Week 16 MNF Showdown: Miami Dolphins at New Orleans Saints

by Matt Babich · Matchups Start/Sit
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Advanced stats and analytics will be utilized to identify favorable matchups and players to avoid. The purpose of this article is to paint a picture of how the teams play and matchup with one another in less than 1,000 words.

As the season continues, less emphasis will be put on last season and early season’s stats. Vegas trends will also be implemented to help predict the game flow. I’ll conclude the article with a Cliff Notes section and give the readers my prediction for the game.

Welcome to the newest edition of Monday Night Showdown. I’ll be guiding you through the important aspects to watch in each Thursday night matchup.

Without further ado, let’s get into this matchup between the Dolphins and the Saints.

Vegas Trends

  • Miami are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Miami’s last 7 games.
  • Miami are 6-0 SU in their last 6 games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 4 of New Orleans’ last 5 games.
  • New Orleans are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games at home.
  • New Orleans are 2-5 SU in their last 7 games.

Miami Dolphins

Tua and The Duke

One of the most consistent fantasy QB’s all season, Tua Tagovailoa is leading this team to an incredible end-of-season push. Currently on a six game win streak, Tua has been proving haters wrong with an 8.0 (No. 1 among qualified quarterbacks) Accuracy Rating and a 74.3-percent (No. 2) True Completion Percentage. He’s been supported by a surprising 87.6-percent (No. 5) Protection Rate. He’s a high end QB2 with upside every week, and should be rolled out tonight.

Say it with me everyone, Duke Johnson is in a workhorse role. Myles Gaskin has been relegated, with Johnson turning 22 carries into 127 total yards and 2 touchdowns. The University of Miami’s all time leading rusher has a solid profile and has always shown the potential to thrive in such a role. The bad news is that the Saints have an elite rushing defense and Johnson hasn’t appeared to have relegated Gaskin in the passing game yet. Still, the Duke is a Flex play at worst while working as the backfield leader.

Dolphins Pass Catchers

Jaylen Waddle took no time to become a PPR monster, gobbling up 86 (No. 8) Receptions and compiling 340 (No. 13) Yards After Catch. His 6.3 (No. 98) Average Target Distance plays a big role in his 110.3-percent (No. 4) True Catch Rate. As long as he continues to see a high target volume, Waddle is a mid level WR2.

Jaylen Waddle Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

DeVante Parker is enduring an injury riddled season, but when he’s on the field he has WR2 potential. Parker only sees a 22.5-percent (No. 22) Target Share and score 13.1 (No. 27) Fantasy Points per Game, but has earned a 32.5-percent (No. 6) Dominator Rating. He’s a big part of this offense without Will Fuller and will continue to see a larger Target Share for the remainder of the year. He’s a WR2 tonight.

The slot WR masquerading as a TE, Mike Gesicki remains in his role as an inconsistent tight end with tremendous upside. With an 18.9-percent (No. 8) Target Share, he sees a healthy amount of opportunities. However, his production with a full supporting cast is inconsistent. He’s again a high end TE2 with the upside to finish as the weeks top scorer at the position.

New Orleans Saints

Alvin and The Rookie QB

Rookie Ian Book is making his first career start, which doesn’t instill much confidence. He was average at Notre Dame, with an 84.0 (85th-percentile) College QBR, but his profile does match with successful journeyman Colt McCoy. This offense has already allowed Trevor Siemian and Taysom Hill to pose as effective throwers, so to say Book will come out with an average or better performance isn’t completely asinine. Nevertheless, he’s likely to drag down the passing game considerably and should be avoided in fantasy.

Ian Book Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Alvin Kamara remains one of the league’s most dynamic running backs, earning 19.7 (No. 5) Weighted Opportunities per Game and scoring 18.8 (No. 4) Fantasy Points per Game. He’s the most involved back in the passing game, with a 20.4-percent (No. 1) Target Share. He’s efficiency through both the ground and the air and is an elite start every week, especially with backup quarterbacks.

A Disappointing Receiving Core

It’s safe to say that Marquez Callaway has not exceeded expectations this season. So far, he’s seen a 16.7-percent Target Share and scored 9.1 (No. 55) Fantasy Points per Game. He’s the best healthy receiver on this team, but production has come few and far between for receivers in this offense in 2021. Playing with Book and lining up against 21st ranked Xavien Howard, Callaway is a desperation WR3 play.

Marquez Callaway Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Not that it really matters much, but Tre’Quan Smith is the team’s WR2. He gathers 4.8 targets per game and does very little with them. He has little potential in this game. Adam Trautman, however, could be in store for a larger role now nearly two weeks removed from his stint with an MCL sprain. While Trautman shouldn’t be rolled out this week, he had showed promise prior to being injured and has the potential to see a high target volume.

Cliff Notes

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Conclusion

The Saints are not a very good team, and are now COVID-ridden. Meanwhile, the Dolphins are on a hot streak as they make their yearly end of season push into mediocrity. The spread is set at 3 points in favor of the Miami Dolphins. While the Saints have a solid defense that can keep them in the game with anyone playing quarterback, the Dolphins are currently the better team and will win easily. Miami will dominate the field position battle and will win by at least a touchdown.

The point total is set at 37 points. Miami plays at a fast pace, while New Orleans prefers to take their time. The defenses are going to be the focal point of the game, and will surely keep the pace of this game contained. However, 37 points is a low total and it’s likely that a lack of Saint’s offensive production leads to a big week for the Dolphins offense. I’m taking the over in this one.

Prediction: Dolphins 23-16