Kickoff: Saturday, December 26th at 8:15 PM ET
Location: Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, NV
Betting Odds: MIA -3.0, 47.5 total via Oddsshark
Network: NFL Network
Tua Tagovailoa (Start, QB2)
The struggles in the passing game continue for Tua Tagovailoa and they have cast a cloud over what has been a successful introduction to the NFL for the former Alabama quarterback. He is nonetheless 5-2 as a starter and has the true dual-threat ability, as shown by his 2 rushing touchdowns against the Patriots in Week 15. The Raiders are in free fall, allowing multiple passing TDs in 5 straight contests. Tua is a solid QB2 this week with a likely upside of scoring on the ground at least once.
Salvon Ahmed (Start, RB2 if Gaskin is inactive), Myles Gaskin (Sit, RB2 if active)
Undrafted free agent Salvon Ahmed‘s 122 yards rushing was the first 100+ yards performance from a Dolphins running back since Kalen Ballage some 31 games prior. The Raiders are dreadful against the run, allowing the 4th most fantasy points to the position this season. The water is now mirky, however, with Myles Gaskin due to return from IR. If both are active then the potential for one to lead the backfield is unlikely. However, if Gaskin is inactive, Ahmed could be a nice RB2 or FLEX start for your fantasy championship.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Devante Parker (Start, WR2 if active), Mike Gesicki (Start, TE1 if active)
One of the main reasons Tua struggled through the air last week was due to the lack of competent bodies in the receiving corps. Without Devante Parker, Mike Gesicki, and Preston Williams, Tua spread the ball around to a host of middling receivers who have been nowhere near the fantasy radar this season – Lynn Bowden, Isaiah Ford, Mack Hollins, and tight end Durham Smythe. Nobody totaled more than 40 yards. Unless Parker or Gesicki is good to go, this set of receivers can be ignored for fantasy purposes.
Las Vegas Raiders
Marcus Mariota (Sit, QB2 if starter), Derek Carr (Doubtful, Sit if active)
The sight of Derek Carr struggling to walk after exiting last week’s loss to the Chargers early in the 1st quarter ruined the chances of many in their fantasy semi-final. The anger and frustration doubled when they saw backup Marcus Mariota put up 26.84 fantasy points mainly thanks to 88 yards and a touchdown on the ground. The Miami defense has been formidable over the season and continues to torment opposition quarterbacks. Carr managed to take reps in practice this week but even if he does start, neither he nor Mariota looks to be a viable option to win your championship game.
Josh Jacobs (Start, RB2), Devontae Booker (Sit), Jalen Richard (Sit)
It wasn’t pretty but Josh Jacobs did come away with his 10th rushing score of the season on his 6th carry inside the Chargers’ 5-yard line. Jacobs has looked more like an RB2 rather than the RB1 that many drafted him as. It will be the same again this week against a Miami defense that has put its offense in a strong position for every win this season. A negative game script early could make Jacobs a risky play in your final.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Nelson Agholor (Sit, FLEX), Henry Ruggs III (Sit, FLEX), Hunter Renfrow (Sit, FLEX), Darren Waller (Start, TE1)
Darren Waller continues to be the focal point of this offense after another monster performance against the Chargers. The change at quarterback did not affect him one bit and Waller is now over 70 fantasy points ahead of the No.3 ranked TE Robert Tonyan. He still trails Travis Kelce by 54 points but he is an elite option this week and will go a long way to helping win your fantasy championship game.
Nelson Agholor was banged up badly in Week 15 after taking a shot to the ribs and dislocating his finger. The Dolphins secondary has been lights out recently and it would take a lot of Agholor, Henry Ruggs, or Hunter Renfrow to be relevant this week. Avoid all if you can.
-Benjamin Haller (@benjaminhaller1 on Twitter)