5, 45.5 to 44
Dolphins Injuries to Watch: QB Tua Tagovailoa (ribs, out)
Raiders Injuries to Watch: RB Josh Jacobs (ankle, doubtful), QB Derek Carr (ankle, probable), G Richie Incognito (calf, out)
Brolley’s Dolphins Stats and Trends
The Dolphins have played under the total in straight road games in September.
Miami beat Las Vegas 26-25 in a wild Saturday night game in late December last season, but the Raiders got the cover as two-point home underdogs while the game crept over the 50.5-point total with some late heroics.
Miami has covered four straight games as a road underdog.
Tua Tagovailoa is out this week with fractured ribs, which leaves Jacoby Brissett at quarterback. The Dolphins averaged just 3.1 yards per play with Brissett for most of last week. The Bills pressured him at the second-highest rate (59.6%) last week, and he threw for just 169 yards on 40 attempts (4.2 YPA) with an INT. Ben Roethlisberger finished with 295/1 passing with an INT against the Raiders last week.
Rookie Jaylen Waddle has 10+ FP in each contest with Fuller on the sidelines. He has 10 catches overall thanks to an aDOT of 4.7 yards with most of his routes coming out of the slot (71%). JuJu Smith-Schuster posted 6/41 receiving with a rushing TD against the Raiders last week.
DeVante Parker has led the Dolphins in targets in each of the first two games and he owns a 24% share overall. He managed 5/42 receiving on nine targets and he dropped a 32-yard touchdown.The Raiders are giving up the 14th-most FPG (40.1) to WRs through two weeks.
Will Fuller stepped away from the team for personal reasons before their Week 2 showdown with the Bills, and HC Brian Flores rather cryptically refused to say if Fuller would return to the team this season. Well, Fuller returned to the team this week and he should be ready to play against the Raiders barring any new developments later in the week. Fuller had to sit out Week 1 for the final game of a six-game suspension for PED use, which was handed down at the end of last season while he was with the Texans. Fuller finished as the WR8 with 17.2 FPG in 11 games last season.
Mike Gesicki saw his snaps jump from 39% in Week 1 to 64% in Week 2 thanks to an extremely negative gamescript. He also got into the catch column with 3/41 receiving in their blowout loss to the Bills. He posted 4/54 receiving in this matchup late last season with Parker out of the lineup.
Myles Gaskin has yet to reach 10 + carries or 50+ rushing yards in a game this season, but he does have 4+ catches in four straight contests dating back to last season. Najee Harris posted 5/43/1 receiving with a 25-yards touchdown reception against the Raiders last week.
Brolley’s Raiders Stats and Trends
The Raiders fell under the total last week for the first time in seven games. They’ve gone over the total in five straight home games.
Las Vegas has failed to cover in four straight games as a favorite.
Derek Carr has thrown for 817 yards while averaging 8.8 YPA in two upset victories over two of the top teams in the AFC in Pittsburgh and Baltimore. Carr torched an undermanned Steelers’ defense for 382 yards and two touchdowns with an INT in Week 2, all while playing through an ankle injury, which he’s set to play through again. Carr posted 382/2 passing with a rushing touchdown in a late-season matchup with the Dolphins in 2020.
Darren Waller went from 19 targets (34% share) in Week 1 to seven targets (19%) in Week 2, which he turned into 5/65 receiving. He posted 5/112 receiving in this matchup late last season, and Miami is giving up 5.0/45.0/.5 receiving per game to TEs in the early going.
Bryan Edwards made several key catches at the of their Week 1 victory over the Ravens and he had a touchdown taken off the board by penalty last week. Henry Ruggs finally got going as the team’s vertical threat in Week 2 with 5/113 receiving on seven targets, including a pivotal 61-yard touchdown. Hunter Renfrow has 5+ catches and 55+ receiving yards in each of Las Vegas’ first two games. The Dolphins are giving up the ninth-fewest FPG (31.4) to WRs through two games with 11.5/139.0/1.0 receiving per game allowed.
Josh Jacobs never came close to playing in Week 2 after he sat out of practice all week with his toe/ankle injuries. He grinded out 10/34/2 rushing in the season opener but he was clearly hobbled with the injuries, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he’s forced to miss at least another game this week against the Dolphins. Peyton Barber averaged 2.5 YPC against the Steelers while Kenyan Drake continues to be an active receiver with five catches in each game for a total of 105 yards. James White posted 6/49 receiving against the Dolphins in Week 1.
Barfield’s Pace and Tendencies
Week 1-2 – Pace (seconds in between plays): 24.2 (3rd)
Week 1-2 – Plays per game: 62 (21st)
Week 1-2 – Pass: 67.4% (6th) | Run: 32.6% (27th)
Week 1-2 – Pace: 28.2 (20th)
Week 1-2 – Plays per game: 74.5 (4th)
Week 1-2 – Pass: 69.3% (4th) | Run: 30.7% (29th)
Last week’s game got away from Miami with Jacoby Brissett forced into the game and they just had to keep chucking the ball (without much success) to catch up with Buffalo. With Tua out, the Dolphins will ideally want to hide Brissett and stick with the run – but that plan may go out of the window early if the Raiders and Derek Carr stays hot. This game could end up being ugly if the Dolphins can’t generate any offense again, but it is fairly attractive from a pace/play perspective and grades out as the sixth-best game in the model only marginally behind Bills-Washington and Chiefs-Chargers. Miami is obviously the mystery box this week with the QB downgrade and how they want to play.
(Note: We’re dealing with very small sample sizes early in the season – so I’m saving the deep dive into play-calling tendencies until Week 4.)
Huber’s Key Matchup Notes
While the Dolphins are reeling with Tua Tagovailoa (ribs) out this week, I actually think it’s a pretty good matchup for Jacoby Brissett strengths against certain coverages. It’s no secret that Gus Bradley loves Cover 3, and Brissett has done a solid job against that shell. Again, it’s not like he’s a great fantasy option, but he may be able to provide some production for receivers here.
Raider WR Henry Ruggs had a big game last week, but with QB Derek Carr (ankle) banged up against a strong pass rush, and a matchup with top CB Xavien Howard looming, I won’t be chasing the points this week. Howard is one of the top three corners in the game. When these teams met in Week 16 last season, Howard shadowed Ruggs on all 29 of his routes. He was targeted twice, both resulting in pass defenses. Expecting anything different this time around would be unwise.
Dolan’s Vantage Points
The Raiders have done a heck of a job on opposing QBs thus far, giving up the 11th-fewest FPG despite facing Lamar Jackson in one of their two games. That has, in large part, been due to DE Maxx Crosby, who has been an absolute animal thus far. Per SIS, Crosby has generated 20 pressures and 9 knockdowns. The next closest defenders have 14 and 5, respectively. For a Dolphins QB in Jacoby Brissett who is slow in the pocket behind an offensive line that has been miserable so far this year, that’s not really all that appealing to me for fantasy.
The Dolphins are getting WR Will Fuller back from a suspension and later a personal issue, and how he mixes in with DeVante Parker and Jaylen Waddle. The presumption is Waddle will remain in the slot, where he’ll get an exploitable matchup with CB Nate Hobbs.
The perimeter will be very interesting, though. Raider CB Casey Hayward is PFF’s top graded corner so far, and hasn’t allowed a single fantasy point in coverage. I’m really not excited to get Fuller in a lineup with a backup QB when he might be rusty, and Parker is a tough bet for me when he might draw a Hayward shadow. The guy I’m most likely to play as a WR3 is Waddle.
In the Dolphins’ Week 2 drubbing at the hands of the Raiders, here was their carry breakdown: 6 for Salvon Ahmed and 5 a piece for Myles Gaskin and Malcolm Brown. Gross. At least Gaskin played 61% of the snaps and saw 5 targets for the 8th time in his last 11 games. He’s the only Dolphin back you can even consider, and the Raiders did give up a receiving TD to Najee Harris last week.
TE Mike Gesicki is closer to being a drop than a start.
The Raiders will have QB Derek Carr this week, but he’s likely dealing with a high ankle sprain, which could limit his pocket mobility against a good pass rush. The Dolphins have generated a pressure on 43.4% of opponent dropbacks this year, 6th-most in the NFL (SIS). Carr is the only player in the NFL with more than 800 passing yards… and the only player in the NFL with more than 700 passing yards. But a lack of mobility against a defense that just held Josh Allen to 179 passing yards makes him a mediocre starter for fantasy. But at least he has Darren Waller to throw to.
Wes told us above why Henry Ruggs might not be appealing. I’m not so sure Bryan Edwards is either against this secondary — he’s the WR60 despite Carr leading the NFL in passing. Hunter Renfrow is the WR44, but the Dolphins held Cole Beasley to just 4/36 last week.
It’s doubtful RB Josh Jacobs (toe/ankle) can go for the Raiders this week, and it would be tempting to use him given Miami has allowed the 6th-most fantasy points to RBs so far, but he wasn’t taking contact by Thursday, so it’s more likely he’s being ramped up for Week 4. You can’t convince me Peyton Barber is a worthwhile start even in a good matchup, and Kenyan Drake is a god-awful runner, with just 20 yards on 13 carries. Given his pass-game involvement (10/105 on 11 targets), he’s still a viable FLEX.ka