NFL Week 4 gets underway with a Thursday Night Football matchup between the Miami Dolphins and the Cincinnati Bengals at 8:20 p.m. ET. The Dolphins have gotten off to a perfect 3-0 start, but the Bengals are listed as four-point home favorites. The total on this game currently sits at 47.0 points.
In this article, I’ll be using various FantasyLabs tools and other industry metrics to break down the slate.
Finally, make sure to check out all the projections available for purchase within the FantasyLabs Models. Subscribers now have the option to purchase Derek Carty’s THE BLITZ from our Marketplace. Projections from One Week Season and Establish the Run are available if you’re a subscriber to those specific sites (our optimizer is a separate add-on feature).
You can also combine them to create your own aggregate projections:
NFL DFS Stud Picks
The Bengals got off to a rough start this season, but they still possess one of the most explosive passing attacks in football. They’re led by Ja’Marr Chase, last year’s Offensive Rookie of the Year. He leads the team with a 28.5% target market share and a 34.3% air yards share. He’s had at least nine targets in all three games, although that hasn’t necessarily led to a ton of fantasy production yet.
Chase is in a solid spot this week vs. the Dolphins. They have some quality defensive backs, but they have been unable to stop the pass to start the year. They rank merely 29th in Football Outsiders pass defense DVOA, and they’ve surrendered at least 318 passing yards in back-to-back weeks.
Ultimately, I’m not sure that Chase deserves to be the most expensive player in this contest, but he clearly has some upside.
The Dolphins’ passing attack has been one of the most condensed to start the year. Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle have been the team’s top two options by a massive margin. Both players have a target market share of at least 28.7%, and no one else is above even 7.9%. They’ve also combined for a remarkable 77.6% of the team’s air yards.
While Hill has a longer track record, Waddle has a slight edge in production to start the year. He’s garnered more targets and air yards, and he also has a superior average depth of target (aDOT). Unsurprisingly, he’s racked up more fantasy points than Hill through the first three weeks.
It’s hard to separate the two players in this spot, but it is worth noting that Waddle is dealing with an injury. He’s officially questionable with a groin injury, but he was listed as a limited participant at Wednesday’s practice. That puts him on track to suit up, but there’s always the chance he could aggravate his groin injury during the game.
Stacking both Dolphins’ pass-catchers with Tua Tagovailoa is also a very appealing strategy. It’s expensive, but it’s not quite as crippling as stacking the top three for some of the other teams around the league. The fact that they’re passing offense has been so condensed also gives that trio plenty of correlation and upside.
Speaking of Tua, he’s also listed as questionable. Like Waddle, he was also able to get in two limited sessions to close the week, and head coach Mike McDaniel said he’s “optimistic” Tua will be able to suit up.
Tagovailoa put up the best fantasy game of the season in Week 2, racking up 469 passing yards and six touchdowns in a massive comeback win over the Ravens. However, he’s finished with 14.8 DraftKings points or fewer in his other two starts. That makes him a highly volatile option heading into this matchup.
That said, the game script could be in his favor. The Dolphins are listed as road underdogs, just like they were in Week 2 vs. the Ravens. Tua has historically posted a Plus/Minus of +2.54 in that split, although that number is clearly inflated by his 43.86 DraftKings points against the Ravens (per the Trends tool). The best-case scenario for his fantasy value is the Dolphins falling into another early hole.