Kickoff Sunday, Sep 18th 4:25pm Eastern

Bengals (
24.5) at

Cowboys (

Over/Under 42.0


Key Matchups
Bengals Run D
28th DVOA/31st Yards allowed per carry
Cowboys Run O
15th DVOA/19th Yards per carry
Bengals Pass D
21st DVOA/32nd Yards allowed per pass
Cowboys Pass O
11th DVOA/14th Yards per pass
Cowboys Run D
9th DVOA/17th Yards allowed per carry
Bengals Run O
22nd DVOA/27th Yards per carry
Cowboys Pass D
6th DVOA/25th Yards allowed per pass
Bengals Pass O
14th DVOA/26th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By mike johnson>>
  • Both teams are coming off embarrassing showings in the opening week.
  • Dak Prescott’s injury has significantly changed the outlook for this game, as well as the likely approach for each team.
  • The status of Tee Higgins will have a large impact on how aggressive the Bengals want to be in this spot as big favorites against an injury-riddled opponent.
  • A game of chicken is likely with the Bengals trying not to beat themselves and the Cowboys just hoping to stay close enough to let them.

How Cincinnati Will Try To Win ::

Fresh off a Super Bowl appearance with a young team, the Bengals promptly dropped a game against a Mitch Trubisky-led team to open their 2022 season. The loss was marred by turnovers, sacks, and self-imposed mistakes. While a lot of credit needs to go to the Steelers defense, the Bengals created a lot of their own issues. At the top of the list of issues for the Bengals was pass protection, as the Steelers pass rush had seven sacks and forced Joe Burrow into four interceptions and one lost fumble. The Bengals also had offensive line issues last year, but they put a lot of resources into fortifying the line this offseason so the opening week had to be discouraging. The reality is that good offensive line play comes from communication and chemistry, which is hard to have so early in the year with a lot of new pieces. This issue should improve as the season goes along, but in Week 2 they will likely have their hands full again with Micah Parsons creating havoc on the edge.

For most of last season, the Bengals had a conservative and balanced approach to begin games and would adjust that approach based on how the game was going. When they built early leads, they would run the ball more; and when they fell behind, they would open things up. Later in the season, against better competition and in high leverage games, the Bengals did start opening things up and throwing more aggressively. At this point, we don’t know yet if the Bengals will continue the trend we saw them ride to the Super Bowl, or if they will go back to their balanced approach that they had for most of the regular season. Last week, after throwing a pick-six on their first possession and having turnovers on three of their next four possessions, the Bengals dropped back to pass 60 times on 94 offensive plays. Due to the context of Week 1, it is still too early to tell what the Bengals will do. What we do know is that when they do throw, they are likely to be aggressive as Joe Burrow led the league with 17 passes 10+ yards downfield last week and 66.6% of his completions went for first downs.

After a mistake prone Week 1, and facing a team who will be without their franchise quarterback, the Bengals are likely to play this game relatively close to the vest to avoid a similar fate. The status of Tee Higgins, who left Sunday’s game with a concussion, will also play a role in how the Bengals approach this game. He is a key offensive piece in the intermediate passing game and his absence may lead the Bengals to lean more on the run and short passing game rather than forcing the ball downfield against what was a very opportunistic Dallas secondary last season. I would expect the Bengals to look to establish the run in this game and take some calculated deep shots, along with schemed looks to get the ball in the hands of Ja’Marr Chase in space.

How dallas Will Try To Win ::

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JM >>
  • I agree with everything above and don’t have a whole lot to add without simply being redundant
  • Re: Bengals defense — one way to look at this is to ask how many sacks and turnover the Bengals will really be able to force if the Cowboys try to play things close to the vest for several quarters; the Bengals will obviously project as “the top defense on the slate,” but the gap between the Bengals and other defenses is not nearly as significant as ownership will indicate, making it plenty sharp to steer clear in tourneys
  • Re: “Interesting plays if Higgins misses” — I agree 100% (Chase // Hurst); I also agree that it’s tough to see Chase or Hurst truly popping in the expected game environment if everyone is healthy
  • Mixon is very much in the mix
  • I also really like the Noah Brown call; because of the variance associated with defense and the ownership the Bengals’ defense is certain to see, one of the more valuable strategy angles on this slate would be finding SOME way to gain leverage over those who load up on the Bengals; Brown is a cheap way to do this, with very clear paths to this play working out

By Alex88 >>


  • The total in this game has dropped 7 pts since Dak Prescott’s injury (by far the biggest swing on the week) and is now tied for the 5th lowest game total in Week 2
  • CIN’s implied total of 25.75 is the 10th highest
  • DAL’s 17.25 is the 3rd lowest (it’s gone down by 8.8 since Dak was hurt)
  • 6th widest spread
  • Each team’s offense finished among the bottom eight teams in yards per play on offense
  • DAL finished third in seconds per play

Joe Burrow

  • Burrow ($6,600 in Week 2) finished 3rd in air yards in Week 1, but 24th in ADoT
  • His 26.2 DK pts ranked 4th
  • Last season, Burrow averaged 21.6
  • In 30 career games, he’s scored 4x his Week 2 DK salary five times
  • Notable opposing QB scores allowed by DAL last year: Taysom Hill 27.66 // Tom Brady 32.16 // Sam Darnold 36.54

CIN Passing Attack

  • PFF’s 10th ranked offensive line in Week 2
  • Week 1 snap share: Ja’Marr Chase 100% // Tyler Boyd 80% // Hayden Hurst 75% // Mike Thomas 69% // Tee Higgins 26%
  • Target share: Chase 30.2% // Hurst 15.1% // Boyd 13.2% // Thomas 9.4% // Higgins 3.8%
  • Chase ($8,000) finished second in target share among all WRs in Week 1
  • Per 4for4’s NFL Player Stat Explorer, Chase was 14th in WOPR
  • 2021’s 5th highest scoring WR in DK ppg, Chase started 2022 in 4th (31.9)
  • After Week 1, he’s now scored 30+ DK pts four times in 21 games
  • Higgins ($5,900) suffered a concussion and left Week 1 early
  • Should he play, he’s scored 4x his Week 2 salary three times in his past 18 games
  • Boyd ($5,400) scored 13.6 & 23.8 DK pts in Weeks 3 & 4 last season with Higgins absent
  • DAL ranked 23rd in DK ppg allowed to WRs last year (19th in Week 1)
  • Notable opposing WR scores: Antonio Brown 26.7 // Chris Godwin 27.5 // Kadarius Toney 32.6 // DJ Moore 34.9
  • Per 4for4, Hurst ($3,600) ranked 10th in target share among all TEs in Week 1
  • He hasn’t scored 15 DK pts since 2020
  • DAL ranked 16th in DK ppg allowed to TEs last year (4th in Week 1)
  • Notable opposing TE scores: John Bates 18.5 // Travis Kelce 18.8 // Rob Gronkowski 29

Joe Mixon

  • Per 4for4, among all RBs in Week 1, Mixon ($7,200) ranked first in % of team carries & ninth in % of team red zone carries, ninth in target share, 11th in air yard share, 11th in ADoT, & ninth in WOPR
  • He scored 4x his Week 2 DK salary four times last year: 28 vs. MIN // 28 vs. CLE // 31.5 vs. BAL // 35.3 vs. PIT
  • DAL ranked third in DK ppg allowed to RBs last year (16th in Week 1)
  • Notable opposing RB scores: Devontae Booker 20.8 // Damien Harris 20.8 // Austin Ekeler 22.5

Cooper Rush

  • Dak Prescott finished 32nd in Pass Expected Points Added per Play in Week 1 (per 4for4’s NFL Player Stat Explorer)
  • Rush finished 33rd
  • In his lone regular season start, Rush ($5,000 DK salary in Week 2) scored 22.2 DK pts @ MIN last year
  • CIN allowed just 12.7 DK pts to Mitch Trubisky in Week 1
  • Last season they ranked 22nd in DK ppg allowed to QBs (19.2)
  • Notable opposing QB scores allowed: Kirk Cousins 25.04 // Justin Herbert 29.28 // Mike White 31.1

DAL Passing Attack

  • Week 1 snap share: Dalton Schultz 100% // CeeDee Lamb 97.1% // Noah Brown 88.4%
  • Target share: Lamb 26.2% // Schultz 21.4% // Brown 21.4%
  • Target counts in Week 8 last season under Cooper Rush’s lone start: Amari Cooper 13 // Lamb 8 // Schultz 7
  • Per 4for4’s NFL Player Stat Explorer, Lamb ($6,900) finished Week 1 at 18th in target share & 19th in WOPR
  • His Week 2 DK salary is nearly $1,000 lower than his peak last year
  • He’s scored 4x his Week 2 salary twice since 2021
  • Brown ($3,800) has yet to hit 12 DK pts in his career
  • CIN ranked 14th in DK ppg allowed to WRs last year (3rd in Week 1)
  • Notable opposing WR scores: 
  • Schultz ($5,200) ranked 5th in target share, 9th in air yard share, 10th in ADoT, & 6th in WOPR among all Week 1 TEs (per 4for4)
  • He’s scored 20+ DK pts three times since 2021
  • CIN ranked 29th in DK ppg allowed to TEs last year (27th in Week 1)
  • Notable opposing TE scores: Darren Waller 21.6 // Travis Kelce 25.5 // Mark Andrews 29.5 // George Kittle 37.1

DAL Rushing Attack

  • Week 1 snap share: Ezekiel Elliott 58% // Tony Pollard 55.1%
  • Target share: Elliott 4.8% // Pollard 4.8%
  • Attempts: Elliott 10 // Pollard 6
  • Per 4for4, among all RBs in Week 1, Elliott finished 16th in % of team carries
  • Elliott ($5,900) has scored 25+ DK pts with Pollard on the roster a total of nine times
  • Pollard ($5,800) has done the same just twice
  • CIN ranked 20th in DK ppg allowed to RBs last year (fifth in Week 1)
  • Notable opposing RB scores: Darrel Williams 25.7 // Najee Harris 31.2 // Michael Carter 32.2 // Nick Chubb 33.3