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Christmas Day DFS Advice: Dolphins, Broncos, Buccaneers Hold Passing Game Advantages

If you are new to DFS, check out our introductory pieces, such as DFS 101, Contest Selection, Stacking, Rostership, Leverage, and Lineup Construction.

Three-game slates should be treated much differently than a full slate of games. Playing certain players against your defense becomes more acceptable, game stacking becomes much more significant, and the decision on chalk has much more weight. The structure of this piece will go game by game, with a player pool at the end.

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Packers vs. Dolphins

Passing Game

Packers

  • The Dolphins have played a lot of Cover 1 and Cover 3 in recent weeks.
  • Aaron Rodgers against Cover 1 and Cover 3 averages eight yards per attempt and has an 11-4 touchdown to interception ratio.
  • Last week Romeo Doubs returned, and the Packers had nine wide receivers run over 20% of the routes, and eight see targets.
  • Against Cover 1 and Cover 3, Doubs has the highest targets per route, while Randall Cobb has the highest yards per route.
  • Allen Lazard ran 97% of the routes last week but was not a top target for Rodgers.
  • The Dolphins will blitz five or more players at one of the higher rates in the NFL.
  • Against the blitz, Christian Watson averages 4.9 yards per route run and has been Rodgers’ top target against it.
  • The running backs don’t get utilized much when teams blitz, and have primarily been check-downs when they take things away deep.

Dolphins

  • The Packers have played a lot of Cover 3 every week, and in games they are winning, they play Cover 4; in games they lose, they play Cover 1.
  • Tua Tagovailoa averages ten yards per attempt against Cover 3, 6.3 yards against Cover 4, and 9.1 yards against Cover 1.
  • If the Packers get the lead, they will be able to slow down the passing attack of the Miami Dolphins.
  • Against the Packers’ primary coverages, Tyreek Hill has a 31% target share and averages 3.9 yards per route, while Jaylen Waddle has a 20.3% target share and averages 2.2 yards per route.
  • Nobody else on the Dolphins has over a 10% target share against these coverages.
  • Hill, Waddle, Trent Sherfield, and Raheem Mostert are the players to run over 40% of the routes against the Bills.
  • Jeff Wilson missed that game due to injury, but I still expect Mostert to handle most of the passing work. 
  • If you are stacking Tua, taking a shot on Mike Gesicki or Durham Smythe with Hill and Waddle is the route I would go to be unique.
  • Gesicki and Smythe run routes from the tight end position and can be targeted near the red zone.

Rushing Attack

Packers

  • The Dolphins have had a strong run defense all year, and I expect that to stay against the Packers.
  • Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon will see work in this game, but I could see it being limited in a negative game script.
  • In three straight weeks, Dillon has had over ten touches, scored a touchdown, and caught three passes.
  • Jones returned to being efficient for the Packers, but they will go to Dillon when he isn’t running well.
  • I don’t see this being the slot to go to for the Packers, even on a weak running back slate.

Dolphins

  • Raheem Mostert has run well in recent weeks, and I expect him to be the lead back against the Packers.
  • Jeff Wilson will take enough of a workload away that we only see 15 touches go to Mostert.
  • The Packers have a weak run defense; this is an area where Miami can have a big game.

Broncos vs. Rams

Passing Game

Broncos

  • If Sutton returns today, I will bump up Wilson with a double stack of he and Jeudy for large field ones. 
  • Against the Rams’ primary coverages, Jeudy averages 1.23 yards per route and Dulcich averages 1.48 yards per route.
  • The Rams have been the second-worst team in the NFL to receivers lined up wide, and Jeudy has played more out wide without Courtland Sutton

Rams

  • I have no interest in Baker Mayfield today.
  • The only wide receivers to like are Van Jefferson and Tutu Atwell.
  • Atwell has been the most explosive player for the Rams, and in the dome, I expect him to make some catches he dropped last week.
  • Tyler Higbee was heavily targeted last week, but I expect them to need him more as a blocker to protect Mayfield.

Rushing Attack

Broncos

  • Latavius Murray has become the workhorse running back for the Broncos.
  • Murray has had 13 or more carries in six of the nine games he’s played for the Broncos.
  • Marlon Mack has been the primary backup to Murray and gets some work in the passing game.
  • The Rams were beaten up in the trenches by the Packers, but I don’t believe the Broncos have the same talent on the offensive line.

Rams

  • Cam Akers has three straight games over ten carries.
  • He has played over 70% of the snaps in two of the last three games.
  • The Broncos do not have a great run defense, but in recent weeks they’ve limited backs to 4.1 yards per carry.
  • Akers will get the volume to be relevant, but to win the slate, he will need to score.

Buccaneers vs. Cardinals

Passing Game

Buccaneers

  • Tom Brady has a matchup that he can take apart, but it’ll be up to his offensive line to hold up.
  • The Cardinals give up the most yards per attempt on passes shorter than ten air yards and are sixth-worst on passes between 10-19 air yards. 
  • Since returning from injury, Chris Godwin has had five or more receptions in every game and eight or more in three of the last four games.
  • Mike Evans has had nine targets in three of the last four games and hasn’t had a 100-yard receiving game since Week 8.
  • The Cardinals play a lot of Cover 3 coverage, and their secondary coverage is Cover 1.
  • Against Cover 3, Evans is the most productive WR for the Buccaneers.
  • Against Cover 1, Russell Gage has the highest target share and targets per route.
  • Monitoring whether or not Julio Jones will be available for the Buccaneers will dictate how much Gage gets used.
  • If Julio does not play, Gage is a perfect tournament play. 
  • I do not have an interest in the Buccaneers’ tight ends because they are in a time share, and if you were stacking Brady, I would prefer Cameron Brate.

Cardinals

  • With Trace McSorley at quarterback and the pricing of these Cardinals wide receivers, I do not have any interest in them.
  • The Buccaneers had most of their secondary missing in the weeks they struggled, and now that they are back, they are playing much better.

Rushing Attack

Buccaneers

  • Leonard Fournette and Rachaad White are at an even split in this backfield. 
  • The Cardinals have allowed over 100 yards rushing to Kenneth Walker, Latavius Murray, and Dalvin Cook.
  • Those running backs needed to handle over 20 carries to get over that number.
  • Neither Fournette nor White will see 20 carries.
  • The Buccaneers’ offensive line has not been able to get the job done all year, and this isn’t a great spot for either running back.

Cardinals

  • James Conner has had over 90% of the workload in recent weeks.
  • With Trace McSorley at quarterback, they are going to lean on Conner to move the ball.
  • The Buccaneers looked like a great run defense against the Bengals, but in this matchup, the volume to Conner can get him enough fantasy points.

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