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Dolphins vs. Saints Week 16 Monday Night Football Showdown Game Breakdown and NFL DFS Picks

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DraftKings FanDuel NFL DFS Picks Lineup Optimizer Projections Week 16 Dolphins vs. Saints Alvin Kamara free expert projections fantasy football lineup advice 2021

Welcome to the NFL Showdown Matchups Showdown Highlights for Week 16 Monday Night Football. Here we will provide a quick overview of the game’s key storylines and highlight some of the key insights from Awesemo’s world-class suite of tools to find the best NFL DFS picks for DraftKings and FanDuel Showdown lineups. Let’s dive into the NFL DFS picks today for the Week 16 Dolphins vs. Saints Monday Night Football matchup.

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Week 16 Monday Night Football NFL DFS Showdown Picks

The Dolphins head to New Orleans to take on the Saints, who can pull into a tie with the Eagles for the final playoff spot in the NFC with a win. It is going to be an uphill battle for the Saints in this one, however, due to the fact that they only have one healthy quarterback: Ian Book ($9,000 DraftKings/$12,000 FanDuel), who has never thrown an NFL pass. The Dolphins, with an identical 7-7 record as the Saints, can take over the seventh seed in the AFC from Baltimore with a win and are 4-point road favorites. But Miami has not exactly been a barnburner offensively either. They rank bottom five in the NFL in yards per carry and yards per pass attempt, and bottom 10 in points per play. Though this game has its share of playmakers that can provide slate-breaking upside, this matchup may ultimately turn into a defense-oriented battle where fantasy production is tough to come by.

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The Dolphins will go as far as Tua Tagovailoa ($10,200 DraftKings/$15,000 FanDuel) allows them to this season, and so far Tagovailoa’s 2021 season has been relatively unimpressive. He ranks outside the top 15 quarterbacks in adjusted yards per attempt and outside the top 20 in yards and touchdowns passing. He cannot be faulted for his accuracy, as he is top 10 in completion percentage in the red zone, under pressure, and on deep passes, which indicates that Miami is not interested in winning games by passing aggressively. While the Dolphins quietly are top 10 in game-adjusted pass rate, they are bottom 10 in game script-adjusted pace of play in Awesemo’s Advanced Stats Tool. Tagovailoa offers middling upside with his legs, as he has three games with 15 or more yards rushing. He only has two games over 20 fantasy points this season.

Jaylen Waddle ($11,600 DraftKings/$13,000 FanDuel) and Mike Gesicki ($6,400 DraftKings/$10,000 FanDuel) should command 45% or more of the team’s targets. Waddle has been highly impressive in the back half of the season, commanding 9.1 targets and 82.6 air yards per game over his past five starts. Gesicki’s usage has been more volatile, likely dependent on how teams choose to defend Waddle and DeVante Parker ($9,400 DraftKings/$10,500 FanDuel), but he is still averaging 7.1 opportunities per game since Week 9. At a steep discount from Waddle and Parker on DraftKings, Gesicki looks like one of the stronger value plays on the slate.

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In a surprise move last week, Duke Johnson ($7,200 DraftKings/$11,000 FanDuel) ran ahead of Myles Gaskin ($7,400 DraftKings/$11,000 FanDuel), with a 57% snap share compared to Gaskin’s 36%. Johnson also saw 68% of the team’s running back carries and all five in the red zone. Johnson ultimately ran for 107 yards on 4.8 yards per attempt, but the Saints are top five in the NFL in yards allowed per carry this season. After stymying the Buccaneers last weekend, the Saints are now fifth best in points allowed per play.

New Orleans will trot out Ian Book at quarterback in his NFL debut. Book was the Saints’ fourth-round selection in 2021 and had two seasons where he passed for over 8 yards per attempt at Notre Dame. Book’s efficiency numbers were solid across the board in college, as he threw a touchdown on 6.5% of his passes and an interception on just 1.5% in his final three seasons as a starter. He also offered some rushing upside, averaging over 41 yards rushing per game in his junior and senior seasons. While it is nearly impossible to tell if any of that skill set will translate in his first game as a starter, it is at least a glimmer of upside for the Saints passing attack. Regardless, they will likely be riding star running back Alvin Kamara ($12,200 DraftKings/$16,500 FanDuel), and a 25-opportunity game is far from out of the question. While Kamara will be spelled from time to time by Mark Ingram ($5,200 DraftKings/$9,500 FanDuel), Ingram does not offer nearly as much upside in the passing game, where Book will likely need the most help. The Dolphins are league average in points allowed per play and schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed this season.


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Unfortunately, no player in the Saints passing attack can be considered a safe option with a first-time starter under center. Marquez Callaway ($7,800 DraftKings/$8,500 FanDuel) grades strongest in Awesemo’s projections, but Adam Trautman ($400 DraftKings/$5,000 FanDuel) has seen a larger target share in games that he has played since Week 9. Both Trautman and Tre’Quan Smith ($4,600 DraftKings/$7,500 FanDuel) have seen 16% of the Saints’ targets since Week 9, though Smith has a slightly higher ceiling, as he has seen double the air yard share in that same span. Nick Vannett ($1,000 DraftKings/$7,000 FanDuel) and Lil’Jordan Humphrey ($1,800 DraftKings/$6,500 FanDuel) should also combine for between four and six targets, making them each viable with salaries under $2,000 on DraftKings.

Update: Adam Trautman was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, and is out for this contest.

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A majority of Miami passing attack will center around Waddle, Gesicki and Parker, as they have a combined 75% target share over the last three weeks. However, Tagovailoa should take occasional shots to Isaiah Ford ($2,800 DraftKings/$7,000 FanDuel), who has an average depth of target north of 10. The Dolphins additionally design a play or two per game for both Durham Smythe ($600 DraftKings/$6,500 FanDuel) and Mack Hollins ($200 DraftKings/$6,500 FanDuel), though the duo have a combined 13% target share over the last six weeks. Hollins is an intriguing option at the minimum salary, as he has five end-zone targets in his last six games.

The Bottom Line

While the standings indicate that these are two playoff-caliber teams, these are two teams who may find themselves in a disgusting, mistake-prone slog of a football game. This is not a week to forget about the kickers, Brett Maher ($4,000 DraftKings/$9,000 FanDuel) and Jason Sanders ($4,200 DraftKings/$8,500 FanDuel), who are viable in more than just cash games on this slate. On DraftKings the Dolphins ($4,400 DraftKings) will likely wind up being a fairly popular play, but the Saints ($3,800 DraftKings) have an even better chance of being in the optimal lineup in Awesemo’s latest simulations. Bottom line, this game could get ugly quite quickly.

Week 16 Monday Night Football Prediction: Saints 17, Dolphins 16

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If you’re interested in other NFL DFS tips for multiple game slates, head over to NFL DFS ownership projections, Awesemo's NFL Data Central, NFL daily fantasy football rankings, and daily fantasy football stacking. View our FanDuel NFL DFS ownership rankings and our DraftKings NFL DFS ownership rankings. We also have DraftKings showdown projections and NFL single-game ownership projections. Take a look at our inactives, NFL lineups and depth charts for NFL games.

A middling athlete who was offered his first sports analytics position at age 14, I've been working on NFL and fantasy football data science since 2017. With a particular passion for data visualization and dashboard building, I love to make data accessible by using graphs and charts to communicate ideas that are difficult to explain with words alone. You can contact me by e-mailing [email protected]

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