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Winners Club: Joe Burrow’s Bengals Host Tua Tagovailoa’s Dolphins on ‘TNF’

Plus, Judge hits No. 61, fantasy football rankings, injury news and college football Week 5 preview.

Are you excited for tonight’s premiere matchup? No, no, not Dolphins-Bengals. I’m talking about Tyreek Hill vs. Eli Apple of course!

As receivers and defensive backs are prone to do, the two have engaged in trash talk dating back to last January when Cincinnati beat Kansas CityHill’s former team, in the AFC Championship Game.

And this week, Hill told reporters he “owes” Apple. Get your popcorn ready, folks.

In today’s Winners Club you’ll find:

Undefeated Dolphins Kick Off Week 4 in Cincinnati

Dolphins vs. Bengals (-3.5)

8:15 p.m. ET (Prime Video)

There are plenty of storylines for the Dolphins-Bengals Thursday Night Football matchup. Miami holds the top seed in the AFC, while Cincinnati is the defending conference champion. Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa were the first two quarterbacks off the board in the 2020 draft class and, as previously stated, there’s no love lost between Apple and Hill.

First-year coach Mike McDaniel’s team has already taken down Bill Belichick’s Patriots, John Harbaugh’s Ravens and Sean McDermott’s Bills en route to an impressive 3-0 start. Zac Taylor’s Bengals are next in line, though the oddsmakers have Cincinnati favored by just more than a field goal at home despite its rocky start.

Tua Tagovailoa and Tyreek Hill

In Frankie Taddeo’s preview of the game for SI Betting he discussed where the lines opened, just how good each of these offenses is and key betting trends for both teams before he made his against the spread (ATS) bet. Taddeo also picked a pair of player props he’s in on for this marquee matchup. And, as always, Albert Breer, Michael Fabiano and Jen Piacenti got together to discuss the most important storylines surrounding the game.

Some things you should know:

Sep 25, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) throws a pass against the New York Jets during the first half at MetLife Stadium.

Compete in SI Sportsbook’s “Perfect 10” contest this week by picking 10 games with the opportunity to win free picks or a $10,000 prize. Frankie Taddeo broke down the Week 4 slate, which includes some compelling matchups. I know I’ll be watching Bills-Ravens, Jaguars-Eagles and Broncos-Raiders this weekend. See where the lines stand for those contests and get Taddeo’s analysis of each game before you make your picks.

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Aaron Judge’s 61st Home Run Ties AL Record

Yankees slugger Aaron Judge made history Wednesday night in the top of the seventh in Toronto. Judge went yard for the 61st time this season, and this blast not only pushed him past Babe Ruth on the single-season home run list but tied him with Roger Maris for the American League record.

Aaron Judge hits his 61st home run of the 2022 season

It’s been 61 years since Maris set the AL record in 1961 and it’s been more than 20 years since any MLB player hit 60 home runs in a single season. Judge, who is on track to win the Triple Crown, gets a day off Thursday before New York takes the field Friday night against the Orioles.

The Yankees, who have already clinched the AL East division title and, at +450, own the third-best World Series odds, have seven games left on their schedule for Judge to hit No. 62.

Elsewhere in the MLB, the only division that hasn’t been clinched is the NL East and the first-place Mets and second-place Braves begin a three-game series Friday night in Atlanta that could decide the winner. New York is one game ahead of Atlanta for the division lead and is -400 to take the crown, while the defending World Series champs are +275 at SI Sportsbook.

Rankings and Projections to Guide Fantasy Lineup Decisions

Now that waivers have been processed, remember to set your lineups with the latest additions to your team. I hope you were successful in adding one of the top available free agents this week. Regardless of your waiver wire pickups, be sure to consult SI’s weekly fantasy tools to make those tough lineup calls and maximize your chances of winning this week!

Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em

Quarterbacks: R-E-L-A-X and start Aaron Rodgers with confidence against New England.

Running backs: Seven carries for zero yards should earn Clyde Edwards-Helaire a spot on your bench.

Wide receivers: Bank on a Gabe Davis bounceback in a projected shootout with the Ravens.

Tight ends: Trust in Tyler Conklin, even with Zach Wilson back behind center.

Kickers and defenses: Keep the Ravens’ defense on the shelf this week against Josh Allen.

Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks: A matchup with the Texans should allow Justin Herbert to turn in a top-five outing.

Running backs: Saquon Barkley gets the nod at No. 1 this week ahead of JT and CMC.

Wide receivers: Both Dolphins' wideouts find themselves in the top 10 this week.

Tight ends: David Njoku will return to Earth after his blowup game in Week 3.

Flex: Despite a disappointing start, Austin Ekeler is still a great play in Houston.

Kickers: Both kickers in the Bills-Ravens showdown rank among the top five options this week.

Defenses: Green Bay draws a great matchup against the Patriots, who might be without Mac Jones.

Stat Projections

Quarterbacks: Tom Brady is a top-10 play against the Chiefs in Mike Evans’s return from suspension.

Running backs: Javonte Williams is due for a big outing against the Raiders.

Wide receivers: Amon-Ra St. Brown ranks outside the top 10 following a down game.

Tight ends: Count on more production from George Kittle in his second game back.

Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) points to a teammate before the Giants take on the Cowboys.

More news, notes and updates from around the league: Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott says he’s unlikely to play this week, Belichick said Brian Hoyer will start if Jones (ankle) is outSaints quarterback Jameis Winston (back) was not seen at the team’s Wednesday practice in London, Wilson (knee), the Jets’ quarterback, was cleared to play Sunday for the first time this season, the NFL says the status of Sunday night’s Chiefs-Buccaneers game is uncertain due to Hurricane Ian and Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (quad), Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (toe), Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (shoulder), Lions running back D’Andre Swift (shoulder/ankle) and Bears running back David Montgomery (ankle/hip) all did not practice Wednesday.

October Begins With Five Top-25 Conference Clashes

The top three teams in the nation held their ground Week 4, while No. 4 Michigan and No. 5 Clemson had to sweat a bit. There’s a slew of matchups this weekend between ranked opponents that will tell us more about where teams stand after a wild September.

Naturally, No. 1 Alabama is more than a two-score favorite on the road against a ranked conference foe and Clemson gets another ranked ACC opponent, this time at home. Robin Lundberg and I discussed those two matchups ahead of Week 5 of CFB action.

Top-25 Action

12 p.m. ET (ESPN): No. 7 Kentucky vs. No. 14 Ole Miss (-7)

3:30 p.m. ET (ABC): No. 22 Wake Forest vs. No. 23 Florida State (-7)

3:30 p.m. ET (CBS): No. 1 Alabama (-17) vs. No. 21 Arkansas

3:30 p.m. ET (FOX): No. 9 Oklahoma State vs. No. 16 Baylor (-2.5)

7:30 p.m. ET (ABC): No. 10 NC State vs. No. 5 Clemson (-6.5)

D.J. Uiagalelei throws a pass for Clemson.

Other Games for Your Consideration

12 p.m. ET (ABC): No. 18 Oklahoma (-6) vs. TCU

4 p.m. ET (SEC Network): No. 17 Texas A&M vs. Mississippi State (-3.5)

10:30 p.m. ET (ESPN): No. 15 Washington (-2.5) vs. UCLA

National Championship Odds Watch

Georgia (+175) remains the title favorite at SI Sportsbook with Alabama (+200) close behind and Ohio State (+230) bearing down on the SEC powers. Clemson and USC’s title odds (+1400) both became longer after they narrowly survived upsets last week.

The biggest change was in Big 12 futures after Kansas State upset Oklahoma, which fell 12 spots as a result. The Sooners were previously +180 to win the conference and are now tied with Baylor at +300 odds.

In Other News

WNBA Offseason Questions: What will come of Breanna Stewart’s free agency? How will the coaching carousel play out? And what’s the latest with the Brittney Griner situation? Ben Pickman takes a stab at answering the league’s most-pressing offseason questions.

Ranking the Rotations of the Contenders: The Mets top all teams with a deep, star-studded crop of starting pitchers. See how the rest of the playoff teams and hopefuls stack up behind New York’s, which is headlined by Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer.

The Next Steps for CFP Expansion: The College Football Playoff is expanding to 12 teams. Find out how that is unfolding including what will change, what will stay the same and what is still unknown about the process.


Thanks for reading! Enjoy tonight’s matchup and the loaded college football slate. I’ll be back in your inbox Sunday morning.

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