Kickoff: Sunday, December 25th, 2022, 1:00 pm EST
Location: Hard Rock Stadium, Opa Locka, Florida
Betting Odds: MIA +3.5, 49.5 o/u total via oddhsark.com
Writer: Dustin Ludke (@TheDunit13 on Twitter)
Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers (Start, QB2)
Aaron Rodgers has been leading the Packers to wins and somehow they are still mathematically still alive in the playoff hunt. Rodgers has not been great for fantasy over the past three games despite picking up wins. He only has one game with multiple touchdowns and in that game, he had a pair of interceptions. He hasn’t been in the QB2 range since Week 11 and has no games this year in the QB1 range. He finally has all of his wide receivers healthy so there is a lot of reason to like Rodgers for the rest of the season. They are playing the Dolphins who are giving up the second most points to quarterbacks at 21.34. It’s a great matchup for Rodgers. Both teams are capable of putting up points and having a shoot-out-type game. The Vegas line has it at 49.5 so there is potential for a high-scoring game. You can trust Rodgers as a solid QB2.
Aaron Jones (Start, RB2), A.J. Dillon (Start, FLEX)
A.J. Dillon has cleared concussion protocol according to head coach Matt LaFleur. He will be good to go on Christmas day. He is coming off his best fantasy performance of the season. He scored two touchdowns which rocketed him to the top of the rankings, He only played on 37% of the team’s snaps and only saw 11 carries for 36 yards. If not for the two scores he would not be anywhere close to the top of the list. It is the third straight game that he has scored in which is a great sign. He has also seen at least three targets in each of the last three games. Miami is giving up the eleventh most points to running backs at 23.85. It’s a good matchup for Dillon but I’m worried about the limited snaps. I think you can start him as a flex play this week
Aaron Jones continues to be the main guy for the Packers’ rushing attack. His snap share this past week was only 56% but was dealing with a lingering injury that might have played a part in that. He did get 17 carries which he was able to convert into 90 yards. He is averaging 5.18 yards per carry which is great efficiency. Even if the Packers do mix in Dillon more, Jones is capable of putting up points on limited work. He did score a touchdown in the receiving game which has become a bigger part of his game. He is on pace for a career-high in targets and is already at his career mark for receptions. he is a great start this week considering the Dolphins’ weak run defense and his usage in the offense. Start him as an RB1.
Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends
Allen Lazard (Start, Flex), Romeo Doubs (Start, Flex), Christian Watson (Start, WR3), Robert Tonyan (Sit, TE2)
The Packers are once again back to their full complement of wide receivers and led by Allen Lazard, at least in terms of snaps. Lazard played on 94% of the team’s Week 15 plays and has only three games this season under 90%. He was held to a quiet day with only two targets and one reception for seven yards. He hasn’t scored since Week 9 and is becoming more of an afterthought to the rookie wideouts on the field. He will probably see coverage from Xavien Howard who rates at 54.1 in coverage on three-receiver sets. The Dolphins as a whole are giving up the fifteenth most points to wide receivers at 34.01. It’s a run-of-the-mill matchup for Lazard but given he has only six games over 50 yards this season he needs a touchdown to be relevant. I’ve got him in the flex range. He is still out there a ton running routes so targets can come his way at any moment. When the Packers run a two-wide receiver set most likely Lazard would draw coverage from Kader Kohou who rates at 70.0 in coverage. For three-wide sets, Kohou would slide to the slot cover spot which has been Randall Cobb.
Christian Watson finally cooled off last week after scoring in the previous four games. Let’s face it, Watson was running at such a high touchdown to reception ratio that there was no way that could continue. He is still playing on over 80% of the team’s snaps and saw six targets. He was able to catch four of them but for only 46 yards. He was one of the team lead in routes run with 31 so there were plenty of opportunities for him to see more work. He has big play potential on every snap. I would expect him to see the lesser of the two cover corners which would be Noah Igbinoghene who rates at 43.5. Watson will probably see a lot of safeties helping out with coverage. The best cover defensive back for the Dolphins is Jevon Holland who rates at 68.9. It could mean another slower week for Watson. You still want that boom probability in your lineup. I think he can be a WR3.
Romeo Doubs returned from injury this past week and played on only 32% of the team’s snaps. He seemed to be held to limited snaps as they work him back in from the injury. It was promising that despite only running ten routes he saw five targets catching all of them for 55 yards. If he can get his snap total back to above 75% like it was before he got injured he could be a solid play week in and week out. I’m willing to flex him this week. When he does get on the field he could pull weaker coverage. Start him as a flex play.
Miami is giving up the third most points to tight ends at 16.03. It’s a great matchup in most cases but the Packers use their tight end very sparingly. Robert Tonyan only has 58 targets on the year which is less the Kyle Pitts who has played four fewer games. He is barely playing over 50% of the team’s snaps and only ran 15 routes last week. He just isn’t a high-value piece of this passing offense. I’m not starting him this week even if he gets into the TE2 range.
Tua Tagovailoa (Start, QB2)
Tua Tagovailoa has had a rough go lately. He faced three really good defenses in a row with the 49ers, Chargers, and Bills. In that stretch, he threw for five touchdowns and two interceptions but failed to get over 300 yards in any of the matchups. He now faces the Packers who are giving up the eleventh fewest points to quarterbacks at 14.59. It’s another tough matchup for Tua who is trying to lead his team into the playoffs. I think you can start Tua but his upside will be capped at the QB2 range. He has only thrown the ball over 35 times once in the past four games. Despite having some talented wide receivers the Dolphins have leaned on the running game more down the stretch.
Raheem Mostert (Start, RB2), Jeff Wilson Jr. (Sit)
Jeff Wilson missed the Week 15 contest against the Bills with a hip injury. The coaching staff has said he was close to playing and consider him day-to-day. I’m no expert but hips seem pretty important to running backs so coming off an injury I’m not sure I want to start Wilson in his first game back. The Packers are giving up the tenth most points to running backs at 24.4 so it is a great matchup. Raheem Mostert has been a very solid back when he has had the backfield mainly to himself so there is no pressure to rush Wilson back. Mostert got 17 carries against the Bills and racked up 136 yards. He did lose the touchdown to Salvon Ahmed. Mostert hasn’t scored since Week 10 but had seen his snaps increase every week along with his carries. Mostert is a fine start as a low-end RB2 this week.
Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends
Tyreek Hill (Start, WR1), Jaylen Waddle (Start, WR2), Mike Gesicki (Sit), Durham Smythe (Sit)
Tyreek Hill continues to be matchup-proof. I was skeptical about him last week against a tough Bills matchup but he still put up nine receptions on thirteen targets for 69 yards and a touchdown. It’s his third week in a row scoring. If he is truly matchup proof he should still be able to get his points and be a WR1 against the likes of Rasul Douglas who rates at 71.7 and Jaire Alexander who rates at 77.6. Even if the Packers slide safety Rudy Ford (81.3) over in coverage Hil’s speed and route running should be enough to get open. Start him as a WR1.
Jaylen Waddle will get whoever isn’t covering Hill. His snaps came down last week to just under 70% but that seems to be the sweet spot for Waddle. He got seven targets and despite only catching three of them he had 114 yards and a touchdown. He and Hill are both tied with seven touchdowns on the season and they both have over 1000 yards receiving. The Dolphins have found a way to support both as top-10 fantasy options and maintain a solid running game. The Packers are giving up the fifth-fewest points to wide receivers this year at 29.26 but they have yet to face a duo like Hill and Waddle. You can start Waddle as a safe WR2 this week
The tight ends in the Dolphins’ offense remain to be nonfactors. Mike Gesicki and Durham Smythe combined had two targets last week and a combined 20 routes. It’s just not a position that rates highly in this offense after Hill and Waddle. The Packers are also giving up the eleventh fewest points to tight ends so it’s not a great matchup even if they were involved. Sit both this week