Kickoff: Sunday, December 6 at 1:00 PM ET
Location: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL
Betting Odds: MIA -11.5, 42 Total via Oddsshark
Brandon Allen (Sit)
After being kept apart from the team in case of a Denver situation, Brandon Allen ended up being the starter for the Bengals when Joe Burrow had his rookie season cut short. Allen actually did a decent job being a game manager, but it wasn’t anything worthwhile and he is not someone you should look at starting in a tougher matchup than he had with the Giants. He put up 136/1/1 last week and faces a Dolphins defense that has the longest active streak right now for consecutive games with a forced turnover. Easy sit.
Giovani Bernard (Sit)
Giovani Bernard was a feel-good story for the first few weeks that Joe Mixon was out, but since the bye week, he has only put up low-end flex numbers and it would seem as though those numbers won’t get any better with the downgrade at quarterback. Last week in his best defensive matchup as a starter he put up his lowest point total in a start this season, only mustering 10 touches for 49 total scoreless yards. Next week, he faces a middling Dolphins run defense, but Gio’s value has always been in the passing game. On a team that runs heavy at wide receiver, Gio is not getting enough volume to be a viable start even in the deepest of leagues. He was already trending in the wrong direction with Burrow looking downfield and now is at his lowest. Again, easy sit.
Tyler Boyd (Sit), Tee Higgins (Sit), AJ Green (Sit)
There you have it, the Bengals are getting the Denver treatment from last week. Going against an underrated Dolphins defense, the Bengals are in a stay away spot with the downgrade at quarterback. Previously getting weekly WR2 with upside status, Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins are now just low-upside WR4’s. Yes, Higgins had a touchdown last week and you were happy if you started him, but it was a salvaged one-yard score that cannot be counted on weekly. Basically, Boyd and Higgins have joined AJ Green in being three clones of AJ Green. Green was a WR4 that had a good day when he scored or actually caught all his passes. Well, that is what we will get with the 4 targets each going to Boyd and Higgins that we saw last week. Look elsewhere for your WR and Flex spots this week.
Tua Tagovailoa (Sit if healthy), Ryan Fitzpatrick (Start in deeper leagues, QB2 if Tua sits)
There is apparently optimism that Tua Tagovailoa can return to the lineup this week. Given what we have seen thus far, that does not instill optimism in the hearts and minds of fantasy owners who need a quarterback because he is the worse of the two at this point in their careers. It is understandable, however, that the Dolphins want to get their hopeful quarterback of the future back in there. After scoring single digits in two of his four starts this year and playing in a matchup where the competition won’t be scoring many points, coupled with the fact that this is one of the lowest totals on the slate, he is not someone to trust. On the flip side, Ryan Fitzpatrick has proved to be solid in his return to the lineup and is worth a start in deeper leagues if Tua sits. If you are in a 10-12 team league, there are going to be better options for you to trust, but you could definitely do worse than FitzMagic against the Bengals.
Myles Gaskin/Salvon Ahmed (Start, RB2 if either is active and start), All other Miami backs (Sit)
We saw last week against the Jets that if Myles Gaskin or Salvon Ahmed is not active, there isn’t a running back worth owning in this Miami backfield that featured Jordan Howard and Matt Breida coming into the season. Even with Gaskin and Ahmed out, Breida wasn’t effective and we actually saw DeAndre Washington eat up the majority of the touches while also being mostly ineffective. As stated in the header, the best situation is that only one of Gaskin or Ahmed starts, but if both are active, the only start I would lean on is Gaskin. I understand this is a confusing situation, but with the lack of news and the lag in information with a Wednesday game at the time of writing it is a difficult situation to iron out. Keep a close eye throughout the week if you are a Gaskin or Ahmed owner.
Wide Receivers/Tight End
DeVante Parker (Start, WR2), Jakeem Grant (Sit), Mike Gesicki (Start, low TE1)
Preston Williams going down solidified an already solid role for DeVante Parker that should continue this week as the main pass catcher for the Dolphins, regardless of the quarterback. Coming off two straight 18+ point games, Parker is set up to again be productive against a barely-there Cincinnati defense. Jakeem Grant has bonus appeal in leagues that gain points for return yards, but other than that you would need a touchdown for any sort of payout. That is not something you can count on with Grant as his upside is very limited. Mike Gesicki has been playable at a terrible tight end position group as a whole in fantasy. Yes I know, it is sad that about an 8 point average is playable at tight end, but here we are. He is a lower-end TE1, but unless you have Travis Kelce or Darren Waller, you probably are throwing darts anyway.
-Matt Dean (@MattDeanQBList on Twitter, mdean8 on Reddit)