Even if you don’t usually play DFS showdowns, you might want to enter a lineup tonight. Otherwise, why are you bothering watching the Miami Dolphins in primetime? They’re certainly not trying to earn your attention.
We do have some key players returning to health this week. Pittsburgh gets QB Mason Rudolph (concussion), WR James Washington (shoulder) and RB Jaylen Samuels (knee) back after all missed the Week 6 win over the Chargers -- before the bye.
On the Miami side, maybe we see more of WR Albert Wilson. He played 39% and then just 23% of the snaps his past 2 games after hip and calf issues allowed him only limited practices throughout each week. Wilson put in a full week of practices this time around, though.
Regardless of how much time he spends on the field, Wilson won’t play any snaps with RB Kenyan Drake. He still shows up on the slate, but Miami has traded him to the Cardinals.
Let’s see who are the top values in his wake …
You have to play at least 1 player from each team in these things. So how about a cheap Dolphin who has seen a target on 23.1% of his snaps played this season. Compare that rate for Wilson with 14.5% for Preston Williams and 11.4% for DeVante Parker, the team’s top 2 in total targets. Wilson also faces a positive matchup. Pittsburgh slot CB Mike Hilton has allowed 2.73 yards per route covered this season, according to Pro Football Focus. That ranked 3rd-highest among all starting CBs entering the week.
If you’re looking for cheap roster filler, Dolphins WR Allen Hurns sits at the $200 minimum despite catching 3 balls for 53 yards in last week’s loss at Buffalo. Hurns didn’t merit a projection because we expect his playing time to fall with Wilson healthier and likely to play more, thus Hurns didn’t really factor into Week 8 fantasy decision making. But HC Brian Flores has called Hurms 1 of the most dependable players on the roster, any anything we can get from a $200 player is nice.
Here’s how Football Outsiders rates Miami in coverage vs. specific positions:
“Other” WRs: 22nd
James Conner arrives as the pretty obvious top option among non-QBs, and you’ll have to pay up for it. Jaylen Samuels looks usable in the same lineup as Conner, though he presents some risk. Despite putting in full practices all week, Samuels heads into the night questionable. Even if he’s active, an early lead could motivate the Steelers to hold him out, less than a month beyond his knee operation. If Samuels does turn up active, he’d obviously make Benny Snell tough to play.
McDonald, on the other hand, pops as an easy value in the face of at least as good a matchup as everyone else gets. McDonald spent 53.8% of his snaps run-blocking last time out, his highest rate of the season by a long shot. His previous 4 games looked like this …
With Mason Rudolph back and the Steelers at home instead of Devlin Hodges making his 1st NFL start on the road, we should probably see a lot more of McDonald as a receiver and less blocking.