When the Bengals play the Browns, it seems to always make for some unexpected fantasy performances. In 2012, Brandon Tate was the leading receiver and Andrew Hawkins had a breakout performance. Cedric Peerman was nearly a top-ten PPR running back against the Browns the last time the two teams played one another. There will likely be one or two unexpected performances on Sunday. With that said, here are some more conservative thoughts for the Battle of Ohio.
Andy Dalton: In his last two contests against the Browns, Dalton has thrown for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns. Dalton should be among the leaders of the QB2 tier heading into Week 4. With several quarterbacks on bye week (Cam Newton and Aaron Rodgers), Dalton could be a serviceable plug for this week.
Wide receivers: Obviously you're starting A.J. Green. There really isn't much else to count on with wide receivers. I could see Mohamed Sanu finding the end zone against the Browns, but he hasn't put up enough fantasy points to instill much confidence in starting him. He's more of a desperation play that could put up some serviceable numbers. The same could be said about Marvin Jones, but Sanu is the better bet in this scenario.
Running backs: Even though Giovani Bernard is only getting roughly half of the Bengals offensive snaps for the time being, he's capable of a big play any time he touches the ball. Start him with confidence as a flex play especially in PPR formats. BenJarvus Green-Ellis continues to keep his head above water by finding the end zone every other week, but he's a risky start as the least explosive backfield option in Cincinnati. Once again, if you're staring Green-Ellis, you're hoping for end zone work.
Tight ends: Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert haven't been able to separate themselves from one another. There's no telling which tight end will find the end zone against the Browns on Sunday. Continue stashing either Bengals tight end until they stop cannibalizing one another.
Bengals defense/ special teams: The Browns have allowed a lot of fantasy points to opposing defenses in 2013. There's always the concern that Cincinnati will allow the Browns to drive up the score on Sunday. The Browns have scored 20 points or more against the Bengals five times in their last six contests. The only game the Browns didn't score over 20 points was in 2010 and they still score 19 points. Don't expect the Bengals to completely limit the Browns on the scoreboard, but turnovers and sacks should make the Bengals defense a top start in Week 4.
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In the meantime, feel free to discuss Week 4 in the comments section below!