The stakes are high for the Bengals in Week 16. After their loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, a win against the Vikings helps ease Cincinnati's postseason aspirations. The Vikings are 3-2-1 over the last six weeks, and they're coming off a shocking 48-30 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.
It's an important week for Cincinnati weeks. It's the most important week for fantasy owners around the country. Fantasy championships are on the line. Some of you may have gotten here with the aid of Bengals players. Some of you may have gotten here despite owning Bengals players. Either way, we're here to discuss the what you can expect from Cincinnati in your fantasy leagues. It's our final sit/start advice of the season.
Andy Dalton: The 30-20 loss to the Steelers was a bit of an odd one on Sunday. Amid all of it, Andy Dalton racked up a solid 19 points in most formats. The Vikings are giving up the 2nd most fantasy points to QBs, and Cincinnati excels at home. I like Dalton this week. I'd take him over a handful of bad match ups from low-tier QB1's.
Running backs: The Vikings have been generous to a lot of skill positions, and running back is no exception. Giovani Bernard figures to be a RB2 in most formats. If you're plugging Bernard into your flex position, you should feel confident in your fantasy championship. BenJarvus Green-Ellis had just four carries over his 16 snaps against the Pittsburgh Steelers. As vulnerable as the Vikings can be on the ground, he's too much of a risk as you look to win your league. At best, Green-Ellis is a low-end flex option. Hopefully you've gotten this far with better options available.
Wide receivers: A.J. Green didn't score a touchdown in Week 15, but he caught nine of his sixteen targets. Sixteen. Minnesota will struggle to contain Green. He's gotten you this far. There's simply no reason to doubt him at this point. Because of tasty match up that Minnesota presents, Marvin Jones is one of the better reaches out there. Hopefully you aren't in a position where you need to plug in a risky WR3 like Jones during your fantasy Super Bowl. However, if you need him, he's one of the better sleepers out there.
Tight ends: Jermaine Gresham practiced on Thursday and Friday, which means he's back to watering down the potential of the tight end position in Cincinnati. Minnesota is giving up the third-most fantasy points to tight ends this season. Unfortunately, Gresham and Tyler Eifert will continue to be too risky each week. For most fantasy owners this is the week. There should be better options out there.
Defense/ Special teams: Since Matt Cassel has taken over in Minnesota, the Vikings have improved as an offense. This poses a bit of a threat for fantasy owners of Cincinnati's defense. To make matters worse, the Bengals have been a poor start over the past two weeks. Still, the fact that Cincinnati is playing at home in a game with huge postseason implications makes the idea of starting Cincy's D a bit more tempting. They're on the lower end of the top ten fantasy defenses this week, but they are start-worthy nonetheless.
Be sure to check out Who Dey Weekly's Nick Seuberling and I during the Fantasy Kickoff show every Sunday morning. Follow us on Twitter @FantasyKickoff and send us your questions before the end of the week.