THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
CINCINNATI BENGALS (6-2) @ MIAMI DOLPHINS (3-4)
WHEN: 7:25 p.m. CT
WHERE: NFL Network
The Miami Dolphins started off the season going 3-0 but quickly came back to earth by dropping the last four contests. They will have to find a way to stop the Bengals’ offense as Cincinnati has put up the second most points in the AFC, behind only Denver.
With Fantasy Football roster decisions due today in regards to the players taking the field tonight, let’s take a look at some of the pertinent information about the Bengals and the Dolphins.
A key to success in the NFL is health, and the Cincinnati Bengals, sitting at 6-2, are enjoying relative good health. The only player with any kind of fantasy impact, albeit minor, who is hurt for the Bengals is wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, who is listed as Questionable with a shoulder injury, Sanu only has fantasy value as a deep back up receiver to cover byes.
The Dolphins are not quite as fortuitous. They have lost wide out Brandon Gibson for the season with a patella tendon tear. Gibson had 30 catches for 326 yards and 3 touchdowns on the season.
While he doesn’t play a skill fantasy position, the strange case of Jonathan Martin may well affect the Dolphin offense. The starting offensive tackle left the team yesterday after a practical joke aimed at Martin evidently went awry in some way. He is officially listed as Doubtful, but if he left the team…
It is always difficult to replace tackles in the NFL. His presence will be missed.
THURSDAY NIGHT START ‘EM OR SIT ‘EM
The Bengals have two key plays that are almost always definite starters for fantasy owners each week – Andy Dalton and A.J. Green. The former has played like an elite level fantasy quarterback this season, piling up 2,249 passing yards (good for 4th) and 16 touchdowns, while the latter is second in the NFL with 734 receiving yards, plus 5 touchdowns.
Miami allows 110 yards a game on the ground, so I like BenJarvus Green-Ellis this week too. He hasn’t really been very dominate but he is worth a start this week.
It is also a good idea to get wide receiver Marvin Jones into your line up. Jones has become a favorite target of Dalton’s recently as he has caught 12 passes over the past 2 games, 5 of which were touchdowns, including 4 scores last week. You can’t expect that kind of production this week, or any other, but he is becoming a bigger part of the offense now.
For Miami, there a few players to recommend as definitely starters to fantasy owners. Both of the Dolphins primary wide receivers, Brian Hartline and Mike Wallace, have 30 or more receptions and nearly 400 yards. With 6 teams with byes this week, both of these guys are certainly options to start for your teams in week 9.
I liked Lamar Miller a lot in the preseason but for some reason, the Dolphins have been hesitant to just give him the role of primary ball carrier. They have given Miller more than 11 carries in a game just twice, and they insist on playing an inferior Daniel Thomas more than necessary. Miller got 18 carries for 89 yards last week, so maybe the Dolphins are finally waking up.
Miller is a big risk to play until the Dolphins commit to him but he is certainly an option this week with so many teams on a bye. Play him if you need to and hope Miami gives him the ball.
If you are thinking about playing Ryan Tannehill, your league is either really deep, or you have been decimated by injuries and/or bye weeks.
On paper, this looks like an easy win for the Bengals but it is in Miami. The Bengals are only favored by a field goal so not everyone is convinced this will be a simple walk in the park for Cincinnati.
There is plenty to watch in this game as the Bengals have an exciting passing attack, and I still really like Lamar Miller. This game isn’t quite the dud as some of other Thursday night games have been.
There are plenty of relevant fantasy players going tonight to make it a fun watch.