The Bengals Week 1 loss wasn’t just ugly for fans of the team, but also for anyone who started a Bengal on their fantasy team. What should fantasy owners do going forward when it comes to the Bengals and their fantasy football rosters?
The Bengals opened up the 2017 season with an awful performance against the Baltimore Ravens. With a grand total of zero points put up by the offense, there’s not a whole lot to get excited about. In spite of the lack of numbers put up, the Bengals are still relevant to a lot of fantasy football players. Here’s how the game played out from a fantasy perspective.
Out of all the disasters that occurred Week 1, the most notable was Andy Dalton‘s. Dalton passed for just 170 yards and ran for two more. While this total is low for an NFL quarterback, the real shocker was Dalton’s carelessness with the ball. Dalton tossed four interceptions and fumbled once as well. This culminated in an abysmal one fantasy point for Dalton. Chances are, given last year’s poor play, few fantasy owners started Dalton. But, if so, it’s best to put him on ice until further notice.
What was supposed to be a three-headed monster in the backfield fizzled in Week 1. Incumbent starter Jeremy Hill rushed for 26 yards and no touchdowns. Joe Mixon rushed for just nine yards on eight carries in his debut. Mixon also caught three passes for 15 yards. Neither of these players turned in performances that scream starter. The best Bengal back week one was actually Giovani Bernard who accumulated 79 all-purpose yards on seven carries and one reception for 7.9 points in non-PPR leagues.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
The performance by the receiving corps was pretty routine as far as distribution is concerned. A.J. Green was the high man for yards and receptions with five catches for 74 yards. Of course, this is on the low-end for A.J. Green who has a tendency to put up double-digit points. Brandon LaFell came in at number two in terms of receptions with three for just 24 yards. Tyler Boyd and Tyler Eifert each had just one catch for eleven and four yards respectively.
No kicks attempted for Randy Bullock this week. There are better fantasy options out there for anyone looking to upgrade at kicker.
The Bengals defense tallied one sack and nabbed one interception. They allowed the Ravens 20 points but the offense did them no favors with the five turnovers giving the Ravens advantageous field position. The Bengals defense should have a good match up next week vs. a Texans team that struggled mightily against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
With such a weak performance, it’s difficult to find players from the Bengals to endorse as fantasy options. However, look for A.J. Green to still be a top fantasy receiver if/when the offense starts to fire up. Also, as mentioned above, the defense has a good matchup against the Texans who will most likely be starting rookie Deshaun Watson. If looking for a sneaky add in PPR leagues, Giovani Bernard may be a viable flex option. He has always been good at catching passes out of the backfield and had the most luck rushing in Week 1.
Players to sell are much easier this week to come by. Put Dalton on the shelf until further notice and do the same with Tyler Boyd. Boyd was supposed to be a potential sleeper after getting his first taste of action last season but hasn’t shown any consistent ability to put up numbers. In addition, unless absolutely necessary, make an effort to steer clear of starting Mixon or Hill until further notice.
What It Means
The Bengals stagnant offense demolished any hope of finding a breakout fantasy performer this week. In reality, fantasy owners got no clear answers when it comes to questions about the Bengals backfield or their receiving corps. Hopefully, Week 2 will bring some answers along with some more positive headlines.