Myles Gaskin Fantasy Outlook: Start or sit in Week 17?

After coming up big for fantasy football managers in Week 16, can Myles Gaskin put up another big fantasy week in Week 17? Let’s take a look at Gaskin’s impressive 2020 season, the situation in Miami, and his Week 17 matchup.

Myles Gaskin has been superb for fantasy managers in 2020

After logging just 36 carries and 12 targets in 2019, Myles Gaskin has broken out in a big way in 2020. In nine games, Gaskin has 135 carries, 564 rushing yards, and 146.5 PPR fantasy points. Gaskin averages an impressive 16.3 fantasy points per game, ranking 11th at the position. Even in a timeshare in the first two weeks, Gaskin averaged over 12 points per game in PPR formats.

Gaskin has been a threat in the run game and the passing game

Gaskin’s stats in the run game are good for a player we expected little from, but they do not blow you away. 4.2 yards per carry is a league-average type number (36th), and two touchdowns on the ground are not all that impressive (tied for 66th).

However, in the passing game, Gaskin has been a constant threat. He has seen under four targets just once all season and has racked up an impressive 331 receiving yards. His numbers are boosted by two big catch-and-run plays against the Raiders in Week 15. In that game, Gaskin racked up 82 yards and two touchdowns on five receptions.

Gaskin has been a consistent fantasy weapon, but there is room for improvement

Gaskin’s fantasy numbers are impressive. He has only scored under 10 PPR fantasy points once this season (Week 4 against Seattle). That has translated into a sixth-place ranking in Pro Football Network’s Consistency Score. The only running backs above Gaskin are James Robinson, Derrick Henry, Aaron Jones, Alvin Kamara, and Dalvin Cook (Christian McCaffrey has been removed as a non-qualifier).

However, when we look at Pro Football Network’s Fantasy Points Differential, Gaskin has room to be even better. Based on his touches, an average running back in the last decade would score 158.3 fantasy points. At 146.5 PPR fantasy points, Gaskin is underperforming by seven percent. That number is by no means a concern. However, it shows that with the opportunity in 2021, Myles Gaskin could be even better for fantasy managers.

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Gaskin appears to be the clear lead back in Miami

The Dolphins running back situation has been a mess, but Myles Gaskin has reigned supreme. He leads the team with 135 carries, nearly double the second-highest. When he returned in Week 16, he was thrust straight back into a starting role. Gaskin handled 14 of the Dolphins’ 20 RB carries as well as five of the six targets. When he is healthy and on the field, this is Myles Gaskin’s backfield.

Gaskin also dominates carries in the red zone

When you look at the numbers, it is clear Gaskin is the lead red zone back. He has 35, or 41.7%, of the Dolphins carries inside the red zone. Salvon Ahmed is the next closest at 20, with Matt Breida at just eight. Since Jordan Howard left, Gaskin has been the main ball carrier close to the goal line. Salvon Ahmed did see two carries in the red zone in Week 16, but Gaskin still handled 60% of the duties with three.

Should you start or sit Myles Gaskin in fantasy playoffs in Week 17?

With fantasy championships on the line in Week 17, there seems no reason not to trust Miami Dolphins running back Myles Gaskin. However, let’s break down the matchup and make sure we are not in for any nasty surprises in Week 17.

The Buffalo Bills are one of the best running back matchups for fantasy

In terms of PPR fantasy points allowed to the position, the Buffalo Bills rank as the 12th-best matchup for opposing backs. In standard formats, that ranking rises to ninth. However, when we look at Pro Football Network’s Defensive Points Allowed Consistency Score (D-PAC), the matchup becomes even better.

In PPR scoring, the Bills have the second-highest D-PAC, behind only the woeful Houston Texans. In standard formats, the Bills lead the league when it comes to the consistency of allowing points to opposing running backs. Other teams allow more points on average, but the Bills allow consistent points every single week.

More “by the numbers” for the Week 17 matchup vs. the Bills

The Bills’ numbers do not look all that terrible on the surface. They allow 99.7 yards per game, 4.5 yards per attempt, and opposing running backs have scored 12 rushing touchdowns.

However, they have allowed four 100-yard rushing games to opposing running backs. Additionally, their last two opponents have rushed for a combined 285 yards. Earlier in the season, they allowed opposing teams to rush for over 100 yards six times in eight weeks. Two of those weeks were 200-yard games.

The Bills defense has been good against opposing backs in the passing game. They allow just 4.6 receptions per game, 34.5 yards per game, and just one receiving touchdown all season. However, given the split we saw last week, all of those passing numbers could go the way of Myles Gaskin. If he performs as an average back, that is a floor of eight fantasy points before we even consider his rushing potential.

Gaskin is a player to trust in Week 17

When you see something that looks too good to be true with so much uncertainty swirling, you have to go for it. Myles Gaskin appears to be the clear lead back against a run defense that has issues. Additionally, he has performed well in every situation presented, including looking fresh in Week 16.

Unless my team is loaded at the running back position, it is hard to imagine a scenario where Myles Gaskin is not in serious consideration for my Week 17 starting fantasy lineup.

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Be sure to follow us on Twitter: @PFN365 to stay up to date with all things around the NFL and the 2020 fantasy football season. Also, continue to visit Pro Football Network for NFL news and in-depth analysis while also seeing our fantasy football section for more coverage and up-to-date rankings.

Ben Rolfe is a Senior Managing Editor at Pro Football Network and is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). You can find him on Twitter @BenRolfePFN.

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