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Bengals vs. Saints fantasy football starts and sits

The Bengals and Saints should both have an easy time moving the football against the opposing defense.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals and New Orleans Saints have two of the NFL’s worst defenses. The weather for the game could be a little less than ideal, but it shouldn’t prevent you from filling your lineup with players from both teams and preparing for an offensive battle.

Here are the starts and sits for your fantasy football team from the Bengals and Saints in NFL Week 10.

Must Starts

  • Joe Mixon (Bengals RB): Mixon is coming off his best game of the season against the Buccaneers where he rushed for over 100 yards and two touchdowns. However, he did a vast majority of his damage in the first half. Without A.J. Green this week, and the weather being a little colder, we should see a bigger dose of Mixon carrying the rock.
  • Drew Brees (Saints QB): I don’t get why you’d take Brees out of your lineup. He only has one game this season where he failed to throw a touchdown pass, and only one other where he threw less than two. Brees should have a fairly easy time picking apart this Bengals defense.
  • Michael Thomas (Saints WR): It is easy money to have Thomas starting for your team. He has four games with 10 or more receptions, and he could easily come close to adding to that total this week as Brees’ favorite target.

Favorable Matchups

  • Tyler Boyd (Bengals WR): Without Green, Boyd becomes the number one target, and while he should see an increase in targets, the opposing defenses will likely try to shut him down more without the threat of his All-Pro counterpart. He is still easily a WR2 or flex option in PPR leagues.
  • The Saints RBs: Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram are both guys who you should probably have in your lineup. This is a game where both could have a big game due to the lack of talent at the Bengals linebacker position due to injuries. Kamara could easily have a huge game receiving out of the backfield while Ingram just plows through Cincinnati’s defense.
  • Benjamin Watson (Saints TE): Watson has a touchdown catch in the past two weeks, and he has seen plenty of looks from Drew Brees in recent weeks. Not to mention the Bengals give up plenty of easy looks to tight ends even when Nick Vigil and Vontaze Burfict aren’t out of the game, so this week as Cincinnati prepares to try and defend Watson without those two, you can only imagine how much trouble they’ll have.

Good but not great

  • John Ross (Bengals WR): The hope is that Ross will fill a more normal role with Green out this week outside of his typical decoy and deep threat role that opens up more space for everyone underneath. The Saints defense has also been pretty easy to beat through the air. Call it a gut feeling or a lack of faith in this offense without Green, but I have trouble seeing Ross having this breakout game that many are looking/hoping for. He should be a solid flex option, but I think there is more risk to playing him than many want admit.
  • Andy Dalton (Bengals QB): If Green were playing Dalton would be almost a must start against this Saints defense. However, the reality is this offense hasn’t looked as high octane or even consistent the past few weeks before the bye, and it is hard to imagine it gets that much better without its best player. You can expect a solid outing, but there seems to be better options on the waiver wire.
  • Tre’Quan Smith (Saints WR): The leading receivers for New Orleans goes like this, Thomas has 70 catches and over 800 yards, Kamara has over 50 catches and 427 yards, Watson has 26 catches for just under 300 yards, and then you hit the next leading receiver in Tre’Quan Smith with 12 catches and three touchdowns. Smith’s prospects actually might be as good as they’ll be for awhile this week, and the team just placed Ted Guin Jr. on injured reserve. Smith seems pretty touchdown dependent, but he has a decent chance of getting that against this Bengals’ secondary.

Temper expectations

Giovani Bernard (Bengals RB): Bernard was limited in practice pretty much all week. I’d be extremely cautious about playing him this week despite the matchup. He should probably be rostered at this point as he gets plenty of use for a backup running back, but you’d have to expect the team is at least slightly cautious with him in his return.

The defenses: You really really shouldn’t have either of these defenses on your team this week. Both have been blown over time and time again. Even hoping for Brees to have a bad game just because of the bad weather isn’t much of an option because of how well the Saints run the ball.