Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Cincinnati Bengals Fantasy Football Outlook

J Kilmer via Flickr

Studs: A.J. Green, Giovani Bernard

A.J. Green has been nothing but a stud since entering the league. Particularly in the past two years Green has averaged 172 targets, 97.5 catches, 1388 yards, and 11 touchdowns. It won't get much prettier than that.

2014 should be no different for Green, however the Bengals offense is set to change to a more run oriented style under new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson. While Jackson will have the team running much more than Jay Gruden did a year ago, Green will still get his due, and as long as he can get his hands on the ball he will rack up yards. Green is likely going somewhere in round two, which is a high price to pay, but owners can expect his usual fantasy greatness.

Giovani Bernard had a somewhat what rocky rookie season after being the first running back drafted in 2013. That isn't to say he didn't have his big performances, Bernard made plenty of places on the ground and through the air often times making defenses look silly.

While he did have over 1000 total yards and eight touchdowns, there were plenty of times where Bernard's yards per carry dipped below four. Although, his 56 catches more than made up for it in PPR leagues.

While under new OC Hue Jackson, Bernard will run more, the Bengals drafted Jeremy Hill in the second round, and he is more than talented enough to poach quite a few touchdowns away. The upside is though, Bernard will be in for a lot of catches, and could even lead running backs in receptions. The downside, though, is that Bernard is being drafted in the second, sometimes even first round. That is way to high for a running back that somewhat struggled with yards per carries in his rookie season. Bernard could have a good year, but isn't worth the second round risk.

Backups: Andy Dalton

Andy Dalton was actually fantasy gold for the most part of 2013, interceptions aside. Almost 4500 yards and 35 touchdowns is no joke. However, this season, as stated before, the Bengals are going to employ a run first offense. Giovani Bernard will be the centerpiece of the offense, and Jeremy Hill could be a great short-yardage back. Quite simply, Andy Dalton probably won't be throwing the ball near 586 times this year, and is a decent backup option. Last year, he was a solid starter for fantasy teams that waited on QBs, but not this year.

Overrated: Marvin Jones

Jones took quite a bit of advantage of the 80 targets he got last year by producing 712 yard and 10 touchdowns. However, this year won't be as good. Sure, the 10 touchdowns are great, but somewhere between five to eight is much more likely in 2013. Also, it's interesting how Andy Dalton threw 586 times, but only 80 of them went to Jones. I don't think Jones is as important to Dalton and the offense as many think.

Avoid: Jermaine Gresham, Tyler Eifert, Jeremy Hill

The Bengals are probably higher on Eifert, and Gresham will be a free agent in 2015 so the Bengals probably want to move forward with Eifert. Regardless, neither will be worth owning simply because they will both ruin the others value. If one gets injured then, sure, the other could be worth a speculative add.

Personally, I thought Hill was the top running back in the 2014 draft, and was heartbroken when he went to the Bengals. While he does plan to be the thunder to Bernard's lighting, he likely won't get enough carries to be worth owning. I love him as a talent, but hate the situation.

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