We roll near the midway point of the season as we enter Week 8 which includes six teams on bye plus another early Sunday game in London in addition to the Thursday, Sunday and Monday night games leaving us with just a nine-game “main” slate on DraftKings. However, despite the short slate there feels like a lot of good spots and matchups that we can exploit in our DFS lineups.
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Note: DVOA referenced in this article stands for Defense-adjusted Value Over Average which is a metric from FootballOutsiders.com.
So, let’s get right to the numbers and analysis…
Baltimore Ravens @ Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins have won three straight games in spite of Jay Cutler thanks to good defensive performances. With Cutler getting injured last week, Matt Moore will take over under center for Dolphins after leading a fourth-quarter comeback against the Jets last week. Despite his heroics last week he will have a difficult task against a strong Ravens’ pass defense that has allowed just 198.6 passing yards (6th) and 1.14 TD passes (5th) per game this season. The most vulnerable part of the Ravens’ pass defense is through the TE position so Julius Thomas could put up his best game of the season, which wouldn’t be difficult since last week’s three catches for 58 yards are his season-highs. The Dolphins running game behind Jay Ajayi could be the best way for the Dolphins to move the ball with the Ravens allowing a league-worst 129.6 yards per game and one rushing score per game over the last five weeks. Ajayi is only averaging 3.5 YPC this season but he is getting the volume with 20+ carries in three straight weeks.
The Ravens have lost four of their last five games after a road loss to the Vikings last week. The entire Ravens’ receiving corp is questionable for Thursday’s game against the Dolphins leaving a lot of questions around who Joe Flacco will be able to pass to. Flacco and the Ravens’ passing game has struggled this season averaging just 175 passing yards and 0.86 TD passes per game this season. So, despite a good matchup against the Dolphins’ 27th DVOA ranked pass defense pinpointing who to target in the passing game will be a mystery until we see the inactives. That said if Jeremy Maclin plays he is the only Ravens’ WR option I would even consider. The running game could be leaned on with so many injuries on the outside but they have a tough matchup against the Dolphins’ 4th DVOA ranked run defense. Yardage will be hard to come by for the split backfield leaving all of them out of play.
- Jeremy Maclin (*)
- Julius Thomas (*)
- Jay Ajayi (*)