Kickoff: Saturday, December 27th, 2022, 8:15 PM ET
Location: Highmark Stadium, Orchard Park, New York
Betting Odds: BUF -7.5, 37 O/U total via oddshark.com
Network: NFL Network
Writer: Dustin Ludke (@TheDunit13 on Twitter)
Tua Tagovailoa (Start, QB2)
Let’s face it Tua Tagovailoa has been less than great since the Week 11 bye. In the three games since he hasn’t cracked more than 16 points. He has only one game with multiple touchdowns but in that game, he had two interceptions. He now comes into a rivalry game against the Bills. It’s a showdown that could decide the winner of the AFC East. The Bills are giving up the sixth-fewest points to quarterbacks at 13.13. In the first matchup back in Week 3, Tua only had 18 passing attempts for 183 yards and one score. That game was missing some key pieces on the Bills’ defense including Tre’Davious White, Jordan Poyer, and Dane Jackson. Given the history against the Bills, the recent play of Tua, and the matchup I’m going to sit Tua this week.
Raheem Mostert (Start, FLEX), Jeff Wilson (Sit)
Jeff Wilson Jr. looked like a very solid option when he came over to the Dolphins. He suffered a hip injury last week that held him to only eight snaps. He will have to log a full practice on Thursday for me to start him. It’s not looking good for him to suit up or be effective enough for me to start him. I’m sitting him this week unless something drastically changes.
That would leave Raheem Mostert as the main guy in the Miami backfield. He played on 73% of the team’s Week 14 snaps and got 11 carries, converting them into 37 yards. It’s not great efficiency numbers for the eight-year pro. He will have to be better this week which could be a tall task. The Bills are giving up the tenth fewest points to running backs at 20.93. Mostert also hasn’t seen over 15 carries since Week 8 and hasn’t scored since Week 10. The Dolphins will rotate in guys like Salvon Ahmed to spell Mostert so I don’t see a huge volume for him. He also inst overly involved in the passing game with that work mainly going to Wilson. Mostert could see more passing work if Wilson misses the game. Before Wilson got to South Beach he was averaging 2.5 targets a game. I’m still willing to start Mostert this week but with heavily tempered expectations. I think he will be in the high Flex range this week.
Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends
Tyreek Hill (Start, WR2), Jaylen Waddle (Start, WR2), Mike Gesicki (Sit), Durham Smythe (Sit)
Tyreek Hill was once on pace to get 2000 receiving yards this season. He has been a massive success in Miami and for Tua. Hill is dominating in games this season. He has only one game with under five targets and only five games with under ten targets. The one game where he had only four targets was the Week 3 game against the Bills. He was held to only two receptions and 33 yards. This was him being covered by rookie Kaiir Elam with safety help. This week he will face Tre’Davious White and better safety help in Jordan Poyer. It’s the toughest matchup that Hill has faced this season. Not to mention he is dealing with an ankle injury that didn’t cost him any time last week but he certainly isn’t 100%. You are still starting him because he is capable on every play to score a 60-yard touchdown but you should lower expectations for him this week. I have him in the WR2 range.
Jaylen Waddle was the benefactor of Hill being shut down in Week 3. In that game, he saw six targets catching four of them for 102 yards. We have already talked about the missing pieces and now will face coverage from Dane Jackson who didn’t play in Week 3. The Bills are giving up the thirteenth most points to wide receivers at 34.78. Waddle has a shot to be productive in this game if he can find space to get open with the safeties helping bracket Hill deep. He hasn’t played very well the past two games but this could be his week to get back on track. I think he can be in the WR2 range. I’m not trusting any of the other wideouts for the Dolphins. Cedrick Wilson and Trent Sherfield aren’t seeing enough volume to warrant fantasy consideration. Sit both of them.
Tight ends Mike Gesicki and Durham Smyth are splitting work at the tight end position and neither is excelling at it. Given that when they do run routes this week they will see coverage from Matt Milano who rates in the top ten of linebackers in coverage at 73.6. You can’t start either this week.
Josh Allen (Start, QB1)
Should you start the QB3 for fantasy? Yes, you sure should. Need more reasons why? Okay, here you go. Josh Allen has been in QB1 range three of the last seven games and missed it a fourth time by only .40 points. He has only one game this season where he has not been at least a QB2. He has scored at least two total touchdowns in five of his last seven games and is averaging 53 rushing yards per game over that stretch. The Dolphins are giving up the fourth most points to quarterbacks at 20.23. It’s a solid matchup for one of the best quarterbacks who can beat a team with his arm or his legs. Start his as a high-end QB1.
Devin Singletary (Start, RB2), James Cook (Sit, Flex)
Devin Singletary has been hit or miss the past few weeks and is now in a true timeshare with rookie James Cook. Neither of them has played on over 50% of the team’s snaps since Week 12. Singletary is still leading the carry share having out touched Cook 21 to 18 in the past two weeks. The Dolphins are giving up 23.38 points to running backs which is the fifteenth most in the league. It’s not a great matchup for the Bills’ rushing duo. In the Week 3 game the Dolphins held Singletary to only nine carries for 13 yards. The running backs in that game were able to succeed in the passing ga,e. In that contest Singletary got eleven targets catching nine of them for 78 yards and a score. On top of that Cook got five targets for four receptions and 39 yards.
This could mean that Nyhiem Hines gets considerably more work. I still expect Singletary to get the first crack at the carries and targets but with a game predicted to have snow and wind, there should be plenty of rushing work and short passing to go around. I’m willing to start Singletary as an RB2 and Cook as a Flex. Hines could sneak in and a vulture one of their productions but I can’t gamble with him in my lineup during fantasy playoffs.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Stefon Diggs (Start, WR1), Gabe Davis (Start, Flex), Isaiah McKenzie (Start, Flex), Dawson Knox (Sit, TE2)
Did you know that Stefon Diggs doesn’t have a game this season with under five targets? Did you know that the Dolphins are giving up 34.58 points to wide receivers which is the 14th most in the NFL? Did you know that in the Week 3 matchup Diggs saw 11 targets? Well, you do now. Start Diggs this week as a WR1. Even if he does see coverage from Kader Kohou who is the Dolphin’s best cover corner at 71.7. Diggs should be able to use his experience to get open and still see plenty of opportunities.
Gabe Davis has actually seen an uptick in targets since the Week 7 bye. He has seen under five targets only once. His yards per target have come down considerably as he has been used as less of a deep bomb threat. He will see coverage from Xavien Howard who rates at 56.3 in coverage. He has been playing on over 80% of the team’s snaps and has been running more routes than Diggs the past few weeks. You can trust him as a Flex play. He has been in that range for five out of seven weeks.
Isaiah McKenzie has been hit or miss the past few weeks. He has games where he has a solid floor of five targets or games where he sees a huge target share as he did in Week 12. Then he has games where he completely disappears like Week 11. When he plays he usually lines up in the slot which would draw Kohou and shift coverage on the outside to Keion Crossen who rates at 51.2. In the Week 3 matchup McKenzie saw nine targets and caught seven of them for 71 yards and a touchdown. If history repeats itself McKenzie is in line for a big day. I think you can trust him as a flex play.
The Dolphins are giving up the third most points to tight ends at 14.94. This could mean a big day is in store for Dawson Knox. Knox has been hit or miss. He has only been a TE1 once when he hasn’t scored. I’m not willing to trust him this week despite the matchup. In Week 3 he only saw four targets catching all of them for 25 yards. His spotty history makes it hard to trust him in fantasy.