Bengals-Jaguars DFS Picks: Can Trevor Lawrence Continue Ascending? (December 4)

Monday Night Football wraps up the week with the Jacksonville Jaguars looking to keep a share of the best record in the AFC, while the visiting Cincinnati Bengals hope to end their current three game slide. In this issue of Stokastic’s NFL DFS picks series, we’ll be providing our Bengals-Jaguars DFS picks for the Monday Night Football Showdown slate.

Stokastic is bringing plenty of NFL DFS tools and information for all the different slates, game formats and sites. This column will provide a free analysis of the single-slate action on DraftKings and FanDuel. It includes team capsules, player rankings, comments and NFL DFS picks. There are loads of information and NFL DFS Showdown analysis to get into for both DraftKings and FanDuel on this Monday Night slate, so check out these Bengals-Jaguars DFS picks.

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NFL DFS Showdown Picks: Bengals-Jaguars DFS Picks

Cincinnati Bengals: 15.0 Points

Quarterback

The Stokastic NFL DFS projections have Jake Browning as the second-best quarterback in this game! OK, there is no good way to perfume this pig, and it is a shame that Joe Burrow (wrist) is done for the season. Browning was a four-year starter at the University of Washington, though he peaked in his sophomore season when he was the 2016 Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year.

The 27-year-old has bounced around various backup and practice squad roles since going undrafted in 2019, but he did not see on-field action until this season. To say he is below replacement level is an understatement, but he is one of two starting quarterbacks in the player pool. Though he has never been considered a running quarterback, he is mobile enough to pick up panic yards. In Week 11 when he was pressed into duty on Thursday Night Football, he rushed four times for 40 yards in Baltimore against the Ravens. Last week in his first start, he had three attempts for 9 yards.

Running Backs

Joe Mixon saw a season-low eight carries for 16 yards against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was on the field for 28 of the 43 (65%) offensive plays, with Trayveon Williams seeing the field for eight snaps (19%). Jacksonville has the best rushing DVOA in the league, and only four opposing ball-carriers have tallied more than 40 yards on the ground. Mixon saw only two targets, tying for his second fewest of the season.

Even with the bleak outlook, Mixon is still in play on DraftKings ($7,000) and FanDuel ($13,500), though he likely will need a touchdown to be more than a “decimal” back tonight.

Wide Receivers

Tee Higgins is expected to return to action tonight after missing the last three games with ankle and hamstring issues. He was a full participant in the last two practice sessions, so he should be considered a full-go. That makes things crowded, particularly when we remember that the wide receivers combined for just 14 targets last Sunday. Ja’Marr Chase (6) and Tyler Boyd (5) had most of the opportunities as expected, with Trenton Irwin (1) and Andrei Iosivas (2) rounding things out.

Irwin ($1,800) and Iosivas ($600) are extreme punts on DraftKings, but they may not see any targets tonight. Boyd is the best fantasy-point-per-dollar option, while Chase has the best touchdown upside, though he is going to be blanketed all night by the secondary.

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Tight Ends

Inexperienced quarterbacks often lean on the tight end position since they usually are backups because they can’t make the outside or deep throws. Tanner Hudson had five targets last week and four when Browning came in for Burrow two weeks ago. He is a core play on both DraftKings ($4,000) and FanDuel ($7,500).

Irv Smith Jr. has just three targets in the two games with Browning, though he has out-snapped Hudson each of the last four weeks. Drew Sample is more of a blocker, but he turned his lone target into an 11-yard touchdown. It is worth noting that Sample and Browning played together for four seasons at the University of Washington, though even in college Sample was more of a blocker, playing alongside future professionals such as Cade Otton, Will Dissly, Joshua Perkins and Darrell Daniels during his career.

Mitchell Wilcox also had one target for a 1-yard reception, underscoring that Browning will indeed rely on this position tonight.

Defense/Special Teams

Cincinnati has just seven sacks over the last four games, though the Bengals are in the top 5 with 19 takeaways. After suffering five sacks against San Francisco, Jacksonville has ceded only one over the last two games. The team has lost 11 fumbles, which are the second most of any squad, and the 19 total turnovers are in the bottom third of the league.

Jacksonville Jaguars: 25.0 Points

Quarterback

Trevor Lawrence has rushed for three touchdowns and thrown three more over the last two weeks, averaging just over 320 passing yards to boot. Cincinnati has the No. 19 passing and No. 29 rushing DVOA, so the Jaguars should be able to move the chains all night. The last six quarterbacks to face the Bengals have averaged 307 passing yards per game, with Josh Allen (258) being the low man on the totem pole. Five of 11 quarterbacks have also run for at least 40 yards as well.

Running Backs

Travis Etienne (ribs) was limited all week in practice but expected to play tonight. This is an excellent fantasy matchup, but we could see veteran D’Ernest Johnson and rookie Tank Bigsby get significant mop-up duty if the Jaguars can get out to a multi-touchdown lead in the first half.

Johnson has the edge in the passing game, and he has out-snapped the rookie 59 to 22 over the last three games, including by 28 snaps last week. If the game is close, expect Johnson to get most of the work as the understudy, though Bigsby could get double-digit fourth quarter carries if the game is out of hand.

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Wide Receivers and Tight Ends

Calvin Ridley typically approaches a 90% snap share, with Christian Kirk playing three-quarters of the snaps and Zay Jones seeing the field on around two-thirds of the action when he is healthy. Tight end Evan Engram is second on the team with 82 targets, combining with Ridley (76) and Kirk (84) for 65% of all aerial opportunities this season.

Tim Jones had two targets in Week 10, when Zay was hurt. Those are the only wide receiver looks over the last four games that did not go to the big three. Luke Farrell has seven targets in the last two games, and he has played on just over 40% of the snaps in that timeframe. Brenton Strange is the blocking tight end, with one target over the last five games despite being on the field regularly. Farrell was limited by a toe injury and Strange with a foot issue this week, so be sure to confirm they are active tonight. Slight boost to the other if one ends up sitting out.

Defense/Special Teams

Jacksonville has an adequate pass rush that usually generates two or three quarterback takedowns per tilt. Browning has been sacked seven times over the last two games, so there should be some fantasy goodness generated by the Jaguars tonight. Surprisingly, Cincinnati has just nine turnovers this season, the fewest in the league. The Jags have 20 total takeaways, which rank fifth on the season.

Monday Night Football Single-Game NFL DFS Strategy

The rankings below are best utilized for building out single-entry and three-max lineups and for head-to-head and three-man formats. They provide a nice barometer for player value. However, those taking the MME approach should remember that correlation is key. This means matching a receiver or two with a quarterback in the Captain/MVP slot. That also works conversely, pairing a Captain/MVP pass catcher with his quarterback.

Bengals-Jaguars DFS Picks Rankings

Top 10 NFL DFS Showdown Picks for Bengals-Jaguars

  1. Trevor Lawrence: No bonus points for the flowing locks.
  2. Travis Etienne: Solid selection for the multiplier slot, but he could see in-game rest.
  3. Evan Engram: Outstanding production and consistently high opportunities.
  4. Christian Kirk: Slight discount over Ridley; likely punt returner with Pro Bowl returner Jamal Agnew on injured reserve.
  5. Calvin Ridley: In line for the multiplier designation.
  6. Ja’Marr Chase: It is a shame that he is without Burrow.
  7. Jake Browning: Go Huskies!
  8. Jacksonville D/ST: Looking for a splash play tonight!
  9. Brandon McManus: Veteran has been steady in first season away from Denver.
  10. Evan McPherson: Great surname; too bad he is averaging just two field goal attempts per game. Hopefully the Bengals can get him in range a few times tonight.

Secondary NFL DFS Showdown Picks for Bengals-Jaguars

  1. Joe Mixon: Tough scene all the way around.
  2. Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins: Coinflip. Boyd has a much more palatable salary, with a $2,000 savings on both DraftKings and FanDuel.
  3. Zay Jones: Lots of competition for targets.
  4. D’Ernest Johnson: Could approach double-digit touches; also returns kickoffs with Agnew out.
  5. Tanner Hudson: Will the trend continue?

Lottery Ticket NFL DFS Showdown Picks for Bengals-Jaguars

  1. Cincinnati D/ST: They will be on the field a lot; it just takes one crucial miscue for a return touchdown.
  2. Tank Bigsby: Hoping for mop-up duty; he could earn half a dozen fantasy points in the fourth quarter if things break right.
  3. Drew Sample, Irv Smith Jr. and Trenton Irwin: Hurt by the return of Higgins; Irwin also returns punts.
  4. Trayveon Williams: Only two carries and one target over the last three games. However, at $400 on DraftKings, he is a viable cash game punt. Returns kickoffs.
  5. Chase Brown: Word around the campfire is that he could start to get an audition as the team looks ahead to next season. This is a tough matchup, but at the minimum salary, he is in play for tournaments, and for the high-risk tolerance crowd, he is not that different of a choice than Williams on DraftKings.
  6. Luke Farrell and Brenton Strange: Each was limited in practice; Farrell is the preferred option if both are healthy, but if he is out, Strange is at the minimum $200 salary on DraftKings. It would take 100-plus lineups to get to either on FanDuel.
  7. Andrei Iosivas, Tim Jones and Mitchell Wilcox: Only if you are feeling frisky; be sure they are active if you go this route.
  8. Parker Washington, Chris Evans and Charlie Jones: Could be characters in a Hallmark holiday movie.

Stokastic NFL DFS Tools & Tips

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Eric MacPherson
Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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