Kickoff: Sunday, November 8th at 4:25 PM ET
Location: State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ
Betting Odds: ARI -5, 48 total via Oddsshark
Tua Tagovailoa (Sit)
Arizona’s defense has been decent against the pass this season, having allowed the 18th most fantasy points to opposing QBs. If this were Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, I’d label him a high-end QB2… but it’s not. Tua Tagovailoa made his first career start last week and it was unimpressive at best. He was frequently under pressure, something you’re going to face when you’re playing Aaron Donald and the Rams, and he generally looked uncomfortable while making some bad throws. The stats weren’t great, but let’s just chalk that up to first-time jitters. Arizona’s 19 sacks on the season are tied for 10th most in the league, so they’re not the Rams but they’re also no chumps. Tua should have a bit more time to get the ball downfield in this one, but I wouldn’t bank on a big performance. In fact, I think it’s going to be more of the same in his second career start. Unless your choice is between Tua or Cooper Rush, I’d be benching Tua this week.
Myles Gaskin (Sit), Matt Breida (Sit), Jordan Howard (Sit), Patrick Laird (Sit)
So Myles Gaskin is out for the next three weeks with a knee injury. That means it’s Matt Breida SZN, right? Not so fast my friend… Brieda didn’t practice on Wednesday due to a hamstring injury, and his status for this week is up in the air. Who’s next on the depth chart? Well, Jordan Howard has the third most carries on the team with 14, but he hasn’t done a thing all year. We’re just going to blindly slot him into our lineups based solely on projected opportunities? Nah, I’m not. If Brieda ends up playing I would maybe consider him as a Flex option, but that’s about it. This offense may struggle once again in Week 9.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
DeVante Parker (Start, WR3), Preston Williams (Sit, Flex), Mike Gesicki (Sit)
DeVante Parker was targeted only twice last week, and thankfully for the Dolphins, their defense did most of the work so they didn’t need to air it out to Parker very often. The defense isn’t good enough to be relied upon week in and week out, so Parker and Tua will need to get on the same page sooner rather than later if the Dolphins want to continue competing every week. As I mentioned earlier, Arizona’s defense isn’t the pushover it was last year, so Tua will need to make some plays if the offense is going to score. That means Parker has to get involved, and I’m willing to bet he’ll get more than two targets this week. Start him if you’ve got him and hope for the best.
Preston Williams led the team with five targets last week, catching two of them and converting one into a score. I don’t like what I saw out of Tua, and as much as I love Williams I just can’t find myself recommending more than one receiver in this offense. You could probably do worse, but he’s a Flex play at best.
Speaking of guys I love, I’ve repeatedly been banging the Mike Gesicki drum week in and week out despite subpar performances every time. The Dolphins traded Isaiah Ford this week, which should open up more opportunities for Gesicki in the slot, but Ford hasn’t produced anything either so no guarantee will lead to more success for ol’ Mikey G. Arizona was terrible against TEs last season but they’ve been much, much better this year, so the matchup isn’t even that great. Sit Gesicki.
Kyler Murray (Start, QB1)
Don’t overthink this one. Yes, Miami’s defense looked good in Week 8 and is a much better squad than they were last year, but Kyler is still capable of special things and all it takes is one or two big plays for him to put up QB1 numbers. That’s not always a given, but it happens more often than not and Miami still isn’t the 2000 Ravens all of a sudden. Start Kyler with confidence.
Chase Edmonds (Start, RB2), Kenyan Drake (Sit)
It appears that Kenyan Drake‘s injury isn’t as severe as once thought, but it’s still unlikely that he’ll play in this one. That means it’s officially Chase Edmonds SZN, and boy am I excited about that. Miami is allowing 26.3 PPR points per game to opposing RBs, and if Edmonds is the lead dawg on the ground in this one he should cruise to 20+ points against this defense. Averaging five targets and just over four catches per game, his passing game usage should give him a solid floor even if Miami’s defense is more stingy than usual. I love Edmonds in this matchup.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
DeAndre Hopkins (Start, WR1), Christian Kirk (Start, WR3), Larry Fitzgerald (Sit), Andy Isabella (Sit)
Don’t get cute – start DeAndre Hopkins this week. Miami’s defense isn’t the worst in the league this year, but they have still allowed the 12th most fantasy points to opposing WRs. Hopkins will get his points and should put up yet another WR1 week.
When it comes to Christian Kirk, he’s obviously struggled so far this season but he does have four TDs in his last three games to go along with 12 receptions on 18 targets. The matchup is good, and his four red-zone TDs this season is tied for sixth in the NFL. He should be a decent WR3/Flex option this week with some upside.
Larry Fitzgerald has also been getting targets in the last few weeks, but it’s all been empty yardage as he hasn’t found the end zone yet. There’s certainly a chance he could in this good matchup, but I wouldn’t bank on it. He’s the fourth option in this offense behind Hopkins, Edmonds, and Kirk, and that also should tell you not to bother with Andy Isabella either.
-Ben Brown (@FelixTheDog23 on Twitter, iamatechnician on Reddit)