Sunday Night Football DFS Breakdown: Philadelphia vs. Miami

Sunday Night Football DFS Breakdown: Philadelphia vs. Miami

This article is part of our Showdown/Single Game DFS Breakdown series.

It sure feels like a lot of the primetime games in recent years have been real stinkers but, at the risk of jinxing what should be welcome relief, this showdown between the Eagles and Dolphins could/should be one of the more compelling matchups of the 2023 season. Defense might be a bit short in supply, but if a shootout occurs here it will be driven by the strength of the two offenses rather than poor defense. Overall, it seems like strength versus strength, with both passing games looking capable of striking quickly and offense. The Eagles will be looking to get back on track after losing to the Jets last week, with the added drama of quarterback Jalen Hurts looking to beat Tua Tagovailoa after Tagovailoa took the starting quarterback role from Hurts at Alabama. The over/under is 52.5, with the home team Eagles favored by 3.0 points. 

QUARTERBACK

It's a challenging slate in large part because both quarterbacks project for high point totals, and of course both quarterbacks are very expensive. Jalen Hurts ($11400 DK, $17000 FD) is the more expensive of the two due to his ability to add substantial rushing production to game-leading passing numbers, and he gets the easier overall matchup too since the Dolphins defense is nowhere near the level of the Eagles. With that said, Tua Tagovailoa ($10600 DK, $15500 FD) is plenty capable of scoring the most points at quarterback in this matchup, especially since the Dolphins are less likely to find running

It sure feels like a lot of the primetime games in recent years have been real stinkers but, at the risk of jinxing what should be welcome relief, this showdown between the Eagles and Dolphins could/should be one of the more compelling matchups of the 2023 season. Defense might be a bit short in supply, but if a shootout occurs here it will be driven by the strength of the two offenses rather than poor defense. Overall, it seems like strength versus strength, with both passing games looking capable of striking quickly and offense. The Eagles will be looking to get back on track after losing to the Jets last week, with the added drama of quarterback Jalen Hurts looking to beat Tua Tagovailoa after Tagovailoa took the starting quarterback role from Hurts at Alabama. The over/under is 52.5, with the home team Eagles favored by 3.0 points. 

QUARTERBACK

It's a challenging slate in large part because both quarterbacks project for high point totals, and of course both quarterbacks are very expensive. Jalen Hurts ($11400 DK, $17000 FD) is the more expensive of the two due to his ability to add substantial rushing production to game-leading passing numbers, and he gets the easier overall matchup too since the Dolphins defense is nowhere near the level of the Eagles. With that said, Tua Tagovailoa ($10600 DK, $15500 FD) is plenty capable of scoring the most points at quarterback in this matchup, especially since the Dolphins are less likely to find running room against the tough Eagles run defense than the Eagles are against the weak Miami run defense. As much as the Eagles defense is clearly tougher, the Eagles corners can't match Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle – it's possible no defense can.

RUNNING BACK

As much as the passing games might be the headliners in this matchup, the run games are difficult to ignore, too. D'Andre Swift ($8000 DK, $12000 FD) in particular could put up explosive numbers against a weak Miami run defense, though Kenneth Gainwell ($3800 DK, $7500 FD) also tends to approach 30 snaps per week, for some unknown reason. The Miami run defense might be bad enough to make Gainwell vaguely productive as a runner, but that appears to be his only route to production, and his usage has trended downward all year.

Raheem Mostert ($9800 DK, $14000 FD) gets a much tougher matchup than Swift but still enters this game red hot. Mostert has unique big-play ability and can get more mileage than most running backs out of any mistake made by the Eagles run defense. Mostert is a good outside runner, too, and the Eagles are probably more easily beaten on the edge than around the defensive tackles. Jeff Wilson ($200 DK, $8000 FD) should push aside Salvon Ahmed ($4400 DK, $7500 FD) on the depth chart and reestablish himself as the top backup to Mostert.

WIDE RECEIVER + TIGHT END

Picking the pass catchers could be painful in this matchup, because there are so many coveted picks yet so little capital to spend on them. A.J. Brown ($10000 DK, $13500 FD) and Tyreek Hill ($12000 DK, $16500 FD) are dueling headliners, with each of them possessing unusually high projections in this game. The Dolphins corners plainly cannot cover Brown, who heads into this with 127 yards or more in four straight games. The Eagles corners are far more competent than Miami's, but to this point no one has come close to being able to cover Hill, who's on pace for 2,300 receiving yards at the moment. It won't be easy paying for these guys, but understand the implications of fading either could prove crucial.

That's not meant to minimize DeVonta Smith ($7400 DK, $11000 FD) or Dallas Goedert ($6200 DK, $10000 FD) on the Eagles offense, nor Jaylen Waddle ($8600 DK, $11500 FD) on the Dolphins. Any of the three players could prove critically important in the cashing outcomes of this showdown slate, yet it's not easy to budget for any of them, especially when paying up for Brown and/or Hill. The practical reality might be that this slate more than most requires multiple lineups to corner cashing probability, because there are so many combinations that project for high point totals, and closely together.

Your Miami bargain options are cheap for a reason, but there's some potential scattered among them. Braxton Berrios ($2400 DK, $8000 FD) has quietly been productive in 2023, and if the Dolphins are in full-blown catchup mode then Berrios could see more activity than usual. Chase Claypool ($1000 DK, $7000 FD) is a looming complication, but the Dolphins won't put Berrios on the bench for just anyone, because they'd run a real risk of seeing returns decline from the switch. It's not even clear whether Claypool will play ahead of Cedrick Wilson ($200 DK, $6500 FD) or Robbie Chosen ($200 DK, $6000 FD) – they both played ahead of Claypool last week. Tight end Durham Smythe ($1600 DK, $7000 FD) has not caught a pass in two games after catching 11 in the first four.

The cheap Eagles pass catchers are less interesting than the cheap Miami ones. Olamide Zaccheaus ($1400 DK, $7500 FD) has just seven targets on 207 snaps, and it's not clear how the Eagles intend to use the recently signed Julio Jones ($2000 DK, $7000 FD) in his first game. Tight end Jack Stoll ($200 DK, $5500 FD) has only three targets on the year.

KICKER

Jake Elliott ($4800 DK, $9500 FD) missed a 37-yard field goal last week, which was highly unusual for him. Elliott is unlikely to miss any field goals in this game, and he might have the opportunity to kick a few. The Eagles should move the ball often and maybe even easily, making this a good bounce back spot for Elliott. Indeed, Elliott surpassed double-digit fantasy points in all of the five prior weeks.

Jason Sanders ($5200 DK, $9000 FD) is a capable kicker but has not been nearly as productive as Elliott this year. The Dolphins are probably more in need of touchdowns than field goals in a game like this, but for what it's worth Sanders surpassed double-digit fantasy points twice this year.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

No defense projects particularly well in this game, but things look especially bad for the Dolphins ($3200 DK, $8500 FD). They can't really rush the passer, they can't stop the run, they don't have any corners to cover these wideouts. It looks bad, but anything can happen.

The Eagles ($3000 DK, $9000 FD) are far more capable, because they have a strong run defense and pass rush both. The problem is that the Dolphins need much time to strike effectively, and the Eagles corners are not a good trait match against receivers like Hill and Waddle. Tua Tagovailoa hasn't made many mistakes since 2022, so it'd require an out-of-character down game from him for the Eagles defense to project obviously well here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mario Puig
Mario is a Senior Writer at RotoWire who primarily writes and projects for the NFL and college football sections.
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