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Week 4 Thursday Night NFL Matchups Analysis: Start/Sit for Fantasy Football

It's time for the Week 4 installment of Thursday night matchups with my start/sit recommendations. This week, a pair of 1-2 teams meet as the Dolphins face the Bengals in Cincinnati.

Each week of the NFL season, we will be breaking down every game and providing you with some fantasy football advice and lineup recommendations based on matchups that we love, matchups that we hate, and injury information as well. Later this week, you will find parts one and two of our Week 4 NFL matchups, which should help you prepare your lineups to win this week. It’s essential to analyze the weekly NFL matchups to find lineup sleepers and gems, while also avoiding those players who may turn out to be busts.

Editor's Note: Be sure to check out FantasyAces DFS contests. New users that sign up on Fantasy Aces and make a $20 deposit will receive RotoBaller's full season NFL Premium Pass for free (including Premium DFS), normally a $59.99 value. Expert DFS research, sample lineups, matchup ratings and lots more!


Dolphins @ Bengals - Thursday 9/29 @ 8:25 PM EST

Matchups We Love

Andy Dalton (QB, CIN) - Nobody has stepped up to fill the void that Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu left behind, but Dalton has still put up 938 yards over three games. Two passing touchdowns aren't going to excite anyone, but Dalton has a chance to turn things around in this game. The strength of the Dolphins defense (if there is one) lies in the D-line, led by Ndamukong Suh and Mario Williams. The secondary has been underwhelming, allowing at least 250 passing yards in all three games. That includes last week against Cody Kessler in his first ever start, as well as the previous week being shredded by Jimmy Garropolo in his second career start.

A.J. Green (WR, CIN) - He was held in check, relatively speaking, against the tough Broncos D. He won't be facing any shutdown corners in this game, although Byron Maxwell has graded out decently so far. Green has a decent chance of reaching the end zone, as the Dolphins have allowed four TD to wide receivers in three games, including two to the likes of Danny Amendola. Green has been targeted at least eight times in every game this season and should cash in on most of those opportunities Thursday night.

Jarvis Landry (WR, MIA) - I hate to keep putting him here, but he hasn't proven he belongs anywhere else. He has recorded seven catches or more in every game this season, including two 100+ yard games. Ignore the fact that he briefly appeared on the injury report this week - he'll be good to go and should be firmly plugged into all lineups. The Bengals defense is better than it looked last week against Denver, but Landry is matchup-proof anyway as he works the slot as efficiently as any receiver in the league.


Matchups We Hate

Devante Parker (WR, MIA) - The Bengals secondary was toasted by the Thomas/Sanders combo in Denver, as they chose to focus on shutting down the run game instead. That won't be the case on Thursday - the Dolphins have practically no run game to speak of, so the Bengals defense won't need to focus on shutting that down. The Bengals' secondary hadn't been terrible until last week, so don't overreact to one bad game. Parker reached the end zone for the first time against Cleveland, but still hasn't done enough to prove himself as a reliable WR2. He might be worth a flex play in 12+ team leagues, depending on your receiver depth, but is still a high risk/reward play.

Kenyan Drake (RB, MIA) - With Arian Foster out, it may be Drake again getting the start. That means little since Adam Gase announced that their will be a four-man committee at work this week. Drake produced 48 combined yards in his first extended action against Cleveland, which isn't enough to warrant higher usage just yet. Drake will be lucky to see double-digit carries and more than a handful of receptions, making him a desperation streaming option in deep PPR formats. Eventually he could become Gio Bernard Lite, but this week he won't produce enough to earn a start recommendation. FWIW, Jay Ajayi did nothing with his chances until the final carry of the game, and still hasn't earned the coaching staff's trust. He shouldn't be started either.

Giovani Bernard (RB, CIN) - Bernard has been up-and-down, but seems to thrive in games where the Bengals fall behind and are forced to play catch up. The Bengals shouldn't have that problem this week, which could mean more Hill than Bernard. He's had one big game and two stinkers so far this year. Bernard is still worth starting as a RB2 in PPR leagues, but you should prefer Hill in this matchup with the way he's rolling.


Notable Players

Ryan Tannehill (QB, MIA) - He has managed to put up 892 yards and five TD in the first three games, but most of that has come in the second half of games when the Dolphins were trailing and forced to go pass-heavy. There's no reason to think otherwise in this game, since Cincinnati is the superior team playing at home. You always run the risk of a negative TD/INT rate with Tannehill, as he has coughed it up four times already, including twice against a Browns team missing Joe Haden. If you are in a 14 team league doesn't penalize INT, then Tannehill can be a consideration. Otherwise, you likely have better options.

Key Injuries: Arian Foster (RB, MIA) - out, Jordan Cameron (TE, MIA) - out, Tyler Eifert (TE, CIN) - questionable



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