It seems appropriate that the Cincinnati Bengals, whose team colors are orange, black and white, are the favorites to beat the Miami Dolphins on Halloween night.
Actually, team colors have very little to do with the Bengals’ 6-2 record and their position as the No. 1 team in the AFC North. They have won four of their last five games, because quarterback Andy Dalton has emerged as the offensive leader in Cincinnati.
The Bengals are at their best when Dalton is throwing the ball to All-Pro wide receiver A.J. Green or Marvin Jones. This offensive threesome is capable of combining for 50 fantasy points against Miami.
The Dolphins (3-4) are two games behind the New England Patriots in the AFC East. Their best fantasy football player is quarterback Ryan Tannehill and he’s been a disaster over the last four weeks. Consider seven touchdown passes and seven interceptions for Tannehill in the 2nd quarter of the season.
Last week Cincinnati routed the New York Jets, but don’t expect a 40-point margin of victory in this game. The Bengals beat the Dolphins, 31-14, in Miami. Happy Halloween!
Next Up – Picks for the rest of Week #9 of the NFL/fantasy football season.
Feel free to share your feedback, insights, suggestions or questions by commenting on this article, tweeting me @denimartin, or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Lean on Andy Dalton and Cincinnati’s aerial attack
Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton threw five touchdown passes against the New York Jets in week #8 of the season.
In the last four games, Dalton has thrown 11 touchdown passes and three interceptions, which is a significant improvement from the five TD passes and four interceptions he threw in the first four Bengal games.
His QB rating was 116.8 in the second quarter (games five through eight) of the season. He has been averaging over 300 yards passing over the same period of time.
Dalton was not considered a starting fantasy football quarterback before the season started, but his recent performances make him the perfect “Sleeper” candidate or a strong alternative to the quarterback you lose during the “Bye” week.
Expected output – 20 fantasy football points
A.J. Green is one of the top three wide receivers in the NFL
If you have watched the Detroit Lions play the last two weekends, you have seen the three best wide receivers in the NFL in action.
There was Detroit Lions’ All-Pro wide receiver Calvin Johnson (aka “Megatron”) putting together a record-breaking performance against the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday.
There was Dallas wide receiver Dez Bryant catching a 50-yard TD pass from Tony Romo against the Lions in week #8.
In week #7 against the Lions, Cincinnati wide receiver A.J. Green caught an 82-yard touchdown pass thrown by quarterback Andy Dalton. Green finished the game with six catches for 155 yards receiving.
Green averaged 21.7 yards per catch in the last four games. Expect at least five catches for 100 yards from Cincinnati’s No. 1 wide receiver against Miami.
Expected output – 17 fantasy points
Complemeting A.J. Green is wide receiver Marvin Jones
Marvin Jones must have felt like he had reached wide receiver nirvana last Sunday against the New York Jets.
He caught four touchdown passes, had eight catches and finished with 122 yards receiving. In his last four games, Jones has caught 17 passes for 289 yards and six touchdowns.
The Bengals and Andy Dalton began targeting Jones in week #6 against the Buffalo Bills. He scored one touchdown and averaged 23.7 yards per catch.
Jones’ emergence in the Cincinnati passing attack makes him a suitable “Sleeper” candidate for week #9.
Expected output – 15 fantasy points
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill is the key to Miami’s future
It was not easy to find a picture of Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill standing comfortably in the pocket last week against the New England Patriots.
The Dolphins need to protect their quarterback because he seems to be the key to their future. Tannehill is clearly Miami’s offensive leader with 109 fantasy football points. The nearest teammate to the Dolphins QB are wide receiver Brian Hartline and tight end Charles Clay with 69.5 points each.
It would be fair to say that Tannehill has been consistenly inconsistent in his play this year. His quarterback rating has slid to an average of 69.2 in the last four games. He threw seven touchdown passes and seven interceptions during that period of time.
According to Yahoo! Sports, he is expected to score 15 fantasy points against the Bengals tonight. I don’t see it happening tonight.
Expected output – 12 fantasy points