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Fantasy Football Picks: Ravens vs. Dolphins DraftKings NFL DFS TNF Showdown Strategy

Garion Thorne preps you for Thursday’s 8:20 p.m. ET contest between the Ravens and the Dolphins with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

Indianapolis Colts v Miami Dolphins Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

I’ve been told you should never reveal your biases as a writer, but for anyone who follows me on Twitter — @garionthorne, by the way — you already know I’m a long-suffering Miami Dolphins fan. I bring this up only to say I have a lot of personal experience in how lopsided Miami’s franchise history with the Baltimore Ravens is. The Dolphins have just one regulation victory over the Ravens in their last 12 meetings. Baltimore has outscored Miami 137-16 in the two teams’ last three contests. The last time the Dolphins beat the Ravens? Matt Schaub was starting under center for Baltimore.

Needless to say, I’ll be glued to my TV. Let’s break it all down from a Showdown perspective.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL Showdown $2.25M Thursday Night Millionaire [$1M to 1st + ToC Entry] (BAL vs MIA)




SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Captain’s Picks

Lamar Jackson ($20,700 CP) - This is a hefty price to pay in the Captain’s slot, but there’s a case to be made that Jackson is the most valuable Showdown asset in the league. He’s a one-man offense. Jackson is averaging an eye-popping 0.66 DKFP per drop back so far this season — the highest mark among all QBs who have started at least six games. The reason for this is simple: Jackson is a big-play threat each and every time he touches the football. The former first-round pick leads all quarterbacks with 600 rushing yards, but don’t even begin to start sleeping his ability to attack through the air. In fact, Jackson’s 10.9-yard aDOT is the highest qualified mark in the league, which has translated into the “rush-first” pivot sitting ninth in passing yards entering Week 10 (2,209). Jackson’s already eclipsed 35.0 DKFP in three starts in 2021, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he hangs another huge performance on a Dolphins D/ST ($2,800) that has hemorrhaged fantasy points to opposing QBs.

Jaylen Waddle ($12,300 CP) - Not much has gone right for the Dolphins in 2021 — and it’s very possible they’ll regret trading their 2022 first-round pick to Philadelphia to move up in the Draft — but Jaylen Waddle has been about as good as you could ask for. Coming into Week 10, the rookie’s 56 receptions are the sixth-most of any player in the NFL, while his 43 targets since the beginning of Week 6 are second to only Tyreek Hill among AFC wide receivers. Also, despite his size, it’s Waddle who leads all Miami skill-position players in red zone targets share through nine games (25.0%). As of writing, it’s unclear if Tua Tagovailoa ($10,200; finger) will be able to start this contest; but even if it’s Jacoby Brissett ($9,800) under center, I’d expect the Dolphins to be playing from behind and throwing a lot on Thursday. Volume will not be an issue for Waddle.


Value FLEX Plays

Ravens D/ST ($4,400) - Baltimore’s defense has been underwhelming in 2021, ranking 26th in DVOA across nine weeks of action. Heck, the Ravens have allowed 72 points over their past two games, including 41 against the Bengals back in Week 7. Still, you don’t have to be the Steel Curtain to rack up fantasy points against the Dolphins. Miami has struggled to do much of anything on offense so far this season, sitting 30th in the league in yards per drive (28.7) and 28th in points scored per drive (1.57). The Dolphins have also been prone to turnovers and sacks, thanks to an offensive line that’s conceded the most QB pressures in the NFL by a wide margin. In fact, Miami is one of only three teams averaging over two giveaways per contest this season and, in Brissett’s past three starts, the Dolphins have racked up nine turnovers. It’s ugly stuff.

Durham Smythe ($1,800) - If you’re going to make Jackson’s massive salary fit, you’ll have to take a chance on an asset like Smythe. With DeVante Parker (hamstring) and Will Fuller (finger) on injured reserve, the Dolphins have changed up their personnel packages as of late, deciding to use more 12 personnel instead of leaning on Albert Wilson ($400) or Preston Williams ($200) as a third wideout. In fact, despite leaving Sunday’s win over the Texans in the first quarter with an eye issue, Smythe finished the contest having logged a 60.0% snap share. The Notre Dame product has multiple catches in five of Miami’s past six games and he’s seen as many red zone targets as Mike Gesicki ($7,400) for the season as a whole. It wouldn’t be a total shock if Smythe found the end zone versus the Ravens.


Fades

Myles Gaskin ($9,400) - There are a couple different perspectives to have on Gaskin. On the one hand, the running back is coming out of a week where he registered 20 carries and a 72.0% snap share. He’s also seen 16 targets in the past two games with Brissett starting — which, for my money, is likely what ends up happening on Thursday. On the other, Gaskin is averaging just 34.8 rushing yards per contest in 2021, working behind an offensive line that’s managed to create a paltry 3.44 adjusted line yards per attempt. On top of that, Miami has an implied team total of fewer than 20 points and its mustering an anemic 2.7 red zone scoring drives per game. Gaskin has volume, but it tends to be relatively empty. I’d rather pay down for the services of Devonta Freeman ($6,600), who was clearly Baltimore’s lead back against the Vikings on Sunday.


THE OUTCOME

As I eluded to above, this matchup has been nothing if not one-sided. The Ravens are 6-0 ATS in their past six games in Miami, while the squad is also 9-0 ATS in their last nine contests against the Dolphins overall. That spans a lot of coaches and players that aren’t relevant to Thursday’s festivities, but it reinforces this point: Baltimore is the vastly better team. I’ll roll with Lamar and friends to kick off Week 10.

Final Score: Baltimore 31, Miami 17

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL Showdown $2.25M Thursday Night Millionaire [$1M to 1st + ToC Entry] (BAL vs MIA)


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and customer (my username is theglt13) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.


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