Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
The Bengals didn't pump out a lot of fantasy producers against the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday, at least not to the extent that we were expecting. Let's review some performances before looking forward to the Steelers on Sunday.
Andy Dalton finished as the seventeenth best quarterback in fantasy football this past week. The fact that Dalton even cracked the top twenty is largely due to his eighteen rushing yards and rushing touchdown. Considering he only finished with 127 passing yards (not to mention two forced fumbles), Dalton appeared to be set up for Christian Ponder caliber numbers until the Bengals kicked it into high gear in the second half of the game. Considering Dalton finished with double-digit fantasy numbers, he may not have cost you your fantasy Super Bowl chances, but he didn't help too much either.
A.J. Green had six catches for 57 yards and a touchdown. He wasn't quite as explosive as many expected against an Eagles secondary that had been lethargic in coverage heading into Week Fifteen. Regardless, he was targeted more than any other player on Thursday, and was able to find the endzone.
Jermaine Gresham was about on par when considering his output this season. PPR owners can't complain, as Gresham caught six balls for 63 yards. Considering the lack of completions Andy Dalton had with every receiver but A.J. Green, fantasy owners have to be moderately pleased with Gresham's yardage totals. He wasn't able to get a touchdown, but he certainly didn't fall too far below projections either.
I expected Cincinnati's Defense to be a top ten fantasy defense on Sunday, but I never expected they'd be the second best defense. In fact, Cincinnati's defense was the highest scoring fantasy "player" on the Bengals. An interception, a defensive touchdown, and several forced fumbles led to fantasy gold for week fifteen. Anyone fortunate enough to start Cincinnati on Thursday simply needed damage control with their other starters to ensure a fantasy Super Bowl appearance.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis was the twelfth best fantasy running back on the week with 106 rushing yards and a touchdown. In standard scoring leagues, Green-Ellis has produced double-digit fantasy points since facing the Chiefs four weeks ago. He continues to be a very solid "RB2" in all formats.
Andrew Hawkins didn't record a single catch on Thursday, and was left with one rushing attempt for nine yards. I was leery of starting Hawkins but considered him a desperate flex option in PPR leagues. With too much on the line for too many fantasy leagues at this point in the season, Hawkins is droppable in most leagues at this point.
We'll take a stab at another week of fantasy football in the next few days as the Bengals head to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers, who have been fantasy kryptonite for the Bengals this season.