Miami Dolphins (1-4, 2-3 ATS) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-5, 1-4), 9:30 a.m., London, England
Brolley’s Dolphins Stats and Trends
Miami owns the league’s worst point differential at -75 points and Jacksonville owns the second worst differential at -59 points.
The Dolphins have played over the total in three straight games.
Miami is 2-5 ATS in its past seven games after a 20-10 ATS run before that.
Tua Tagovailoa could return to action this week off of his rib injury, and the Dolphins could use the upgrade at quarterback after Jacoby Brissett averaged 5.4 YPA in his absence. Tua scored 17.2 FP in the season opener with 202/1 passing while averaging 7.5 YPA. The Jaguars are giving up the 16th-fewest FPG (20.1) to QBs this season.
DeVante Parker had 4+ catches and 40+ yards in each of the first three weeks before exploding for 4/77/1 receiving on nine targets (30% share) in Week 4. He picked up a hamstring injury before Week 5, and Preston Williams stepped up and posted 3/60 receiving on five targets. Five different receivers have gone for 100+ yards against the Jaguars but none of them have scored touchdowns.
After posting 4+ catches and 45+ yards in each of his first three games, Jaylen Waddle has just 5/64 receiving on 10 targets the last two weeks with Will Fuller (hand, IR) out of the lineup. Tyler Boyd posted 9/118 receiving in this matchup back in Week 4.
Mike Gesicki’s snap share has risen in four straight games (64%<66%<69%<78%) and he’s seen 6+ targets and 40+ yards in each of those contests, which have been played with Brissett. The Jaguars have given up three touchdowns to TEs in the last two weeks.
Myles Gaskin saw a season-high 69% snap share and he turned in 5/25 rushing and 10/74/2 receiving against the Buccaneers a week after playing a season-low 23% snap share. The Dolphins played in an extremely negative gamescript against the best-run defense in the league so we’ll see if Malcolm Brown is back in the mix in a game the Dolphins are three-point favorites in. The Jaguars are giving up just 3.7 YPC and the fifth-fewest catches per game (3.8) to RBs, but they’ve given up the second-most touchdowns (9) to the position.
Brolley’s Jaguars Stats and Trends
The Jaguars, Jets, Chiefs, 49ers, and the Football Team are a league-worst 1-4 ATS.
The Jaguars have lost 20 straight games outright since Week 2 of 2020. They own a 7-13 ATS record in that span and they’ve lost 13 games by double digits in that span.
Miami’s defense allowed 7.9 yards per play and 411/5 passing to Tom Brady last week.
James Robinson has run off 20+ FP with at least one touchdown in three straight games, and the only person who can slow down is Urban Meyer who let Carlos Hyde take a pivotal fourth-and-goal snap in which he got turned away. He’s averaging 19.7/119.0/1.3 scrimmage per game over the last three weeks, and the Dolphins have given up 90+ scrimmage yards and a TD to individual RBs in four straight games.
Trevor Lawrence fantasy production has trended up in four consecutive games (8.8<11.5<17.8<22.7), and he’s run for 20+ yards in each of those games with rushing TDs in his last two contests. The Dolphins have given up multiple passing TDs in four straight games, including five TDs to Tom Brady last week.
Marvin Jones posted 5+ catches and 55+ yards in each of his first three games, but he’s managed just 4/49 receiving on eight targets in the last two games with D.J. Chark (ankle, IR) out of the lineup. Buccaneers perimeter WRs Mike Evans and Antonio Brown combined for 13/237/4 receiving against the Dolphins last week.
Laviska Shenault saw a season-low three targets (1/58 receiving) last week while Jamal Agnew and Tavon Austin combined for 13 targets. Shenault ran 82% of his routes from the slot in Weeks 1-4 but he moved to the perimeter with Chark done for the season, running just 14% of his routes from the slot last week. Agnew ran 83% of his routes from the slot and actually ran more routes than Shenault (26 to 23). Buccaneers perimeter WRs Evans and Brown combined for 13/237/4 receiving against the Dolphins last week.
Urbs gave his seal of approval to Dan Arnold when he said he “loves” him before Week 5, and he went out and led the Jaguars in targets (8, 24% share), catches (6), and yards (64) while playing 73% of the snaps. Arnold’s eight targets were a career best, but he did lose a fumble and Jacob Hollister stole a touchdown. The Dolphins are giving up the 15th-most FPG (13.8) to TEs.
Barfield’s Pace and Tendencies
Pace (seconds in between plays): 25.8 (5th)
Plays per game: 64.6 (21st)
Pass: 69.6% (2nd) | Run: 30.4% (31st)
Pace: 28 (15th)
Plays per game: 64.6 (21st)
Pass: 61.9% (13th) | Run: 38.1% (20th)
I really appreciate the NFL’s commitment to their bit of sending the league’s worst teams overseas. I just feel for the young Londoners watching football for the first time that are going to fall into the trap and become Jaguars fans just because it was their first game they ever saw live. While Urban Meyer has made countless mistakes this year, he did at least learn from one of them: The Jaguars are running the ball way more now than they did in their first few games. Meyer was putting way too much on Trevor Lawrence’s plate. Jacksonville is currently running the ball at the fifth-highest rate above expectation (7.2%) and are in a prime spot to hammer James Robinson, if they want to. The Dolphins run defense has crumbled and is giving up the fifth-most RB rush yards per game (123.4).
Meanwhile, the Dolphins can’t run the ball. They are dead last in rushing yards per game (70.4) and fifth-from-last in YPC (3.7), so they finally made short dump-offs to Myles Gaskin “an extension of their run game” in Week 5. Overall, the Dolphins have no other choice but to throw because of their poor offensive line and are currently passing at the third-highest rate above expectation (7.5%). It’s exactly why Jacoby Brissett is averaging 39.5 attempts per game and I’m not sure that changes much if Tua Tagovailoa is able to suit up. While Miami will play fast and throw a bunch, the Jaguars have slowed down offensively – most likely by necessity. This game could turn into a slopfest fast between these two inefficient attacks.
Huber’s Key Matchup Notes
No defense has delivered more FPs to entire opposing teams than the Dolphins over the last four weeks (116.7). We do need to remind ourselves that the ‘Phins have faced Tom Brady, Josh Allen, Derek Carr, and a suddenly-hot Carson Wentz over the last four weeks. So, we can reasonably expect to see some progression from those struggles. A date with a rookie QB (Trevor Lawrence) on the calendar could be the perfect medicine. That said, Jacksonville will pack along one of the hottest RBs in football for their trip across the pond. And Miami has commissioned the second-most FPG to RBs (31.6) that has been fueled by the highest average of red zone touches (7.80).
Some may be surprised to find out that James Robinson ranks inside the top-five RBs in just about every important rushing measure over the last three weeks. He’s fourth in rushing yards (315), leads all RBs with 6.2 YPC, and is second with four TDs. Even more impressive in that he’s succeeding behind one of the worst run blocking O-lines that’s only provided him with 1.34 yards before contact/attempt (eighth-lowest). Robinson has countered that deficiency by leading all RBs with 4.73 yards after contact/carry.
Dolan’s Vantage Points
It’s honestly hilarious how the NFL keeps exporting the worst of its worst to London every year. After last week’s surprisingly entertaining Falcons/Jets game, the Brits get to dissect a matchup between — by point differential — the two worst teams in the entire league this week.
Miami could get QB Tua Tagovailoa back from a rib injury this week, which I suppose would be good news. Per SIS’ EPA, their play-by-play value metric, only rookies Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson have been less valuable to their teams this year than Dolphins backup Jacoby Brissett has. Of course, Tua hasn’t been much better — he’s 28th of 39 qualifying passers with 15 or more attempts. And he will not have WR DeVante Parker (hamstring) for Sunday morning’s tilt.
One guy I do like this week is rookie slot WR Jaylen Waddle against Jaguar slot man Tre Herndon. If Parker is out, expect Tua to really focus his attention on Waddle. WRs saw only 17 of Brissett’s targeted pass attempts against the Bucs last week because Miami was so thin at the position, with Parker out, Will Fuller on IR, and Jakeem Grant traded. Five different WRs have gone for over 100 yards against the Jags, and Waddle has the best chance to do so this week.
Single-game DFS enthusiasts will probably look to former hyped-up UDFA Preston Williams, whose 5 targets (3/60 receiving) in Week 5 were his first targets since Week 3. I’d be skeptical about him in a start/sit league though. The other WRs to get targets in Week 5, besides Waddle and Williams, were Mack Hollins (2) and Isaiah Ford (1). No thanks.
Three Dolphin TEs — Mike Gesicki (7), Durham Smythe (3), and Adam Shaheen (2) — saw targets in Week 5. As frustrating as Gesicki is, only 6 TEs have run more than his 141 routes (that’s more than Mark Andrews and Dawson Knox have run).
Miami’s backfield is a nightmare. After playing on a season-low 23% of the snaps in Week 4, Myles Gaskin played on 69% of the snaps in Week 5 and led the team in every receiving category (10 targets/receptions, 74 yards, 2 TD). Malcolm Brown played just 9% of the snaps in Week 5. In Week 4… he was on the field for 67% of the plays. This could have been an expected gamescript thing against the Bucs’ nasty run defense last week, and Miami is a narrow favorite against Jacksonville in Week 6. Meanwhile, the Jags allow the 6th-most FPG to RBs, on the strength of 9 TD runs allowed. I think Gaskin is Miami’s best option and Brown is just a guy, but who knows what the Dolphins think. Gaskin is a highly volatile FLEX, but let’s hope his big game as a receiver convinces Jacksonville they need to use him more.
Here’s Scott Barrett on Gaskin’s Week 5, from the Week 6 XFP Report:
“Of course, 92% of his fantasy production came through the air. And Tampa Bay is far and away the league’s best run defense. So maybe they intentionally (smartly) abandoned the run, and featured Gaskin as their best pass-catching RB? Maybe. I’m not really sure. Because why didn’t they also do that in Week 4 ( instead of benching him) in a 27-17 beatdown against Indianapolis’ similarly tough run defense? And Gaskin is also probably the team’s best runner anyway. Just about every advanced metric also backs that up. So, why not just make him their bell cow?
Again, I have no idea. Gaskin should be used as the team’s bell cow. Miami should stop wasting snaps and touches on Malcolm Brown and Salvon Ahmed.
But, what a team should do is not always what they will do. So, who knows. But Gaskin’s Week 5 usage, at least, was an encouraging sign. And we do know, if this sort of usage continues, Gaskin will produce for fantasy -- over the past two seasons, Gaskin averages 17.4 FPG (RB9) when he’s played on at least 60% of the team’s snaps.”
The Dolphins’ expected stout defense has not been such so far — Miami has the second-fewest yards offensively in the NFL, and the third-most yards defensively in the NFL. That would explain why they have the NFL’s worst point differential.
Trevor Lawrence — one of the two QBs I listed as having been worse than Brissett on a value basis this year — could benefit from a banged-up secondary. Dolphins top CB Xavien Howard hasn’t been himself this year as he deals with shoulder and groin injuries, as PFF’s 64th-overall graded CB — Howard is out this week as he tries to get some rehab. Byron Jones (Achilles) has also been dinged.
Of course, it’d be nice if Lawrence were throwing the ball to guys who were actually drafted for fantasy. While Marvin Jones and Laviska Shenault combined for 2 catches on 9 targets in Week 5… Lawrence filtered 7 targets (6 catches) to converted DB Jamal Agnew, and 5 targets (5 catches) to Tavon Austin. Yes, that Tavon Austin. I’d like to say that Jones and Shenault could take advantage of the banged-up outside CBs for Miami (Shenault didn’t run a single route from the slot in Week 5, per SIS), but this team is in uncharted territory given Urban Meyer’s bizarre personnel usage. Shenault, by the way, ran the 4th-most routes of Jaguars in Week 5. I can’t in good faith recommend Agnew or Austin in start/sit formats, while it pains me to say Jones and Shenault should be on the WR3 radar just based on their matchup.
One guy who must be in your lineup — again, despite Urbz’s usage — is RB James Robinson. After a very shaky start in Week 1 and 2, Robinson has now seen at least 19 touches in three straight games and, as a result, has finished as the RB4, RB9, and RB11 in weekly output. Meyer gave Robinson 14 first-half carries against the Titans last week, and even in a relatively tight ball game (for Jaguars standards), Robinson got just four carries in the second-half. 4! To make matters even worse, with the game on the line – it was 4th and 1, down 12 early in the fourth – Meyer decided to give Carlos Hyde the most pivotal play of the day and he was promptly stuffed for a three-yard loss. Maybe a high-profile failure like that will make Meyer reconsider things… if he even notices.
Meyer said about the 4th and 1 play from the 1 “I don’t micromanage who is in the game.” pic.twitter.com/Vzdyn7QDqD— Jamal St. Cyr (@JStCyrTV) October 10, 2021
Asked Urban Meyer about James Robinson’s usage today. He said he didn’t realize that he had half the number of touches in the second half compared to first.— Demetrius Harvey (@Demetrius82) October 11, 2021
He said that it wasn’t intentional.
One guy I think Meyer will “micromanage” to get involved is TE Dan Arnold. Less than two full weeks after trading a high-pedigree CB in CJ Henderson for a package involving Arnold, Meyer deployed Arnold on 28 routes, behind only Jones for the team lead in Week 5. Arnold — though he lost a fumble — rewarded the Jags with 6/64 receiving on 8 targets, leading Jacksonville in every category. He’s absolutely a desirable fantasy option against Miami.