Don't be afraid. It's perfectly acceptable to consider Cincinnati Bengals players as a worthy candidate during you're panic attack in the middle of your fantasy football draft. That's provided you're not expecting them to be your regular full time starters.
Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green has all of the makings of being a superstar in the NFL, often considered one of the most athletically gifted wide receivers to come out of college. When Carson Palmer was the Bengals quarterback, Jerome Simpson showed serious explosiveness, posting 247 yards receiving on 18 receptions and three touchdowns during the final two games last year. Even Andre Caldwell posted 270 yards receiving on 15 receptions receiving during the final three games of the 2010 regular season.
Even though the Bengals have a good core of receivers, you have to be cautious on two points. There's no history of sustained success, mostly because they haven't been given the opportunity or, in Green's case, experience. Secondly the Bengals are implementing an entirely new offense with a new quarterback. Suggestions based on how training camp goes tends to lean towards rookie Andy Dalton starting. If not him, then veteran Bruce Gradkowski, who might not make the best candidate for launching a wide receiver's statistical glory during fantasy football.
Jermaine Gresham may be the safest bet in all of this. As a safe outlet for either quarterback, Gresham has the talent to beat any linebacker and easily boxout the secondary in the endzone. Gresham ranked second on the team in receiving touchdowns during his rookie year and with the team's west coast offense, someone like Gresham could really excel. We would consider Cedric Benson a sleeper also, but there's too much concern surrounding the veteran running back. Will he miss games due to an assault charge this offseason? How much was last season's disappointment is a trend towards talent depreciation?
Though if you select a Bengals player, you might be classified as a homer. But if our team's master plan works, then you could be rubbing your hands together like the master prognosticator that you are.
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