The Bengals and Dolphins play an early Thursday night game this week, so any fantasy start/sit decisions regarding players on their teams need to be made earlier than normal.
While we can recommend that you start this guy or sit that guy, it doesn’t make a lot of sense without knowing your entire roster. For example, if you waited until the 10th round of your draft to select your first wide receiver, then somebody like Tyler Boyd is a must start for your team. But if you have Julio Jones, Odell Beckham, and Amari Cooper on your roster, then Boyd is an unlikely candidate to break into that lineup. So we have placed each significant fantasy player into various categories.
ABSOLUTELY START THESE PLAYERS
A.J. Green (Bengals WR) is currently in the top 12 wide receivers, meaning he is playing as a WR1 this year, which is where he was projected. He is averaging almost 100 yards per game and is a must-start. The Dolphins just got burned by Terrelle Pryor for 144 yards and eight receptions. Surely Green can have some success against that secondary?
Jarvis Landry (Dolphins WR) is averaging over 100 yards per week, and has seen no fewer than 10 targets in any of the Dolphins first three games. The same Bengals’ defense who shut down Antonio Brown just got torched by Emmanuel Sanders - so which Bengals’ defense shows up? If Landry didn’t have DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills eating into his numbers, he could be elevated to a must-start.
Jeremy Hill (Bengals RB) faces a Miami run defense that has been good enough. Not great. Not horrible. They have given up over 4.5 yards per carry to Christine Michael, LeGarrette Blount, and Isiah Crowell. Not exactly Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles, and Todd Gurley. Hill has seen his carries increase each week, and could be in for a solid game on Thursday.
DeVante Parker (Dolphins WR) faces a Bengals’ secondary which shut down some big time receivers like Brandon Marshall and Antonio Brown, and has been torched by Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Parker is not the Dolphins top option, but has big play ability.
Ryan Tannehill (Dolphins QB) is going up against the pass defense that just got lit up by lowly regarded rookie Trevor Siemian. The Bengals have given up nine touchdown passes this year, which is the second worst mark in the NFL. They are also giving up 247 yards per game. If Tannehill comes anywhere close to these numbers, he could be a big performer in Week 4.
Andy Dalton (Bengals QB) is playing in a primetime game, which tends to work against him. But he gets to face a Dolphins defense that is pretty good about giving up passing yards. Outside of a matchup against an injured Russell Wilson, the Dolphins have faced Jimmy Garoppolo, Jacoby Brissett, and Cody Kessler - not exactly a who’s who of NFL quarterbacks. Despite that, the Dolphins haven’t exactly shut down the opposing quarterbacks. A healthy Dalton throwing to A.J. Green should be their toughest test of the season.
Giovani Bernard (Bengals RB) The Bengals have only given Bernard five carries in each of his first three games this season, which isn’t much to built a fantasy football resume on. If Bernard were assured of more touches, he could be more favorable - especially if you recall the big play he wowed us with the last time he faced the Dolphins.
The (Dolphins RB) have devolved into a cluster of a mess with injured Arian Foster, Jay Ajayi, and Kenyan Drake all jostling for carries. Over the last two weeks, the Bengals defense has held DeAngelo Williams and C.J. Anderson to a 2.8 yards per carry average and zero touchdowns. Start any Dolphins’ RB this week at your own risk.
Jordan Cameron (Dolphins TE) had one good season, way back in 2013. Since then he inexplicably continues to get drafted and played in fantasy football leagues. Over the last two plus seasons, he is averaging 30 yards per game, and just over four fantasy points per game. Oh, and Cameron has a concussion and will not be playing tonight.
Tyler Eifert (Bengals TE) Eifert will be out for another week and hopefully will return next week against the Cowboys. You can sit him once again.