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Cincinnati Bengals Fantasy Football Preview - Quarterback

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Fantasy Football season is nearly upon us. Where do our Bengals rank? In this first installment we look at the Quarterback position.

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With the regular season inching closer and fantasy football drafting just around the corner, it’s time to take a look at the various Bengals’ positions from a fantasy football perspective.

In this first installment we will look at the quarterback position.

Historical:
Looking back at the last 4 seasons, here are Andy Dalton’s relevant fantasy football stats:

Year Games Cmp Att % Yards TD INT Rush Yd Rush TD PTS*
2011 16 300 516 58.10% 3,398 20 13 152 1 13.2
2012 16 329 528 62.30% 3,669 27 16 120 4 16.2
2013 16 363 586 61.90% 4,296 33 20 183 2 18.4
2014 16 310 483 64.20% 3,398 19 17 169 4 13.7

*Points per game for a QB can vary depending on how your league scores passing touchdowns, and interceptions. For these totals I used +4 on passing touchdowns, and -2 for interceptions.

Dalton’s passing production climbed in each of his first three seasons before a sharp decline in year four. Only his four rushing touchdowns kept him from being entirely irrelevant as a fantasy quarterback in 2014.

2014 Review:
Part of Dalton’s drop in production can be blamed on the injuries which decimated his receivers. In 2014 A.J. Green missed 4 games, Tyler Eifert missed 15.75 games, and Marvin Jones missed the entire season. And the receivers he did have (Mohamed Sanu and Greg Little) struggled with dropped passes throughout the season. He was also affected by a change in offensive philosophy, which led to him attempting only 483 passes, which was 103 less than the previous season, and the fewest of his career.

2015 Outlook:
Positive: Entering 2015 all of Dalton's missing receivers are healthy and looking great in camp, which leads to a positive outlook going forward.
Neutral: The Bengals return their entire offensive line, which allowed only 21 sacks in 2014.
Neutral: Offensive philosophy is unchanged from 2014 to 2015
Neutral: Barring injury, Dalton will be the starting quarterback all season with no real threat behind him.
Negative: The emergence of Jeremy Hill should eat into his rushing touchdowns

My best guess is that the return of Dalton’s weapons should see a slight jump in his TD’s and passing yards, but not to 2013 levels. And his rushing touchdowns will likely drop.

Year Games Cmp Att % Yards TD INT Rush Yd Rush TD PTS
2011 16 300 516 58.10% 3,398 20 13 152 1 13.2
2012 16 329 528 62.30% 3,669 27 16 120 4 16.2
2013 16 363 586 61.90% 4,296 33 20 183 2 18.4
2014 16 310 483 64.20% 3,398 19 17 169 4 13.7
2015 16 320 500 64.00% 3,700 25 16 150 2 15.2

Comparing those 15.2 projected points per game against Yahoo’s quarterback projections would place Dalton in the middle of the list of backup quarterbacks, around 18~22, with the likes of Jay Cutler and Carson Palmer.

If you really love Dalton and really want to make sure you end up with a Bengal on your team, you can target him after the first tier of backup quarterbacks like Eli Manning and Philip Rivers go off the board. Unless you are in a league stacked with Bengals’ fans, you can probably get him near the end of your draft, since his last season was so miserable. And, if you are in a league stacked with Bengals’ fans, let one of them overpay for him. If you do draft Dalton, don’t plan on using him for more than a rare start to cover a bye week or injury from your primary quarterback.