Matchup Analysis: Cincinnati Bengals at Buffalo Bills

Vegas Prediction

Vegas says: Bengals 19, Bills 25

FBG Projections

TeamRushYardsTDCompAttPass YdTDINT

Cincinnati Bengals Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Bengals Offense18.5 (-3.3) (22)30 (-79) (32)343 (+94) (2)
Bills Defense15.0 (-6.8) (5)98 (-10) (10)198 (-50) (6)

Buffalo Bills Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Bills Offense22.5 (+0.7) (11)140 (+30) (9)240 (-9) (18)
Bengals Defense31.0 (+9.2) (29)166 (+56) (30)237 (-11) (16)

Bengals Rushing offense

Tough matchup vs. the Bills defense.

Due to a number of factors, including his own Week 1 injury, Joe Mixon has yet to get off the ground here in 2019. He’s managed just 27 yards on his 17 attempts, failing to produce anything either up the middle or on the edges. It hasn’t just been a Mixon issue: dynamic backup Giovani Bernard (13 for 27) hasn’t found any success either. The scoreboard has worked against both, but the primary culprit, as usual, has been the Bengals’ weak play up front. If not for the sad-sack Dolphins, this line would rank dead-last in Matt Bitonti’s Footballguys rankings. It’s been without top blocker Cordy Glenn, who’s still recovering from a concussion, and will proceed in the short term without left guard Michael Jordan. Even if Glenn can suit up for Week 3, this group will remain undermanned and vulnerable. Mixon will have to show up fully healthy and at his most dynamic to generate a big day against the Bills.

Buffalo’s run defense is generally a strong one, despite its Week 2 stat line. Saquon Barkley racked up 107 yards on just 18 carries, including a 26-yard touchdown that left multiple Bills swiveling their ankles. But it wouldn’t be fair to condemn this group too much for failing to corral Barkley. Overall, it’s improved noticeably into one of the league’s toughest units. In Ed Oliver and Star Lotulelei, the Bills boast a dynamic set of tackles that’s done a great job of controlling the interior. First-round rookie Oliver has been particularly impressive; he’s an athletic gap-shooter capable of making plays in the backfield, while Lotulelei is more of a space-eater. Behind them, linebacker Tremaine Edmunds continues to improve, while Matt Milano remains dependable on the strong side. They’re backed by an elite safety duo of Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde, both of whom are more than capable in run support. This unit may struggle with consistency, and Joe Mixon is fast and nimble enough to present similar problems as Barkley. But on most weeks, this is a fairly prohibitive matchup, especially against opponents with front lines as weak as the Bengals’.

Bengals Passing offense

Bad matchup vs. the Bills defense.

Thus far, the debut of new coach and offensive guru Zac Taylor has brought a mixed bag of results. The offensive pace is way up - these Bengals are running nine plays more per game than last year’s version - but efficiency hasn’t followed. Andy Dalton looked sharp in Week 1, completing 35 of 51 passes for 418 yards and 2 touchdowns. But things fell apart last Sunday, with Dalton looking out of sorts and struggling to make plays down the field. Prior to a long garbage-time touchdown, Dalton had mustered just 245 yards over 41 attempts (an anemic 6.0 average). The team is determined to feed the ball to speedy wideout John Ross in space, sometimes to a fault. Ross has generated a handful of huge plays, including two long touchdowns in the opener and a 66-yard catch-and-run last Sunday. But he remains quite raw as a full-time weapon, struggling with drops and ball control. Tyler Boyd is still the primary option here, working mostly on tough slot routes over the middle. He’s a dependable target, and like Ross, he’s capable of making things happen on the run. Unfortunately, this attack is too often hampered by one of the league’s worst pass-blocking lines. Left tackle Cordy Glenn may return Sunday, but that wouldn’t be enough to keep Dalton upright and comfortable. Even though there are some intriguing pieces in place, this is a volatile unit that’s difficult to trust. A date with the Bills’ smothering secondary isn’t ideal at this point in its development.

The Buffalo pass defense hasn’t been truly tested yet, opening the year against two shaky passing games in in-state matchups. Still, it seems clear this unit hasn’t lost its 2018 magic. The Bills boast a strong pass rush, one of the league’s best cornerback duos, and a solid set of safeties on the back end. TreDavious White has developed into one of the game’s premier cover men, capable of both smothering receivers and making plays on the ball. Levi Wallace has been great on the other side, so working the boundaries is exceptionally tough in this matchup. White and Wallace don’t move around the formation, though, and neither will follow Bengals slot man Tyler Boyd inside. That leaves a glaring mismatch for slot specialists Kevin Johnson and Siran Neal, but they’ll get support from safeties Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde, who are both skilled in help coverage. Overall, it’s not easy for any passing game to find success in this matchup. The retooling Bengals are not strong candidates to buck that trend.

Bills Rushing offense

Good matchup vs. the Bengals defense.

At age 36, Frank Gore no longer runs with much speed or explosiveness. Through 2 games as a Bill, Gore has mustered just 88 yards on his 30 attempts. But he’s still a serviceable real-life runner, capable of working forward through traffic and avoiding losses. His consistent style fits the Bills’ ball-control approach, but only marginally. At some point, the team will have to shift more of the load to youngster Devin Singletary. The dynamic rookie has led the backfield in snaps, but taken on just 10 carries thus far. And 7 of those carries have gone for 12 yards or more. Singletary left Sunday’s game early with a hamstring issue and remains questionable for this week. He represents the team’s best shot at mitigating the Bills’ weak run-blocking line. The most stable piece of this puzzle is quarterback Josh Allen, who remains a weekly threat to lead the team in rushing. Dating back to last year, he’s averaged 8 rushes and 49 yards over 14 starts, with 10 touchdowns.

The Cincinnati run defense looked much-improved in Week 1, thoroughly shutting down the Seahawks’ strong ground attack. But last Sunday brought them back to Earth; this was arguably the league’s worst unit last year, and those problems cropped back up against San Francisco. They had no answer for the 49ers’ outside-zone attack, and when the dust had settled, they’d allowed 244 yards to San Francisco running backs. There are a few solid pieces in play here, such as linebacker Nick Vigil, who’s developed into one of football’s most reliable tacklers. Geno Atkins remains a major mismatch in the middle, and nose tackle Andrew Billings makes for a solid complement on running downs. Still, big issues remain, especially in pursuit on the second level. The problem starts with middle linebacker Preston Brown, who lacks athleticism and is often a liability when the ballcarrier isn’t funneled to him. All told, it seems likely that strong Week 1 showing was a mirage; this group has been exploited mercilessly for quite some time. Over their last 18 games, 12 different runners have topped 80 yards on the ground.

Bills Passing offense

Good matchup vs. the Bengals defense.

In his second season, Josh Allen has shown modest improvement as an NFL passer. With a big arm and nimble, creative feet, he has tools in place to develop into a dynamic dual-threat quarterback. Allen sorely lacked weapons as a rookie, so the Bills made two key offseason additions, wideouts John Brown and Cole Beasley, to serve as his primary options. Through 2 games, they’ve combined to draw 46% of his targets and account for 63% of his passing yardage. Brown is still one of the NFL’s fastest players, which has been on full display in Buffalo. He's also shown improved route-running skills, playing underneath and working back to the ball when needed for a quick completion. For his part, Beasley isn’t much of a playmaker, as evidenced by his career 10.3-yard average. But he’s quick-footed and adept at finding soft spots underneath, crucial traits for a young quarterback’s security blanket. Beyond them, there’s little to speak of here; no other Bill has caught more than five passes thus far. Zay Jones remains a low-impact reserve talent, and none of the team’s bevy of tight ends has made a dent in the offense. At the moment, it makes sense to view Week 2 as this unit’s absolute ceiling and play it accordingly. Allen simply doesn’t throw often, and he’s still quite raw when he does. Week to week, Brown is the only component that can be trusted - and even he’s largely dependent upon splash plays for his value.

The Bengals continue to trot out one of football’s more enigmatic pass defenses. They boast a pair of strong cornerbacks in William Jackson and Dre Kirkpatrick, and a rising star at free safety in Jessie Bates. But despite that talent, the necessary cohesion and communication simply aren’t there, and this matchup remains one of the juiciest in fantasy football. Offenses have little trouble finding soft spots under and between the secondary’s zones, leading to big days through the air. Last week, the 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo snapped out of a year-long funk in this matchup, completing 17 of 25 throws for 297 yards and 3 touchdowns. Over and over, the Bengals were gashed by slot playmakers George Kittle and Deebo Samuel, while Marquise Goodwin kept the secondary backed up deep. If this unit is going to wake up and offer any resistance, it will have to tighten up in the flats and the seams. The Bills’ receiving corps isn’t flashy but boasts enough speed and quickness to create a handful of big plays.

Bills vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)5 (-7.3)5 (-7.4)7 (-5.5)6 (-6.8)
1Sam Darnold7228411751010012.812.813.013.0
2Eli Manning7026452501212014.714.712.212.2

Andy Dalton (FanDuel: $7100, DraftKings: $5300)

1@ SEA7735514182000028.928.920.725.7
2vs SF7026423112122022.822.819.622.6
3PROJ-Dodds22362381.4128017.317.317.3 (H=39)17.3 (H=52)
3PROJ-Tremblay22362471.31.129017.317.317.3 (H=39)17.3 (H=52)
3PROJ-Bloom24392231.41.1110.116.316.316.3 (H=35)16.3 (H=47)

Bills vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)14 (-0.4)14 (-1.0)17 (+0.5)20 (+1.1)
1LeVeon Bell72176009632115.
1Ty Montgomery524000000.
2Saquon Barkley611810717328019.522.521.025.5
2Elijhaa Penny800000000.

Joe Mixon (FanDuel: $6500, DraftKings: $5500)

1@ SEA29610032.0701.
2vs SF381117053.01002.
3PROJ-Dodds12500.32.5160.1911.510.3 (H=17)11.5 (H=24)
3PROJ-Tremblay11470.32.41608.110.59.3 (H=14)10.5 (H=21)
3PROJ-Bloom12350.43.0130.17.810.89.3 (H=14)10.8 (H=22)

Giovani Bernard (FanDuel: $5200, DraftKings: $4200)

1@ SEA48721032.04206.
2vs SF2866031.0701.
3PROJ-Dodds8320.21.81305.77.56.6 (H=10)7.5 (H=15)
3PROJ-Tremblay8330.21.81205.77.56.6 (H=10)7.5 (H=15)
3PROJ-Bloom6180. (H=4)4.7 (H=6)

Bills vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)10 (-5.4)16 (-1.0)11 (-4.1)14 (-3.0)
1Jamison Crowder65171499014010.324.317.324.3
1Robby Anderson69732300002.
2T.J. Jones30433810009.812.811.312.8
2Bennie Fowler5510551012007.112.19.612.1

Tyler Boyd (FanDuel: $6600, DraftKings: $6500)

1@ SEA61118.06001306.314.310.314.3
2vs SF551010.0122000012.
3PROJ-Dodds5.8670.31308.814.611.7 (H=21)14.6 (H=31)
3PROJ-Tremblay5.3620.31408.413.711.1 (H=19)13.7 (H=28)
3PROJ-Bloom8.0770.400010.118.114.1 (H=29)18.1 (H=46)

John Ross (FanDuel: $6700, DraftKings: $5100)

1@ SEA63127.0158200027.834.831.337.8
2vs SF6084.0112100017.
3PROJ-Dodds4.0590.40008.312.310.3 (H=16)12.3 (H=30)
3PROJ-Tremblay4.2620.3000812.210.1 (H=16)12.2 (H=29)
3PROJ-Bloom4.0610.50009.113.111.1 (H=19)13.1 (H=33)

Damion Willis (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3000)

1@ SEA6953.0300000364.56.0
2vs SF4531.0600000.
3PROJ-Dodds1.5170.10002.33.83.1 (H=3)3.8 (H=6)
3PROJ-Tremblay1.8230.10002.94.73.8 (H=4)4.7 (H=9)
3PROJ-Bloom1.0900000.91.91.4 (H=0)1.9 (H=2)

Alex Erickson (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3000)

1@ SEA1144.02800002.
2vs SF1531.01400001.
3PROJ-Dodds1.5150.10002.13.63.0 (H=2)3.7 (H=6)
3PROJ-Tremblay1.7180.10002.44.13.4 (H=3)4.2 (H=8)
3PROJ-Bloom1.01100001.12.11.7 (H=1)2.2 (H=2)

Bills vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)8 (-3.6)11 (-3.4)10 (-3.5)10 (-3.6)
1Ryan Griffin68431001.
2Evan Engram55864804.810.87.810.8

Tyler Eifert (FanDuel: $4900, DraftKings: $3200)

1@ SEA3855.02702.
2vs SF1953.0916.
3PROJ-Dodds2.7280.246.75.4 (H=7)6.7 (H=16)
3PROJ-Tremblay2.6280.246.65.3 (H=7)6.6 (H=16)
3PROJ-Bloom4.0220.3486.0 (H=9)8.0 (H=22)

C.J. Uzomah (FanDuel: $4000, DraftKings: $2700)

1@ SEA5454.06606.610.68.610.6
2vs SF4200.000000.00.0
3PROJ-Dodds1.5160. (H=3)3.7 (H=7)
3PROJ-Tremblay1.3130. (H=2)3.2 (H=5)
3PROJ-Bloom1.01101.12.11.6 (H=1)2.1 (H=2)

Drew Sample (FanDuel: $4000, DraftKings: $2500)

1@ SEA300.000000.00.0
2vs SF1932.02502.
3PROJ-Dodds1.0700.71.71.2 (H=0)1.7 (H=2)
3PROJ-Tremblay0.7700.71.41.0 (H=0)1.4 (H=1)
3PROJ-Bloom1.01201.22.21.7 (H=1)2.2 (H=3)

Bills vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)1T (-5.3)1T (-5.3)1T (-6.0) (+0.0)
1Chandler Catanzaro0000000.00.0
2Aldrick Rosas0122222.02.0

Randy Bullock (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

1@ SEA2322888.08.0
2vs SF1222555.05.0

Bills vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)29 (+3.2)29 (+3.2)27 (+3.2)27 (+3.2)
1New York Jets1737012201151518.018.0
2New York Giants2838830000332.02.0

Cincinnati Bengals (FanDuel: $3400, DraftKings: $2400)

1@ SEA21.0023340100666.06.0
2vs SF41.005720100022-2.0-2.0
3PROJ-Dodds24.603612.210.600. (H=21)7.9 (H=29)
3PROJ-Tremblay25.00360210.600. (H=20)7.7 (H=28)

Bengals vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)21 (+1.5)21 (+1.5)23 (+2.0)20 (+0.7)
1Russell Wilson5314201952048018.618.616.616.6
2Jimmy Garoppolo7217252973148026.726.723.723.7

Josh Allen (FanDuel: $7500, DraftKings: $5900)

1@ NYJ692437254121038124.524.518.020.0
2@ NYG76193025310721124.824.822.222.2
3PROJ-Dodds19322271.217330.622.122.122.1 (H=56)22.1 (H=72)
3PROJ-Tremblay19302211.419340.5222222.0 (H=56)22.0 (H=71)
3PROJ-Bloom20312271.30.59330.522.322.322.3 (H=57)22.3 (H=73)

Bengals vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)32 (+18.4)32 (+18.7)32 (+17.7)32 (+19.3)
1Chris Carson41154617634120.
1Rashaad Penny14618000001.
2Raheem Mostert34138304368121.124.122.624.1
2Jeff Wilson1510342000015.415.415.415.4

Frank Gore (FanDuel: $5700, DraftKings: $4400)

1@ NYJ191120000.000222.02.0
2@ NYG451968122.015014.316.315.316.3
3PROJ-Dodds14600.41.0609109.5 (H=17)10.0 (H=24)
3PROJ-Tremblay16750.40.76010.511.210.9 (H=21)11.2 (H=29)
3PROJ-Bloom18630.51.0609.910.910.4 (H=20)10.9 (H=28)

Devin Singletary (FanDuel: $5800, DraftKings: $4300)

1@ NYJ48470065.02809.814.812.314.8
2@ NYG25657100.00011.711.711.711.7
3PROJ-Dodds8330.22.0150. (H=11)8.6 (H=19)
3PROJ-Tremblay5240.22.1170.15.987.0 (H=10)8.0 (H=17)
3PROJ-Bloom0000.000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Patrick DiMarco (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $3000)

1@ NYJ3300022.0900.
2@ NYG1611011.0300.
3PROJ-Dodds0000.9600. (H=1)
3PROJ-Tremblay1201.080121.52.0 (H=2)
3PROJ-Bloom0001.0500. (H=1)

Bengals vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)19 (+0.6)11 (-5.0)15 (-2.2)11 (-6.6)
1Tyler Lockett482144100010.411.410.911.4
1DK Metcalf41648900008.912.910.912.9
2Deebo Samuel297587127015.420.417.920.4
2Marquise Goodwin373377100013.716.715.216.7

John Brown (FanDuel: $5900, DraftKings: $5500)

1@ NYJ59107.0123100018.325.321.828.3
2@ NYG6087.07200007.214.210.714.2
3PROJ-Dodds4.8720.40009.614.412.0 (H=25)14.4 (H=36)
3PROJ-Tremblay4.7680.40009.213.911.6 (H=23)13.9 (H=34)
3PROJ-Bloom6.0820.500011.217.214.2 (H=33)17.2 (H=50)

Cole Beasley (FanDuel: $5100, DraftKings: $4400)

1@ NYJ4895.0400000496.59.0
2@ NYG3744.08300008.312.310.312.3
3PROJ-Dodds4.2440.30006.210.48.3 (H=15)10.4 (H=26)
3PROJ-Tremblay4.1470.30006.510.68.6 (H=16)10.6 (H=27)
3PROJ-Bloom5.0470.30006.511.59.0 (H=17)11.5 (H=31)

Zay Jones (FanDuel: $4700, DraftKings: $3300)

1@ NYJ2942.01800001.
2@ NYG4531.01400001.
3PROJ-Dodds1.9230.20003.55.44.5 (H=5)5.4 (H=11)
3PROJ-Tremblay2.2270.20003.96.15.0 (H=6)6.1 (H=13)
3PROJ-Bloom2.0290.10003.55.54.5 (H=5)5.5 (H=11)

Isaiah McKenzie (FanDuel: $4700, DraftKings: $3400)

2@ NYG1722.040114010.412.411.412.4
3PROJ-Dodds0.91101301.42.31.8 (H=1)2.3 (H=2)
3PROJ-Tremblay0.67013011.61.3 (H=0)1.6 (H=1)
3PROJ-Bloom0.000000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Robert Foster (FanDuel: $4700, DraftKings: $3200)

1@ NYJ1500.000000000.00.0
2@ NYG2720.000000000.00.0
3PROJ-Dodds1.01400001.42.41.9 (H=1)2.4 (H=2)
3PROJ-Tremblay0.6900000.91.51.2 (H=0)1.5 (H=1)
3PROJ-Bloom2.0310.20004.36.35.3 (H=7)6.3 (H=15)

Bengals vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)13 (-2.8)8 (-4.6)9 (-3.7)8 (-4.8)
1Nick Vannett24221601.
2George Kittle48335405.

Dawson Knox (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $2500)

1@ NYJ3821.0100.
2@ NYG4141.01801.
3PROJ-Dodds1.1130.11.932.5 (H=2)3.0 (H=5)
3PROJ-Tremblay1.1120. (H=2)2.9 (H=5)
3PROJ-Bloom0.000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Tommy Sweeney (FanDuel: $4000, DraftKings: $2500)

1@ NYJ2322.03503.
2@ NYG2110.000000.00.0
3PROJ-Dodds0.7900.91.61.2 (H=0)1.6 (H=1)
3PROJ-Tremblay0.6600.61.20.9 (H=0)1.2 (H=1)
3PROJ-Bloom0.000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Tyler Kroft (FanDuel: $4000, DraftKings: $2700)

3PROJ-Dodds0.000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)
3PROJ-Tremblay1.2120.11.832.4 (H=2)3.0 (H=4)
3PROJ-Bloom2.0200. (H=6)5.2 (H=12)

Bengals vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)18T (+0.7)18T (+0.7)16T (-0.0) (+0.0)
1Jason Myers0033333.03.0
2Robbie Gould2355111111.011.0

Steve Hauschka (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

1@ NYJ1122556.06.0
2@ NYG0044444.04.0

Bengals vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)27T (+2.7)27T (+2.7)26 (+2.7)26 (+2.7)
1Seattle Seahawks2042950300111112.012.0
2San Francisco 49ers1731641000667.07.0

Buffalo Bills (FanDuel: $4600, DraftKings: $3400)

1@ NYJ16.00223401108810.010.0
2@ NYG14.0037012000556.06.0
3PROJ-Dodds18.703332.610.600. (H=22)9.7 (H=30)
3PROJ-Tremblay19.003402.31.10.800.510.610.610.6 (H=25)10.6 (H=35)