Fantasy Football Week 7 Would You Rather: Eagles or Dolphins?

One of the most highly-anticipated matchups of this NFL season finally arrives in Week 7. The high-flying (fast-swimming?) Miami Dolphins will take on the Super Bowl runner-up Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football. The question for us is, which of these two super teams will deliver the most fantasy juice?

Fantasy analysts Scott Pianowski and Jorge Martin play a little game of “Would You Rather” and take a side for which offense they like most in this matchup.

The Case for the Dolphins

It was only five years ago; the anniversary is next month. Rams 54, Chiefs 51. Monday Night Game. In between the splash plays and the touchdowns, I wondered to myself, has it gone too far? Has offense become too easy? Is NFL defense dead? When are the 13-10 games going to come back?

Be careful what you wish for. Now we’re in the middle of 2023, a season that’s being written by injuries, poor quarterback play and a dearth of points — both real-life points and fantasy ones.

My musings back in 2018 weren’t completely serious, of course. I know the game is cyclical. I know trends come around, get figured out, vanish. The players are constantly getting bigger, faster, stronger. It’s a game about adjustments and evolution.

All that preamble said, I really hope the Dolphins and Eagles give us a pinball game Sunday night, a silly-high score. We need it. And my palette needs cleansing.

Miami is fantasy’s perfect team through six weeks. The top three fantasy MVPs are Dolphins, for crying out loud. And if you scroll just a little bit, you’ll find Tua Tagovailoa on that list. Jaylen Waddle is the only signature player on this offense who’s been a disappointment, partly due to injury. I’d still sign up for Waddle in a second.

Miami has two things any fantasy manager loves. One, the usage is remarkably concentrated; this is the ultimate narrow tree. Miami’s not trying to out-cute itself with vanity calls to the No. 4 wideout or the fullback. The tight ends rarely see the ball. And Tagovailoa is rarely looking to run.

The other ace in the hole is head coach Mike McDaniel, a wizard. In a year where defenses are writing the story, McDaniel always feels one step ahead. Of course, it helps that Miami’s got the fastest offense in the league, by far. It’s a track team. They break Next Gen Stats every week.

I don’t know who wins Sunday night, but Miami’s my fantasy destination. It’s an easier solve. it’s a more predictable and projectable offense. Look, I love the Eagles too; they eventually percolated to the top of my Fantasy Power Rankings by the end of last year. But it’s a pain in the neck playing weekly guessing games on DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert. The backfield always has a crowded nature to it. And as delightful as Jalen Hurts is, when he plunges in from the one-yard line, no one else scores.

Fins to the left, fins to the right. I’ll hang 10 with the Greatest Show on Surf. — Pianowski

The Case for the Eagles

Scott, that Jimmy Buffett reference just hit me like a margarita with top-shelf tequila. RIP, Jimmy. Where’s that shaker of salt?

I’m with you on being tired of all this not-so-offensive football, and hoping this matchup cracks the dam so other teams can live up to those grandiose expectations we had coming in.

I like Philly to swim with the Fish in this one. Though not in a Godfather sorta way.

One of my favorite matchups of the season is within this game. D’Andre Swift, not Taylor’s version, has seen a resurgence in his hometown of Philadelphia. Since getting a single carry for three yards in the opener, Swift has been one of the best running backs in the NFL, banging away for 449 rushing yards. That’s third in the league since Week 2.

Ever since watching our amigo Austin Ekeler run for 117 yards and a score in Week 1 vs. the Dolphins, this has been a defense that could be run upon. Last week, when the Panthers sent shivers up the spines of people betting on the Dolphins +14 by going up 14-0, Chuba Hubbard scored early on his way to 19 carries for 88 rushing yards. The Eagles’ plan of attack is right here. Run Swiftly.

Remember Super Bowl XXV when the Giants took on the high-flying Bills? What was it that won the game for the Giants? No, not the missed Scott Norwood field goal as time expired (sorry, Bills Mafia). It was the time of possession battle: Giants 40:33 to Bills 19:27. O.J. Anderson again and again.

Swift is going to run behind that road-grading offensive line — even if Lane Johnson has to miss the game — and help the Eagles dominate the clock to play keep-away from the Dolphins. And when Swift doesn’t pound the rock, Jalen Hurts will dash around the end for chunk yards.

And let’s say the Dolphins unleash their offensive fireworks and score repeatedly when it’s their turn, the Eagles are one of the few teams that have the wide receiver talent in the same discussion as the Greatest Show on Surf (that’s growing on me). A.J. Brown is second in the NFL to Tyreek Hill with 672 receiving yards, and he’s riding a wave of four consecutive games with 125 receiving yards. When Swift brings the backside defenders up to clog the run, Brown can do damage. And if not him, then DeVonta Smith just might be the receiver taken in the second round of fantasy drafts who breaks out. However, my teams with Jaylen Waddle would not mind him breaking out as well.

So many media types and fantasy managers have been wondering when the Eagles are going to put it together offensively. It reminds me of the middle of this past February, when Philly marched into the Super Bowl not looking its best on the offensive side of the ball. Then Hurts was the best player on the field before Patrick Mahomes pulled out the Mahomes magic.

Hurts, Swift, Brown, Smith, even Dallas Goedert; the Eagles have what it takes to win a barn burner that restores faith that offensive football has not wasted away back to 1977 — coincidentally when Margaritaville was released. Cue the Rocky theme and give me a margarita to go with my cheesesteaks! — Martin

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