TNF Preview, Week 4

Thursday night games have been a mixed bag so far this season. The Opening Night game was a touch flat as the Bills dominated the Rams, but Week 2 featured a fun and competitive battle between the Chiefs and Chargers. In Week 3, we got another divisional clash as the Steelers and Browns met in Cleveland. It was a competitive game but wasn’t a thrilling watch.

This week, we move away from the divisional matchup format and get one of only two undefeated teams left in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins heading to Cincinnati to battle the Bengals. The Bengals were in the Super Bowl to end last season but the 2022 NFL Season hasn’t started out that strong. The team lost to the Steelers and Cowboys before grabbing a Week 3 win over the Jets.

A big part of the struggle has been the cohesion of the offensive line. The Bengals spent a good deal of free agent money and some draft picks to build a better line but Joe Burrow has still faced a barrage of pressure. In addition, Joe Mixon has been held to 163 yards in three games, averaging less than three yards per carry. Can they do better? Perhaps, but it’s a tall order to expect that Thursday night.

The Dolphins, meanwhile, came into the season with the weight of expectations. A new coach and a trade that brought Tyreek Hill gave the fans optimism the Dolphins would turn a few years of narrow misses into a playoff berth. So far, the team has looked like a contender. The question was whether Tua Tagovailoa could rise to meet that challenge in year three. The answer, so far, has been a resounding yes.

Tua is QB6 through three weeks, and he’s done it by leaning on Hill and second-year receiver Jaylen Waddle. Waddle is WR4 and Hill is WR5 through three weeks, and the Dolphins are 3-0. The team beat the Patriots opening day, then won a shootout over the Ravens and outlasted a talented Bills team. Next up on their hit list is the Bengals.

This is a game that features two strong pass offenses and I expect both to step up in Week 4. While Tua is QB6, Burrow is right behind at QB7, featuring a trio of solid receiving options of his own. If you’re a fantasy player with a piece of either pass offense, you’re still rolling them out.

For the Dolphins, it’s worth monitoring the injury report. Tua is questionable due to getting banged around on Sunday, as is Waddle. If both are active, I’m starting them. If they miss, it’s a blow to the Dolphins. Hill would be worth a start either way. In the backfield, Chase Edmonds isn’t getting a lot of volume or yardage, so he’s become touchdown dependent. He got two in Week 3 to make him a Top 12 finisher. But he only had 27 yards on seven touches. He’s a boom-or-bust flex option to me.

For the Bengals, you’re still starting Mixon, but I’ve dropped expectations to RB2 for now. He might even struggle to get that. Neither the Bills nor Ravens had much success rushing against the Dolphins, though Devin Singletary did well as a pass catcher. The hope would be Mixon gets some dump offs. I am starting Burrow with confidence, and the same goes for top receivers Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins. Tyler Boyd is a flex option.

I expect this to be a fun game. Now, let’s see my picks for Week 4!

NFL Picks, Week 4

Dolphins Over Bengals
Vikings Over Saints
Browns Over Falcons
Cowboys Over Commanders
Lions Over Seahawks
Colts Over Titans
Giants Over Bears
Eagles Over Jaguars
Steelers Over Jets
Bills Over Ravens
Chargers Over Texans
Cardinals Over Panthers
Packers Over Patriots
Broncos Over Raiders
Chiefs Over Buccaneers
Rams Over 49ers

Last Week: 5-11
Season: 20-27

Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.

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