Mike Clay of ESPN released released his 192 fantasy players who should be drafted. It may seem like a weird number, but if you are playing in a 12-team league with the standard 16 players per team, then ultimately your league will draft 192 players.
The question for us becomes which Bengals players should you be drafting?
17.) A.J. Green, Wide receiver
Yeah, the second round is DEEP! If you’re able to pick your draft spot, I’d take a top-three selection, land one of the elite backs and then likely have your choice of one of these players in the second (and possibly third) round.
Green never gets as much love as guys like Antonio Brown or Julio Jones, but he ends up being a very solid receiver in fantasy. Last year wasn’t great for him. He started off slow by hardly registering points the first two weeks, but despite all the offensive struggles, Green ended up being the 10th ranked receiver in standard and points per reception leagues. It is hard to imagine Bill Lazor’s offense doesn’t get Green more involved so he could end up being a steal for you in the second round.
37.) Joe Mixon, Running back
Running back gets pretty muddy once you’re past the aforementioned top 13. McKinnon and Mixon have serious efficiency question marks, but also clear paths to a massive workload.
When it is all said and done, Mixon should end up as one of the better running backs you’ll be able to draft after the second round. Obviously, if you are in a league with Bengals’ fans then I doubt he lasts that long. Still, the improvement to the offensive line and lack of Jeremy Hill to steal goal line touches gives a huge boost to Mixon’s ceiling entering his second season.
112.) Giovani Bernard, Running back
At this point, you’re simply adding depth and upside to your bench.
Bernard may be one of the best handcuff running backs to draft, mostly because he could see almost half of the touches on offense. In PPR leagues, he will probably end up having flex potential as the Bengals love to throw him the ball. Last season, he started to play better later in the season. Part of this was due to injuries thrusting him into the starting role, but Bernard was also far more recovered from an ACL injury he suffered late in 2016. A healthy Bernard bodes well for your squad.
120.) Tyler Eifert, Tight end
Eifert is referred to as a Hail Mary option at tight end. The ideal situation to add Eifert is as your backup tight end or second tight end if your team allows you to flex a tight end. The analysis here is simple. When Eifert is healthy he is about as good as they come at the tight end position. That when he is healthy part is why he will be there late in your fantasy drafts.
136.) John Ross, Wide receiver
We’re getting to the late stages here, so it’s time to start thinking high-upside fliers. Ross, Jones and Williams are terrific second-year post-hype targets.
I was fairly surprised to see Ross on this list after failing to catch a pass last season. Still, it is hard not to buy into the hype coming out of training camp. Honestly if Ross played for a different team I would view him as a guy to let be someone else’s risk. At best he should be your fourth receiver, though. He is still a huge risk, and even if he starts opposite Green there are still a ton of mouths to feed on that offense.
Just missed the cut: Andy Dalton
Dalton will probably end up being a nice waiver wire pick up to be your back up or replacement for an injured starter. He will also be a nice streaming option. I think if you are drafting him hoping to start him every week you are thinking more as a fan than a fantasy owner.
He could surprise some people though. He was the 16th ranked quarterback in fantasy last year, and that was during one of the Bengals’ worst offensive seasons during the Dalton era. Now that he is getting some weapons back and a revamped offense he could jump into starter territory. There just isn’t a reason to overdraft him.
Which Bengal are you hoping ends up on your team in fantasy next season?