Week 8 Game Hub: CIN-NYJ

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Week 8 Game Hub: CIN-NYJ

Cincinnati Bengals (5-2, 4-3 ATS) at New York Jets (1-5, 1-5), 1 p.m.

Brolley’s Bengals Stats and Trends

  • Cincinnati has won consecutive games by three scores or more over the Lions and Ravens, with an average cover margin of 25.0 points.

  • The Bengals are 4-1 ATS in their last five road games.

  • Cincinnati is 5-1 toward unders in its last six games.

  • Joe Burrow has thrown multiple TD passes in every game, and he’s thrown for three scores the last two weeks after posting a season-best 416/3 passing. He’s leading the league in yards per completion (13.2) and he’s second in YPA (9.2) through seven weeks. The Jets have given up 300+ yards and two touchdowns to Mac Jones and Matt Ryan in their last two games.

  • Ja’Marr Chase is well on his way to winning Rookie of the Year honors — he sits at +110 to take home the award entering — after smashing an excellent Ravens’ secondary for 8/201/1 receiving. He has 13+ FP in every game this season, and he sits behind just Cooper Kupp with 754 receiving yards. The Jets are giving up the third-fewest FPG (29.6) to WRs this season.

  • Tee Higgins is actually leading the Bengals in target share at 27%, but he managed just 7/62 receiving on 15 targets last week. Higgins has reached double-digit FP in four of his five games, but he’s yet to get back to 15+ FP in his last three games since coming back from his shoulder after doing it twice in Weeks 1-2. Both Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne posted 13+ FP against the Jets last week.

  • Tyler Boyd has failed to reach eight FP in each of his last three games since Higgins returned to the lineup, managing just 9/70 receiving on 15 targets. Jakobi Meyers posted 5/44 receiving on seven targets in this matchup last week.

  • C.J. Uzomah has five touchdowns in the last four weeks after finding the end zone twice in Week 7. He caught all three of his targets for 91 yards and two touchdowns in a victory over the Ravens, as he worked top CB Marlon Humphrey for one of his touchdowns from 55 yards away. He’s now been the TE1 twice in seven tries this season, and the Jets have been ripped by Patriots’ TEs (4/75/1) and Falcons’ TEs (13/159/2) in their last two games.

  • Joe Mixon posted 12/59/1 rushing last week and he didn’t see a target for the first time — he’s finished with one or fewer catches in 5-of-7 games. The Bengals also took the chance to rest him late with a big lead (54% snap share), and they enter as 10-point road favorites this week. The Jets are giving up the fourth-most rushing yards per game (113.8) and they’re facing the second-most carries per game (27.3) from RBs.

Brolley’s Jets Stats and Trends

  • The Jets, Washington, and 49ers are the only teams with just ATS cover this season.

  • Zach Wilson suffered a knee injury in an embarrassing Week 7 loss to the Patriots, leaving someone named Mike White (no, not the writer/director) to take over at quarterback. Wilson will miss the next couple of weeks and the organization was concerned enough about him to trade for Joe Flacco this week. White came into the game already trailing by three scores on his way to completing 20/32 passes for 202 yards (6.3 YPA), one touchdown and two INTs in his first NFL action. The Bengals limited Jared Goff to 202 scoreless yards with an INT two weeks ago.

  • Corey Davis is the only usable fantasy option among the Jets’ receivers right now. He posted 4/47/1 receiving on six targets last week, with all of his production coming when White was in the contest. Davis ran the same number of routes as Elijah Moore (29) with Jamison Crowder easily pacing the group with 40 routes — he had just 4/34 receiving on six targets. The Bengals are giving up the 14th-fewest FPG (36.3) to WRs this season.

  • The Jets made Tevin Coleman a healthy scratch in Week 7 coming off their bye, leaving the backfield work to Michael Carter (a season-high 73% snap share) and Ty Johnson (30% share). Carter posted season-highs in catches (8), targets (9), scrimmage yards (104), and FP (17.4). Johnson finished with just 5/6 rushing in a lopsided loss to the Patriots but he added 6/65 receiving on seven targets. The passing volume isn’t going to be there quite like it was in Week 7 moving forward, but they should be more active for as long as Wilson is out of the lineup. The Bengals are giving up just 3.5 YPC to RBs but they’re giving up the second-most catches per game (7.6) at the position.

Barfield’s Pace and Tendencies

Bengals

Pace (seconds in between plays): 31.5 (31st)

Plays per game: 63.1 (28th)

Pass: 57.8% (23rd) | Run: 42.2% (10th)

Jets

Pace: 26.8 (10th)

Plays per game: 64.3 (24th)

Pass: 68.3% (2nd) | Run: 31.7% (31st)

Pace Points

After going extremely run-heavy to start the season, the Bengals have really opened up their offense as of late. Over the last month, Cincinnati leads the league in pass rate (68%) when the game has been within a score in the first three quarters. Joe Burrow just needed some time to get rolling after that devastating knee injury and the results for fantasy have been incredible with Burrow scoring 22 or more FP in three of his last four plus Ja’Marr Chase going nuclear every single week.

The bad news this week is that the Bengals might not have to throw the ball all that much. The Jets are the only team in the league that haven’t scored a TD in the first quarter of their games this year and are now forced to start Mike White. Uh oh. So, while Cincy has been extremely pass-heavy when the game is close – they’ve let Joe Mixon and the run game shoulder the load and salt leads away. The Bengals have gone 54.1% run-heavy when they have a lead this season, which is the fifth-highest rate just behind the Browns (54.5%). Look for Burrow-Chase-Higgins to build the lead while Mixon runs away with it. Because the Jets find themselves trailing so much, we’ve seen their opponents just hammer the ball on the ground. New York is facing 28 carries per game, which is second-most.

Huber’s Key Matchup Notes

Let me just put it this way — the coverage shells the Jets typically play set up beautifully for Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase. If you want specifics, please read Advanced Matchups. But trust me.

Just when I was about to write about how Joe Flacco’s addition could be the best thing to happen to the NYJ offensive upside all season, he informed the staff he will be unable to join the team until Friday. Can we blame him? Flacco will go from a two-win Philadelphia franchise, back into the one-win dumpster fire he thought he’d vacated. Sadly enough, during Mike White’s limited Week 7 action, he actually managed to top Zach Wilson’s 36th-ranked FP/Db (0.218) with the 35th-best number (0.245). When Flacco does make his journey back to Mean Green-land, he’ll supply just as much downfield aggression as Wilson, but with far better accuracy.

Dolan’s Vantage Points

The Bengals have joined the glorious ranks of the Titans, Vikings, Chargers, and others as “narrow” but effective fantasy teams — when the Bengals run a play, you typically know where the ball is going.

Case in point: QB Joe Burrow threw for 416 yards last week but targeted just five receivers while doing so — Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, CJ Uzomah, and Samaje Perine.

Boyd has been kind of the odd man out for fantasy, and the Jets’ primary slot CB — the other rookie Michael Carter — has had a pretty solid season. And you’re obviously starting Chase. But Graham has a weird feeling about Higgins this week. From Start/Sit:

Ja’Marr Chase is rightfully getting all the praise for how well he’s playing, but that doesn’t mean Tee Higgins isn’t overdue for a monster game of his own. Since returning to the lineup three weeks ago, would you believe me that Higgins has actually seen more targets than Chase? Well, that’s exactly what’s happened. Granted, it’s not by a huge margin (28 to 26) but Higgins is still getting a lot of volume his way. And while the Jets might seem like a tougher matchup based on the numbers (third-fewest FPG allowed to WRs), that needs a lot of context. The Jets haven’t faced any receivers close to Chase and Higgins’ stratosphere recently as they’ve faced the Patriots (twice), Broncos, Titans (without Brown and Julio), and Falcons (without Ridley) over their last five games. I’m rolling Higgins out as a high-end WR3 in this spot.”

While Joe Mixon didn’t get a target last week and split snaps with Perine, this spot sets up immaculately for him, as Brolley said up above. Scott Barrett is a little more skeptical, though. From the XFP Report:

“Mixon’s Backfield XFP%: 86% (W1), 82%, 70%, 81%, 25% (injury), 59%, 46%… So, yeah, Mixon’s usage last week was fairly concerning. Granted, eight of Perine’s 11 rushes came after Mixon’s final touch of the game, in a 41-17 beatdown. But even before the game got well out of hand, Mixon only played on 60% of the team’s snaps through the first three quarters. And Perine saw a target on the first drive and received the first carry of the third drive of the game. Most of Perine’s work came as a receiver, earning a 42% route share to Mixon’s 34%. I think Mixon’s ankle injury could be a significant factor here, but then again, maybe they just don’t really love Mixon in passing situations (we have a five-season sample backing that up). And so, I’d expect this sort of usage is going to continue to carry over for the remainder of the season (with Perine running more routes than Mixon), though Mixon should see quite a bit more work (than he did last week) moving forward.”

As for Uzomah, I think a lot of folks will be justifiably streaming him in this matchup, as the Jets have gotten hammered by opposing TEs recently. If you’re using him, though, the Bengals want you to learn how to say his name. Noted, CJ.

The Jets are starting Mike White at QB this week with Zach Wilson recovering from a PCL injury. I can’t imagine you’d feel good enough about starting Corey Davis or Jamison Crowder as anything more than WR3s against a Bengal defense that has been surprisingly stingy to WRs.

The Jets received a lot of criticism from beat writers this off-season about not adding a veteran backup QB. So with Wilson’s injury, GM Joe Douglas brought back old friend Joe Flacco to back up White — for now.

The sixth-round pick Douglas gave up for Flacco becomes a fifth on some unknown playing-time conditions. It’s the same pick conditions Eagle GM Howie Roseman gave up for Gardner Minshew, so it was a shrewd piece of business by Roseman to recoup that pick for Flacco, given he now has a better backup.

Anyway, the one Jet I’d be interested in starting is RB Michael Carter, especially with how White checked the ball down constantly in a negative game script last week against the Patriots. Here’s Scott from XFP:

“The Jets clearly made a point to get Michael Carter more involved following their bye-week. He played on 72% of the team’s snaps (up from a prior high of 50%), earning 11 of 21 carries and 9 of 16 targets. So, despite the high snap share, he’s still clearly not a bell cow (52% share of the backfield XFP), but this was good enough to see Carter rank top-6 on the week in both XFP (19.1) and fantasy points scored (18.4).”

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