Christmas trees are popping up, stores are abnormally packed with shoppers, and cards with holiday greetings are showing up in mailboxes. This all means it's that time of the year again: the Fantasy Football playoffs, are upon us. We know, that's definitely what you were thinking!
For many leagues, the playoffs are beginning this weekend, though some leagues are allowing their members to still have one more week to get holiday shopping done before focusing on your playoff run.
So which Bengals should you consider starting in your championship run? Let's take a look.
Who would have thought back in August and September when fantasy drafts were taking place that Andy Dalton would be a top 6 fantasy quarterback, and would lead the NFL in quarterback rating? Obviously very few of us, since he went undrafted in a number of leagues, and was selected very late in the leagues in which he was drafted.
Dalton has a pair of matchups over the next couple of weeks against the Steelers, and 49ers which are favorable to quarterbacks. The Steelers give up the 11th most points to quarterbacks, and the 49ers join them as one of the six worst defenses in passing yardage allowed.
Unfortunately if you have Dalton as your fantasy quarterback, he has a primetime game against the league's best passing defense (Monday night vs Denver in Week 16) when your league likely has its title game. So you may want to look now for a better option for your championship game, but Dalton is a solid option to help get you there.
A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert
I've listed these two players together, because it goes without saying that you should be starting them - regardless of who the Bengals play. Eifert leads the NFL in touchdowns, while Green is a top-10 wide receiver, yet again.
This week against the Steelers isn't as enticing of a matchup as their game next week, but FFL scoring is highly driven by turnovers and sacks, and the Bengals did well getting those in their last game against the Steelers.
The Bengals are giving up an average of eight points per game in five of their last six games. That is pretty amazing. And, over the full season, they've given up an average of 16.3 points per game, which is the best in the league.
While I'd love to add Jeremy Hill to this list, I'm hesitant to list him. I fully expect him to pick up the workload going forward, and get the goal line touches. But, outside of a gravy matchup against the 49ers, Hill is facing a pair of difficult matchups with the Steelers and Broncos in two of the next three weeks. I would personally start him, but I can't advise you do the same.
Mike Nugent has only missed one field goal since October 4, and that was six weeks ago on the Steelers' field, which is known for being difficult for kickers. That being said, it's hard to recommend starting Nugent for one reason. A kicker's value in FFL is in getting a ton of field goals, and it's very challenging to predict those. With how well the Bengals score touchdowns, it's hard to expect Nugent to suddenly get an abundance of field goals.