2019 Fantasy Football: Cincinnati Bengals Team Outlook
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The Bengals would like to have success running the ball to keep their defense off the field. Last year they gained 4.7 yards per carry, but Cinci averaged only 22.4 rushes per game. The change of coaching staff should transition this offense to a run-first style. If they run the ball well, the passing game should naturally open up.
Over 11 starts, Dalton went 5-6 with 2,566 passing yards, 21 TDs, and 11 Ints. He gained 7.0 yards per pass attempts, which was his second-lowest rate since 2012. His offensive line did a better job limiting the damage in sacks (21). Andy passed for over 300 yards in two games while delivering two games of value in TDs (4 and 3). He gained fewer than 200 yards passing in three of his last six starts. His success ended in Week 12 due to a broken right thumb.
The Bengals’ offense has two viable upside WRs in A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd plus pass-catching talent at RB. Dalton has only once average over the league average in passing attempts with his only season with an edge in TDs (33) coming in 2013. At this point in his career, Andy can only be considered a low-grade QB2 with game management skills. I expect him to finish with about 3,700 yards passing with 28 combined TDs thanks to some value as a runner in the red zone.
Despite missing two games, Mixon finished in 10th in R scoring PPR leagues. The Bengals gave him 280 touches (20 per game), which led to 1,464 combined yards with nine TDs and 43 catches. Over the last four games of the year, Joe gained 453 combined yards with three TDs and ten catches. He had four games with over 100 yards rushing and three other contests with over 100 combined yards.
Mixon gained an impressive 4.9 yards per rush, but he struggled to find space in the passing game (6.9 yards per catch). His two missed game came from a right knee injury that required minor surgery in September. I like the players added to the offensive line over the last two seasons, which invites further growth in the run game. His next step is a push for 325+ touches with 1,800 combined yards with double-digit TDs and 60+ catches.
Bernard has been in the NFL for six seasons, but he’s only 27. Last year he struggled to gain yards in both the run game (56/211/2 – 3.8 yards per carry) and the passing attack (35/218 – 6.2 yards per catch) while missing four games with a knee injury. Over his career in the NFL, Giovani has 265 catches (44 per yard) while gaining over 1,000 combined yards in his first three seasons in the league. Tough to dismiss him completely, but the torch at RB in Cinci has been passed to Mixon. Only a handcuff with a chance to get between 100 and 150 touches if the Bengals’ offense takes a step forward in 2019.
In his three seasons at Texas A&M, Williams flashed impact value in two years. He gained 6.8 yards per rush leading to 1,148 combined yards with eight TDs and 19 catches his freshman year. In 2017, Trayveon saw his yards per rush fall to 4.6 with a slide in overall production (990 combined yards with eight TDs and 20 catches). Last year he regained his explosiveness (6.5 yards per carry), which led to 2,048 combined yards with 19 TDs and 27 catches on 298 touches. This season he’ll start the year as the third-string RB for Cinci.
Green played well over his first eight games (45/687/6 on 76 targets), but a toe injury cost him close to the remainder of the season. His catch rate (59.2) came in short for the second straight year (52.4 in 2017). Green had five catches or more in seven games and six games of value (6/92/1. 5/69/3, 4/78/1, 6/112, 7/117, and 5/76/1). His success over a full season would have led to 90 catches for 1,374 yards and 12 TDs or 299.4 Fantasy points in PPR leagues (an eighth-place finish in 2018 at WR). Green has been injured in three of his last five seasons with his failure coming in even years. Top 10 WR in talent, but his lack of stats will lead to him falling in the WR rankings in 2019. A floor of 85+ catches for 1,200+ yards with double-digit TDs if he plays a full season.
Boyd flashed upside in his rookie season in 2016 (54/603/1), but a poor sophomore year (22/225/2) due to six missed game led to him being overlooked on draft day last season. Over 14 games last year, Tyler caught 76 of his 108 targets for 1,028 yards and seven TDs. A right knee injury cost him the final two games of the season. Boyd played great over a three games stretch early in the year (23/323/2) with follow through in four other games (7/62/2, 9/138/1, 7/85/1, and 6/97).
His hands and route running give him an edge. Last year wasn’t a fluke, but he’ll be a little more erratic if the Bengals do run the ball better in 2019 and A.J. Green stays healthy. Start the bidding at 80+ catches for 1,000+ yards and midlevel TDs.
Ross missed the entire 2015 season in college with a torn left ACL, which came after low production in his freshman (16/208/1) and sophomore (17/371/4) seasons while showcasing some value as a runner (12/93/1). In his redshirt junior year, John offered an excellent combination of short area production and home run ability. He finished with 81 catches for 1,150 yards and 17 receiving TDs plus eight rushes for 102 yards and a TD.
Ross will threaten the defense with each step he takes. John can beat a defender in a blink of an eye. His biggest challenge will be beating physical CBs off the line of scrimmage, which will restrict his value in TDs in the red zone, but his skill set will lead to winning fades and slants at the goal line.
Ross is a playmaker after the catch with instant value in the return game. His next step is becoming a more efficient route runner where he needs to vary his tempo. His acceleration reminds me of Dante Hall with a much better receiving skill set. Ross had surgery to repair a torn labrum after the 2017 NFL Combine where he ran 4.22 seconds in the 40-yard dash. John is an exciting player with plenty of injuries in his career.
After two seasons in the NFL, Ross fails into the bust column. He missed all but three games in his rookie with no catches on two targets. Last year he caught 21 of his 58 targets for 210 yards, but he did score seven TDs. His next step is staying healthy while adding more value on more downs. This season he’s only a late-round flier while sliding further down on the depth chart after the emergence of Tyler Boyd.
Injuries crushed Eifert again in 2018. Over the first four games of the season, he caught 15 balls for 179 yards and one TD on 19 targets with his best success coming in Week 3 (6/74). His downfall last year was a broken right ankle. Tyler played only 14 games over the previous three years, which led to 48 catches for 619 yards and six TDs on 71 targets. Eifert was a fun ride in 2015 (52/615/13 on 74 targets) when he appears to be on the rise. He’ll enter the season at age 29 leaving Fantasy owners with a big guess of his value and upside.
If healthy, Tyler will be the top TE on the roster while adding more dynamics to the passing game, especially in the red zone. TE2 flier if the summer training reports remain positive.
Last season Uzomah led the Bengals’ TEs in catches (43) and receiving yards (439). He scored three TDs while averaging four targets per game. C.J. didn’t gain over 55 yards in any game. He scored over ten Fantasy points in PPR leagues in two contests (6/54 and 4/49/1). Boring type TE option that only works as a bye week cover or short-term injury fill in if he’s getting starting snaps.
Over 79 games in his career in the NFL over six seasons, Randy has been successful in 82.8 percent of his field goal tries. In his rookie season, he missed nine of 22 chances from 40 yards or more. Randy showed growth his next season (30-for-35) with stable value from 50 yards or more (4-for-5), but he failed to land a full time kicking gig in 2015 and 2016. In his career, Bullock is 8-for-17 from 50 yards or more with eight extra-point kicks missed in 109 chances over the last four years. In his two seasons with the Bengals, Randy made 37 of 43 his field chances with three of six going through the uprights from 50 yards or more. Only a waiver wire option with occasional playable value.
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