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Bengals vs. Broncos: Fantasy football starts and sits for Week 13

The Bengals and Broncos have an ample amount of starting-caliber fantasy options this week.

Denver Broncos v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Bengals and Broncos are both 5-6 and competing to stay in the Wild Card race. You may be in a similar position with your fantasy teams as most fantasy playoffs will start Week 14 or 15. Hopefully, some players from this game can help you work your way into the playoffs yourself.

Must starts

A.J. Green (Bengals WR): The Broncos’ secondary has some very talented players, but they aren’t stout against the pass by any means. With Jeff Driskel as the quarterback, you’d have to imagine that he will take a few extra shots towards the most talented guy on the field. Plus, a healthy Green should pretty much always be in your lineup.

Phillip Lindsay (Broncos RB): No team allows more points to opposing running backs than the Bengals, according to Fantasy Pros. Lindsay has been one of the most efficient runners this season despite being an undrafted rookie. He is averaging 5.8 yards per carry behind a very effective offensive line.

The only way Lindsay doesn’t have a big game is if he doesn’t get enough touches. He rarely has been given the opportunity to touch the ball more than 15 times a game, despite being the best running back in the roster.

Favorable matchups

Joe Mixon (Bengals RB): Mixon got more involved in the offense with Driskel at quarterback last week. The backup quarterback threw several dump off passes to Mixon to give the young running back a chance to create in open space. That coupled with the fact Cincinnati finally had Mixon play more in the two-minute drill helps him be a more attractive option in fantasy.

Emmanuel Sanders (Broncos WR): Without Demaryius Thomas around, Sanders has been getting plenty of targets. It hasn’t always resulted in a big fantasy outing, but the Bengals have struggled with slowing down receivers lately, so Sanders could be the next receiver to get in the end zone through sheer target share.

Tyler Boyd (Bengals WR): Some may view Green returning as a negative for Boyd, but the fact is it really opens up more space for Boyd to work. He had his biggest games early in the season when he, Green and John Ross were all healthy. Driskel also tossed a couple throws Boyd’s way that Andy Dalton usually wouldn’t have, which gives Boyd a slightly higher ceiling.

Broncos defense: Von Miller has to be licking his chops at the thought of going against Bobby Hart at right tackle. Plus, it is Driskel’s first start in the NFL, and he is a little more willing to remain in the pocket more than Dalton. That could lead to a few more chances for defenses to create turnovers for the Broncos.

Good but not great

Courtland Sutton (Broncos WR): Sutton hasn’t had that signature game since he essentially took over Thomas’ role after being traded. He hasn’t even had a game where he recorded more than 100 yards receiving. Sutton has a tough matchup this week, but he has a decent chance of scoring his third touchdown of his rookie season.

Jeff Driskel (Bengals QB): I don’t know why you’d need to play Driskel, but if you are need of a waiver wire quarterback, it is hard to think of a better one than Driskel. He gets to throw to a full arsenal of weapons, and he has the added threat of running the ball.

Case Keenum (Broncos QB): If I had to choose which quarterback has the higher ceiling in this game, it would be Driskel. However, Keenum clearly has the easier matchup as he should have all day to throw the ball.

Matt LaCosse (Broncos TE): He scored a touchdown last week, and he has become the starting tight end due to the injuries in front of him. He is completely touchdown dependent, but he has a great matchup against the Bengals’ linebackers that can’t cover anyone.

Bengals defense: Aside from Lindsay, nothing about the Broncos offense seems spectacular. There is a chance the Bengals secondary could take advantage of a few errant throws from Keenum and make it a worthwhile fantasy outing... Or they could be as bad as they’ve been for the past few weeks.

Temper expectations

John Ross (Bengals WR): The Bengals No. 2 receiver has a touchdown in three-straight games and four of his last five. Outside of that though, he hasn’t had much fantasy value. Is he worth roughly six points in fantasy every week? That’s up to you.

C.J. Uzomah (Bengals TE): Uzomah ended up with six catches for 39 yards last week. He hasn’t scored since the Chiefs game, and he just doesn’t have value unless he is a threat to score.