The NFL season is underway and almost every fantasy draft has already taken place. While looking at Bengals players, the main fantasy options that pop out are Giovani Bernard, AJ Green, and the Cincinnati defense (and if you pick defensive players individually, tackling machine, Vontaze Burfict). All of those players are starters for their fantasy teams, but is there another player that owners may think about inserting as a starter on their team? The obvious question people might ask is if this is about Andy Dalton’s fantasy production. While Dalton is a part of the production, we’re not talking about him being a possible starter. No, you may want to take a hard look at starting Tyler Eifert.
Coming in as a rookie, Eifert didn’t make a boom on the fantasy market and had a decent year for being a backup tight end. By all appearances, Eifert is poised to have a breakout year not only for the Bengals, but possibly for your team as well. New offensive coordinator Hue Jackson made it apparent this training camp that the Bengals will start attacking the middle of the field and the seams with the tight ends. Watching tape from training camp, you can see the emphasis Hue had on this strategy and the Dalton-to-Eifert attack was on fire.
Now, how does this effect your fantasy team? There’s no way Eifert is going to be targeted as much as Green and possibly not as much as Jermaine Gresham. The fact remains the Bengals are finally attacking the seams, something us Bengals fans have been begging for more of since Gresham was drafted. It appears this will become a common attack with this potent offense.
Showing the ability to line up wide and go up to make a deep catch, Dalton seems to be more trusting of Eifert in those situations and he could be a huge red zone threat. Most likely he won’t rack up many 100 yard games, if any. But you can almost guarantee that the Bengals will be targeting him in the red zone. He may end up being a starter, but a key to that is to watch the first few Bengals games. If they attack the seams more and go for the middle of the field, the production of Eifert will rise to a starter and you may have very well found a hidden gem at tight end. You may have to do your homework with this, but all signs are pointing up for Eifert making a positive impact for your team.