Last updated: December 12th at 11:15pm ET
Team Totals: Giants 24.5, Dolphins 21.5
After flopping as one of Week 14’s most-popular streamers and DFS-tournament plays, Ryan Fitzpatrick is dealt a weaker hand at The Meadowlands with DeVante Parker (concussion) and Albert Wilson (concussion) looking unlikely to play and Allen Hurns (ankle/knee) debilitated by multiple lower-leg injuries. While Fitzpatrick’s YOLO style keeps him two-QB-league playable, the Giants’ D/ST looks like a preferable one-for-one streamer. 11-of-13 defenses (85%) to face the Dolphins have banked top-12 fantasy results. … Operating as Miami’s clear-cut lead back in last week’s loss to the Jets, Patrick Laird held his own with 86 yards on 19 touches, playing 82% of the Dolphins’ offensive snaps compared to Myles Gaskin’s measly 18% playing-time clip. De’Lance Turner didn’t play at all. As Laird dabbled at wide receiver in college and has drawn five-plus targets in three of Miami’s last four games, it’s notable that the Giants are allowing the NFL’s 11th-most catches (5.6) and receiving yards (46.2) per game to enemy backs. Laird is an underrated, PPR-specific flex play with a good chance to catch five-plus balls.
Assuming Parker and Wilson sit, Hurns and Isaiah Ford will be Miami’s likeliest candidates for wideout snaps with Mack Hollins and Trevor Davis behind them. Due to Hurns’ shaky health, Ford looks like Week 15’s best bet for box-score production after leading the Dolphins in Week 14 targets (9) and receiving (6/92/0). Only three teams have allowed more fantasy points to wide receivers than the G-Men. Virginia Tech’s all-time leading receiver, Ford is a quicker-than-fast short to intermediate weapon who flashed Marvin Jonesian skills on college tape before spending the last two-plus seasons toiling on Miami’s practice squad. Ford and Hurns are both WR4/flex options with punt-play DFS appeal. … The highest-ceiling pass-catcher play on the Fins is still arguably frustratingly inconsistent Mike Gesicki, who has topped 75 yards twice in the last month in a half but finished under 30 yards in each of the other four games. Gesicki still ranks No. 4 among tight ends in both Air Yards (353) and targets (37) during that span, and his usage can only improve sans Parker and Wilson. Gesicki is firmly in DFS-tournament play.
Although he got worse as last Monday night’s game progressed, Eli Manning showed enough against the Eagles to be teed up as a two-QB-league start with some punt-play DFS appeal in a softer Week 15 draw at home versus Miami. Eli needs everything around him to be perfect to succeed at this stage of his career, but he might just get it on Sunday. His three-receiver set is fully intact, Evan Engram (knee) has a realistic chance to play, and Manning’s pocket should be clean against a Dolphins defense that ranks dead last in sacks (17) and second to last in QB hits (55). … Saquon Barkley admitted this week that the mental aspect of his early-season high ankle sprain has caused a bigger drain on his production than the physical injury itself. Per PFF, Barkley is 41st among 50 qualified backs in yards after contact per carry (2.52) after ranking No. 8 among 56 qualifiers (3.34) last year, and he’s cleared 100 total yards just twice over his last eight games. Barkley’s workload still hasn’t been threatened, of course, and Sunday’s matchup is soft enough to potentially springboard him with Miami hemorrhaging 4.62 yards per carry and 165.5 total yards per game to enemy backs. He’s a usage- and matchup-driven RB1 play this week.
Manning’s Week 14 target distribution: Darius Slayton 8; Sterling Shepard 7; Golden Tate and Kaden Smith 5; Barkley 4. … The Eagles never stood a chance against 4.39 burner Slayton last Monday night (5/154/2), and the Dolphins are even more vulnerable to big passing plays, having conceded the NFL’s fifth-most completions of 20-plus yards (54). Averaging a robust 9.5 targets per game over the last month, Slayton is an upside WR3 play here. … Adding to optimism for Eli to turn in a fantasy-useful game, both Shepard and Tate are popping in Week 15’s Buy Low Air Yards Model. In a plus draw, Shepard and Tate’s outlooks are similar as fringe WR3/flex options with higher floor projections than Slayton but less upside. … Even though Engram missed Week 14, he still leads the Giants in targets (21), catches (16), and yards (158) on throws from Eli and will be worth immediately reinstalling as a TE1 if cleared to face Miami. Smith played on all but two of the Giants’ offensive snaps in last week’s loss to Philly and would remain stream-able if Engram again misses. This matchup is that good against the Fins.
Score Prediction: Giants 27, Dolphins 17