Fantasy Football Sit/Start Advice Week 4: Which Bengals To Play

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Should I start Andy Dalton against Jacksonville? Is Andrew Hawkins going to continue his hot streak? We take a look at who you should start and who should warm your fantasy bench in Week 4.

START

A.J. Green (WR)
A.J. Green should be in your starting lineup unless your league penalizes for positive yards and touchdowns.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis (RB)
Jacksonville has allowed the most fantasy points to running backs this season. Granted, Jacksonville faced a surprisingly productive Adrian Peterson in Week 1, and a not-so-surprisingly productive Arian Foster (and Ben Tate) in week two. Donald Brown even eclipsed 100 yards on the ground against Jacksonville's defense last week. Green-Ellis has been fairly pedestrian on his yardage totals in consecutive weeks, but he should have some end zone opportunities. Jaguars linebacker Daryl Smith is likely out with a groin injury on Sunday, which bodes well for the Bengals run game. Green-Ellis is a decent RB2 in most leagues and formats.

Jermaine Gresham (TE)
Jacksonville hasn’t allowed many points to tight ends yet this season. In fact, the Jaguars have allowed the 24th most points to tight ends this season. However, Jacksonville has faced young players in Kyle Rudolph and rookie Coby Fleener. The other tight end Jacksonville faced was Owen Daniels, who had six catches and 47 yards against the Jags in Week 2.

I would expect Gresham to put up similar numbers as Daniels, but I’m recommending Gresham in 12-team leagues simply because of his touchdown potential. I’d consider Gresham a TE2 with upside for Week 4.

Andrew Hawkins (WR)
I’m labeling Andrew Hawkins as a fantasy start simply because I’m worried he’ll prove me wrong the moment I recommend sitting him. That said, consider Hawkins a bye week flex or WR3 particularly in PPR leagues. I don’t expect a touchdown from Andrew Hawkins at the rate he’s been trending, but it’s not a stretch to assume that he'll receive a fair amount of targets this week. His snap count on Sunday was around 50 percent. As long as Hawkins touches the ball, expect production. I could easily consider Hawkins a top-40 wide receiver in standard leagues and a top-30 wide receiver in PPR scoring leagues.

Mike Nugent (K)
Always solid. Jacksonville has given up a lot of field goals this season. I hate predicting kickers. You'll survive with Nugent.

SIT

Andy Dalton (QB)
I recommended starting Andy Dalton last week. Granted, it was a bold move to start Dalton over the majority of top ten quarterbacks heading into week three. But it certainly paid dividends.

Now Dalton has been a great fantasy producer for two weeks, so you’d absolutely want to start him in week four against the Jaguars, right? Maybe not. Jacksonville has allowed the 30th-most fantasy points to quarterbacks, but those statistics are a little deceiving. A lot of Jacksonville’s fantasy quarterback buzzkill is the result of Matt Schaub feeding Arian Foster and Ben Tate throughout the game and Christian Ponder doing the same with Adrian Peterson. It is notable that Andrew Luck actually threw for over 300 yards and 2 touchdowns last week.

Either way, I’m recommending that you sit Andy Dalton this week primarily because there are so many tasty matchups around the league that I don’t see a reason to roll the dice on Dalton having three consecutive 20-plus point fantasy performances. If you’re dealing with some questionable health (Stafford) or recent strugglers (Vick) you could do much worse than start Andy Dalton this week.

Bengals Defense
Blaine Gabbert has played marginally better in 2012. Jacksonville is marginally better at wide receiver than in 2011. Maurice Jones-Drew pretty much resumed where he left off in 2011, even after he held out during the offseason. The Bengals defense is a functional start this week, but considering they generated average fantasy points against the Browns leads me to recommend benching the Bengals defense this weekend. However if you’re starting the Bengals defense this week, you’re hoping for sacks. I believe Jacksonville will have enough on the scoreboard to the point where you’re relying on big plays to generate fantasy points. With that said, the Bengals defense isn't a top-ten but definitely worth a risk inside the top-15. Proceed with caution.

Armon Binns (WR)
I’m pointing out Armon Binns this week as a Fantasy Sit simply because Binns had a pretty good weekend in fantasy and there’s a chance you may have picked him up off your waiver wire (hopefully in deeper leagues). Binns was involved in the majority of offensive snaps last week, but I’m still not convinced he’s a consistent producer. Dalton is spreading the ball well lately, and there’s just no telling where the ball will go until we get a larger sample of Gruden’s ever-expanding game plan.

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