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Fantasy Football Picks: Dolphins vs. Bengals DraftKings NFL DFS TNF Showdown Strategy

Garion Thorne preps you for Thursday’s 8:15 p.m. ET contest between the Dolphins and the Bengals with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

Who would’ve thought that this game would be super important to the AFC playoff picture five months ago? Somehow, entering Week 4, the Miami Dolphins are the only undefeated team remaining in the conference, while the Cincinnati Bengals, fresh off a Super Bowl appearance, have the potential to drop to 1-3. That whole sentence makes my brain hurt.

Let’s dive into this surprisingly fun Showdown slate.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $2.5M Thursday Night Millionaire [$1M to 1st] (MIA vs CIN)


Captain’s Picks

Tyreek Hill ($16,200 CP) - It feels like Hill is coming off a poor performance against the Bills, but in reality, the situation was sort of out of his control. Miami had less than 20 minutes of possession in Week 3, which meant Tua Tagovailoa ($9,400; back) only attempted 18 passes in the victory. Hill’s four targets don’t quite seem so bad when you consider it was a 22.2% target share, right? Hill racked up 25 targets and about a 40% share of the Dolphins’ air yards through the season’s first two games. In anything approaching a normal script, he’ll be fine, and that’s before we even consider his ongoing beef with Eli Apple. I mean, who am I to not take Tua at his word? I’m predicting double-digit targets for Hill, and possibly a target share well above 30% if Jaylen Waddle ($10,200) is hampered at all by his groin issue.

Joe Burrow ($14,400 CP) - Coming into Thursday, Miami has surrendered the most DKFP per game to opposing QBs in 2022. I’d caution that a large part of that stat has to do with the Dolphins playing Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen the past two weeks, but it’s not like Burrow isn’t approaching that class of pivot. The former first-overall pick looked far more comfortable in Week 3 against the Jets, tossing three touchdowns in a lopsided win, and I think Burrow sets up well against Miami’s particular brand of defense. Dolphins D/ST ($4,000) has been among the league leaders in blitz rate under Josh Boyer, as the team has lived and died with its now famous cover zero looks. Well, in 2021, among qualified quarterbacks, Burrow led the NFL in yards per attempt when being blitzed (11.5). This season, he’s completed 17 of his 25 passes against the blitz, registering three scores and no interceptions. With Ja’Marr Chase ($11,000) and Tee Higgins ($8,200) by his side, Burrow might pick Miami’s banged up secondary apart.

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FLEX Plays

Tee Higgins ($8,200) - I get it. The three most expensive assets on this slate are wideouts. There’s only so many players at the position that can be priced above $10K. Still, in my opinion, that quirk leaves Higgins a little underpriced. If we remove Week 1’s loss to Pittsburgh — where Higgins left the game in the first half — the Clemson product leads all Bengals WRs in aDOT and air yards, all while maintaining a pretty notable 24% target share. Also, let us not forget that Higgins was “robbed” of a touchdown versus the Jets, that would have put him well over 20.0 DKFP. There’s only one Xavien Howard. Byron Jones is on Injured Reserve for at least one more week. If the Dolphins choose to try and contain Chase, Higgins might go off in this primetime affair.

Raheem Mostert ($4,400) - I’m not sure what Mostert’s ceiling as a DFS asset actually is, but I do know the price discrepancy between he and Chase Edmonds ($6,200) shouldn’t be this wide. Mostert has out-snapped his teammate each of the past two weeks, while he’s collected 19 carries within that span to Edmonds’ 11. Yes, it was the Edmonds who found the end zone twice in Week 3; yet with Mostert having received more red zone attempts for the season as a whole, I’m not ready to say with any confidence that the Dolphins have a designated goal line back. There really isn’t a “third down” back, either, as Mostert’s seen five targets to Edmonds’ four targets since Week 2. Again, these two RBs are almost interchangeable in Mike McDaniel’s system, so it wouldn’t shock me if it’s Mostert who finds pay dirt on Thursday night.


Tua Tagovailoa ($9,400) - I swear this isn’t a knock on Tua. Don’t come after me TuAnon, I’ve been a long-suffering Dolphins fan since the 1990s. I’m generally on your side. No, this is more about how concentrated Miami’s aerial attack has been through three games. 58.4% of the Dolphins’ targeted throws have been directed towards Hill and Waddle. The Cheetah and the Penguin have accounted for an insane 71.2% of Miami’s receiving yards, as no player on the roster outside of Hill and Waddle has even 60 yards to their name. Basically, you know where the ball is going. If Tua has a big performance, it’s almost assured that Hill and Waddle will have had bigger ones. With how difficult it is to fit all three players into a single build, Tagovailoa becomes the odd man out. I mean, he’s not going to beat you with his legs. He also might not be 100%, as he’s still technically listed as questionable for this contest.


Each team is coming into this matchup on a short week, but I think we all know who faces a tougher turnaround. The Dolphins (and the Bills) looked physically drained after Sunday’s contest, and this is a classic let down spot for a squad that just beat their long-time division foe for the first time in years. Miami’s injury report is also pretty daunting. Give me the home team, who happens to employ the better QB.

Final Score: Cincinnati 27, Miami 21

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $2.5M Thursday Night Millionaire [$1M to 1st] (MIA vs CIN)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.