It's a battle of No. 1 picks on Thursday Night Football. Trevor Lawrence and the winless Jacksonville Jaguars will take on Joe Burrow's upstart Cincinnati Bengals. Cincinnati enters this one as hefty 7.5-point favorites on FanDuel Sportsbook.
Thursday Night Football Fantasy Picks
If you need some help building your fantasy lineup, here's some start 'em, sit 'em advice for the clash of the big cats.
Marvin Jones Fantasy
Start Marvin Jones Jr., WR, Jacksonville Jaguars: Marvin Jones Jr. is the Jags' most reliable fantasy producer. He's currently the WR20 in PPR leagues. The veteran has seen at least 8 targets in all three weeks, averaging 9.3 per game on the year. That gives him a sizable advantage over both DJ Chark and Laviska Shenault. Chark has seen 6 targets or fewer in back-to-back games, while Shenault's 4.4 average depth of target (aDOT) puts a serious cap on his upside – he won't do much operating that close to the line of scrimmage. We'll play it safe and chase the volume with Jones because this Bengals' defense is much better than you think. This is also a revenge game for the 31-year-old, so maybe the former Bengal has a little something extra tonight.
Tyler Boyd Fantasy
Start Tyler Boyd, WR, Cincinnati Bengals: Ja'Marr Chase has been the breakout star of the Bengals season, but Tyler Boyd has been as effective as ever. With Tee Higgins ruled out, Boyd should be looking at a sizable uptick in volume. He paced Cincinnati with 6 targets last week; that might not sound like a lot, but Burrow only attempted 18 passes. Boyd's 6 targets represented a massive 33.3% target share. Assuming Burrow gets to throw it around a bit more, Boyd should be looking at some hefty usage against the league's third-worst passing defense by DVOA. That's a recipe for a big night.
James Robinson Fantasy
Sit James Robinson, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars: This is not the Bengals' defense we've grown used to seeing. This unit is currently the league's fourth-best defense by DVOA. It's also the NFL's second-best rush defense by DVOA, surrendering the eighth-fewest rushing yards per game (78.3) and the fifth-fewest yards per carry (3.3). None of that is good news for James Robinson. Despite a Week 3 breakout, the second-year back is still consistently losing work to Carlos Hyde, who has handled 19 attempts to Robinson's 31. With the Jags entering as 7.5-point dogs, there may not be a whole lot of carries to go around for either back. This is just a tough spot for Robinson.
Joe Burrow Fantasy
Sit Joe Burrow, QB, Cincinnati Bengals: From a fantasy perspective, volume was Joe Burrow's best asset last year. Before going down, the former No. 1 pick was averaging 41.1 pass attempts per game, which would've led all qualified passers. Things have been very different this year. Cincinnati is clearly trying to protect their franchise QB, limiting him to 25.0 attempts per game (No. 29 in the NFL). It's hard to see that approach changing this week. For one, the Bengals finally winning games. Why change it if it's working? Two, Cincy is a 7.5-point favorite which means we should be seeing Joe Mixon early and often. Also playing without one of his top weapons, Burrow looks poised for a much better real-life game than a fantasy one. You have to think the Bengals will let the former Heisman Trophy winner loose at some point, but it's probably not happening on Thursday.
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