FanDuel Single-Game Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 4 Thursday Night (Dolphins at Bengals)

After some ugly primetime games, we should get a good one tonight between the Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins.

On FanDuel Sportsbook, the host Bengals are 3.5-point in a game with a 46.5-point total. That makes the implied score 25.0-21.5.

For those unfamiliar, single-game slates feature five flex spots with identical scoring to the main slate. However, kickers are included in these contests, and there is an "MVP" roster slot. The MVP receives 1.5-times his total fantasy points, making this spot crucial.

Our Brandon Gdula has done a deep dive on single-game strategy, and we have projections for the single-game slate if you select the game from the slate tab. It's worth checking out both of those things before you make your lineups.

MVP Candidates

This section is going to be bigger than usual. There is no shortage of high-upside plays on this slate, especially in the passing games. Our model has seven total players projected for at least 11.6 FanDuel points. That gives us several viable routes at MVP, and it should keep MVP popularity fairly spread out.

Let's start with the quarterbacks -- Joe Burrow ($15,500 on FanDuel) and Tua Tagovailoa ($15,000). These two lead the slate in projection at 19.1 and 17.3 FanDuel points, respectively. With that said, neither guy typically offers much rushing juice -- although Burrow has surprisingly rushed for 73 yards through three games -- which dings the upside for both.

Burrow has been under siege for a lot of 2022 (and 2021 and 2020), but the Cincy passing game got on track last week in a soft matchup with the New York Jets. Burrow put up 23.0 FanDuel points in that one and is averaging 20.6 FanDuel points for the year. We've seen a big ceiling from Burrow in the past, and Miami is allowing the most FanDuel points per game to signal-callers (26.3). If this game shoots out, he could go off. But Burrow hasn't shown said ceiling much at all lately, going for more than 25 FanDuel points just twice over his past 12 regular-season starts (dating back to last year).

Tagovailoa is banged up and not a lock to play (as of Wednesday). He seems to be on the right side of questionable, though (as of early Wednesday afternoon). He went nuclear for 40.86 FanDuel points against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 2, but his other two games were more like the Tua we've seen previously (14.80 and 11.44 FanDuel points). Cincy's D has been tough on quarterbacks, giving up the third-fewest FanDuel points per game to the position (10.6), although they've faced a gauntlet of Mitchell Trubisky, Cooper Rush and Joe Flacco.

Ultimately, I land in the same spot with both quarterbacks -- I'd rather use them at flex than MVP.

I really like the receivers as MVP plays, though, and I think you can make a case for all of Ja'Marr Chase ($13,500), Tee Higgins ($11,500), Jaylen Waddle ($13,500) and Tyreek Hill ($14,000).

Hill and Waddle will get dinged if it seems like Tua is less than 100% (or if Tua doesn't play). We project Hill and Waddle for 14.1 and 13.2 FanDuel points, respectively, and they have very similar profiles thus far. Hill owns a 32.5% target share and an average depth of target (aDOT) of 9.3. Waddle has a 31.2% target share and 8.6 aDOT. I give Hill the edge between the two. Hill's single-game ceiling is truly elite, and we know what kind of big-play chops he has.

Chase comes in at a projection of 15.0 FanDuel points, while we forecast Higgins for 11.6 points. Chase's aDOT is down to 6.6 this year, and it could be legit as Cincy might be trying to get the ball out of Burrow's hands quickly. Despite the low aDOT, Chase's 28.4% target share, six red-zone looks -- second most in the league -- and big-play ability make him an enticing single-game option. Miami has permitted the ninth-most (34.0) FanDuel points per game to wideouts.

Higgins has played just one game without injury interruption this year so he has seen only 12 targets. He's been used downfield more than Chase has, sporting an aDOT of 9.5, but he's typically the number-two option in this attack. The salary is easy to like.

Lastly, Joe Mixon ($12,000) is worth a look. He's stunk the past two games -- 9.8 and 5.3 FanDuel points -- and hasn't been efficient at all this year, averaging an ugly 2.8 yards per carry. He lost a decent amount of snaps in passing situations last week, logging a 67% snap rate, his lowest of the season. None of that is good.

But now that all the bad stuff is out of the way, there are some positives. Mixon has seen at least 19 combined carries plus targets each week in 2022 and projects extremely well as we have him totaling 16.6 FanDuel points, tops among non-quarterbacks. With Cincy favored, Mixon is in a good situation on Thursday. He's the top point-per-dollar play on the slate by our numbers and might slip through the cracks at MVP.

Flex Breakdown

For the most part, it's a top-heavy slate. I want to go with a stars-and-scrubs approach, but the value plays are lacking -- except for Raheem Mostert ($8,000).

Miami's backfield is a timeshare between Mostert and Chase Edmonds ($10,500). It's tilted toward Mostert, who has led this duo in snaps in each of the past two games. In that span, Mostert has amassed 22 total touches (19 carries) to Edmonds' 13, although Edmonds scored twice last week. Even if the salaries were equal, Mostert is the Miami back to target, but given the salary difference, Mostert is clearly the way to go. We have him scoring 8.7 FanDuel points and rate him as the top point-per-dollar play among those with a salary under $12,000.

Speaking of values, both kickers need to be on our radar, particularly Evan McPherson ($9,500). Outside of the seven-man group I talked about in the MVP section, the best projection belongs to McPherson, who we have posting 9.4 FanDuel points. The Dolphins' Jason Sanders ($9,500) comes in with a projection of 7.8 points.

The tight ends look like the only other viable low-salary picks, but it'll be hard for Mike Gesicki ($7,500) and Hayden Hurst ($7,000) to both have a good night since each is reliant on a negative game script for more playing time.

With Miami a road 'dog, Gesicki might be in business, and he has some big-play ability for a tight end. His highest snap rate of the season (61%) came in a negative game script at the Ravens. He caught all four of his targets in that one for 41 yards and a tud (12.2 FanDuel points).

Hurst is a similar type of play. He got in on just 40% of Cincy's snaps last week in a super positive game script -- although a groin ailment might be partially to blame -- but had recorded snap rates of 73% and 81% in losses the first two weeks. If you think the Bengals see a negative game script, Hurst makes a ton of sense as a low-salary dart.

Neither D/ST is all that appealing. We give the Miami D/ST ($9,000) a narrow edge with a projection of 7.3 FanDuel points, compared to 6.8 for the Cincinnati D/ST ($8,500).

Tyler Boyd ($10,000) doesn't project well (6.9 FanDuel points) and doesn't fit the stars-and-scrubs builds I prefer. He's likely over-salaried, too, after striking for a long score last week en route to 18.5 FanDuel points. But he might go overlooked, and Boyd benefits from the same nice matchup with Miami's secondary that Chase and Higgins get.