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We've decided to take a different approach this week. Any team facing the Cleveland Browns will have a handful of great matchups with their fantasy football players, and the Bengals are no exception. Rather than divide Bengals players into "Sit or Start" columns this week, we're ranking players and projecting their overall value for Week 6.
It’s hard to recommend sitting many Bengals players this week simply because the Bengals tend to get amped up against the Browns whenever they face one another. I don’t realistically think that every single skill player on the Bengals will end up being fantasy studs in Week 6, but I simply have more reasons to recommend starting the players I’ve listed rather than benching them. So, this week, I’ve decided to list players and then clarify where I believe each player ranks when considering the overall options at each respective position.
Andy Dalton (Low End QB1/Bye Week Band-Aid): I’d actually consider Dalton a borderline top 10 fantasy quarterback this week, but I’m bumping him closer to 15th considering cornerback Joe Haden is returning from a four-week suspension. Fortunately, Andy Dalton has plenty of receivers to spread the ball around with. Haden’s return simply takes some edge away from the explosive plays that A.J. Green is expected to make. Expect between 15 and 19 points from Andy Dalton with opportunity for more if the Bengals receivers (i.e. Andrew Hawkins) take advantage of their targets. If anything, Dalton is once again a great bye week rental.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis (Low End RB2): Proceed with caution. I love Green-Ellis’ matchup against the Browns this week, but he’s been unimpressive lately. If Green-Ellis is going to rebound, I’d have to assume this would be the week to prove it. Ahmad Bradshaw shamed the Browns by rushing for over 200 yards in Week 5. Green-Ellis should be a solid RB2 in fantasy football this week, but he’s been a disappointment as of late.
Mike Nugent: He’ll have opportunities. If you’re losing sleep over which kicker to start, you’re fortunate that’s your worst dilemma of the week.
Andrew Hawkins (WR3/PPR+): I feel good about Andrew Hawkins this week primarily because Andy Dalton will need to find receivers while A.J. Green battles Joe Haden. Hawkins has been fairly reliable in Points Per Reception leagues, but could be considered a decent flex play in standard scoring leagues as well.
Jermaine Gresham (Low End TE1): Gresham could certainly be a benefactor of Andy Dalton finding A.J. Green a little less in Week 6. Gresham has been steady but hardly explosive in fantasy football. He continues to get targets when the Bengals are fighting for a crucial first down and one could only hope that strengthens the trust between Gresham and his quarterback. Gresham tends to consistently get around 50 yards off 4 or 5 catches. Keep in mind, he’s only found the endzone once this season. If I were to rank Gresham among other tight ends around the league, I’d place him somewhere just outside the Top 10.
Armon Binns (Desperation Play): I've already mentioned multiple times that Andy Dalton may be spreadign the ball around to his receivers. While Binns may be a benefactor, I can't recommend starting Binns unless you're in deeper leagues. If you're suffering from injuries on you roster with little to no starting options, he's worth a look, but don't expect much.
Bengals Defense: I’d consider the Bengals defense to end up just within the top 10 defenses this week in fantasy football. There are plenty of difficult matchups to predict around the league this week, but the Bengals will find plenty of opportunities to create turnovers. I don’t necessarily expect the Browns to have a low scoring game, but there will always be opportunities for sacks, fumble recoveries, and possibly an interception.
Discuss your Week 6 fantasy football dilemmas in the comments below. For other Sit/Start or Trade questions, feel free to chat with me on Twitter @AndrewFoxMiller.