This week's Fantasy Index Weekly is available now.
Posted Oct. 03 at 09:55 AM
CINCINNATI (vs Miami):
Andy Dalton is on fire, and he looks like a top-5 quarterback this week. In his last three games, he's averaged 321 passing yards and 3 TDs, and this week he faces a Miami defense that's significantly weaker against the pass. The Dolphins are allowing 317 passing yards per game. So Dalton seems to be in the mix for 310-plus yards. Now, Miami has allowed only 55 percent completions, with almost as many interceptions (5) as touchdowns (6). But they haven't been facing top quarterbacks. They had Matt Schaub in their first game. Since then, it's been Carson Palmer, Mark Sanchez and Kevin Kolb. Dalton is clearly better than all of those guys. He's completing 68 percent of his passes. Conservatively, we think he looks like a pretty nice bet for 280-plus yards and at least a couple of touchdowns. ... The way the passing game is rolling right now, A.J. Green looks like a top-5 receiver. He's averaging 107 yards per game, and he's scored three weeks in a row. He's Cincinnati's clear No. 1 receiver, and the other No. 1 guys who've played against this defense have all played well.
No. 1 receivers against Miami
There are other pass catchers in this offense. Andrew Hawkins and Armon Binns have been pretty good. Hawkins is on pace to finish the year with over 1,000 run-rec yards. Binns was just short of him until getting shut out last week at Jacksonville. But both of these guys have benefited from the team's offensive explosiveness. (With Dalton averaging 296 yards per game, it's only natural there would be a lot of production to go around.) Once things settle down and
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the passing number regress, Hawkins probably will be more of a 700-800 yard receiver, and Binns should be more of a 600-yard guy. Decent matchup for them here, though. ... The matchup is much tougher for the running game. The Dolphins have been about as good as any team against the run. They're allowing only 2.4 yards per carry, and they're giving up only 56 rushing yards per game. Arian Foster scored 2 TDs but averaged only 3.0 against them. And they haven't allowed a rushing touchdown since Week 1.
Starting tailbacks against Miami
BenJarvus Green-Ellis isn't having a great season anyway, averaging only 3.5 yards per carry. He'll probably be held to something like 50-60 yards in this game. ... The No. 2 pass catcher in the offense is Jermaine Gresham. He started slowly because of a knee injury he suffered in August, but he's healthy now and he's starting to come on. He's caught 17 passes for 178 yards and a touchdown. Last year, he scored just as many touchdowns as A.J. Green (6) when he was on the field (6 in 14 games). They'll use him around the goal line. ... The Bengals Defense looks above average. It's been aggressively going after quarterbacks. That's allowed opponents to complete 68 percent, with 6 TDs and only 1 interception (so terrible pass defense in that regard), but Cincinnati has sacked quarterbacks a league-high 17 times. That's over 4 per game. Here it goes up against a rookie quarterback. Ryan Tannehill has been sacked only 8 times (better than average) but he's thrown 6 interceptions. In our eyes, it makes sense to slot Cincinnati in the top 10 in sacks and about average in interceptions. And they've got a punt returner (Adam Jones) who's already taken one to the house.
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