Last updated: November 20th at 5:41pm ET.
Team Totals: Browns 27.5, Dolphins 16.5
Suspensions to difference-making Browns DLs Myles Garrett and Larry Ogunjobi stemming from last Thursday night’s on-field brawl on top of DE Olivier Vernon’s (knee) continued absence and SS Morgan Burnett’s Achilles’ tear ease Miami’s Week 12 offensive matchup enough that Ryan Fitzpatrick is a fine two-quarterback-league play with mild streaming appeal. Cleveland’s ability to create pressure figures to be minimized by what amounts to a second-string defensive line, while the Browns’ offense should not struggle to score points against the Dolphins’ defense, giving this game high-scoring possibilities. Fitzpatrick has accounted for multiple TDs and/or exceeded 300 yards in four of his last five starts. … Despite extreme ineffectiveness, Kalen Ballage maintained Miami’s Week 11 lead-back role with 14 touches on 77% of the Dolphins’ offensive snaps, even as Patrick Laird severely outplayed him, gaining 58 yards on seven touches including six receptions. Laird’s playing time did improve to 23% from 11% the week prior, also running 13 routes. Even before losing Garrett and Ogunjobi up front, the Browns were clocked for 212/1,006/5 (4.75 YPC) rushing and 144.8 total yards per game by enemy backs. This is the rare occasion to support Ballage as an opportunity- and matchup-based flex option. Laird is a PPR-specific Hail Mary flex in deep leagues.
Fitz’s 2019 target distribution: DeVante Parker 56; Mike Gesicki 33; Allen Hurns 22; Albert Wilson 21; Ballage and Jakeem Grant 18; Laird 8. … Albeit with the majority of Parker’s production occurring in garbage time of last week’s 37-20 loss to Buffalo – he had just two catches at the half – Parker continued to assert himself as fantasy’s most-undervalued player with 135 yards on ten targets in an imposing one-on-one battle with Tre’Davious White. Parker now has 55-plus yards and/or a touchdown in 9-of-10 games, showing legitimate consistency with matchup-proof moments. Even as perimeter CBs Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams represent the strength of Cleveland’s defense, Parker has earned upside WR3 treatment ranked top 15 in the NFL in Air Yards (973). … Gesicki’s Week 11 was disastrous – he dropped one ball and managed 18 scoreless yards on six targets – but his participation was legitimately elite with career highs in snaps (86%) and routes run (51) against the Bills. Allowing the NFL’s 11th-most fantasy points to tight ends, the Browns pose a softer matchup, especially without SS Burnett. Gesicki is a boom-bust streamer whose outlook is enhanced as Week 12’s No. 4 buy-low player in Josh Hermsmeyer’s Air Yards Model. … Hurns hasn’t cleared 53 yards all year, but he has taken over as Miami’s No. 2 wideout in Preston Williams’ (ACL) absence after playing 87% of last week’s snaps. Wilson is now manning the slot but only in a part-time role. Wilson and Grant are sharing third-receiver playing time.
Winners of two straight, the Browns maintained their two-back offense in last Thursday night’s victory over Pittsburgh with Kareem Hunt handling double-digit touches for the second consecutive week and Nick Chubb clearing 17 touches for the tenth straight. With 17 targets to Chubb’s 5 in Weeks 10-11, however, Hunt is cutting into Chubb’s critical receiving-game work from a fantasy perspective. The good Week 12 news is Chubb sets up as a two-score home-favorite workhorse versus Miami, which enemy backs have clocked for league highs in touches (32.1) and rushing yards (128.7) per game. While Chubb’s RB1 stock remains intact, Hunt has earned PPR-friendly RB2/flex value on consecutive touch counts of 11 and 12. … Baker Mayfield showed signs of positive fantasy life against an imposing Steelers defense, logging Week 11’s QB9 score and absorbing just one sack on three quarterback hits versus Pittsburgh’s previously on-fire pass rush. A top-15 fantasy passer in four of his last five starts, Mayfield is a Week 12 breakout candidate against the Dolphins’ leaky defense. Only six teams are surrendering more fantasy points per game to quarterbacks than Miami, which Josh Allen lit up for Week 11’s overall QB1 score.
Mayfield’s Weeks 10-11 target distribution: Odell Beckham 22; Hunt and Jarvis Landry 17; Chubb 5; Demetrius Harris and KhaDarel Hodge 2; Rashard Higgins 1. … Ruled down at the one-yard line on last week’s opening drive, OBJ’s positive-touchdown regression remains inevitable with a single score on the year. Even as Beckham’s 2019 results have underwhelmed, this is the kind of spot where that could turn on its head. OBJ is averaging 9.2 targets over his last five games, and the Fins don’t have a defensive back capable of keeping pace with him. Fellow speed-burner No. 1 WR John Brown ethered Miami for a season-best 9/137/2 line in Week 11. … This is a revenge spot for ex-Dolphin Landry, who has been Cleveland’s most-reliable pass catcher with 65-plus yards and/or a touchdown in six of his last seven games. Particularly with Mayfield and Beckham struggling to find the same page, Landry has earned every-week WR2 treatment on bankable week-to-week production. … Higgins operated as the Browns’ No. 3 wideout against Pittsburgh but drew zero targets after catching Week 10’s game-winning score. … Njoku (wrist) has an outside shot to return against the Dolphins but could be placed on a snap count. Njoku hasn’t played since Week 2. Harris and Ricky Seals-Jones have stood in as Cleveland’s primary tight ends in Njoku’s absence.
Score Prediction: Browns 27, Dolphins 20