Sticking with the theme of defense, let's talk about someone who is criminally underrated for the value he brings to the team. Bengals fans will tell you how good D.J. Reader is for hours on end, but it feels like, outside of this fanbase, he barely gets any love around the league, if any at all.
This is probably because his importance is felt against the run rather than against the pass, and he doesn't rack up a lot of sacks, which is something casual fans usually look for when judging defensive linemen.
If you need any proof of how important he is, just look at the Bengals' two games against the Browns last year and, specifically, how one of the best running backs in the league, Nick Chubb, did in those games. In their first matchup, one that Reader missed due to injury, Chubb ran 23 times for 101 yards and two touchdowns en route to a Monday night blowout on Halloween.
Then, in their second matchup over a month later, a game that D.J. Reader did play in, Chubb only ran for 34 yards on 14 attempts, and the former Clemson Tiger played a huge role in the Browns' inefficient run game on that day.
How the Bengals' defense does against the Browns' attack on Sunday and especially how their run game does depends heavily on how Reader does. He's a proficient run-stopper and has played a big role when this defense stifled some of the best running backs in the game. I fully expect him to answer that call and help the Bengals start the season 1-0.