Even in this potentially scary Bengals’ season, fans still have a chance to win. All you have to do is draft well in your fantasy football league. And to do that, you may want to avoid your homer instincts and stay away from Bengals players . Unless of course, you are allowed to have a punter in your league. Then, Kevin Huber is a gold mine.
But just in case you feel the need to have at least one Bengal on your roster, here’s a glimpse at what you might get from the team’s skill players.
Cedric Benson – Benson is by far the most attractive Bengal. Cincinnati’s offense will be built around Benson and if you are in a point-per-catch league, he should catch more passes in Jay Gruden’s West Coast offense. That said, he’s best as a second running back, maybe even a third. Benson will get a lot of yards this season if he’s healthy, but he might not have many opportunities for touchdowns. He could be a steady, but safe pick in the later rounds in you choose to select wideouts or a quarterback early on.
Andy Dalton – This is simple. Dalton may have a few games with multiple touchdowns, but he won’t approach the yardage numbers needed for fantasy success. Stay away from him unless you’re drafting keeper/dynasty leagues.
Jermaine Gresham – In a point-per-catch league, Gresham may have decent value as a backup. Young quarterbacks are known to target tight ends, and Gresham already seems to have a rapport with Dalton. Because the Bengals offense seems destined to spread the ball around, it could be a fantasy wasteland for many players. But Gresham may be worth a look as a backup tight end or bye-week starter.
Jordan Shipley – Shipley is a super-sleeper, but he may have some value in point-per-catch leagues. Andy Dalton seems to target him quite a bit and Shipley catches pretty much everything near him. Plus, the Bengals may be behind a lot late in games and forced to throw frequently. If you’re bold, Shipley could be a Mr. Irrelevant on your fantasy team who actually has some upside.
A.J. Green – Green has a size and speed combination similar to Randy Moss, but his fantasy numbers won’t be anywhere close this season. Green could get a decent amount of catches (perhaps 60-70), but it’s unlikely he’ll get double-digit touchdowns. In a run-first offense, Green is best suited for a bench role on your fantasy team.
Jerome Simpson – Simpson’s fantasy value is about the same as A.J. Green’s. Simpson may face lesser cornerbacks than Green, but it’s unrealistic to expect much more.
Mike Nugent – Nugent knocked in a 55-yard field goal against the Panthers and has supposedly been pretty accurate in camp, so he could be worth a look as a backup. However, there are several other kickers in more prolific offenses who should be drafted first. Nugent should be ranked somewhere in the last third of fantasy kickers who are starters.