TNF Fantasy Preview: Miami Dolphins vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

TNF Fantasy Preview: Miami Dolphins vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

by September 24, 2020 1 comment

The first two weeks of the 2020 NFL season are in the books, and we’ve had some entertaining games on Thursday night. Tonight we should get another one as Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Miami Dolphins travel up the state of Florida to take on Gardner Minshew and the Jaguars. This matchup features the old Beard against young Mustache.

Last week we saw a battle between former number one overall draft picks Baker Mayfield and Joe Burrow. Both quarterbacks played well and produced for fantasy owners. However, the story of the game was the running backs, as both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt finished the week as a top-six running back. Some of the recommendations from last week were off, but hopefully this week, I’ll be better. With that said, here is my Week 3 Thursday Night Football Fantasy Preview.

Miami Dolphins

Quarterback – Ryan Fitzpatrick

With both Burrow and Justin Herbert starting last week and playing well, some are pushing for Tua Tagovailoa to take over as the Dolphins’ starter. However, that won’t happen this week. Last week, Fitzpatrick scored 24.3 fantasy points against a good Buffalo Bills defense. Now he faces off against the Jaguars, who have given up an average of 20.8 fantasy points per game to the position. Furthermore, last week the Jaguars gave up 26.8 fantasy points to Ryan Tannehill, including four touchdowns. With plenty of weapons around him, expect Fitzpatrick to produce high-end QB2 numbers against a bad Jaguars’ secondary this week.

Running Back – Myles Gaskin, Jordan Howard, Matt Breida

In the offseason, the Dolphins signed Howard and traded for Breida. So far this season, the duo has combined for 20.2 fantasy points. If not for Howard’s two goal line touchdown, the duo would have scored fewer points this season than Gus Edwards had last week. No way on earth should either sniff your starting lineup, assuming you haven’t dropped them yet.

Instead, Gaskin has been a bright spot for the Dolphins. The 2019 seventh-round pick has been productive despite playing behind a horrible offensive line. He is averaging 5.4 yards per carry and five receptions per game so far this season. He has scored 10.5 or more fantasy points in both games this season despite not reaching the end zone. Somehow, Gaskin is owned in just 31.4 percent of ESPN leagues. If you need a running back to hold you over till Christian McCaffrey returns, see if Gaskin is available. Expect Gaskin to put up low end RB2 numbers this week against a Jaguars unit that has given up 30.4 fantasy points per game to the position so far this season.

Wide Receiver – DeVante Parker, Preston Williams

At the time of writing, Parker was questionable to play with a hamstring injury and was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday. However, Parker played with the injury last week against the Bills and scored 16.3 fantasy points. He caught five of his eight targets for 53 yards and scored his first touchdown of the season. C.J. Henderson has played well for the Jaguars so far this season, but Parker should have the advantage over him. Last week the Jaguars gave up a touchdown and 12.6 fantasy points to Corey Davis. Assuming Parker plays, fantasy owners should expect high-end WR3 production from Parker, including a touchdown.

Before tearing his ACL last season, Williams was playing well, averaging about 11 fantasy points per game in PPR scoring. However, despite leading the team in snaps played, Williams has scored a total of 11.7 fantasy points per game this season. He has caught just three of his 12 targets this season for 67 yards and has yet to find the end zone. Meanwhile, the Jaguars have done a solid job against wide receivers this season, giving up an average of 32.1 fantasy points per game. Williams’ fantasy owners need to bench him this week as he has given you no reason to trust him. Furthermore, if he puts up another stinker performance, it’s time to drop him.

*** UPDATE: Chark has been ruled out for tonight’s game with a chest/back injury ***

Tight End – Mike Gesicki

After a tough matchup in Week 1 against the New England Patriots, Gesicki blew up last week against the Bills. He caught eight of 11 targets for 130 yards, a touchdown, and scored 27 fantasy points. Now this week, he faces a Jaguars defense that has given up the third-most points to the position so far this season. Last week, the Jaguars gave up 32.9 fantasy points to the Titans’ tight ends, including two touchdowns and over 120 yards.

Meanwhile, Gesicki leads the team in targets with 16 and catches with 11. Fitzpatrick has an eye for Gesicki, and he has a great matchup tonight. For DFS players, he is $7,400 in the flex spot or $11,100 in the Captain spot on DraftKings, either way, Gesicki needs to be in your DFS lineups. Gesicki has such a great matchup that he should put up a top-five finish this week and has a real shot to finish the week as the top overall scoring tight end.

Defense/Special Teams

While the defense was expected to be much improved this season, it has struggled to date. The Dolphins D/ST has scored negative fantasy points this season and is giving up an average of 26 points per game. They have just one turnover and three sacks on the season. They are also dealing with injuries to several players, including Byron Jones (groin), who is out for tonight’s game. Meanwhile, opposing D/STs have scored a total of six fantasy points against the Jaguars this season. Avoid the Dolphins D/ST until further notice.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Quarterback – Gardner Minshew

Minshew has been on fire to start the year, averaging 22.1 fantasy points per game. Currently, he is the QB11 on the season while completing 75.4 percent of his passes, throwing for 512 yards, six touchdowns, and just two turnovers. Minshew has the Jaguars’ offense running on all cylinders, and he has a good matchup tonight. The Dolphins have given up the second-most fantasy points to the quarterback position so far this season. Over their first two games, the Dolphins have given up a total of 60.2 fantasy points and six total touchdowns to quarterbacks. With Jones out tonight, expect Minshew to target his replacement over and over again. Given the matchup and his success so far this season, Minshew is a low end QB1 this week.

Running Back – James Robinson, Chris Thompson

What a late-round steal Robinson was as he is currently the RB14 on the season. The undrafted free agent rookie out of Illinois State is averaging 5.1 yards per carry and 15.5 fantasy points per game. Robinson has accounted for 94 percent of the rushing attempts and 81.8 percent of total touches by the Jaguars’ running backs. Meanwhile, the Dolphins have been killed on the ground. Not only did they give up 75 yards and two touchdowns to Cam Newton in Week 1, but they have given up an average of 106 rushing yards per game to running backs. Assuming Robinson gets the 16 carries per game he’s gotten so far this season, he is a safe floor mid RB2.

After Leonard Fournette was released, Thompson was a hot name among fantasy experts because of his expected pass catching role. However, he has just one more target than Robinson does this season. He is averaging 7.1 fantasy points, and if not for the touchdown he had last week, Thompson would be averaging under five fantasy points per game. Unless you are in a super deep PPR league, Thompson shouldn’t be on your roster, let alone in your lineup. However, on DraftKings, Thompson is just $2,600 and worth a dart throw. He probably needs to find the end zone tonight to return a positive value, but at that price, it’s worth the risk.

Wide Receiver – DJ Chark, Laviska Shenault, Keelan Cole

Surprisingly, both Shenault and Cole are owned in under 22 percent of ESPN leagues. Yet, both have outperformed Chark so far this season. Cole is averaging 17.8 fantasy points per game while Shenault and Chark are averaging 12. However, tonight’s game likely won’t provide fantasy owners a clearer picture of how this wide receiver trio should playout for the rest of the season. The Dolphins will be without Jones tonight and if Xavien Howard shadows Chark, expect Minshew to look elsewhere. To make matters worse, Chark didn’t practice yesterday due to a chest/back injury and, at the time of writing, was questionable for tonight’s game.

So far this season, Chark is leading the trio in snaps with 101 out of 125. Meanwhile, Cole is second with 84, and Shenault has played 74. However, Cole is leading the trio is targets with 12, while Shenault has eight, and Chark has just seven. Given the likely matchup with Howard, the lack of targets, and the injury concerns, fantasy owners should view Chark as a risky mid WR3 this week. Of the trio, Cole seems like the safest to play, but Shenault offers more upside because of his rushing ability. Both Cole and Shenault are WR3s this week with safer floors than Chark. Avoid starting any of the three this week if you have comparable options.

Tight End – Tyler Eifert

Eifert had a disappointing Week 1, catching his only target for eight yards. However, last week, the Jaguars got him more involved, throwing six targets his way. Eifert caught three of them for 36 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile, the Dolphins have given up a total of 6.3 fantasy points to tight ends this season. However, that number is misleading as they have faced the Patriots and the Bills. The Patriots have no good tight ends, while Dawson Knox played just 36 percent of the snaps because of a concussion. Even so, Eifert is currently TE22, and unless you play in a larger two tight end league, he shouldn’t be in your lineup. Furthermore, at his $5,800 price on DraftKings, DFS players are better off saving $400 and selecting Cole instead.

Defense/Special Teams

We all knew the Jaguars’ defense was going to take a big step back after they traded away almost all of their star players. So far this season, they have scored a total of one fantasy point. They have just two sacks and two turnovers this season while giving up an average of 26.5 points per game. While the opposing D/STs have scored an average of 5.5 fantasy points per game against the Dolphins this season, that number is misleading. In Week 1, the Patriots scored 12 fantasy points as they had three interceptions. However, last week, the Bills scored negative one fantasy point despite three sacks. The Jaguars’ defense is nowhere near as good as either the Patriots or the Bills. Stay far, far away from the Jaguars D/ST.

Recap

Fitzpatrick: High end QB2

Gaskin: Low end RB2

Howard: Avoid

Breida: Avoid

Parker: High end WR3

Williams: Avoid

Gesicki: Top five option

Dolphins D/ST: Avoid

Minshew: Low end QB1

Robinson: Mid RB2

Thompson: DFS only

Chark: Risky mid WR3

Shenault: Safe floor WR3

Cole: Safe floor WR3

Eifert: Avoid

Jaguars D/ST: Avoid


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Mike Fanelli is the Editor in Chief and fantasy football expert for Prime Time Sports Talk since 2018. He is a featured writer for FantasyPros. Follow him on Twitter @Mike_NFL2 and reach out anytime with any fantasy football questions.

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