With training camp underway, each practice we are getting more and more of a glimpse into Grudens playbook. As a Cincinnati fan, I have unfortunately been more involved with the fantasy football aspect of football and not the winning side of football over the past several years. Hopefully this year we can be blessed with both aspects. But as I sit and wonder about players and up-and-coming drafts, I cant decide if any of the Bengals players are fantasy sleepers/keepers. Who do you think could be valuable fantasy options from the Bengals this year?
QB: Andy Dalton: Rookie QB playing in the AFC North with a shortened amount of time to learn the playbook, no offense Dalton but I think we all would choose someone else for our Fantasy QB. Dalton maybe worth a backup role depending on what week your starter has a bye and who the Bengals play.
RB: Cedric Benson: If Benson has proved anything in Cincinnati its that he is a bell-cow. With a new offensive coordinator who wants a power rushing game and a young squad the Bengals could look to their veteran RB to run the ball 30+ times a game. Recent;y, Marvin Lewis said he wanted to get Benson more involved with the passing attack as well. This ultimately means big numbers for Ced. Aside from last year fumbling hasn't been an issue and he has reached the 1,000 yard mark for the past 2 seasons. Theres still question marks on whether Benson is going to get suspended or not but look for Benson's draft stock to fall and pick him up as a bargain.
WR: Jerome Simpson/AJ Green: These guys could surprise a lot of non-Cincinnati followers. After seeing what Simpson could do when given the opportunity last year, Simpson suddenly became the #1 receiver in Cincinnati. Adding AJ Green into the mix will take some balls away from Simpson but both receivers could be taken after the big name WRs and post the same type of numbers. I see both AJ Green and Jerome Simpson being a solid #2 WR option.
Caldwell/Shippley: These guys are great for Cincinnati but terrible for fantasy. Both of these WRs could be valuable back-up options but a lack of weekly numbers hurts their draft stock. If one of these guys catches fire throughout the season and your WRs aren't posting any numbers or has a bad match-up don't be afraid to shake things up and pick up one of these guys for a week.
TE: Jermaine Gresham: Gresham proved last year that he can have the productive TE day fantasy wise. Gresham is always a big target in red zone circumstances and anything your TE gets 6 points for TE you have to be happy. I would say draft Gresham a little higher than usual and use him as your backup TE. Then just have your two TEs battle throughout the season for your starting position on your fantasy team. But if you want to target other players while the rest of the TEs are taken feel free to do so because Gresham will most likely still be available and could be a great sleeper pick.
DEF: Oh boy...Cincinnati once had a NFLs top 5 defense and ranked as high as #2 DEF against the run. But Cincinnati also followed their stellar season of defensive play with one of the worst defensive years. With losing Rivers for a couple weeks and saying goodbye to J.Joe, the defense might not be as strong as 09. But depending on when your starting teams DEF has their bye, Cincinnati could have a great match-up due to their weak schedule. Cincinnati's DEF will most likely go undrafted so keep and eye on them week to week and pick them up based on the match-up,
Well, thats my take on Cincinnati's Fantasy candidates, If any of you have any options supporting or fighting mine, please feel free to comment. Also lets get that fantasy league rolling. If people are interested in joining another league through yahoo post your email and I will invite you.