Dolphins @ Buccaneers
Final Score: Buccaneers 45, Dolphins 17
Writer: Matthew Cava (@cavaM_ Twitter & Reddit)
This certainly was not QB Tom Brady’s first rodeo against the Miami Dolphins, and the years of familiarity – especially with HC Brian Flores – paid off swimmingly. So much so, that Brady was pulled with seven minutes left in the game and spelled by backup Blaine Gabbert. You can argue that there was some stat-padding late in the contest, but fantasy players will rejoice no matter when in the game it goes down; no one is going to turn down five passing touchdowns from Brady. Box score aside, if you started Dolphins RB Myles Gaskin after being burned by him last week, you were rewarded greatly for sticking by him. How did this game shake out for your fantasy team? Did Brady’s big day set the tone for the rest of the weekend? Let’s dive into what we saw:
Jacoby Brissett: 27/39, 275 yards, 2 TD, INT, 3 sacks, Fumble (Lost)
It was quite literally an up and down day for Jacoby Brissett, as he was carted off with a hamstring injury in the 1st. His backup Reid Sinnett was gearing up to enter the game, but then Brissett was carted back onto the sideline in the early second quarter, where he re-entered and finished the game. There wasn’t much to show for the Dolphins offense, with Brissett turning the ball over twice and both of his touchdown passes were to Gaskin. After the loss, Brissett spoke to the media, laying out positive sentiments and the belief that Miami is trending in a good direction, despite the 1-4 record:
“Contrary to what you guys think we are getting better,” Dolphins QB Jacoby Brissett said. “and as the season goes on you just continue to build.”
— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) October 10, 2021
With Tua Tagovailoa set to be eligible to come off the IR next week against the Jaguars, one would think if he’s ready to go, this was Brissett’s last week starting.
Myles Gaskin: 5 carries, 25 yards | 10 targets, 10 receptions, 74 yards, 2 TD
Salvon Ahmed: 2 carries, 5 yards | 3 targets, 2 receptions, 16 yards
Last week, Gaskin carried the ball two times for just three yards. Many of us likely faded him this week, especially going up against a Buccaneers defense that was allowing the seventh-fewest fantasy points to RBs on the season entering the game. Well, they technically did stop him on the ground, to the tune of five carries for just 25 yards. It was through the air that Tampa Bay had no answers for him; Gaskin caught all 10 of his targets for 74 yards and two touchdowns. In a PPR league – if you stuck by him of course – you were very happy with the commitment. Salvon Ahmed was a non-factor as he has been, as it remains Gaskin’s backfield, and he’ll continue to be treated as a weekly RB2.
Jacoby Brissett to Myles Gaskin for a Dolphins lead. pic.twitter.com/D8vI9WbmsS
— Justin Groc (@justgroc) October 10, 2021
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Preston Williams: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 60 yards | 1 carry, 7 yards
Mike Gesicki: 7 targets, 4 receptions, 43 yards
Jaylen Waddle: 6 targets, 2 receptions, 31 yards | 1 carry, 2 yards
Adam Shaheen: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 15 yards
Durham Smythe: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 23 yards
Mack Hollins: 2 targets, 1 reception, 10 yards
Admittedly, when we found out DeVante Parker was inactive with a hamstring injury, I was bracing for a big Jaylen Waddle day. Instead, we saw tight end Mike Gesicki and wide receiver Preston Williams lead the charge. Williams led all WRs and TEs with 60 yards, whereas Gesicki led both sides of the ball with seven targets. Waddle caught two of six for just 31 yards. The outlier here is most players likely only roster Waddle or Gesicki, and the ROI was not great today for either; Gesicki posted 8.30 points in full-PPR formats, and Waddle just 5.30.
You’ll still look to continue starting Gesicki because the TE landscape is just so poor, but you may be hesitant on inserting Waddle into your lineup until he strings together games with a consistent target share and catch ratio.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tom Brady: 30/41, 411 yards, 5 TD, 2 sacks | 1 carry, 13 yards
Blaine Gabbert: 4/4, 41 yards | 3 carries, -1 yard
Brady had a day against the Dolphins, finishing with a rating of 144.4. With 411 yards through the air, and five touchdown passes to three different players, he distributed the ball to 10 different players in his 30 completions. He’s thrown for four-plus touchdowns three times through the first five weeks of the season.
While it may not be much to do with anything, Brady had his right hand wrapped up during his post-game press conference. He joked with reporters, but it is worth (irrationally speculating) on with the Bucs facing the Eagles in just four days on Thursday Night football. Assuming it’s a non-issue, Brady will remain a locked-in QB1 against Philadelphia in Week 6.
Tom Brady’s right hand is wrapped up. Called it a “football injury” and said in his younger days he wouldn’t have let us see it wrapped. “Now I don’t care as much.” pic.twitter.com/kMVhfhKM57
— Rob Maaddi (@RobMaaddi) October 10, 2021
Tom Brady: Dual-threat QB
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 10, 2021
TOM. BRADY. 5 TOUCHDOWNS.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 10, 2021
Tom Brady 20+ air yard passes from his historic 411 yard 5 touchdown day pic.twitter.com/yk6xQQquoP
— 🎃 Spurs Legacy 🦦 (@spurs_four) October 10, 2021
Leonard Fournette: 12 carries, 67 yards, TD | 5 targets, 4 receptions, 43 yards
Giovani Bernard: 4 carries, 21 yards | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 14 yards, TD
Ronald Jones II: 5 carries, 21 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 15 yards
The Tampa By backfield is surely looking as if it belongs to Leonard Fournette these days. Against Miami, Lombardi Lenny turned 12 carries into 67 yards and a touchdown, to go along with four receptions on five targets for 43. Ronald Jones II may have out-carried Giovani Bernard 5:4, but they finished with the same 21 rushing yards, and Bernard had one more reception (2:1) that went for a touchdown. Jones II has certainly taken a backseat on the side of carries per game. As @dwainmcfarland implied, Fournette is the back you’ll want to deploy on a weekly basis as a solid RB2 in an offense with plenty of mouths to feed on the receiving end.
Leonard Fournette retained the two-minute offense snaps despite the return of Giovani Bernard.
Could just be letting Bernard ease back in, but if Fournette keeps those snaps long-term, that is a plus.
Also handled 59% of long-down-distance snaps.#TBvsMIA
— Context Matters (@dwainmcfarland) October 10, 2021
Bernard looks like he can retain fantasy relevancy in PPR formats as the season progresses. RoJo may be a fade if you haven’t yet already.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Mike Evans: 8 targets, 6 receptions, 114 yards, 2 TD
Antonio Brown: 8 targets, 7 receptions, 124 yards, 2 TD
Chris Godwin: 11 targets, 7 receptions, 70 yards
Tyler Johnson: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 42 yards
O.J. Howard: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 19 yards
Cameron Brate: 1 target, 1 reception, 12 yards
Let’s break down the busy receiving tree from this game. Antonio Brown had the biggest day, with two touchdowns and 124 yards on seven receptions. It was a historic one for Brown as well, as he reached the 900 career reception mark in record time by six games to Colts legend Marvin Harrison on his first catch of the day. Brown has been a favorable option for Brady and remains as the priority deep-threat for TB12. Consider him a strong WR3 with WR2 upside.
Antonio Brown just reached 900 career receptions. He's the fastest player in NFL history to reach that milestone.
Antonio Brown: 143 games
Marvin Harrison: 149 games pic.twitter.com/RpBvEKZ9t8
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) October 10, 2021
Tom Brady with a 62-yard touchdown to Antonio Brown.
Brown became the fastest player to catch 900 passes earlier in this game, did it in 143 games. Marvin Harrison did it in 149.pic.twitter.com/9LK36lkhOr
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) October 10, 2021
Chris Godwin had a team-high 11 targets, turning that into seven catches for 70 yards. He hasn’t scored since Week 2 but he remains a strong WR2 option. Mike Evans was the other receive to score twice today next to AB, and his production came rather late in the game when it was (getting) out of reach for the Dolphins. It was his second two-score game of the season, and he’ll continue to project as weekly WR1 going forward.
For the tight ends not named Rob Gronkowski, who was out again with a plethora of injuries, there wasn’t much to be seen. Cameron Brate, a popular waiver wire add this week, had just one target and reception for 12 yards. O.J. Howard had two receptions on three targets for 19 yards. As long as Gronk remains out, it doesn’t appear that Brate nor Howard are worthy of a TE stream if you’re in a bind.
— Matthew Cava (@cavaM_ Twitter & Reddit)