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Fantasy Football: Bengals vs Browns starts and sits

It's time for a look at which Bengals you need to be starting and sitting for tonight's matchup with the Browns in fantasy football.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Start 'Em

QB Andy Dalton
Normally, it'd be easier to be nervous about ever playing Andy Dalton in a primetime game, especially after last year's Thursday night debacle vs the Browns. That said, this is a far better Bengals offense going against a much worse Browns defense with many key guys injured.

Cornerback Buster Skrine picked off Dalton twice last year,  but Skrine is now in New York with the Jets. Cornerback Joe Haden did a good job of holding A.J. Green in check, but Haden is out this time with a concussion. Those two being gone has left an aging Tramon Williams and second-year man Pierre Desir to try and slow down the Bengals' passing game. Oh, and starting safety Donte Whitner is out this game too with a concussion.

All of this should lead to a big passing day for Dalton against a Browns defense that's already allowing the 10th-most points to opposing quarterbacks, per fftoday.com.

WR A.J. Green
Everything mentioned above is why A.J. Green is also someone you need to start this week. Green should have a field day against the Browns' banged-up secondary, especially with Joe Haden out. Haden has routinely gotten the better of Green in their matchups, but he won't be there shadowing Green tonight.

That said, be warned that Green has been more of a boom or bust guy this season with the Bengals' offense being far more balanced than it's ever been. Green already has four games in which he's had less than 83 yards receiving and no scores through seven games. His ceiling tonight makes him someone you have to play, but don't be too distraught if he doesn't reach said ceiling.

TE Tyler Eifert
As big as A.J. Green has been to the Bengals' offense in his first four seasons, this season has seen third-year tight end Tyler Eifert be just about as featured of a weapon. After all, Eifert leads the team with six touchdown catches through seven games, and he's going against a Browns defense that's banged up and missing several guys. Eifert could be in line for a monster game if the Browns are rolling their coverage more to Green; start Eifert tonight.

RB Jeremy Hill
The last time the Bengals faced the Browns, Jeremy Hill ran for 148 yards and two touchdowns in one of his best games as an NFL running back. Cleveland's run defense isn't much better this time around, and I think the Bengals go to Hill early and often in this contest. After falling behind Giovani Bernard earlier this season, Hill has carried the ball 21 times over his last two games compared to Bernard's nine carries.

That tells me Hill is going to be the workhorse in this game and could easily finish as the highest-scoring Bengal in terms of fantasy football in this matchup.

Sit 'Em

RB Giovani Bernard
It may have been Giovani Bernard who was getting more carries for much of the first quarter of this season, but Hill has slowly been carrying the ball more, and Bernard less. Over the last two games, Bernard has gotten just nine carries for 62 yards in addition to three catches for 45 yards with one total score, which was just his second touchdown of the season.

Bernard should get some yardage in this game, but not enough to make him someone you should play unless it's as a third running back or second flex player in a PPR league.

WR Marvin Jones
The Bengals' offense being so balanced has made Marvin Jones the ultimate fantasy boom or bust player. In Week 6 vs the Bills, Jones caught nine passes for 95 yards and a touchdown. The very next game against the Steelers, Jones caught a whopping two passes for 12 yards.

I do think he'll have a big play or two in this game, but I don't think he'll finish with a good-enough line to make him worthy of playing in your fantasy league.