The Bengals offense was very disappointing last week against the Saints terrible defense, so you shouldn’t be expecting them to have a huge turnaround against the Ravens defense that has been fairly stout this season.
With A.J. Green out, it is hard for me to suggest anyone as a must start. Even Tyler Boyd’s production was dwarfed against a bad Saint’s pass defense with Green out.
Alex Collins (Ravens RB): The Bengals are banged up at linebacker, they haven’t been able to stop anyone running the ball and Collins is next on the schedule. The only thing working against Collins is that his team rarely give him enough touches. He has had 15 or more rushing attempts only twice on the season. He does have four touchdowns in the past four games though, so at least he is considered the goal line back.
John Brown (Ravens WR): Brown has been quiet the past few weeks, but he is the most likely Ravens receiver to give you a big game this week. He had over 90 yards and a touchdown the last time these two teams played, and most of his big plays came over Dre Kirkpatrick, so clearly the Ravens know who to attack with their speedy receiver.
Ravens defense: The past three week the Ravens defense hasn’t been outstanding, but the Bengals offense hasn’t been good at all. It is clear that against the Saints Andy Dalton looked lost at time without Green to throw up a pass to. This could be a great play if the offense is still missing Green.
Good but not great
Joe Mixon or Giovani Bernard (Bengals RB): Mixon wasn’t even that successful the last time he played Baltimore as he only had 84 yards on 21 carries. That was with linebacker C.J. Mosley out for most of the game as well. Mixon is always in the mix to get a touchdown, but he is just failing to put up any consistent production lately. Also, Giovani Bernard taking away plenty of valuable snaps for Mixon isn’t helping his fantasy value.
Tyler Boyd (Bengals WR): Boyd had three catches for 65 yards against the Saints last week. At best, he is a flex option against a much tougher pass defense that can focus on taking him away.
Bengals defense: There is a chance that the Bengals firing Teryl Austin this week creates some sort of spark on the defensive side of the ball. Also the idea of them facing off against an injured Joe Flacco or getting Lamar Jackson’s first start is a pretty attractive option considering the wasteland that is the waiver wire for defenses this week.
Lamar Jackson (Ravens QB): We still have to wait and see on who the Ravens decide to play at quarterback, but this up in the air game they are playing just seems to be to keep the Bengals defense off guard. It seems very doubtful they’d actually have Joe Flacco play without any practice time. Jackson could easily have a fantasy relevant game by just dinking and dunking on this Bengals defense Also, who is going to be able to contain him if he decides to scramble? He should have a few rookie mistakes, but if you are super desperate for a quarterback this week Jackson could be the guy if he plays.
John Ross (Bengals WR): Ross got the Bengals lone touchdown by the starting offense last week, which is a good sign for his fantasy value that they are actually using him in the red zone. He is still completely reliant on getting in the endzone, so if you play him understand you are either going to have a good game or maybe get a goose egg from him.
C.J. Uzomah (Bengals TE): Not sure why the Bengals don’t try to get Uzomah more involved with Green out. He is the perfect guy to toss a few jump balls to. Aside from the Pittsburgh game where he had six catches, he hasn’t hauled in more than three catches in a game. He also only has one touchdown since becoming the starting tight end.
Mark Andrews (Ravens TE): Even with Hayden Hurst back from injury, Andrews has seven catches for 81 yards the past two weeks. One was almost a touchdown last week as well. If I had to choose a tight end to start from this game it’d be Andrews.
Andy Dalton (Bengals QB): Until he proves otherwise, don’t start Dalton unless Green is playing. He also hasn’t thrown for more than two touchdowns in a game since Week 4.