Last Week, Cedric Benson got you a lot of points but once again, Carson Palmer, Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens left you hanging. Benson scored the Bengals two touchdowns and kicker Mike Nugent added on two field goals. The Bengals defense did what they were expected to do against the Panthers offense and probably helped you rack up some points too but the Bengals offense is beginning to get a little frustrating for fans and fantasy owners alike but don’t worry, I have a game plan to help your team.
This Week, the Bengals travel up to the mistake on the lake to try to get things done against a familiar foe, the Cleveland Browns. The Brown, who have been at the bottom of the AFC North barrel for a long time, always seem to give the Bengals a run for their money and this game is likely to be no different, especially since the game is in Cleveland. Are you staring at your team filled with Bengals players who aren’t putting up the numbers that they should be and wondering to yourself what you should do? Bye Weeks start this week which only complicates things. Step back from the ledge. I’m going to guide you through this. This is what you’re going to do:
In week one against the Patriots, Palmer put up some decent fantasy numbers but since then, he hasn’t looked to sharp. Whether you believe it’s Palmers fault, the play of the offensive line or Bob Bratkowski’s play calling, the offense has sputtered in their wins against the Ravens and Panthers and Palmer has sputtered along with it. Regardless of whose fault it is, fantasy owners around the country have been disappointed by the numbers that Palmer has produced.
Start or Sit?: I’d hate to say it but I believe that Palmer needs to make the trip from your starting lineup to your bench and he should probably stay there until he proves that he deserves to start again. The Bengals offense is filled with enough firepower to move the ball down the field at ease but it hasn’t as of yet. Palmer should probably stay on your bench until the Bengals offense starts clicking… if it does start clicking.
Benson put up a boat load of fantasy points last week including points for his first career touchdown reception. For the most part this season, Benson has been the Bengals main offensive asset. He is one of those running backs that has the rare combination of size and speed that enables him to run over linebackers and beat safeties to the corner and he’s just as good this year as he was last year. As the Bengals push forward throughout the season, they will probably lean on Benson more and more, especially if the passing game continues to struggle.
Start or Sit?: Benson is a safe pick to start week in and week out. He is the Bengals main source of offensive production and you’re much more likely to see him in the end zone than other Benglas players right now. Hopefully the passing game picks up for the sake of us Bengals fans but for right now, stick with Benson.
Chad had one touchdown against New England in week one but hasn’t found his way into the end zone since then. He only needs one more touchdown to be the all time receiving touchdown leader for the Bengals. Hopefully he gets that touchdown against the Browns but if the Bengals offense continues to struggle like it did through the last two games then don’t count on it. The Bengals should have no problem moving the ball through the air agains the Browns but they shouldn’t have had a problem agains the Panthers either.
Start or Sit?: This completely depends on who your other receivers are right now. If you have a number one or two receiver from a team that can move the ball through the air then you should probably start them. If you only have one of those receivers though, you should probably go ahead and start Chad and hope for the best.
Terrell Owens has no found his way into the end zone yet this season. He’s cought a few passes here and there but the guy who was signed to be a deep threat hasn’t caught a deep pass. A lot of this can be blamed on the offensive lines inability to give Palmer enough time to let the play develop but that doesn’t matter when it comes to TO’s fantasy numbers.
Start or Sit?: TO needs to be on your bench right now. If the Bengals offense finally finds some life then feel free to start him but if you want to make it to the playoffs then you should probably plan on keeping TO for your starters bye weeks.
Shipley has been awesome so far this season and even though he hasn’t scored a touchdown yet, he has been impressive as ever. He has been one of Palmers favorite targets on third down and he’s made some incredibly tough catches in traffic. It’s only a matter of time before Shipley scores a touchdown but until then he may not deserve a starting position on your team.
Start or Sit?: You need to keep Shipley on your bench right now in preparation for a starters bye week. If you don’t have Shipley on your team and he’s still a free agent, you should probably grab him so you have an option when your starting receivers have an off week.
Out of all the rookies that I’ve ever seen come into Cincinnati, Jermaine Gresham may be the most impressive. You rarely see a guy that big, move that fast and gracefully. He only has one touchdown right now but he is sure to have more and more as the season progresses. Gresham is becoming one of the best tight ends in the NFL.
Start or Sit?: If you have Gresham, start him every week. He may not score a touchdown every week but he is almost guaranteed that he’ll put up at least five to seven points which is about as much as you can ask from a starting tight end. Gresham is a beast.
The Bengals defense has been incredible over the past two games and they should be the same against the Browns who have struggled on the offensive side of the ball for years. It has become abundantly clear that the Bengals are going to lean on their defense and running game to win games, at least for now. Why not go along for the ride?
Start or Sit?: You should start the Bengals defense almost ever week but definitely start them against the Browns. The pass rush should produce a couple sacks at least and hopefully force some bad throws that the Bengals secondary can pick off. It seems that once again, you can’t go wrong with Mike Zimmer.