Did they figure things out on Monday Night? Coming off of a win, the Cincinnati Bengals fantasy football outlook for Week 4 is focused on their ability to take a step forward through the air. The Tennessee Titans fantasy preview starts and ends with the value of their struggling star running back.
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Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans
- Spread: Bengals -2.5
- Total: 41.5
- Bengals implied points: 22
- Titans implied points: 19.5
Joe Burrow: Was Burrow great on Monday night against the Rams in a game we weren’t sure he’d play? No. He completed just 26 of 49 passes for 259 yards with an interception and had some moments where he was hobbling, but he made it through the game and got the Bengals a win.
Burrow lasting four quarters is all I needed to see to get back on Burrow moving forward. This Titans defense served as a get-right spot for Deshaun Watson last week, and I see more of the same for Burrow this week. He targeted Ja’Marr Chase or Tee Higgins with 52.2% of his throws in Week 3, and if that is sustained, my ranking of QB10 for Burrow this week isn’t going to be high enough.
I’m targeting his upside over the safety that comes with a QB like Brock Purdy or the matchup play in Russell Wilson (vs. CHI).
Ryan Tannehill: We now have a season-plus of evidence that the rushing numbers that used to help Tannehill matter in fantasy circles are gone. That happens with age, and the 35-year-old has lost a step.
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All of that is true, and all of that makes it even more concerning that, through three games, over 26% of his fantasy points have come on a single carry. As I mentioned with Ridder earlier, Tannehill is part of the rare tier of signal-callers that I would consider playing an upside position player over.
Joe Mixon: The veteran back has seen his touch count increase every week this season (16, 17, 20) and has seen his fantasy finish at the position improve weekly as a result (27, 20, 15). He has six straight regular-season games with at least five targets or a touchdown, a skill set that lands him as a top-12 player for me, even in a tough matchup.
Mixon didn’t play when these two teams met last season, but Samaje Perine totaled 93 yards and a score. Look for Cincinnati to protect Burrow by establishing the run before exposing this secondary. I’m playing all four of the primary Bengals with confidence.
Derrick Henry: You see, in professional sports, when a player knows what to expect, they thrive. I can’t imagine that is some sort of hot take. There’s a reason why the Houston Astros were interested in stealing/communicating signs. Do you think they would put their collective reputations on the line for an edge that they weren’t confident would pay major dividends?
WEEK 4 DYNASTY REPORT!@timbmartens is here breaking down the top players to buy low & sell high on in your Dynasty fantasy football league after Week 3!
— Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL) September 27, 2023
That’s where we are with the Titans, but in the reverse by way of the Week 4 Cheat Sheet. They are telling you exactly what they are going to do and hoping to somehow beat you. It’s not happening. Henry was on the field for 17 snaps last week and had, you guessed it, 17 carries. Henry is a large human who is difficult to tackle, but I’ll say it again: When professionals know what is coming, they thrive.
He picked up just 38 yards on 17 carries against the Bengals in Week 12 last season, though a 69-yard catch helped him finish with 117 total yards. Henry is going to continue to be the focal point of this offense, and sheer volume will keep him inside my top 15 as long as I expect Tennessee to remain reasonably competitive.
I expect that to be the case this week, but you have to be aware that the Henry you have now isn’t the one you hoped for when drafting this summer.
Tyjae Spears: He’s not touching the ball enough to truly matter (22 touches this season), but he is playing enough to subtract from Henry’s upside. In Week 3, the third-round pick out-snapped the King 27-17, but his eight touches gained just nine yards. His role in this limited offense is interesting, but due to the limitations of this group as a whole, he doesn’t hold any value in redraft formats right now.
Ja’Marr Chase: A somewhat hobbled Burrow had eyes for his WR1 on Monday night, feeding Chase 32.6% of his targets and getting him his first top-45 finish of the season (WR10). It won’t be the last.
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We know Chase can get as hot as anyone in the game (three games with over 115 yards and a touchdown last season), and he is currently riding the longest regular-season scoring drought of his career (three games). Chase is not priced as a top-five receiver on the main DFS slate this week; he will very much be in my player pool, given his slate-breaking potential.
Tee Higgins: Well, this has been a frustrating start to the season. In three weeks, Higgins has a WR3 (vs. BAL) finish sandwiched between a pair of weeks in which he was not one of the 80 best fantasy receivers. He caught seven passes for 114 yards and a score (sans Chase) against the Titans last season – could we get another of those peak performances?
Higgins was an asset last season. That’s a fact, and even in a strong campaign, he had four games with under 40 receiving yards. Don’t overreact to a few high-volume duds. The efficiency will come (two catches on 16 targets in those two down weeks), and I’m going to be there when it does. In this supreme matchup, Higgins is a WR2 for me, and I feel good about it.
Tyler Boyd: With 17 targets over the past two weeks, Boyd’s volume is interesting, but the upside is lacking (16.6 fantasy points this season). If you’re stashing him, it’s as a handcuff, not as a player you expect to play otherwise. For Week 4, he’s outside of my top 50 at the position.
DeAndre Hopkins: You know times are hard in Tennessee when Hopkins produces a highlight play and finishes the day with – wait for it – 6.3 fantasy points. His 26-yard dive-and-toe-drag reception was a work of art, and it tells the story of this Titans offense.
Nothing comes easy.
His target share is 30.9%, and that’s usually something we chase, but trying to find value in those targets is like finding hay in a needle stack.
And yes, I said what I meant there. Finding a needle in a haystack offers no downside outside of struggling to find it. If you’re trying to find hay in a needle stack, your well-being is a concern, and that is how those who spent up for Hopkins this summer feel. He’s not a top-35 receiver for me this week and won’t be until I see him string together consecutive games of production.
Treylon Burks: I typically use this space to highlight rare performances for the better. Whether it is Keenan Allen being on pace to break the single-season reception record after most had assumed his peak days were a thing of the past or Tyreek Hill’s chase for 2,000 yards, I like to keep an optimistic tone. Usually.
Burks turned in a rare performance over the weekend: more targets than receiving yards. Some of the physical tools that he possesses are interesting and allow him to have one-play upside if everything goes right (he did have a 51-yard catch in this matchup last season), but there’s no way I am betting on that with what I’ve seen (or not seen) from this Titans offense through the first month of the season.
Chigoziem Okonkwo: Okonkwo has 7.7 fantasy points this season, a number he passed in four of six individual games to end last season when we all fell in love with the athletic profile. If you’re struggling to fill the TE slot in your lineup, you’re not alone; I’m with you. You will, however, be alone if you elect to try to plug that hole with Okonkwo – you can do better.
Should You Start Joe Burrow or Kirk Cousins?
I don’t think Cousins throws for over 6,000 yards like he is on pace to do, but I do think this offense continues to put him in a position to succeed. Burrow emerged from last week healthy and that’s a positive note, though recovering on a short week is a tough spot to be.
I’m comfortable starting either in most formats – Cousins is one spot higher in my Week 4 ranks.
Should You Start Derrick Henry or Kyren Williams?
Much like the Jets, the Titans are sapping all value from their star skill players faster than the MonStars did from NBA Hall of Famers.
I have both inside my top 20, but if you added Williams early and are now forced to make a call, I’m rolling with his elite role over Henry’s fading role that carries limited upside.
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