DFS Thursday Night Football Preview: Jaguars vs Bengals
Jacksonville Jaguars vs Cincinnati Bengals
Spread: Bengals -7.5 | OU 46
Week 4 kicks off this Thursday night with the Jacksonville Jaguars visiting the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals enter this week, coming off an upset victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. In comparison, the Jacksonville Jaguars enter this week 0-3 after losing to the Arizona Cardinals. Thus, this game is a tale of two different teams, with the Bengals' future looking bright and the Jaguars struggling to make progress in the NFL.
How should each team approach this game to win? Let's break it down below.
How Do The Jacksonville Jaguars Win This Game?
The Bengals defense has been a surprise to most in the NFL this year. However, if the Jaguars are going to score a surplus of points, they will have to attack this defense through the air. The Bengals defense has given up 541 yards to wide receivers, which is 10th worst in the NFL. With the Bengals' deficiency against the pass, this course of attack fits with the Jaguars' strength as they have three capable and talented wide receivers in Marvin Jones Jr., DJ Chark Jr., Laviska Shenault Jr.
The biggest concern for the Jaguars is limiting Trevor Lawrence's turnovers. Through three weeks, Lawrence has thrown for seven interceptions. Lawrence has nine turnovers overall, which is the most turnovers in the NFL this season.
How Do The Cincinnati Bengals Win The Game?
The Bengals will rely on their defense to cause chaos for the rookie quarterback, while on offense, they should focus on the aerial attack against Jacksonville. The Jaguars are the sixth-worst team against quarterbacks when it comes to passing yards. They have given up 935 yards already this season. Therefore, I would expect Joe Burrow to connect with Ja'Marr Chase at the steady clip produced all season.
Now that we have broken down how each team should develop a game plan to win, let's break down the best plays in the DFS Showdown.
Joe Burrow ($11,600)
Burrow enters week four hot as he threw three touchdowns last week, on only 18 passes. The positive sign of this game was to see Burrow moving and rushing for seven yards. That is not a lot of yards, but the fact that he is beginning to trust his body again after his season-ending injury last year should make fantasy managers smile. With the Jaguars giving up the sixth-most yards to quarterbacks already this season, I like Burrow in my lineup.
Trevor Lawrence ($10,400)
As discussed above, Lawrence has been a turnover machine this season. However, the positive for DFS is the number of attempts he has had each game. In three games this year, he has thrown for over 30 attempts in each game. Lawrence even had a game over 50 attempts. Unfortunately, Lawrence continues to find himself in negative game scripts and, due to that, will have to continue to sling the rock. So, take his high attempt total and make sure they are in your lineup.
Joe Mixon ($11,000)
This year, Joe Mixon has been a workhorse for the Cincinnati Bengals. Last week was his lowest rushing attempt total for the season at 18, so I expect more carries for Mixon Thursday night. The Bengals should have a positive game script for most of the game, which is conducive for running the ball more, and the Jaguars have given up four touchdowns to backs this season(fourth-most in the NFL).
James Robinson ($9,400)
James Robinson eclipsed 100 scrimmage yards for the first time this season against the weak Cardinals run defense. The issue for Robinson is that he faces a Bengals defense that has only given up 174 yards on the ground this season, which is the eighth-best in the NFL. Therefore, Robinson will have to produce in the passing game to be relevant for your DFS lineup. Thankfully, the Bengals defense has given up the most receptions(31) to running backs this season. With the Jaguars being in a negative game script most of the game, you may see higher reception totals than usual here.
Carlos Hyde ($1,800)
Don't get too cute with your lineups; Carlos Hyde is facing a solid run defense and doesn't offer much in the way of the passing game. I would fade Hyde for this game.
Ja'Marr Chase ($10,200)
Ja'Marr Chase had a rough preseason. However, when the games began to matter, his connection with Joe Burrow began to shine through. He has had a touchdown each week and had two touchdowns last week. At this point in the season, we have enough information to see the pattern building. This pattern in Cincinnati says Burrow likes to throw to Chase; therefore, Chase should be in your lineups.
Marvin Jones Jr. ($8,600)
The next most expensive wide receiver on this slate comes from Jacksonville. Marvin Jones Jr. has entered this season with eight or more targets in every game, and he also has more than 50 yards in every game this season. We already spoke about how you should attack the Bengals defense through the passing attack, and I expect Lawrence to look for Jones even more in this game.
Tee Higgins ($8,000)
Tee Higgins was listed as a non-participant in Tuesday's practice. I would fade him this week and would rather have Chase or Tyler Boyd before I lean on a player who isn't healthy on a short week.
Tyler Boyd ($7,400)
Tyler Boyd could see an uptick in targets if Higgins misses the game again. Without Higgins, he saw six targets last week in Pittsburgh. With a cheaper salary and the Jaguars giving up the fourth-most passing yards in the NFL, Boyd could be an excellent player for your roster.
DJ Chark Jr. ($7,200)
DJ Chark is a touchdown-dependent player. Chark Jr has had a 12 target game this year and walked away with three receptions. He has had a game with one catch for 19 yards as well. His stock is a little too Boom/Bust for me to want to place in my roster.
Laviska Shenault Jr. ($6,600)
Shenault Jr. ranked second on the team in targets through the first two weeks of the season but was fifth last week for the Jaguars. With Shenault working primarily underneath routes, you will need him to break free to dominant on your roster. It may be better to spend your cash elsewhere.
Dan Arnold ($4,400)
Dan Arnold was just traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars this week. Arnold is a very talented pass catcher, but with the short week and his recent arrival to the team, fade Arnold this week for your lineups.
C.J. Uzomah ($4,000)
C.J. Uzomah has five total targets this year. You can take a dart throw shot that he falls into the endzone. However, I suggest you look elsewhere for your roster.
Jacob Hollister ($1,000)
Jacob Hollister is not a superstar play for your roster. However, with James O'Shaughnessy injured, Hollister saw six targets last game. Therefore, Hollister could be a cheap dart throw play for your roster this Thursday night.
Defense and Kickers
Bengals D ($5,600)/ Evan McPherson (3,800)/ Josh Lambo ($3,600)/ Jaguars D ($3,000)
The only one of these options I am looking to put in my lineup is the Bengals' defense. They have played surprisingly well this season, and they get Lawrence, who has nine turnovers already this season. If your lineup needs a kicker, I suggest lending on Evan McPherson as Josh Lambo has struggled so far in 2021.
Prediction and Lineup
The Cincinnati Bengals defeat the Jacksonville Jaguars 26 to 21.
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DFS Showdown Head To Head Cash Lineup
- Ja'Marr Chase ($15,300) *Captain*
- Bengals D ($5,600)
- Joe Burrow ($11,600)
- Trevor Lawrence ($10,400)
- Evan McPherson ($3,800)
- Jacob Hollister ($1,800)
Are you looking for DFS projections for the entire slate of games this weekend? Check out our NFL DFS projections!
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Former minor league soccer player/winner of TKO. Avid Philadelphia Eagles fan, Philadelphia born and raised, who also named their mascot (Swoop) for the team. Huge fantasy football fanatic who is all about the stats and ready to debate any topic. I have written for major publications within the sports and fitness world. Things I will debate until my last breath: Superman is the best superhero, Tim Tebow would have been a sustainable QB if he went to the Jacksonville Jaguars, and pineapples dont belong on pizza.