Browns -6, O/U 44.5 Weather 65 Degrees, No Rain, 12-14 MPH Winds * Some decent wind, but don’t think it will be too much of a factor. Check reports before game time to see if it that wind pumps up a bit.
The Bengals travel to Cleveland coming off their close loss to the Chargers last Sunday, when Randy Bullock missed a chip shot FG to win the game. Joe Burrow’s debut started slowly, but after his TD run things start to pick up for the rookie and he got better as the game went on. It certainly wasn’t an easy matchup for Burrow in his first start going against the Chargers D and their ferocious pass rush, but I thought he handled it pretty well. He missed on a few bombs, one to John Ross where it seemed Ross could have extended his hands more and came up with the catch, but he clearly missed an open A.J. Green on another. Other than that, Burrow was pretty conservative, taking what the defense gave him and hitting WR’s on shorter routes. Burrow showed poise, intelligence and confidence, especially on the potential game winning drive. I think he will fare better and his box score numbers will improve after 1 game under his belt while playing an inferior defense. Burrow had one truly bonehead play throwing an INT on a shovel pass to Bernard, but I’ll give him a rookie pass for that. Lamar Jackson is Lamar Jackson, but he picked apart this same Browns defense with a lot of short quick throws, especially in the 2nd half. I think Burrow can find similar success.
Joe Mixon looked a little sluggish all game and never really got going against the Chargers. I counted maybe one nice run by Mixon in this game. There weren’t many holes to run through and expectations should be tempered this week after the Browns did a pretty good job against the Ravens run attack last week holding them under 3.0 YPC. Mixon is still the workhorse and goal line back of this offense and could very well be more involved in the passing game tonight. Giovani Bernard’s new 70’s stache could be seen through his helmet, but nothing much changed with his role. I don’t think he’s usable in DFS tonight, let alone seasonal.
I thought A.J. Green looked pretty good for his 1st game back after basically missing two years of Football. His hands, size and speed were all on display. Like I mentioned, Burrow missed him on a wide open TD and he also had a TD called back at the end game, when he was called for offensive P.I. No Browns corner is a threat to shutdown A.J. in this matchup, so his floor is pretty safe and although the ceiling isn’t the roof, it’s fairly high. Tyler Boyd started slow but as the game went on he started to find a better connection with Burrow. Burrow likes to spread the ball around, but I think Boyd is set for at least 4 or 5 catches tonight at the minimum. John Ross just missed out on a TD catch from Burrow for about 40 yards, so it’s possible we see Burrow and him taking another shot tonight. He is behind Green, and Boyd in the pecking order though. Talented rookie Tee Higgins was not targeted last Sunday and will likely need an injury to be relevant. He’s somebody you need to be ready to grab if there is indeed an injury. Camp standout and diving catcher Auden Tate was also not targeted. C.J Uzomah caught 4 balls for 45 yards last week and could do the same tonight, his upside is just always going to be limited. He’s a decent DFS play.
Like Burrow, Baker Mayfield also faced a tough Week one matchup facing the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens were getting a lot of pressure and had solid downfield coverage, but at the same time Baker didn’t throw to open WR’s and also missed some throws. He needs to take some more chances downfield, it looks like he settles for underneath stuff a little too much and is not trusting his arm. Mayfield has been regressing since a strong rookie season, so he is going to need to string together some good performances to prove his doubters wrong. He should be able to find some success tonight, but don’t think he goes nuts.
Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt basically had a 50/50 split last week, with Chubb playing just one more snap. Game flow could have been a factor in the split. Both backs had some nice runs and displayed the talent we have all seen. Hunt remains the better option catching balls out of the backfield. We will have to wait and see how it plays out, but Chubb certainly should remain the favorite for the majority of work, even if it’s not by much. Both are solid plays tonight after the Chargers had some success running last week (4.8 YPC) against this Bengals D who is still missing stud DT Geno Atkins.
Odell Beckham had another frustrating game in a tough matchup facing off against Marlon Humphrey and the Balt D. He also had a bad drop, but he did force a couple defensive PI’s. Baker also missed him throwing to him a few times on what could have been big plays. Maybe Baker takes some more shots to ODB tonight in a much better matchup. While Baker is struggling, I think the safer play is Jarvis Landry who is going to run more underneath routes which are more suitable to Baker’s game. David Njoku had a beast catch, caught a TD, but ended up spraining his MCL and is going to be out for a few weeks. Let’s see what Austin Hooper can do tonight. Rookie Harrison Bryant should also get some burn and could be a factor. KhaDarel Hodge had 3 targets, but didn’t really stand out to me, he’s a pass in in DFS.
Picks: Bengals +6, Lean over 44.5
CPT: Nick Chubb $11,400
Flex: Tyler Boyd $7,000
Flex: Joe Burrow: $10,800
Flex: Kareem Hunt $7,400
Flex: Jarvis Landry $8,000
Flex: C.J Uzomah $5,000