Game Overview ::
By mjohnson86 >>
- This is probably the biggest game of the Zac Taylor era in Cincinnati, with the winner of this game taking control of the AFC North.
- These teams are a combined 9-3 with all three of the losses coming in overtime. We should expect a highly competitive game.
- Both teams are strong defensively and rank bottom-10 in pass rate, setting up a classic AFC North slugfest.
How Cincinnati Will Try To Win ::
The Bengals continued their run-heavy tendencies of 2021 last week against the Lions, running the ball more often than they passed for the third time in six games. When the season started, it was reasonable to expect the Bengals to pass at the high rate they had last year, considering they added another explosive weapon in Ja’Marr Chase. However, the Bengals switched course and are likely to continue their winning recipe for the foreseeable future. A franchise that has struggled for a long time and been the brunt of many jokes, the Bengals are a legitimate team this year behind a top-10 defense and a balanced offense that can be explosive when it needs to be. The Bengals are 4-2 but could very easily be 6-0 as the Vikings needed a 53-yard field goal as time expired in regulation to force overtime, and the Bengals missed multiple field goals that would have won the game against the Packers.
Baltimore is 3rd in the league in yards allowed per rush attempt while ranking 26th in the league in yards per pass attempt allowed. In theory, this creates a classic pass funnel situation, but it is unlikely the Bengals will stray far from the balanced approach that has led them to their most promising start in years. Also, the Ravens are coming off a game where they shut down a previously red-hot Chargers passing offense. Cincinnati will continue to stay balanced as long as this game is competitive, with their defense likely being strong enough to keep them close or in the lead throughout this game. When they do pass, they are likely to take some shots to their star wide receivers Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase (Chase is 3rd in the league among players with at least 20 targets with an average depth of target of 17.6 yards). Baltimore has given up some big plays down the field this season, and the Bengals will certainly try to find opportunities to exploit a perceived weakness, even if they aren’t throwing at a heavy clip.
How baltimore Will Try To Win ::
Baltimore has made a lot of noise this year with their improved passing game and the continued development of Lamar Jackson, specifically showing the ability to bring his team back in negative game scripts — something he had previously failed to do. However, the Ravens remain true to their core as a run-first team despite the continued injuries to their running back stable. Through six weeks, Baltimore ranks 29th in situation-neutral pass rate and is going to lean that way whenever they can. Their ability to continue having success regardless of who is at running back relies on two things:
- Lamar Jackson’s dual-threat ability puts a ton of stress on the defense
- Baltimore’s offensive line is ranked 4th by PFF in run blocking
What this means is that the Ravens’ line is doing a great job opening up holes, and linebackers are forced to hold and check that Lamar doesn’t have the ball before filling those holes. That’s a tough combination for any defensive unit to deal with.
When Baltimore throws, they will take some shots on occasion. However, given the importance of this game and the likely low-scoring, competitive nature it will have, it is unlikely the Ravens will be forcing things through the air. If things aren’t clearly open for him, Lamar is more likely to tuck it and run than he is to try to make something happen against a good pass defense — Cincinnati is 8th in pass defense DVOA and has PFF’s 7th rated coverage unit. The Bengals are also likely to lean on their Cover-2 and Cover-3 defenses (which they run at a top-10 rate) in this spot, rather than playing much man-to-man and turning their backs to Lamar. In theory, that would serve to limit big plays for the Ravens’ passing game while also keeping Lamar from busting off long runs. In reality, good luck tackling Lamar in the open field. The likely heavy amounts of zone coverage will, however, force the Ravens to attack spots on the field and sit down in open windows — which should keep their passing game from having an explosive day, similar to how the Chargers’ defense played them last week.
Likeliest Game Flow ::
This game sets up as a classic AFC North slugfest. Both teams rank bottom-10 in the league in both situation-neutral pass rate and situational-neutral pace of play (Cincinnati actually ranks dead last in that category). Both defenses are solid, and both teams have had success this year, making it unlikely that either break from their tendencies here in what amounts to a critical game for the outcome of the AFC North. The Steelers and Browns are both 3-3, but the Browns have been torn apart by injuries, and the Steelers look nothing like a contender as they try to hide what has been their franchise cornerstone for well over a decade in Ben Roethlisberger. If the Ravens can win here, they will have a two-game lead over the Bengals and hold the tie-breaker. A Bengals win would result in a tie between these two teams at the top of the division, with Cincinnati holding the tie-breaker for the time being. Both coaches believe in their philosophies, strategies, and personnel — which means that we will likely just see both teams square up and give their best shot of “being who they are” in this critical contest. Scoring and yards are likely to be at a premium on both sides of the ball here.
DFS+ Interpretation ::
By Alex88 >>
- 46.5 Vegas total ranks 6th lowest out of 13 games
- BAL’s -6.5 spread and 26.5 implied total each rank 6th highest
- CIN & BAL both rank in the bottom half of adjusted seconds per play (23rd with 31.2 & 27th with 31.7, respectively)
- BAL led their Week 6 opponent, LAC, 38:07 to 21:53 in time of possession
- Burrow is PFF’s 7th ranked QB in passing grade
- He ranks 17th in DK ppg
- Burrow has scored 20+ DK pts in 3 out of 6 games this season, all of which came in the last three games: 25.32 // 20.34 // 23.84
- His DK salary has risen from $5,900 when he scored 25.32 in Week 4 to $6,200 this week
- BAL ranks 13th in DK ppg allowed to QBs (19.5)
CIN Passing Attack
- CIN uses 11 personnel at a 68% rate and 12 personnel at 21%
- Snap share: Ja’Marr Chase 85.9% // CJ Uzomah 75.5% // Tyler Boyd 73.9% // Tee Higgins 51.4% // Drew Sample 45.1% // Auden Tate 26.4%
- Target share: Ja’Marr 23.4% // Boyd 21.7% // Higgins 16% // Uzomah 9.1%
- Ja’Marr’s DK salary was $4,800 in Week 1
- By Week 6, it had risen nearly $2k to $6,700
- In Week 7, it’s dropped to $6,200
- Ja’Marr ranks 4th in receiving yards, 8th in air yards, 22nd in target share, 3rd in air yard market share, and 8th in WOPR
- For the main slate, the three players ahead of him in receiving yards have an average DK salary of $8,633; the six players ahead in air yards average to $7,333; the six players ahead in WOPR average to $7,317
- Ja’Marr’s DK log: 23.9 // 13.4 // 22.5 // 13.7 // 30.9 // 13.7
- Higgins stepped right back into the WR2 role for CIN the past two weeks, earning 7 and 6 targets to Boyd’s 5 and 3
- Boyd’s best week came with Higgins absent
- Higgins DK log last two weeks: 10.2 // 7.4
- Boyd’s DK log last two weeks: 6.4 // 1.7
- Boyd’s salary dropped $700 from Week 6 to 7
- Higgins’s salary dropped $400
- BAL ranks 7th in DK ppg allowed to WRs (34)
- Uzomah’s DK log: 5.5 // 2.4 // 0 // 26.5 // 3.6 // 10.5
- His 26.5 pts came when he hit a season high of 6 targets
- BAL ranks 32nd against TEs (20.7)
- Mixon leads the RB room with a 64.9% snap share, 9.1% target share, and 20.7 touches per game
- He ranks 4th in rush share, 6th in goal line share, and 3rd in RBOPR
- Excluding a hobbled Week 5, Mixon’s DK log: 28 // 8.1 // 10.4 // 13.7 // 26.3
- BAL ranks 24th against RBs (28.3)
- Lamar ranks 8th in PFF passing grade
- His 26.6 DK ppg ranks 4th
- His 13.78 DK pts in the 34-6 blowout last week were his lowest output by a full TD’s worth of production
- DK log: 20 // 37.26 // 20.28 // 22.44 // 45.88 // 13.78
- Lamar ranks 1st in rushes, 3rd in passing air yards, 6th in yardage, and 2nd in ADoT
- CIN ranks 7th against QBs (17.9)
- The list of QBs they’ve faced: Kirk Cousins 25.04 // Andy Dalton 8.74 // Ben Roethlisberger 18.22 // Trevor Lawrence 17.76 // Aaron Rodgers 23.76 // Jared Goff 17.38
BAL Passing Attack
- BAL uses 11 personnel at 37% (league average is 59%), 12 personnel at 4% (22%), 21 personnel at 27% (7%), and 22 personnel at 19% (3%)
- Snap share: Marquise Brown 72.7% // Mark Andrews 71.2% // Rashod Bateman 65.2% (just 1 week) // Sammy Watkins 58.8% // Devin Duvernay 57.6%
- Target share: Andrews 22.7% // Marquise 22.2% // Sammy 16.5% // Duvernay 9.3%
- Week 6 target counts: Andrews 6 // Bateman 6 // Marquise 5 // Duvernay 3
- Marquise’s Week 7 salary is $700 higher than his Week 1 salary
- He ranks 7th in rec yds and 13th in air yards
- His DK log: 19.4 // 26.3 // 8.3 // 19.1 // 36.5 // 7.5
- Per PFF, Bateman’s profile is best comparable to Keenan Allen
- Duvernay’s highest DK total was 10.2 @ DET
- Sammy’s health is up in the air but his highest DK total was 13.6 @ LV
- CIN ranks 14th against WRs (39.4)
- Andrews ranks 2nd in target share among all TEs
- He leads all TEs in rec yds, 2nd in air yards, 3rd in air yard market share, and 2nd in WOPR
- DK log: 5 // 10.7 // 18.9 // 11.7 // 44.7 // 17.8
- CIN ranks 6th against TEs (8.8)
- List of TEs they’ve faced: Tyler Conklin 8.1 // Cole Kmet 1 // Pat Freiermuth 11.2 // Dan Arnold 4.9 // Jacob Hollister 1.5 // Robert Tonyan 1.8 // TJ Hockenson 15.4
- Week 6 snap count: Latavius Murray 26 // Le’Veon Bell 22 // Devonta Freeman 21
- Week 6 targets: Freeman 2 // Latavius 2
- Week 6 touches: Latavius 11 // Freeman 9 // Bell 8
- All three had a rushing TD last week against LAC
- CIN ranks 18th against RBs (26.2)
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