Thursday Night Football – The Battle for Florida! Dolphins vs Jags! Let’s Cash!

Perhaps it is the glow of such an awesome game between the Browns and the Bengals last week that has carried over, but I’m actually really excited for tonight’s Miami Dolphins Jacksonville Jaguars game! NFL Network is dubbing it FitzMagic vs Minshew Mania but I’d like to think of it as the Battle of Florida! And in any battle there will be a victor and a loser, but a lot of action in between. I think there are fantasy points to be had and where there are fantasy points in DFS, there is cash to come along with ’em. So let’s go get some of it, yah?

I am going take a look at both teams and talk about players I am looking at to play tonight in Single Game Showdown Contests. I will give some thoughts on the names you’d expect and some other ‘dart throws’ that could help you round out a solid lineup. Let’s begin with the Jacksonville Jaguars because, to be honest, there is a lot going on in DUVAAAAALLL!

If you aren’t aboard the Gardner Minshew hype train yet, what are you waiting for? The guy has been simply awesome for Fantasy so far this season and tonight against the Dolphins, I don’t see that changing! Over the last two weeks Garnder has thown a combined 512 yards and 6 Touchdowns! Additionally in weeks 1 & 2 he has run for exactly 19 yards. While he did throw two picks last week against the Titans, he also attempted 45 passes ending the game with a new 67% Completion Percentage. He is also spreading the ball around which keeps defenses off balance Last week against the Titans, Minshew connected with 8 different pass catchers . Tonight he gets a Dolphins Defense who are giving up an average of 440 total yards of offense per game and while the Dolphins have collected 3 sacks so far this season, I also am liking what I am seeing from Minshew’s offensive line enough to play him confidently. My only hesitation here is that the Jaguars could end up running the ball down the Dolphins throat, limiting the passing attack. The Dolphins are averaging over 164 yards per game on the ground after all, but I don’t know. It’s a home game in Duval and I think Minshew Mania will run wild. This is a guy who is trying to prove to his team that they don’t need to draft a QB in 2021, keep in mind. Gardner will cost you $11,000 on DK and $16,000 on FD and he is shaping up to be the highest owned player on the slate tonight. So you will need to differentiate your lineup with who you pair him with. One strategy I am going to employ is to stack him with every most likely Jags pass catcher that I can fit and run it back with Fitzpatrick on the other side of this game who is garnering significantly less ownership. I’ll also have lineups where Minshew is the only Jaguar too which I think many players will not do as they will want to stack Minshew with his receivers. Just trying to be different – you know, like a starting QB with shaggy hair and fu manchu different…

(UPDATE): DJ Chark is out tonight!! Adjust your season long leagues and get ready for some serious value in DFS on the Jags Side of the Ball! However, there is a strong possibility that the Jags go very run heavy in this game without their #1 Receiver. So I am going to temper my enthusiasm for Gardner Minshew, but only slightly.

I would normally follow up a paragraph about a quarterback with that QB’s wide receivers but given the DJ Chark news, I think we need to talk about James Robinson and the Jacksonville run game. James Robinson IS the Jacksonville run game and I have this little tingling Spidey sense or something that tells me he will be very busy agains the Miami Dolphins tonight, especially with DJ Chark not suiting up. In week 1 Robinson had 100% of the Running Back Touches, 17 total including catching a pass. In week 2 against the Titans, James Robinson arrived taking 16 Carries for 102 yards and a score. He was also targeted 4 times and while he didn’t take 100% of the running back snaps for Jacksonville, he did take 94% of them. Against a Dolphins run defense that has allowed 164 yards per game to opposing running backs I could easily see Robinson pushing 20 to 25 touches and 5 targets plus a touchdown and for that he is my 1b choice for Jaguars Captain/MVP, next to my 1a – Minshew. Robinson, for the opportunity before him tonight is a Steal on DK at $7,800 and he certainly has his big boy pants on at FanDuel costing $15,000 (third highest player on the slate). Robinson will be very chalky in tournaments tonight but I would recommend eating that chalk because I think Robinson is going to EAT.

When you talk about the Jaguars running game you need to also mention the curious case of Chris Thompson. Thompson, the long time pass catching back for the Washington Football team came to the Jaguars with many believing he would take on a similar role. With the news of Leonard Fournette being shipped to Tampa Bay, many Fantasy Analyst believed Thompson was the Jags back to own. Well that is before they met James Robinson. Thompson will be a popular play tonight, largely from his name value and his cheap price tag on DK ($2,600). However, I will be underweight. In week 1, Thompson was practically invisible. In Week 2, he fared a little better (6 for 27 and a score) but the Jags were in a shootout against the Titans and his destined role as a pass catcher was needed. I am not so sure that will be the case tonight against the Dolphins. While I will have a small amount of exposure to him in large field mass multi entry tournaments, he just isn’t nearly the priority the Jags Wide Receivers will be for me. On FanDuel Thompson sits at an absurd $9,500 and there is no way that I am going to pay that price hoping for 6 for 27 and a score. If Chris Thompson beats me tonight because I was underweight on him, he beats me. But I will not be on the Thompson train tonight, at least not a lot of it.

With Chark not playing in this game, I think you need to make Laviska Shenault a priority in your DFS Lineups Tonight. Last week against the Titans the versatile rookie was involved not only in the passing game but the run game as well finishing with 8 total touches and 72 total yards. In fact if you could point to one reason that Chris Thompson has been largely minimized in the offense, Shenault lining up in the backfield may be one of those reasons. I could easily see the Jags leaning on Shenault more heavily in the passing game with Chark out and I could see them lining him up out of the backfield too for creative third downs and more. Shenault could be in store for a big game and the opportunity has not caught up to his prices where I think he could be a steal at $6,600 on DK and $7,500 on FD. Prior to the Chark news, Shenault was looking like 25% ownership in lineups. I do expect that number to jump however, so keep that in the back of your mind when building your lineups and find a contrarian play to stack with him.

I also think that both Keelan Cole and Chris Conley become much more interesting plays without Chark on the field. Cole has caught a touchdown in each week so far and is averaging 6 targets per game. I would expect that to go up tonight. Conley also saw 7 targets last week against the Titans and while he did not score, he was targeted in the end zone twice. I prefer Cole to Conley, but without Chark on the field either guy could be in store for a big game, so I’d recommend exposure to both. If you are targeting Gardner Minshew as a Captain/MVP, stacking Shenault Cole and Conley with him still leaves you enough change to grab a quality Miami player too. May be a smart way to attack the suddenly “Charkless” Jags. Both Cole and Conley are steals on DK at $5,400 for Cole and an absurd $2,200 for Conley (given the circumstances). FanDuel may have priced these guys expecting the Chark absence with Cole all the way up at $11,000 and Conley at $6,500.

Also if you find yourself with only $600 left and a space on your lineup tonight on DK, it might be worth taking a shot on Jags receiver Collin Johnson who last week as the WR4 of the team saw 3 targets. Again, with DJ Chark out it opens opportunity and when the Jags go 3 wide Johnson will be out there. He only costs $600 on DK and if you are multi-entering tonight I think he is worth a look. You never know! Remember Gardner Minshew targeted 8 receivers last week. Opportunity knocks, that’s all I’m saying.

Another pass catcher that could be busy tonight is TE Tyler Eifert. Without Chark on the field, targets will open up and last week Eifert turned 6 for 36 and a touchdown. And while long time TE James O’Shaughnessy is still there and did see a target last week, I think Eifert’s nose for the End Zone will put him square in Minshew’s crosshairs. This isn’t to say I will ignore O’Shaughnessy but he fits in more as a mass multi entry play. If you are playing single entry or 3 entry max contests, Eifert is the Jags TE to own. Eifert clocks in at $5,800 on DK and $6,500 on FD. O’Shaughnessy on DK has a big difference in price from Eifert at $1,600 but again I wonder if FanDuel new something we didn’t about more targets being suddenly available, as O’Shaughnessy is only $300 less than Eifert at $5,500. I can’t pay $5,500 for James O’Shaughnessy tonight even given the circumstance so he is a strictly DK play for me too.

And now – it’s Fitzmagic time!

To be honest, I don’t hate the Dolphins tonight to keep this game competitive and that starts with Ryan Fitzpatrick. To be fair, Fitz hasn’t been GREAT this year but he has been good enough when it has mattered and I think being in Prime Time and against an in state rival of sorts, the stars are lining up for a little Magic in the air tonight (just my opinion). A couple things to note. In week 2 against a very good Buffalo defense, Fitz threw for 328 yards and 2 scores and NO PICKS. He also picked up 12 yards on the ground. That is 27.3 Fantasy Points and he will be THROWING A LOT tonight. He sits $800 less than Minshew on DK at $10,200 and a full $1,000 less on FanDuel at $15,000. Last week the Jacksonville Defense sold out to stop Derek Henry and it worked and Ryan Tannehill threw 4 touchdown passes on them. Now I am not saying any Dolphins Running Back strikes fear in the heart of Defensive Coordinators the way Derek Henry does, but the Fins have found lightning in a bottle over the last two weeks with their run game and if the Jags do even half of the job they did against Henry against Gaskin and company – Fitz could be in for a big day. He is a strong play tonight and I think stacking Minshew and Fitz with James Robinson as the Captain and a couple Jags pass catchers may be a way to cash tonight. Just a thought.

So let’s talk about Myles Gaskin. Who’s Myles Gaskin? Oh you know, starting running back for the Miami Dolphins. But wait, didn’t they sign free agents Jordan Howard and Matt Brieda during the offseason? Yes, they did. But Myles Gaskin has not only been the primary rushing weapon for the Dolphins, he has looked dynamic as well. His box scores don’t jump off the page individually but between his rushing touches and targets, Gaskin has had 27 Touches over the first two weeks and 146 total yards. The next closest Dolphins running back in that span is Matt Breida with a total of 13 for 60 yards. I think you can take a shot on Myles Gaskin tonight. Despite what I said above about Fitz, the likelihood is that the Jags will do everything they can to slow Fitz and the passing game down which could open the door for Gaskin to have some nice looks coming out of the backfield. He is the Dolphins back to own tonight on DK at $7,200. On FanDuel while costing $4,000 less than James Robinson, it is a bit of a tough putt for me at $10,000 – but I think you will want to have exposure to Gaskin. He is right now a little under 50% owned across the field tonight, but I expect as the Chark news to get more widely circulated it will only push James Robinson’s ownership up even more and Gaskins down. That makes for a nice sneaky play for me, especially on DK.

If I am playing large field multi-entry tournaments tonight if I have exposure to any other Dolphins back it would be Matt Breida. In week 2 we saw Breida become more involved and that could continue, especially if Gaskin struggles. He is an absolute steal on DK at $1,800 and if he gets in the end zone he will easily pay that price tag off. I do want to at least mention Jordan Howard but mainly because I will be staying away. Howard does seem to be the goal line back for the Dolphins, but I am not sure how many goal line opportunities they will see. If Fitz is slinging it like I think he may be, there may be more Red Zone opportunities for scat backs like Gaskin and Breida than there are goal to go opportunities for Howard and due to that if I had to X one Dolphins back out of my player pool it would be Howard. Like I said about Chris Thompson earlier though, if Howard beats me – he beats me. I just don’t think it will happen though.

Who I will be playing a lot of tonight is Tight End Mike Gesicki though – and why not! Against the Titans last week the big G balled out! 8 for 130 and a score! Did you see the one handed grab by the way? Fitzmagic Loves him some Gesicki and it showed with him seeing 11 targets in Week 2. Tonight we see Gesicki line up against a Jaguars defense that just gave up 84 yards and 2 touchdowns to Jonuu Smith and I think they are ripe for the pickens. Look for Fitzpatrick to get Gesicki going early and often tonight. He is as solid as a lock for me on the Miami side of the ball. $7,400 on DK and $10,500 on FD. Go Go Gesicki!

This brings me to the Dolphins wide receivers: Davante Parker, Preston Williams and my favorite of the bunch – Isaiah Ford (more on that later). 2019 was the breakout year we have been waiting for from Davante Parker and before the season started it was all systems go for that to continue. But it really hasn’t. Week 1 – 4 for 47. Week 2 – 5 for 53. If he hadn’t scored in Week 2, it would have been another bust fantasy week for Parker. Now tonight against the Jags it could be a get right spot for the Dolphins #1 guy and I am going to lean on it being one. I think Parker could have a solid to good game and if he goes off, like we all know he can – it could be a great game. Don’t let the first two weeks fool you. Parker is the #1 Wide Receiver in this offense and if Fitz is slinging’ it like I think he will be, Parker could be in line for a big night under the Prime Time lights of Thursday Night Football. He costs $8,400 on DK and $12,000 on FanDuel.

Then we have the speedy Preston Williams entering his second year. He will be out there. The one thing I will say about Williams is that if Parker hadn’t scored his Touchdown last week, their box scores would look a lot more similar and that is a worry. While I will have some shares of Williams tonight in mass multi entry tournaments, I think I’d rather spend up on Parker or Gesicki. I think most people will do that as well, so Williams will garner low ownership tonight and if he breaks off a solid run after the catch and scores a touchdown, he will be worth it. But he just hasn’t shown me a lot over the first two weeks and so I will likely be underweight. I will not be playing Williams in Single Entry or 3 Entry Max either. There are Jaguar receivers that cost less with more opportunity that I have more of a priority for. He clocks in at $6,800 on DK and $8,000 on FanDuel. Don’t like that FD price at all.

My last Miami WR that I want to mention is Isaiah Ford! Who’s Isaiah Ford? 7 for 76 against Buffalo – that’s who! While Jakeem Grant is also there, I think Ford is a sneaky play tonight for production. He saw 9 Targets last week and while that may have been the Bills playing tight coverage on Parker and Williams, I could easily see Fitz going back to the well tonight with Ford. 9 targets – against the Bill’s? He is my favorite Dolphin receiver tonight mostly due to price, at only $3,000 on DK and $7,000 on FanDuel. Plus as of this writing Ford’s ownership in tournaments is under 10%. Yes – this is a dart throw and it could not work out but If Ford takes 7 for 70 and a score tonight at less than 10% ownership and Williams gives you 6 for 45 at 30% ownership – who do you think will cash for you? I’ll have some exposure to Isaiah Ford.

While I probably will not be playing either Defense tonight, I will have exposure to the Kickers. I think that this game could be a little more high scoring than many seem to think. If that is the case, the Kickers will be busy and Jason Sanders (Miami) is my favorite of the two. However it is very appealing that the Jags’ Brandon Wright is garnering no ownership at all, I see more Field Goal opportunities coming from the Miami side than I do Jacksonville’s. Both are in play for me tonight however, especially if I am mass multi entering. This is strictly a DK Play for me due to pricing though Jason Sanders is $4,200 and Brandon Wright is $3,000. On FanDuel Sanders is $9,000 and Wright is $8,500 and there is no way I am playing either with the options in that same price range (that I mentioned above) available.

Good Luck in your Contests!

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