Bengals Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football: 5 Cincinnati Bengals to Draft to Your Team

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Dec 14, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; The Cincinnati Bengals defense stops Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon (12) during the second quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

4. Cincinnati Bengals, defense/special teams

ADP: 146.36

NFL Fantasy Positional Ranking: 15th of defenses

Earliest it should be drafted: 130th overall

Before Mike Zimmer left for Minnesota, the Bengals’ defense/special teams was one of the best units in fantasy football. Cincinnati’s D/ST finished fourth in fantasy scoring in both 2012 and 2013; under Zimmer, Cincinnati’s defense consistently caused turnovers.

Coming into his second year, defensive coordinator Paul Guenther has the chance to show that he too can orchestrate a defense that causes turnovers and instills fear in opposing offenses. Should he be able to progress in his second year as the defensive coordinator and sort out what needs to be sorted out, Paul Guenther’s defense should be one of the league’s best.

Cincinnati’s defense has plenty of talent, featuring a star-studded secondary lead by its safeties, George Iloka and Reggie Nelson and rounded out by first-round corners Leon Hall, Dre Kirkpatrick, Adam Jones and Darqueze Dennard. On top of these players, Guenther gets to work with All-Pros Geno Atkins and Vontaze Burfict, although Vontaze Burfict is still recovering from injury.

And with Michael Johnson‘s return to team up with Carlos Dunlap, a duo of best friends will be reunited; the duo recorded 11 total sacks in 2013. And although Johnson played for Tampa Bay in 2014, the duo combined for 12 sacks in 2014, so they still have plenty in the tank. The addition of Johnson should also really help Cincinnati’s run defense. With a solid rotation including 2014 starting end Wallace Gilberry, 2015 draft pick Marcus Hardison and breakout candidate Will Clarke, Cincinnati’s defensive line should be much improved in 2015.

Finally, Cincinnati’s Adam Jones is one of the best returners in all of football, and should he return a few punts, kicks or interceptions for touchdowns, the Bengals’ fantasy defense should score a ton of points.

Pick up the Bengals defense as your defense in one of the draft’s final rounds and hope for the best; although the unit is ranked low and dependent on Paul Guenther’s progress, it could easily be a top fantasy unit in 2015 if it can force turnovers and get its sack numbers up.

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