The Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills are getting ready to play a pivotal game for each franchise. Both teams have seen their defenses perform well all season long, and that could lead this to be a low scoring affair. That means players worth playing are few and far between this week.
But, the Bills are also without a few key defensive players, while the Bengals are without a few key offensive players. Bengals wide receiver John Ross is out with a knee injury and tight end Tyler Eifert is out with a back injury. For Buffalo, cornerback EJ Gaines is out with a groin injury and wide receiver Jordan Matthew and linebacker Ramon Humber are out with injuries, too.
Here are the players you should start and sit in the Bengals game against the Bills.
No one is a must-start in this game. Both of these defenses have been great at slowing down opposing teams offenses.
LeSean McCoy (Bills RB): This is more of McCoy just being a stud fantasy player. The Bengals have had their struggles against the run game this year, but they seem to have gotten it under control the past two weeks. Plus it always helps to have Vontaze Burfict back, but you should still expect a relatively nice day from McCoy.
A.J. Green (Bengals WR): Again you play your studs. Green will also be benefiting from Tyler Eifert being out again, although the Bills' defense is one of the best at stopping the pass. This is more about the volume of targets Green should be getting. Plus he has scored a touchdown in two straight weeks.
Good but not great
Charles Clay (Bills TE): Clay is coming off a 100 yard game against the Falcons, but the Bengals have been very successful at shutting down opposing tight ends so far this season. Still, Clay is obviously Tyrod Taylor’s favorite target so you could do worse. Plus, with Jordan Matthews out he becomes the number one target of this offense.
Tyrod Taylor (Bills TE): Taylor is here because he is a dual-threat quarterback. He has also been having a nice season throwing the ball. So far he has thrown five touchdowns and one interception. He hasn’t been flashy, but he has consistently turned out average to above average performances all year long.
Buffalo’s defense: The Bills haven’t let a team score over 17 points a game this season. They also have a habit of coming up with a turnover or two a game. This could easily be a low scoring, sloppy game where both fantasy defenses score well.
Bengals defense: The Bengals defense has been great all season. They have racked up sacks and turnovers. The only game where they allowed a team to score over 20 points was when William Jackson scored on a pick-six, which saved the fantasy defense’s day.
Joe Mixon (Bengals RB): Mixon is coming off a poor performance where he saw Giovani Bernard score the only touchdown by a running back. He had a yardage per carry average that was under 2, and the Bills have been pretty stout against the run. It is hard to imagine he has that bad of a day again though.
Giovani Bernard (Bengals RB): Bernard has scored in two straight weeks, but it is hard to imagine he keeps this up. It is clear though that they want it to be a backfield between Bernard and Mixon. He doesn’t have much of a consistent value outside of points per reception leagues. Still, it is all a matter of how lucky do you feel?
Zay Jones (Bills WR): Without Mathews, Jones seems to be next in line for the receiver position, but he hasn’t done much of anything all season. If you’re in a deeper league, you may have to play him and hope for the best, but he is more of a stash and see what happens kind of guy in regular leagues.
Tyler Kroft (Bengals TE): Kroft exploded for two touchdowns last week, and Andy Dalton may have more faith in going his way again. Eifert is out again, but Kroft isn’t going up against the Browns’ defense that is terrible at stopping tight ends. I would say don’t chase the points in this one.
Just sit them
Andy Dalton (Bengals QB): I know Dalton is coming off his best performance of the season, and so many fantasy quarterbacks are on bye weeks or are injured. Still, Dalton won’t repeat that performance against this Bills defense. They are the second best defense against quarterbacks, according to Fantasy Pros.