Miami Dolphins @ Cincinnati Bengals
Westgate Superbook: Miami Dolphins @ Cincinnati Bengals (-7.5), Over/Under: 44.5
Implied Team Totals: Miami Dolphins (18.5) @ Cincinnati Bengals (26)
The Miami Dolphins come into this game off a thrilling overtime victory over the Browns. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill now has two consecutive games of over 300 yards passing and 3 total touchdowns. Last week we saw Trevor Siemian light up this Cincinnati Bengals defense for 312 yards and 4 TDs. I think it had more to do with the Bengals game plan rather than their defensive personnel. If I were playing the Broncos, I would stack the box and make an unproven seventh round rookie beat me. Before last week’s shredding, the Bengals were allowing only a 52.77% completion rate to opposing quarterbacks. The Bengals also get their defensive leader, Vontaze Burfict, back this week from suspension. Tannehill has turned the ball over five times this season, while the Bengals have forced four. The Bengals present a tough matchup for Tannehill this week, so leave him on your bench.
Earlier this week, I talked about the usage of the Miami backfield. It is a total disaster, and one situation that all fantasy owners should stay away from. Last week against the Browns it was a 4 way committee between Kenyan Drake, Jay Ajayi, Isaiah Pead, and Damien Williams. Drake led the group with 11 touches, and was followed by Ajayi (7 touches), Pead (5 touches), and Williams (4 touches). That sample size was against a lousy Cleveland Defense. This week the matchup is much more daunting for the Dolphins running backs. Dating back to last season the Bengals have not allowed a rushing touchdown in their last 5 games. They have also not allowed a 100 yard rushing performance over a 15 game span.
The Bengals are successful at slowing down their opponent’s best option, and this week it is clearly Jarvis Landry. Landry has received double digit targets in all three games thus far. Because of this massive volume, Landry is still a fine option. Don’t expect him to blow up like he did last week. Since missing week 1, DaVante Parker has played 89% of the Dolphins offensive snaps. Parker is a big physical receiver, and he will be Miami’s primary red zone target. With the Bengals focused on Landry, Parker could be the receiver with the big stats this week. Kenny Stills is a very inconsistent wide receiver option. Playing the speedster role, Stills needs more time for his routes to develop. In 19 games with Tannehill, Kenny Stills has a catch rate of 43.8%. Tight End Jordan Cameron has already been ruled out, which opens up an opportunity for Dion Sims. The Bengals have given up a touchdown to a tight end in each of the last two games, and also gave one up to Quincy Enunwa, who the Jets essentially use as their Tight End. With Burfict back for the Bengals this week, that TE streak should end. There are a lot better options than Dion Sims.
No Thanks: Ryan Tannehill, Any RB, Kenny Stills, Dion Sims
Playable: Jarvis Landry, DaVante Parker
Andy Dalton and primetime football does not mix well. In 16 primetime games, He owns a 4-12 record while averaging 205.3yds/0.9TDs/1.1INTs with a 57.4% completion rate. All primetime stats aside, Dalton gets a good opportunity on Thursday Night. While the Dolphins have shown the ability to pressure the quarterback this season, they only have 1 interception. In week 2, Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 3TDs in the first half against the Dolphins. I expect a mixed back from Dalton, the matchup is great, but primetime history is hard to ignore.
Jeremy Hill has 40 touches compared to 31 for Gio Bernard. If we dive a little deeper, we can see that Hill has rushed the ball 37 times while Bernard has only 15 carries. The Bengals clearly see Hill as the primary ball carrier, and Bernard as the receiving back (16 receptions). The gameflow should favor Hill over Bernard this week, as the Bengals should be playing with a lead throughout. Last week against a stout Broncos defense, Hill ran for nearly 100 yards and 2TDs. This week he gets to face a Dolphins defense that is allowing 4.5 yards/carry to opposing RBs. Hill is in store for another big game this week.
The only wide receiver worth talking about on the Bengals is AJ Green. He has been targeted on 27.8% of Dalton’s passing attempts. Miami has allowed opposing WR1s to average 8 receptions for 104 yards so far this season. Green has a 3” size difference over the Miami secondary, and should post a huge game on Thursday Night. With Tyler Eifert doubtful to return this week, the only other pass catcher we can discuss is Brandon LaFell. While he is playing on 93.5% of the Bengals offensive snaps, he is only seeing an average of 5 target/game. He has no use for fantasy owners.
No Thanks: Giovani Bernard, Brandon LaFell
Playable: Andy Dalton
Start With Confidence: Jeremy Hill, AJ Green, Bengals D