The Bengals will again attempt to look like a good NFL team as they host the Eagles this weekend in Cincinnati. Not only are the Bengals looking for a win, but so are many fantasy football players. So we look at the matchup and evaluate who is worth starting in your lineup this week, and why.
ABSOLUTELY START THESE PLAYERS
Nobody. Seriously, nobody is a must start this week on the Bengals or Eagles.
Zach Ertz (Eagles TE): The Bengals have been one of the most generous defenses to opposing tight ends this year. Despite Ertz only having one touchdown this year, he has been more involved in the offense over the last month, and could do well against a Bengals’ defense who struggles with stopping tight ends.
MEH, IF YOU MUST
Carson Wentz (Eagles QB): After an impressive rookie start to the season with five touchdowns and zero interceptions through the first three weeks, Wentz has cooled considerably. The Bengals’ pass defense is suspect, and has a track record of struggling against rookie quarterbacks, so there is a chance that he could beat expectations this week.
Jordan Matthews (Eagles WR): The Eagles top receiver offers an encouraging usage with 10 or more targets in each of his last four games, but he only has one touchdown in his last seven games. In a desperate pinch, you could do worse than Matthews. But, you’ll need to keep an eye on the inactives list at 11:30 a.m. ET as he’s a game-time decision to play after injuring his ankle in last week’s Eagles vs Packers game.
Tyler Eifert (Bengals TE): Unlike the Bengals, who love to give up fantasy points to opposing tight ends, the Eagles are rather stingy in that department, not allowing a single tight end to top 55 yards all season. Eifert should get some looks with Green out, and no reliable backup behind him, but it likely will be a tough matchup for Eifert.
Tyler Boyd (Bengals WR): The Bengals rookie receiver has been the biggest beneficiary of Green’s injury, seeing his production jump into the realm of fantasy relevance. If you need a fill-in for a week, Boyd would be a decent option.
Jeremy Hill (Bengals RB): The Eagles have only given up one 100 yard rusher all season, and only two rushing touchdowns since Week 2. Behind a bad offensive line, Hill could be in line for a struggle to produce fantasy points. But that being said, he is a rare 3-down back with Giovani Bernard out.
Andy Dalton (Bengals QB): With A.J. Green, Dalton can put up some solid numbers. Without A.J. Green, Dalton is not a relevant fantasy quarterback. In his last four games, Dalton is averaging a paltry 6.0 yards per attempt, with a dismal 2.5 touchdown percentage with four of them, to four interceptions. The Eagles have had good success stopping opposing quarterbacks, and Dalton figures to be the next one on that list.
Brandon LaFell (Bengals WR): LaFell is trending downward, averaging 21 yards over the last four games. Even with Green out, his increased targets still have not made him a viable fantasy option.
Mike Nugent (Bengals K): This pretty much goes without saying, but when your kicker has missed four extra points, and is only four of nine from beyond 40 yards, he’s not a reliable option. And unlike the Bengals’ strategy, in fantasy football, you are allowed to cut your underperforming players and replace them with better options.
Ryan Mathews (Eagles RB): Mathews is injured and will not play in Week 13.