I had the beginnings of a witty lede typed up prior to Thursday night’s matchup between the Dolphins and Bengals in Cincy, but it didn’t seem appropriate to run with after the second-quarter head/neck injury sustained by Miami QB Tua Tagovailoa. In what has been a breakout season for the former No. 5 overall pick, Tua was taken off the field via a stretcher after a hit delivered by DT Josh Tupou rendered him unconscious due to a neurological injury. Tua’s status certainly has fantasy ramifications that stretch across the entire Miami team, but the primary concern is for Tagovailoa’s personal well-being and overall health as it relates to life outside of football. In the interim, backup QB Teddy Bridgewater instantly becomes an option in two-QB leagues should Tua be in line to miss time. We’ll unpack the rest of Week 4 of Thursday Night Football below, but continue to monitor this situation moving forward.
Line: CIN -3.5
What Happened: With the Dolphins unable to keep up offensively due to the first-half departure of Tagovaiola, Joe Burrow and the Bengals scored 13 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to defeat Miami, 27-15.
Dolphins Pregame Outcome vs. Projections (Half-PPR)
QB Tua Tagovailoa – 2.4 (PROJ 18.3)
WR Tyreek Hill – 20.9 (PROJ 16.1)
WR Jaylen Waddle – 4.9 (PROJ 14.7)
RB Chase Edmonds – 9.0 (PROJ 9.7)
RB Raheem Mostert – 9.1 (PROJ 8.8)
TE Mike Gesicki – 3.3 (PROJ 3.5)
WR Trent Sherfield – 7.5 (PROJ 3.6)
QB Teddy Bridgewater – 10.8 (PROJ 0.0)
Bengals Pregame Projections vs. Outcome (Half-PPR)
QB Joe Burrow – 20.1 (PROJ 18.4)
WR Ja’Marr Chase – 10.1 (PROJ 16.5)
RB Joe Mixon – 15.4 (PROJ 15.5)
WR Tee Higgins – 21.9 (PROJ 12.0)
TE Hayden Hurst – 10.2 (PROJ 6.5)
WR Tyler Boyd – 6.6 (PROJ 6.0)
TE Mitchell Wilcox – 2.3 (PROJ 1.8)
Tee Higgins – 7 receptions, 124 yards, 1 touchdown. Caught seven of nine targets while turning in the top fantasy finish on TNF. With Chase double-covered for most of the game, Burrow peppered Higgins with targets. Moving forward, Higgins and Chase should be ranked more closely together.
Tyreek Hill – 10 receptions, 160 yards. Hill finished as the second top point-getter on TNF behind Higgins. He led the matchup with 14 targets. It’s clear Hill is a WR1 even with Bridgewater under center.
Jaylen Waddle – 2 receptions, 39 yards. A truly uninspiring performance from Waddle in Week 4. He caught just two of five targets and finished with 4.9 half-PPR points.
Tyler Boyd – 2 receptions, 47 yards. Boyd hauled in just two of his five targets, but it was looking even grimmer until he completed a pass late in the game followed by his second reception. Boyd has too much weekly variance to start in confidence.
Ja’Marr Chase – 4 receptions, 81 yards. Chase salvaged some fantasy value with a long, late grab. Still, nights like this one make it look unlikely Chase will be capable of providing the level of weekly consistency to make good on the first-round investment he required.
Tua Tagovaiola – 8/14, 110 yards, 1 interception (left in 2nd quarter due to injury). It sounds as though Tua was conscious at the hospital and able to travel home with the team, which is a great sign. We will continue to monitor his status throughout the week ahead, and our thoughts are with Tagovailoa during his recovery.
What We Learned
1. Mostert should be projected higher than Edmonds in weekly rankings, as he was the clear lead back in the offense once again.
2. Higgins and Chase should be ranked closer together.
3. Miami’s offensive weapons receive slight downgrades with Bridgewater under center.
4. Besides Hill. You can expect him to ball regardless of the circumstances.
5. You can feel good (eh, comfortable) starting Hurst at TE until he shows you otherwise.
That’s all for this week, Razzball fam! As always, I’m happy to take this conversation into the comments section or on Twitter, where you can find me @WorldOfHobbs.