The Worksheet, a comprehensive fantasy football preview by Rich Hribar, breaks down everything you need to know about the Week 3 matchup between the Bengals and Rams on Monday Night Football.

Find a breakdown of every Week 3 NFL game in our Worksheet Hub.

LA RamsRank@CincinnatiRank
1.5 Spread-1.5
21.0 Implied Total22.5
26.59Points/Gm13.530
21.512Points All./Gm25.519
78.01Plays/Gm55.529
50.02Opp. Plays/Gm71.025
5.212Off. Yards/Play3.832
5.525Def. Yards/Play5.422
39.74%20Rush%31.53%30
60.26%13Pass%68.47%3
46.00%22Opp. Rush %54.23%31
54.00%11Opp. Pass %45.77%2

  • The Rams are first in the league in yardage differential (+267) versus their opponents through two weeks.
  • The Bengals are last in the league in yardage differential (-341) versus their opponents through two weeks.
  • The 424 yards of offense by the Bengals are their second fewest as a franchise through two games, trailing only 2008 (369 total yards).
  • Cincinnati has faced a third down on a league-high 68.2% of their set downs. The league average is 47.0%.
  • The Rams have allowed a first down or touchdown on 30.9% of opponent early down plays, 31st in the NFL.
  • The Bengals have produced a first down or touchdown on a league-low 11.4% of their early down plays.
  • The Rams are averaging a league-high 8.2 plays per possession.
  • The Rams are averaging -2.4 fewer yards per rushing play than their opponent, the worst differential in the league.

Trust = spike production for that player

Quarterback

Matthew Stafford: Stafford has started the season as QB17 (14.5 points) and QB23 (14.0 points).

He has thrown for 334 yards (8.8 Y/A) and 307 yards (5.6 Y/A) in those games, with the latter bolstered by 55 pass attempts.

Stafford has played well to open the season, but his play has meant more for the skill players in this offense than vaulting Stafford’s own fantasy credentials.

The Rams have run the most plays in the NFL through two weeks and Stafford still has not closed either week in the front-half of quarterback scoring.

Stafford is stuck as a QB2 for seasonal leagues, but if you are playing him in single-game DFS, the Bengals have been a mixed bag defensively to open the year.

They have allowed just 6.3 yards per pass attempt (11th) but have allowed a 4.8% touchdown rate (22nd) and 0.414 passing points per attempt (20th) due to the spike in passing scores allowed.

Bengals QB: Joe Burrow aggravated his calf injury at the end of the game last week, leaving his status uncertain this week.

Burrow called himself “day to day,” but we do not know if he will play Monday night.

The Bengals are 0-2 and need a win, but it is unlikely that even if Burrow does play that he will be 100%.

Burrow also has not been good when he has been on the field.

He is currently 29th in EPA per dropback (-0.29), 29th in completion rate (56.9%), and 31st in yards per pass attempt (4.2 Y/A).

If Burrow does play, we cannot count on any rushing output while we have already been dealing with a low floor.

The Bengals also playing on Monday complicates things.

If we do not have any word on his status prior to the weekend, I am outright looking to stream for him, willing to see him place a strong game on the board at full health before putting him into lineups.

The Rams defense also may not be the complete dumpster fire as assumed.

They have allowed QB22 and QB21 scoring weeks to Geno Smith and Brock Purdy to open the season.

If Burrow does not play, backup Jake Browning has thrown one NFL pass (in Week 1) since graduating in 2018 from Washington.

This preseason, Browning beat out Trevor Siemian, completing 32-of-45 passes for 272 yards (6.2 Y/A) with a touchdown and two interceptions.

Running Back

Joe Mixon: Mixon has opened the season with games of 73 yards (16 touches) and 95 yards (17 touches), failing to reach the end zone in either week.

He has 33-of-41 backfield touches and 26-of-31 team running back carries.

The Bengals should be looking to run the ball regardless of who takes snaps on Monday.

If Burrow starts, then they can alleviate his injury. If Browning starts, they can insulate their dependency on an unproven passer.

Mixon has opened the year against two run defenses that have been good in their games against other opponents as well.

Here, he would get his best draw of the early season.

The Rams have allowed 5.3 YPC (30th) to running backs.

This offense could continue to outright struggle and limit the ceiling of all players, but Mixon is still a viable RB2 that should receive his largest workload of the season.

Kyren Williams: Williams was the lead back in Week 1 and immediately rendered Cam Akers inactive in Week 2, taking complete control of things for himself.

This Sunday, Williams played 76 snaps (95%) and handled 20-of-21 team backfield touches.

He still found little room to run (3.7 YPC) and has 29 carries for 104 yards now on the season, but Williams produced 100 total yards and two touchdowns against a San Francisco defense that had not allowed 100 yards to a back since Week 5 of last season.

The overall play volume boosted his line, but we have seen in recent seasons that when Sean McVay does give this backfield over to one player, that player can be productive for fantasy.

Even excluding a talented back like Todd Gurley, we have seen C.J. Anderson, Darrell Henderson, and Akers deliver in this offense when they have operated as the workhorse.

If Stafford is playing at this level of functionality, Williams is a fringe RB1 on this type of usage, with more appeal in full-PPR formats since he has not run efficiently and has had touchdown fortune to open the year.

The Bengals have allowed 4.5 YPC to backs (25th) through two weeks.

Wide Receiver

Ja’Marr Chase: Chase has started the year as WR44 (5-39-0) and WR60 (5-31-0).

Factoring in that he has played each game while you replaced other zeroes, Chase has been the worst first-round pick in fantasy drafts through two weeks.

The positive news is that we are working off just two games. Chase is still seeing plenty of work with 17 targets.

The downside is that Joe Burrow may miss time or continue to play sub-100%.

We definitely don’t want to have another Garrett Wilson situation on our hands that leaves Chase a boom-or-bust WR2.

If Jake Browning plays on Monday, that is what we will have.

If Burrow can play, Chase is a volatile WR1.

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