Denver Broncos v Miami Dolphins
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Each week, I go Beyond the Boxscore at SportsLine to provide Fantasy lineup advice on key players that may differ from traditional Fantasy analysis as we dig into the advanced data to unearth players like Puka Nacua -- who was advised as a player to start in Week 1 -- Nico Collins, who was featured in Week 2's Lineup Advice, or Tank Dell, Week 3's feature. The SportsLine Beyond the Boxscore Lineup Advice covers a wide range of players, including which popular waiver additions are worth starting immediately and finding upside plays at every position with our tiered look at start-worthy players. Here on CBS Sports, we'll share one key Beyond the Boxscore recommendation every week as well. And this week, we're going with a big bounceback game for Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow.

Defenses have been blitzing Joe Burrow more in 2023 to exploit his current lack of mobility. In the past, Burrow has been one of the absolute best passers against the blitz, but that area of his game has been a clear weakness (more data on Burrow vs. the blitz) while he plays through a calf injury.

No team is blitzing less this season than the under-new-management Arizona Cardinals. It's fun to make note of newly appointed coaches who are willing to attempt to innovate with their opportunity, and just after celebrating his 30th birthday in July, Cardinals defensive coordinator Nick Rallis is dialing up one of the most unique defensive approaches in football. The league average blitz rate is 29%. Only four teams have a rate below 20%. The Cardinals blitz only 14% of the time, and that rate hasn't risen above 22% in any of their four games. Against a newly-coached and quarterbacked Commanders offense, Arizona only blitzed 8% of the time. Against a reeling Daniel Jones, the blitz rate was only 11%.

It's possible that Arizona increases the blitz rate against Burrow, but we have no precedent suggesting that the blitz rate is matchup-dependent. I think this is just who this Cardinals defense is. It's a weird defense. Arizona only uses press coverage 32% of the time, second-lowest in the NFL and down from a league average of 55%. The Cardinals use Cover-4 more than any team, their 31% rate is more than double the average (14.4%).

I'm not entirely sure what Arizona's vision is behind using by far the least-aggressive defensive scheme in football is, but that's not really important for the purposes of this conversation. What's important is that this sets up as the softest matchup that Burrow and the Bengals passing attack has faced. Last week's matchup against Tennessee's suspect secondary provided an easy test for the downfield passing game, but the Titans do have an awesome defensive line and blitz at a decent rate. The Cardinals rank 30th in pressure rate. Burrow says that he's feeling better than ever; we absolutely could see him perform better than in last week's let down.

It's worth noting that the easiest way to attack Arizona's defense has been on the ground. We could just see the Tee Higgins-less Bengals go run-heavy in this spot. I've been surprised that Cincinnati hasn't leaned more heavily on Mixon through the first month. They seem more content to lean into a shortened quick-hitting pass attack rather than trust the ground game.

I'm projecting the Bengals as if they'll continue to skew towards neutral or slightly pass-heavy in Week 5, and that results in a top-10 projection for Burrow among Fantasy quarterbacks. I'd start him ahead of Jared Goff, Brocky Purdy, Sam Howell, and Jordan Love. And I'm still considering Burrow's appeal as a contrarian DFS play.

For more plays like this one, make sure you go Beyond the Boxscore at SportsLine.