Dolphins vs. Packers
This is a week for low expectations from the Dolphins. The “5-4” Dolphins are coming off of one of the most poorly played (and play called) victories of 2018. For Week 10, the Dolphins are traveling to Green Bay to take on QB Aaron Rodgers in the wake of a blowout at the hands of the Patriots. The only thing going for Miami this week is that Mike McCarthy might be one of few remaining coaches who are calling games worse than Adam Gase this season.
Another Game with Brock Lobster
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill might be back on the field after next week’s bye, but for now we get to watch Brock Osweiler lead the charge. The entire offense was anemic last week, and Brock was part of the reason. Osweiler has never looked good with pressure in his face and the Jets were consistently on the wrong side of the Dolphins line all game long. The Packers don’t have quite as aggressive of a pass rush, so Brock should have more times to let plays develop. With that in mind, you have to remember that Osweiler is inaccurate deep and inconsistent otherwise. The Dolphins primary gameplan is one he can execute (short passing game to receivers in space with the occasional sideline throw), so there is some hope for the week. Osweiler can be started in 2 QB leagues because of all of the byes, but shouldn’t have any consideration otherwise.
Adam Gase Hates Kenyan Drake
Frank Gore exists to steal reps from younger, more dynamic, running backs when the coaches allow. It turns out that Adam Gase isn’t the dynamic offensive play caller he was touted as before his tour with the Bears, and that is evidently clear with his usage of Gore. To his credit, Frank Gore has done a good job grinding out power runs behind a porous offensive line, which should be doable again against Green Bay. Running back Kenyan Drake was on the road to returning his draft capital before Week 9, but Adam Gase decided he didn’t need him last week and only allocated 7 overall touches (3 carries and 4 receptions) to one of his best weapons. Drake missed a blitz pickup in the first, but given that no one on Miami could stop the Jets pass rush, that shouldn’t have been a reason to stop calling plays for Drake. Miami could fall behind (if fellow terrible play caller Mike McCarthy allows Rodgers to do so), which means that Drake should be a lot more involved. Drake and Gore are flex plays, but Drake has the most upside.
Maybe a Rainbow for the Wide Receivers
Aside from injured WR Albert Wilson, the Dolphins receiving core should be at full strength on Sunday. Neither outside wide receivers Kenny Stills or DeVante Parker had any impact against the Jets, but it’s feasible to assume they could see more daylight this week. Parker could be fed again, but Stills will probably get one long play call throughout the day. WR Danny Amendola is the safety valve and WR Jakeem Grant is the seldom-used lightning bolt. Honestly, no WR is better than a flex play this week, and Parker / Stills are the only two that should be started.
Boom: Kenyan Drake
Bust: Dolphins D/ST
Sleeper: DeVante Parker
Can the Dolphins stop Aaron Jones?
The Packers have ranked in the bottom half of the league in rushing yards all season, but that is beginning to change thanks to Jones. The 2017 fifth-round pick out of UTEP has burst onto the scene for the Packers. Jones has averaged six yards per carry this season as he stole the starting spot. Jones ran for 75 yards last week against New England and could have a huge game against Miami. The Dolphins are allowing the fifth most rushing yards and fourth most fantasy points to running backs per game this season. Jones has been close to breaking out for a huge point total several times, but this could be the week he goes for more than 20 points.
Is Marquez Valdes-Scantling for real?
The Packers have begun to incorporate Valdes-Scantling into their pass game more than ever over the last four weeks. In last week’s loss to the Patriots, Valdes-Scantling was targeted six times, making three catches for 101 yards. The rookie receiver’s three receptions all came on routes of 20 or more yards. Aaron Rodgers is trusting Valdes-Scantling on deep routes, and it is showing in the receiver’s statlines. Valdes-Scantling has averaged 22 or more yards per catch in his last three games, including his big 101-yard performance last week against the Patriots.Seven of Valdes-Scantling’s 17 catches this season have been for 20 or more yards. With Randall Cobb missing games this season and not looking like himself when he is on the field, Valdes-Scantling has stepped up in his place. Valdes-Scantling could feast against a Dolphins’ secondary that allows 8.2 yards per passing attempt this season.
Will the Dolphins end Aaron Rodgers streak without an interception?
One thing that the Dolphins’ defense has done right this season has been their ability to force turnovers. Miami is number one in the NFL in interceptions with 15 in nine games this season. The Dolphins will have their hands full this week when they face Rodgers. The Packers’ quarterback has a 15/1 touchdown to interception ratio this season and has not thrown an interception in his last four games. Despite injuries and trades to some of his top offensive weapons, Rodgers has had one of his best seasons in 2018. Rodgers has thrown for 250 or more yards each week, including going for more than 400 in back-to-back weeks in October. Miami’s secondary has frustrated opposing quarterbacks all season, but several players have figured out the Dolphins’ defensive backs recently. Deshaun Watson threw five touchdowns and no interceptions two weeks ago and Matthew Stafford completed 18 of 22 passes three week ago. Miami’s number of interceptions may be inflated thanks to Sam Darnold throwing four interceptions last week, but they will still be an interesting opponent for Rodgers on Sunday.
Boom: Aaron Jones
Bust: Aaron Rodgers
Sleeper: Marquez Valdes-Scantling