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Happy Monday RotoBallers! Another week, another Monday.

Tonight's Monday Night Football matchup pits together two teams going in very different directions. Once 4-2 with early playoff hopes, the Dolphins now find themselves trying to avoid a third consecutive loss in as many weeks, all under the national spotlight in primetime. They'll have to do so without (former) star running back Jay Ajayi too, who was traded to the Eagles on October 31, just five days after being embarrassed 40-0 in Baltimore. And even with Jay Cutler's best game of the season last week, the Dolphins were unable to pull off a victory against an average Oakland team. So yeah, you could say that the last 2-3 weeks have been unkind to Adam Gase & Co.

Meanwhile, Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers find themselves in the thick of things in the NFC South at 6-3, trying to keep pace with the red-hot Saints. But it hasn't been the vocal quarterback whose been leading the team. In fact, Newton has been shaky at best to start the year, with more interceptions (11) than touchdowns (10) through nine weeks. Instead, their recent success is mostly thanks to a defense that's allowed an average of just 12.3 points per game over the last three weeks. A win tonight would be a third consecutive win, and would put the Panthers amongst the NFC's best with seven wins as they head into their bye week.

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Miami Dolphins @ Carolina Panthers

Date and Start Time: Monday, November 13th at 8:30 p.m. EST

Game Spread: Panthers -9

Notable Injuries and Status:

  • Damien Williams (RB, MIA) - Illness - Questionable (expected to play)
  • Ryan Kalil (C, CAR) - Neck - OUT

Offensive and Defensive Rankings (based on per game stats through Week 9):

Dolphins Panthers
Passing Yards 29th 26th
Rushing Yards 30th 15th
Pass Defense 14th 5th
Run Defense 7th 2nd


Must Starts

Top Players That You Should Have In Your Lineup

Christian McCaffrey (RB, CAR)

Last week was a week of firsts for the rookie from Stanford: first rushing touchdown, first game with 20+ touches, and first game as the Panthers best pass catcher. With Greg Olsen on the IR and the Panthers trading away of Kelvin Benjamin, McCaffrey has quickly become the focal point of the entire offense. Last week won't be his only with 20+ touches, and it may happen in more weeks than not from here on out. His involvement keeps his floor high, but his pass-catching makes his ceiling even higher. Fire him up and don't look back.

Cam Newton (QB, CAR)

Even with not-so-good passing numbers, Cam is listed here since he is the preferred starting QB tonight (sorry Jay). He hasn't topped 250 passing yards since Week 5, and hasn't even topped 160 yards since Week 7, but his running ability makes him playable. It also helps that the Dolphins defense has given up an average of 32 points per game over the last two weeks, so there is some potential for a bounce back. He might be a low-end QB1 at best this week, but he's still the preferred option to Cutler.


Must Sits

Players To Avoid Putting In Your Lineup

Jonathan Stewart (RB, CAR)

The full integration of McCaffrey into the offense hurts nobody more than Stewart, whose touches and yardage are way down. He's entirely touchdown dependent, but has only two scores to his name on the season, and he played a season-low 32% of snaps last week. Still seemingly the team's preferred goal line, his production is entirely predicated on reaching the end zone, and even near the goal line there's always the chance that Cam keeps it for himself. Stewart has a low floor, low ceiling, and belongs on your bench.

Any MIA/CAR Tight End

I'll keep this short and sweet – you should not be playing Ed Dickson or Julius Thomas tonight (or really any week) unless you literally absolutely have to. Both have had good games this year, Thomas just last week, but they're maddeningly inconsistent and hard to trust. Given recency bias and the probability that his team will be losing the game (and thus passing) however, Thomas is the better option of the two.


Solid Options/Sleepers

Which Players Will Have Solid Games and Which Could Surprise?

Solid Option - Devin Funchess (WR, CAR)

Speaking of beneficiaries with Kelvin Benjamin no longer in town, meet the Panthers new #1 receiver. And in his first game in the official role, Funchess totaled a season-high 86 yards on five catches, which he's only done on one other occasion this year. Fact of the matter is that Cam will complete passes to people other than McCaffrey, and Funchess has had a pretty good year. He's a safe WR2/3 for now.

Solid Option - DeVante Parker (WR, MIA)

The better of the two Miami WR plays, Parker has averaged over eight targets per game in weeks that he was not injured. And even with less targets than his counterpart listed below, he's been the more consistent of the two, not to mention more big-play ability.

Solid Option - Jarvis Landry (WR, MIA)

Even though I prefer Parker tonight, you can't ignore Landry's target volume. Averaging nearly 11 targets per game and scoring in four of the last five games, he's a high-floor WR3 against what has been a very good Carolina secondary.

Sleeper - Kenyan Drake (RB, MIA)

Damien Williams entered last week as the expected third down, pass-catching back, but Drake caught just as many passes (6) against Oakland. He also out-touched Williams by two and totaled an impressive 7.7 yards per carry. Especially with Williams coming off an illness, Drake has a chance for close to 20 touches tonight.


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