Yahoo! Single-Game DFS Breakdown: Dolphins at Saints

Dec 27, 2021
Yahoo! Single-Game DFS Breakdown: Dolphins at Saints

Two of the best run defenses square off in New Orleans as the Saints welcome the Miami Dolphins.

It is vital to remember that single-game slates are not simply a “max salary, play as many big names as possible, and submit” format, especially in larger tournament fields. We need to identify players that can be pieces in their offense’s success, whether in the lead or trailing, as well as the players that could be focal points in a neutral game script. The ability to then take those players and identify which will succeed in the single-game format will put us in a better position to succeed as daily fantasy players.

Vegas Total and Spread

Miami is three-point road favorites with an Over/Under of 37.5 points. The Dolphins have an implied team total of 20.25 points, while the Saints have an implied team total of 17.25 points.

*Dry heaves*

Potential Game Flow Scenarios

Since it is shorter than the list of players out for New Orleans, here are the players of note that are competing - Ian Book ($20), Alvin Kamara ($31), Mark Ingram ($16), Marquez Callaway ($17), and Tre’Quan Smith ($14).

Yeesh.

Book’s first career start includes Kamara and Ingram, which is great for alleviating pressure on the rookie. Two issues with that - the Dolphins defense ($16) ranks third in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) to opposing running backs and the Saints continue to be down offensive linemen. Book was an effective runner in college and has a good enough arm to take advantage of Miami’s giving secondary. Only three teams allow more schedule-adjusted fantasy points to opposing wideouts.

It may be obvious but the Dolphins will be looking to keep Kamara and Ingram contained and force Book to throw. The Dolphins entered Week 16 averaging 2.64 sacks per game (37 total), top 10 in the NFL. Beyond Callaway and Smith, Book will have the trustworthy if vanilla pass option of Nick Vannett ($10) available when quick passes are needed. The Saints could do damage on offense by dinking and dunking their way to first downs in lieu of chunk runs.

The Saints' defense ($16) is also shorthanded because of COVID-19 but gets a turnstile offensive line with Miami. Their defense has four fewer sacks than Miami’s in the same amount of games but will have to rely on backups to help get pressure upfront. Tua Tagovailoa ($26) will have nearly his full complement of offensive talent with Albert Wilson being the only player out. Tua would be smart to take an Ian Book approach to passing by peppering Jaylen Waddle ($22), DeVante Parker ($20), and Mike Gesicki ($15) in the short and intermediate routes. The emergence of Duke Johnson ($14) put a major damper on expectations for Myles Gaskin ($14) Week 15 and going forward. The Saints rank fourth in aFPA to opposing backs and will more than likely limit the running game between the tackles. Johnson’s ability to catch the ball is on a different level compared to Gaskin and the other backs for Miami.

Road games in New Orleans are less than ideal for NFL teams. A methodical, safe offensive plan should keep Miami in the driver’s seat. Tagovailoa has to take care of the ball after somehow allowing the hapless New York Jets defense to intercept him twice in Week 15.

Close, low-scoring game

Duke Johnson

Myles Gaskin

Mike Gesicki

Dolphins defense

Alvin Kamara

Mark Ingram

Saints defense

Close, high-scoring game

Tua Tagovailoa

Duke Johnson

Jaylen Waddle

DeVante Parker

Mike Gesicki

Ian Book

Alvin Kamara

Mark Ingram

Tre’Quan Smith

Marquez Callaway

Nick Vannett

Blowout for home team

Ian Book

Alvin Kamara

Mark Ingram

Tre’Quan Smith

Marquez Callaway

Nick Vannett

Saints defense

Tua Tagovailoa

Duke Johnson

Jaylen Waddle

Mike Gesicki

Blowout for road team

Tua Tagovailoa

Duke Johnson

Jaylen Waddle

DeVante Parker

Mack Hollins

Mike Gesicki

Dolphins defense

Alvin Kamara

Marquez Callaway

Nick Vannett

Cheap/Unique Stacking Option

Traditional stacks such as QB/WR1 or WR2, QB/TE, and RB/DEF are stacks seen used in winning lineups. The obvious choice is not always the winning choice. Below is a cheap stack with at least one unique quality that could break the slate.

Mark Ingram ($16) and Saints Defense ($10)

Miami’s top goal will be to slow/stop Alvin Kamara. We know Ingram’s role is smaller with Kamara healthy but the two are utilized almost evenly in the red zone (42-32 in favor of Kamara). Kamara has seven more passes but only four more rush attempts in the red zone, including only two more inside the five-yard line.

Correlating Ingram with the defense gives a traditional stack but with the RB2 instead.

Low-Priced Volatile Plays

Mack Hollins ($10)

Hollins has eight red-zone targets, five from inside the 10, and three red-zone scores.

Phillip Lindsay ($10)

It is realistic that Lindsay does not play because of Duke Johnson’s emergence, but the Dolphins have not settled on a running back. Lindsay last played Week 12 and ran for 42 yards on 12 carries.

Nick Vannett ($10)

He is New Orleans’ only healthy tight end and will see plenty of work. Prior to his goose egg Week 15, Vannett had 10 targets, 6 receptions, and 92 receiving yards Weeks 13-14.

Lil’Jordan Humphrey ($13)

Only Adam Trautman had a larger average depth of target (aDOT) over the past month for the Saints. If Ian Book decides to uncork a few passes, Humphrey is a candidate for some game-changing plays.

Superstar Picks

Alvin Kamara ($31)

Fading top talent is a good way to lose larger tournaments, especially when a player such as Kamara is the Alpha and Omega of the Saints offense.

Tua Tagovailoa ($26)

To say Tua is a polarizing fantasy player is being kind. He has excellent options to target in the passing game and runs enough to raise his fantasy floor and ceiling.

Ian Book ($20)

Book has enough Taysom Hill qualities that Saints head coach Sean Payton should not have to dumb down or shrink his playbook too much. Tell me it would not be the most Dolphins thing to let a rookie QB be thrust into a starting role to break out with the playoffs within reach.

Mike Gesicki ($15)

COVID-19 hit the Saints linebacker and safety rooms, which opens the field for Gesicki. The Saints rank seventh in aFPA against tight ends but have allowed tight ends to get loose when they are a part of teams with deeper offensive talent (Bills, Cowboys, and Panthers pre-Sam Darnold fall-off stick out).

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