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Dolphins vs Bengals Start 'Em Sit 'Em: Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa, Chase Edmonds, aheem Mostert, Tyler Boyd, Hayden Hurst

Ja'Marr Chase - Fantasy Football Rankings NFL Injury News, DFS Picks

Week 4 starts with an elite offensive showdown. The 3-0 Miami Dolphins travel to Cincinnati to take on the reigning AFC Champions, who got a hold of Barney Stinson’s (Super Bowl) Hangover Fixer Elixir last week. These two teams possess arguably four of the top-10 receiver talents in the league with the first two QBs taken in the 2020 draft distributing the ball.

Unfortunately, Tua Tagovailoa is listed as questionable for this game with a back injury. Considering he finished last week’s game against the Bills, there is optimism that he will play, which makes this matchup electric. Speaking of last week, the Dolphins are still undefeated after taking down the Super Bowl favorites in spectacular fashion. 

On the other side of the ball, we have the Bengals debuting their fresh white alternate uniforms. You know how it goes, look good play good. Well even in the old jersey, we saw Burrow have over 170 passing yards in the first quarter of Week 3. After finally looking like the offense we all hoped for, this team seemed to find its footing. We’ve had some great Thursday Night matchups this year, and this one fits right in. My name is Ellis Johnson, and this is your RotoBaller Thursday Night Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em article.

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Miami Dolphins @ Cincinnati Bengals - 8:20 pm ET

Notable Injuries:

  • Tua Tagovailoa (QB, MIA) - Back - Questionable
  • Jaylen Waddle (WR, MIA) - Groin - Questionable
  • Joe Mixon (RB, CIN) - Ankle - Expected

 

Must-Starts for Fantasy Football Lineups

Joe Burrow (QB, CIN)

Despite leading the league in sacks with 15, Burrow has managed to come through for fantasy. Currently sitting as the QB9 on the season, it’s not hard to believe that he’s only going to get better as this team finds its stride. What might be most surprising is that he is seventh at the position in rushing yards as well. Although this comes from scrambling and poor O-line play, it is a nice floor for fantasy.

On top of his rushing, the Dolphins are allowing the most fantasy points to the QB position. With a favorable matchup, I think he’ll be looking to put the league on notice in this primetime slot against one of the only undefeated teams remaining. I’m expecting a big game from the third-year QB, and wouldn’t be surprised if he has a top-five fantasy finish on the week.

Ja'Marr Chase (WR, CIN)

Tied for the league lead in targets at the position, Chase is a bonafide fantasy star. Despite coming off of two relatively down weeks, we saw him put the team on his back in Week 1, and was overthrown for a long touchdown last week. I think he’ll be very motivated to torch this 3-0 Dolphins team, especially after Tyreek Hill just insulted the entire Bengals secondary.

Jaylen Waddle (WR, MIA)

Currently second in the league in receiving yards, Waddle has become an elite young WR. In my opinion, he has shot up the dynasty rankings and is firmly third behind Chase and Justin Jefferson. This season, he has been on a tear, despite Hill also being productive. With two games over 100 yards and three touchdowns on the season, Waddle has become Tua’s go-to option. 

The Bengals' defense has been relatively impressive so far this season, allowing only three touchdowns to opponents. The caveat here is that they have faced two backup QBs and Mitch Trubisky. Because of that, I’m not worried about this Dolphins offense, making Waddle a must-start option for fantasy. 

Tyreek Hill (WR, MIA)

“I owe you” was what Hill said about facing corner Eli Apple of the Bengals (here is the video). I’m not sure what he owes, but maybe he’s saying he’ll pay him back since Apple bought and sent Hill Super Bowl tickets after eliminating Kansas City last year. The trash talk seems a little bold after Hill only managed two catches and 33 yards against a beat-up Bills secondary. Either way, Hill was great over the first two weeks, and should be entertaining to watch him try and get revenge on this secondary.

Tee Higgins (WR, CIN)

There were a lot of mixed emotions about Higgins during the draft season. Many believed his WR13 ADP was too high, while others saw it as a value. Through three weeks, it is certainly looking like a good move for those who paid up for him. After missing most of Week 1 with a concussion, Higgins has had back-to-back solid games with a combined 17 targets, 11 receptions, 164 yards, and a touchdown. 

What does not come through on the stat sheet is that Higgins made a spectacular touchdown catch last week, toe-tapping as he fell backward. However, it was called out of bounds since his heel was out of bounds, stirring up a lot of controversies (here is the video). Regardless of what your thoughts are on the catch, it’s clear Higgins is a top WR in this league. I would rank these four receivers in the order I have them, and would start Higgins as a high-end WR2 this week.

Joe Mixon (RB, CIN)

Coming off an ankle injury in Week 3, Mixon is a must-start if fully healthy on Thursday. There are few backs in this league that consistently get the usage that Mixon does and even fewer that are on good offenses. Over the first two weeks, Mixon has managed 228 total yards but has yet to find the endzone. This Dolphins team was just torched through the air by Devin Singletary, making Mixon a great play with a solid chance of opening the Pie Shop and scoring his first touchdown on the season. 

*Pie Shop: An Australian term (often used in Rugby League) to describe who will score a Try (or in this case touchdown) this week.

 

Solid Starts for Fantasy Football Lineups

Tua Tagovailoa (QB, MIA)

Assuming Tua is healthy enough to play this week, he is a solid option for fantasy. While the Dolphins have allowed the most fantasy points to the QB position, Cincinnati has allowed the fewest. As mentioned above, the Bengals have also had a weak schedule, but it is interesting nonetheless. 

Largely due to his injury, Tua is not a must-start for me this week. However, sitting as the QB5 on the season and being second in the league in passing yards, he still is a good play this week. To be honest, I’m really worried for Tua in this one for fantasy; however, he’s been so good to start the season that it is worth riding the hot hand.

If Tua is out, I would not touch Teddy Bridgewater with a 10-foot pole since the Bengals have been elite against backup QBs. However, I want to throw out the name Skylar Thompson for those in dynasty leagues. After being scouted by Matt Waldman as a top option in last year's draft class, the Kansas State prospect had an excellent NFL preseason. If he manages to get some playing time with Tua out, he'll be worth watching.

 

Flex Considerations for Fantasy Football Lineups

Raheem Mostert and Chase Edmonds (RB, MIA)

These two-speed demons have been exchanging blows all season. In fact, the only usage that separates them is that Mostert has one more rushing attempt and one fewer rushing yards. Even their receiving work is similar, with both sitting within 10 yards of each other. 

The main (and only) difference is that Edmonds has the only two touchdowns for this Miami backfield. As a result, Edmonds would be my favorite of the two to play; however, both are low-end RB3 options for me this week.

Tyler Boyd (WR, CIN)

In Week 3, Boyd exploded for 105 yards and a score. In fact, that’s his second touchdown in three weeks. Typically, you don’t want to chase the points with Boyd, as he always seems to have huge weeks before he crashes back to earth. However, I think Burrow will be throwing a lot in this game, making Boyd a risky flex option this week. It’s tough to have a lot of confidence in Boyd for Thursday, but I would play him over the likes of JuJu Smith-Schuster, Darnell Mooney, and Russell Gage

 

Consider Sitting for Fantasy Football Lineups

Hayden Hurst and Mike Giesicki (TE, CIN and MIA)

Neither of these players should be considered for your roster. Both teams have barely used their TEs this season. In fact, Giesicki and Hurst come in at TE23 and TE24, respectively, on the season. Unless you’re desperate and need a dart throw, you could take your shot at one of these two finding the endzone in what could become a shootout.

 

Ellis’ Picks

Bengals Moneyline, Over 47.5

This line has been moving like Paul Blart on his Segway. After opening at -1.5 for the Bengals on Sunday, the line quickly moved to Bengals +3.5 when Tua re-entered the game, then moved all the way to Bengals -4.0. Presumably, all of this shifting is a result of Tua being listed as questionable. However, the line has stayed at -4.0 on Wednesday, which typically means that Vegas thinks Tua has a good chance to not play. After all, the Vegas line predicted Justin Herbert missing last week incorrectly. 

Either way, we’re looking to bounce back from only our fourth 0-2 week of the three years I’ve been writing these articles. I really like the Bengals to win in this matchup as their defense has looked solid and the Dolphins are on a short week after playing an exhausting game in 100-degree weather. As for the spread, if Tua is out, then Bengals -4.0 looks great; however, if he plays, I’d love the plus points on the Bengals. I feel similar about the over/under since Tua might have to make up for the defensive woes.

Career Thursday Night record: Spread (24-15), Over/Under (22-17)



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