Kickoff Thursday, Sep 29th 8:15pm Eastern

Dolphins (
22.5) at

Bengals (
26.5)

Over/Under 49.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
Dolphins Run D
7th DVOA/14th Yards allowed per carry
Bengals Run O
30th DVOA/23rd Yards per carry
Dolphins Pass D
29th DVOA/16th Yards allowed per pass
Bengals Pass O
26th DVOA/7th Yards per pass
Bengals Run D
9th DVOA/5th Yards allowed per carry
Dolphins Run O
15th DVOA/30th Yards per carry
Bengals Pass D
8th DVOA/26th Yards allowed per pass
Dolphins Pass O
3rd DVOA/17th Yards per pass

XANDAMERE’S SHOWDOWN SLANT

Week 4 is here and it starts with the undefeated Dolphins visiting the 1-2 Bengals in a matchup of a team overperforming expectations against one that has been underperforming so far. Remember here that Miami just played a LONG game against the Bills on Sunday, winning despite Buffalo running 90 offensive plays and dominating time of possession, all in the Florida heat and humidity. I don’t generally care much about narratives, but this feels like something of a letdown spot for the Dolphins on the road on a short week after an exhausting game (especially for their defense). Vegas has the Bengals as four-point favorites currently, which despite the disparity in records between the teams, feels accurate, though I’m frankly not sure how much of the current line has to do with uncertainty around the status of Tua Tagovailoa (more on this later).

Cincinnati

We’ll start with the Bengals. Joe Mixon is questionable with a minor ankle injury but is expected to play and he checks the boxes of “home favorite running back with a three-down role.” Mixon has disappointed from an efficiency perspective so far with just 2.8 yards per carry but the volume has been there: 58 carries and 20 targets in three games is juicy, juicy volume for a running back. At just $9k, he’s underpriced for his bell-cow role. Samaje Perine stole a touchdown last week and got some extra volume as the Bengals were dominating the game, but is generally a 20-25% of the snaps kind of backup, which only led to two carries and six targets in the first two games of the season. The whole “RB2 in Showdown” role has value, and Perine would be a smash should something happen to Mixon early in the game, but at $7,400, he’s effectively unplayable unless you want to build a lineup that is hypothesizing an early Mixon injury.

Showdown Ownership Projections!

Ownership updates automatically

In the passing game, Joe Burrow has reached a somewhat comically cheap price of just $9,600, and even in a relatively slow start to the season he’s still put up two good scores and one decent score. We also have a massive price gap between Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins: $11,000 for Chase against just $8,200 for Higgins. These guys are 1A and 1B, with Higgins actually seeing more targets and more receiving yards in games in which they’ve played together over the last year. Higgins has also outscored Chase in the two games they’ve played together, with Chase going off in Week 1 when Higgins departed early. They’re both elite players, but it’s hard not to love the $2,800 discount on Higgins. I expect that will lead to more ownership, leaving Chase as a “pay up to be contrarian” option. Tyler Boyd is a slot receiver who has only reached 100 yards twice since the start of 2021 and is priced too closely to Higgins to be viewed as a “good” play. He’s a guy you’ll want to mix in, because the Bengals don’t throw to a lot of different guys, but he’s almost certainly going to need a touchdown to be relevant. He’s also priced in a Showdown dead zone, as from Higgins at $8,200 down to Hayden Hurst at $5,400, it’s only him and Chase Edmonds as viable plays, and since he’s in this gap where he’s one of just two viable guys, we can’t even count on the price being close to Higgins to give us a meaningful ownership discount on him. Speaking of Hurst, he’s one to keep an eye on the injury report for, as he saw 15 targets in his first two games while playing 78% of the snaps, before only playing 38% of the snaps and seeing two targets last week. He went into last week questionable with a groin injury, and still has that injury tag, so while he played he was clearly being managed carefully. If he keeps the questionable tag up till kickoff, it’s hard to know what to expect from him, leaving him as a volatile wildcard play. If he sheds the questionable tag before Thursday, I’d expect him to return to a 70%+ role with solid target volume. Behind Hurst, Mitchell Wilcox and Devin Asiasi will rotate in, but Wilcox is mostly a special teamer and Asiasi sucks, so they’re in the “MME punt pool” play even if Hurst is limited again (note that last week with Hurst playing just 38% of the snaps, Wilcox played 57% and got one target, while Asiasi played 35% and saw zero targets). You can also include Mike Thomas (the good one, not that dude on the Saints who’s always hurt) in your MME punt pools. 

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Joe Burrow:

  • QBs vs MIA: Mac (213:1:1, 7.1 yds/att) // Lamar (318:3, 11 yds/att) // Allen (400:2, 6.3 yds/att)
  • Lamar & Allen also rushed for 119:1 & 47 yds respectively
  • Burrow in 2022: (338:2:4, 6.4 yds/att) // (199:1, 5.5 yds/att) // (275:3, 7.6 yds/att)
  • Burrow has been sacked 7, 6, & 2 times
  • MIA had 2 sacks in first two weeks before 4 last week, but Allen dropped back double the amount of times as the other two QBs
  • In 33 career games, Burrow has scored 25+ DK pts in 8 of them (24.2%)
  • Half of those 8 have been for 30+ (38.6, 30.6, 41.1, 37.8)
  • Burrow pass att in the 8 games: 61, 47, 32, 38, 34, 46, 39, 53 (43.75 att/g)
  • Burrow’s pass att/g in the other 25 games: 33.6 att/g

CIN WRs:

  • Targets: Chase (16, 9, 10) // Higgins (2, 10, 7) // Boyd (7, 2, 5)
  • Higgins momentarily left the game after another head-shot (already missed W1 with concussion), but appears likely to play Thursday
  • Chase has six 25+ DK pt scores in 24 games: 30.9 // 37.1 // 25.3 // 58.6 // 25.9 // 31.9
  • Burrow has also scored 25+ in 4 of the 6
  • 2022 top WRs vs MIA: Meyers (55) // Bateman (108:1) // Diggs (74), McKenzie (76:1)

Joe Mixon:

  • Mixon rush att: 27 // 19 // 12
  • Mixon targets: 9 // 4 // 7
  • Mixon total yds: 145 // 83 // 48
  • 2022 RBs vs MIA: Harris (58) // Hill (16) // Singletary (91:1)
  • MIA ranks 7th in def rush DVOA

Tua Tagovailoa:

  • CIN has allowed just 2 TDs to 2 INT so far, but has faced essentially 3 backup QBs in a row in Trubisky, Rush, & Flacco
  • 2022 Tua: 270:1 (NE) // 469:6:2 (BAL) // 186:1 (BUF)
  • 2021 & 2022 pass def DVOAs of those teams: (3, 16) // (30, 15) // (1, 2)
  • CIN def pass DVOA in 2021 & 2022: (24, 8)
  • Tua has just 3 games of 25+ DK pts in 26 games (11.5%)::
  • 2020 (316:2:1, 24:1, 48 att) // 2021 (291:4:2, 29, 40 att) // 2022 (469:6:2, 50 att)
  • Pass & rush att ratios of CIN opponents: 38, 13 // 31, 24 // 52, 19

MIA WRs:

  • Targets: Hill (12, 13, 4) // Waddle (5, 19, 6)
  • Hill & Waddle have combined for 49 of MIA’s 66 WR/TE targets (74%)
  • Total yds by game: Hill (100 // 190:2 // 33) // Waddle (77:1 // 171:2 // 111)
  • WRs vs CIN: Diontae (55) // Brown (91:1), Lamb (75) // Wilson (60), Moore (49)
  • CIN has the 3rd fewest missed tackles through 3 weeks
  • Waddle & Hill are both top-25 in YAC for WRs, and Waddle ranks 7th in YAC above expectation
  • On the 11th most WR tg faced, CIN has allowed the 4th fewest WR yds

MIA RBs:

  • RBs vs CIN: Najee (26:1) // Pollard (98:1), Zeke (49) // Hall (92), Carter (46)
  • MIA RB rush att: Edmonds (12 // 5 // 6) // Mostert (5 // 11 // 8)
  • MIA RB targets: Edmonds (4 // 3 // 1) // Mostert (1 // 3 // 2)
  • MIA RB total yds: Edmonds (65 // 41 // 27:2) // Mostert (32 // 79 // 11)