Here’s how the top Bengals performed on the fantasy gridiron and what you can expect in week 13.
(All scoring is based on a half-point PPR league)
QB, Andy Dalton – 214 passing yards, 2 TD (19.2 points)
Andy Dalton threw multiple touchdowns for the third straight week as Cincinnati’s offense scored on its first five possessions against Cleveland. Dalton got away with a few close calls. Balls that probably should’ve been picked harmlessly fell to the turf and the Bengals got to live another down.
Dalton was only sacked once, coming courtesy of the no. 1 overall pick in last April’s draft. The Bengals were able to move the ball, but had to settle for two red zone field goals. That left points off Dalton’s fantasy stat-line. Nonetheless, Dalton was once again the beneficiary of a play-action pass call near the goal line. For the third time in the last six games, he found Tyler Kroft on a one-yard touchdown.
Dalton has logged double-digit points in eight of nine games since Ken Zampese was fired. He’ll face a good Pittsburgh defense next week on Monday night. The Steelers gave up three touchdowns and plenty of chunk plays to Brett Hundley and the Packers in Week 12.
Dalton hasn’t thrown a pick since the last meeting with Pittsburgh, a 29-14 loss at Heinz Field.
RB, Joe Mixon – 114 rushing yards, TD, 3 catches, 51 yards (24 points)
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It was Joe Mixon’s biggest game of the season, and it came against a stout Browns defense in terms of stopping the run. Cleveland ranked first in the NFL going into Sunday, allowing just 3.1 yards per carry.
Mixon found big holes all afternoon to help the Bengals win time of possession by a minute. He became the first 100-yard rusher for Cincinnati since Rex Burkhead in last year’s season finale.
Mixon was involved in the passing game, too. His 36-yard catch (the longest play for Cincinnati in the game) set up a field goal late in the first half.
The second-round pick has found the end zone in three of the last four games. But he’s also shown he can make splash plays on screens. With Jeremy Hill’s shadow no longer lurking, Mixon is going to continue to get plenty of touches. He averaged 6.9 yards per attempt the last time he faced the Steelers. On that afternoon, he disappeared in the second half as Cincinnati fell behind and abandoned the run. Don’t expect that to continue as he’s clearly the number-one running back on the roster.
WR, A.J. Green – 5 catches, 66 yards (9.1 points)
A.J. Green led the team in targets (8) on Sunday. He finished with five catches for 66 yards and didn’t find the end zone. Cincinnati utilized its success on the ground late in the game and most passes were quick screens.
Green ended with an average day, but failed to find the end zone for a third straight week. The perennial Pro-Bowler made a ridiculous 13-yard snag late in the third quarter. Hue Jackson challenged the play, but somehow Green was able to drag his second foot inbounds.
Green did have a ball glance off his hands on Dalton’s last play of the game, although it was a bit high. If he makes that catch he likely ends the day with a 6-68 line, which would’ve given him double-digit points for the seventh time this season.
Green is always a WR1, so start him against Pittsburgh. Although, he hasn’t hit 50 yards against the Steelers since 2015, when he broke triple digits in both regular-season meetings.
TE, Tyler Kroft – 3 catches, 14 yards, TD (8.9 points)
Tyler Kroft was able to find the end zone for the fifth time this season, catching a one-yard TD to cap the Bengals’ opening drive of the second half. Per usual, Kroft is touchdown-dependent, so starting him is risky.
Kroft did score a touchdown against Pittsburgh earlier this season, but that doesn’t hold much weight. The third-year tight end has just six catches for 30 yards in the last three games combined.
Cincinnati defense – 16 points allowed, 0 turnovers, 4 sacks (2 points)
It was disappointing the Bengals were not able to force a turnover from DeShone Kizer. Instead, the rookie threw for a career-high 268 yards and ran for a touchdown. Cincinnati gave up over 400 yards to Cleveland’s offense but was able to hold it to three field goals.
Pittsburgh is one of two teams (along with Jacksonville) to not allow a sack to the Bengals this season. The Bengals are not a strong defense to start in Week 13 against the Steelers’ “Killer B’s” of Ben, Brown and Bell.