Last updated: October 17th at 1:33pm ET.
Team Totals: Jaguars 23.5, Bengals 20.5
Stymied at home for a season-low six points by New Orleans’ red-hot defense last week, the Jags visit Cincinnati for a much-softer draw; the Bengals permitted QB6 (Jimmy Garoppolo), QB16 (Josh Allen), QB13 (Mason Rudolph), QB6 (Kyler Murray), and QB2 (Lamar Jackson) results in their last five games while allowing a league-high 50.7 QB rushing yards per game and showing no pass-rush capability with the league’s third-fewest sacks (7) and QB hits (21). Gardner Minshew is averaging 23.8 rushing yards per start and has top-15 fantasy results in 3-of-5 games. He’s a locked-in two-quarterback-league starter with matchup-based streamer appeal, especially after the Bengals ruled out first-team CBs William Jackson (shoulder) and Dre Kirkpatrick (knee) on Tuesday. … Even as Leonard Fournette lacked Week 6 rushing efficiency, he compensated with a season-high 46 receiving yards on six catches and topped 20 touches for the fourth straight week. Enemy backs have ethered Cincinnati for 149/753/7 (5.05 YPC) rushing and 66.8 receiving yards per game. An elite RB1 again, Fournette deserves to be a popular DFS play in Sunday’s swiss-cheese matchup. Backfields facing the Bengals are averaging a whopping 31.7 touches per game, while Cincinnati has yielded a league-high 25% target share to running backs (Sports Info Solutions). Fournette has hogged 36 of the Jaguars’ 39 running back targets this year.
Minshew’s 2019 target distribution: Dede Westbrook 45; D.J. Chark 41; Fournette 34; Chris Conley 23; Geoff Swaim 16; Marqise Lee 3; Seth DeValve and RyQuell Armstead 2; Keelan Cole 1. … All Jaguars pass catchers were torpedoed by Minshew’s season-low 163 passing yards in Week 6; Westbrook led the team in receiving yards with a measly 53. Westbrook isn’t making big plays because he isn’t seeing big-play targets with a 6.0-yard aDOT and just 45.2 Air Yards per game. Even versus the lowly Bengals, Westbrook is a PPR-specific WR3/flex option. … Chark predictably lost his Week 6 shadow matchup with Marshon Lattimore, managing 21 scoreless yards on six targets in Lattimore’s coverage. Although no enemy wideout has reached 90 yards against the Bengals through six games, Chark is a better bet than not to rebound based on sheer talent and opportunity. Cincinnati’s inability to rush the passer should enhance Chark’s downfield separation, while only seven NFL receivers have drawn more Air Yards than Chark’s 625. Jackson and Kirkpatrick’s absences raise Chark’s ceiling into sky-high territory as one of this week’s top fade-recency-bias plays. … Conley has 73 scoreless yards on 13 targets over the last month. … The Jaguars did not hand over full-time tight end duties to Swaim in their first post-James O’Shaughnessy (ACL) game, opting instead for a Swaim-DeValve rotation. Each drew two targets in last week’s loss to the Saints.
Andy Dalton catches a worrisome Week 7 draw behind Cincinnati’s swinging-gate offensive line against Jacksonville, which ranks No. 4 in sacks (19) and No. 7 in QB hits (38) and has held four of its last five quarterbacks faced to fantasy results of QB20 or worse, even without Jalen Ramsey (back). Likely to spend the entirety of Sunday’s affair under heavy duress, Dalton is a tough sell as a fantasy start even in two-quarterback leagues. … Hopefully you already sold Joe Mixon, whose big (for him) Week 5 game versus Arizona proved a predictable mirage when he was stoned for 39 scoreless yards on ten touches in last week’s loss to Baltimore, getting out-snapped 52% to 49% by Giovani Bernard. Merely the lead back in a committee on a bad offense, Mixon has devolved into flex-play range. If you’re still rostering Mixon in season-long leagues, continue to explore selling him off low.
Dalton’s Weeks 1-6 target distribution: Tyler Boyd 60; Auden Tate 36; Tyler Eifert 22; Gio 20; Mixon 19; Damion Willis 14; Alex Erickson 25; C.J. Uzomah 12; Drew Sample 4; Stanley Morgan 2. … The Ravens held Boyd to a season-low ten yards by shadowing him with top CB Marlon Humphrey in Week 6; Boyd caught one pass for one yard on four targets versus Humphrey. The Jags have faced no slot receivers of note for comparison’s sake, but Boyd’s opportunity has remained bankable with the NFL’s third-most targets. He’s still a low-end WR2 play at worst versus the Jags. … Tate benefited from the extra attention Baltimore paid to Boyd, drawing a career-high 12 targets and leading Cincinnati in receiving yards for the third time in the last four weeks. Tate put on a contested-catch clinic against the Ravens and has firmly established himself as the Bengals’ top perimeter receiver in A.J. Green’s (ankle) absence. Leading the Bengals in Air Yards (322) and actual yards (255) over the last month, Tate warrants WR3/flex treatment with an enhanced outlook after the Jags traded Jalen Ramsey to the Rams. Emmanuel Sanders (5/104/0), Adam Humphries (6/93/0), D.J. Moore (6/91/0), Michael Thomas (8/89/0), Tajae Sharpe (2/70/0), Courtland Sutton (6/62/2), and DaeSean Hamilton (3/57/0) all met or beat box-score expectations against Jacksonville in the last four weeks. … Simply not a big part of the Bengals’ passing game, Eifert hasn’t played 50% of the team’s offensive snaps in a single game and should be sent to the waiver wire in season-long leagues.
Score Prediction: Jaguars 27, Bengals 17