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Bengals Fantasy Projection - Week One

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Here is the first installment of our projected fantasy production from Bengals players. All pertinent fantasy contributors will be covered and at the end of each projection a recommendation will be given assessing whether or not that player should make it into your starting lineup.

  • 5/5 = Must Start
  • 4/5 = Good Start
  • 3/5 = Solid Start
  • 2/5 = Weak Start
  • 1/5 = Wasted Start

Andy Dalton: The Bengals will be looking to establish the run against the Browns. Dalton's first NFL start comes on the road and he will be joined by a rookie wide receiver as well as a rookie offensive coordinator. Additionally, the NFL lockout severely shortened the amount of time Dalton would have had to prepare in the off-season. With all these factors Dalton is looking at under 200 yards passing, 1 touchdown and 1-2 interceptions. In all honesty, Dalton should not have been drafted unless you are in a really deep league and in that case he should be your backup. Grade: 1/5

A.J. Green: Green is the Bengals number one receiver and he was able to develop a little chemistry with Dalton in the preseason. Although he is an elite talent at the wide receiver position, he does suffer from the same drawbacks as Dalton. He is an NFL rookie making his first start on the road, with a rookie quarterback throwing him the ball and a rookie offensive coordinator calling the plays. You can never rule Green out of having a big game due to his natural ability, however in his first game he should be looking at 3-4 receptions for around 60 yards. Grade: 2.5/5 

Jerome Simpson: Simpson is the Bengals number-two receiver. He had a very quiet preseason which has given me some pause. Simpson did show some big play ability in the final three games of last year but that was in a different offense with a different quarterback. Until we see him and Dalton get into a rhythm it will be difficult to recommend him as a viable fantasy option. Grade: 1.5/5

Jordan Shipley: Shipley is the Bengals slot receiver and will look to build off his impressive rookie campaign from last season. He has proven himself to be the Bengals go-to player when it comes down to converting third-downs. Though he will see a decent number of targets, he is not a big-play threat. Shipley will be looking at 3-4 receptions for around 40 yards. Grade: 2/5

Cedric Benson: Benson is the Bengals work-horse back and will get plenty of carries in week one. He was able to average 4.6 yards-per-carry against the Browns last year and should be able to duplicate that feat as the Browns are starting two rookies on the defensive-line. Benson should be able to rush for close to 100 yards and a touchdown. Grade: 3.5/5

Bernard Scott: Scott was a limited participant in the Bengals preseason games, however when he did get to play he showed amazing burst and big-play ability. It is unclear just how much Scott will be utilized in new offensive coordinator Jay Gruden's scheme. Your best bet would be to take a wait and see approach with Scott. He's looking at 4-5 carries for 20 yards along with a couple of receptions. Grade: 1.5/5

Jermaine Gresham: Gresham only caught six passes for 41 yards in two games against the Browns last year. Bob Bratkowski never utilized the tight-ends much last year though, so there is potential that Jay Gruden works Gresham into the passing game a little bit more this year. Gresham has the size and ability to be the team's red-zone threat and tight-ends usually become a rookie quarterbacks favorite safety-valve in the passing game. Gresham is looking at 4 receptions for 35 yards and a touchdown. Grade: 3/5

Mike Nugent: The Bengals offense probably will not be scoring a ton of points during week one. As we touched upon earlier we have a rookie quarterback, wide-receiver and offensive coordinator making their first starts on the road in Cleveland. Nugent does look fully recovered from his knee injury suffered last year and has the potential to hit from 50+. Ultimately though I do not believe he gets enough opportunities to make a fantasy impact. Grade: 2/5

Bengals Defense: Minus the first preseason game against the Detroit Lions, the Bengals first-team defense has looked pretty solid. Combine their solid play with the fact that the Cleveland Browns offense is not exactly a high-scoring unit makes the Bengals team defense a solid play this week. Grade: 3/5

Individual Defensive Players

  • LB Rey Maualuga 4/5
  • LB Manny Lawson 3/5
  • DL Carlos Dunlap 3/5
  • DL Michael Johnson 2.5/5
  • DB Leon Hall 2/5
  • DB Reggie Nelson 2/5
  • DB Nate Clements 2/5