We could be in for a shootout when the Cincinnati Bengals host the Pittsburgh Steelers today.
There will be a lot of viable fantasy football options on Cincinnati's side based on how much Pittsburgh's defense has struggled at times this season. With your league likely in the fantasy playoffs, which Bengals you start and sit could be the difference in how long your postseason run lasts. Here's a look at this week's starts and sits for Cincinnati.
QB Andy Dalton
The Bengals' offense is scoring at a blistering pace, and that's thanks in large part to the play of Andy Dalton. He's accounted for eight touchdowns (7 passing, 1 rushing) over his past three games and is up to 28 total scores this season. Up next for him is a Steelers' pass defense that's struggled mightily at times this season.
Pittsburgh is allowing the fifth-most points to opposing quarterbacks over the past five weeks, per FFToday. In addition to being someone you need to play in your regular league, Dalton is a good value player in daily fantasy football, as ESPN's Matthew Berry writes:
Andy Dalton is $6,600 and is at home against a Steelers team that has allowed five touchdowns on deep passes in the past four games, tied for the second most in the league during that span.
Adding to Dalton's potential this week, he'll have to produce a lot for the Bengals to keep up with the red-hot Steelers offense that's scoring at a historic rate. This has the potential to be a shootout, and one that may allow Dalton to end up winning you your fantasy game(s) this week.
WR A.J. Green
With the Bengals offense being so balanced this season, A.J. Green has had a number of games where his fantasy impact was rather small. However, Green has picked up the pace and has generated 62 receptions, 929 yards receiving and six scores over his past 10 games.
That includes three touchdown grabs over the past two games. Back in the Week 8 win over the Steelers, Green totaled 11 catches for 118 yards and the game-winning score in the final minutes. As long as Green is playing, you should be playing him on your fantasy team.
TE Tyler Eifert
The Bengals love featuring Tyler Eifert in their offense, though they managed 37 points last week without him. Still, Eifert is leading the NFL with 12 touchdown catches, and he's a must-play as you open your league's fantasy playoffs. He appears to be fully recovered from the stinger that sidelined him against the Browns, so play him this week against a Steelers defense allowing the seventh-most points to tight ends, per FFToday.
RB Jeremy Hill
The Bengals have continued to stick with Jeremy Hill as their primary runner for much of this season, and it's finally paying off. Over his last two games, Hill has rushed for 184 yards and one score on 38 carries (4.8 yards per carry). Hill has also scored nine times this season as he's gotten many of the all-important goal-line carries.
RB Giovani Bernard
The Bengals have favored Jeremy Hill more in recent weeks, and that's made Giovani Bernard a shaky fantasy play. During last week's 37-3 win over the Browns, Bernard totaled just 35 yards (26 rushing, 9 receiving). Back in the Week 8 win in Pittsburgh, Bernard had just 34 total yards (12 rushing, 24 receiving). With Hill likely getting the bulk of the touches vs Pittsburgh, keep Bernard on your bench this week.
WR Marvin Jones
The Bengals' passing game should be in for a big week, and just about any pass-catcher is going to be a viable fantasy option. Even Marvin Jones, the No. 3 option in the passing game, is someone who could be in for a big week. Matthew Berry likes Jones this week in large part because he'll be lining up against Steelers cornerback Antwon Blake, who's been burned repeatedly this season.
Meanwhile, Jones (a WR3 with upside this week) lines up wide left more often than any other position, which will match him up with Antwon Blake -- rated 117th out of 118 cornerbacks by Pro Football Focus -- who lines up wide right on 63 percent of his snaps.
Still, unless you're in a deeper league where quality receivers are hard to come by, keep Jones on your bench. He's just too big a of a risk to put up a dud, something you can ill-afford in the playoffs.