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Bengals vs. Cardinals: Fantasy starts and sits

Who you should start when the Bengals and Cardinals fight for their first win of the seasons.

Cincinnati Bengals v Buffalo Bills Photo by Timothy T. Ludwig/Getty Images

The Bengals and Cardinals aren’t playing for much. Both teams are winless through four weeks of the season, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help out your fantasy team!

Here are the players you should start and sit from today’s game.

Must start

David Johnson, RB, Cardinals: The Bengals are one of the best matchups for opposing running backs in fantasy football. They give up 30.7 points per game to running backs, according to Fantasy Pros. Johnson hasn’t looked consistently like the must start running back many of us remember him as, but odds are he will look like it this week.

Favorable matchups

Tyler Boyd, WR: If the Bengals offense looked anything like a normal functioning NFL offense the past few weeks, Boyd would be a must start. He is going to get plenty of targets with A.J. Green and John Ross out. He still hasn’t reached the end zone this season, though, and last week he only caught three passes. Boyd should be a borderline WR2 in PPR settings, but he is a boom or bust option in standard formats with much more of a bust potential.

Kyler Murray, QB, Cardinals: The Bengals defense just made Mason Rudolph look like Tom Brady last week. Murray has been pretty up and down so far this season. It is hard to imagine him disappointing you this week.

Joe Mixon, RB, Bengals: Mixon has to be more involved with Cincinnati low on difference makers on offense. It is pretty insane how disappointing he has been in fantasy, but between the offense going through lulls without giving him the ball and an offensive line that fails to make second level blocks (or first for that matter) it is just tough for him. If there was ever a week to finally try to ride Mixon to a win for the Bengals it would be now. Mixon still only caps out as an RB2, which is disappointing for fantasy players who drafted him.

Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals: Christian Kirk has already been ruled out for the game, which leaves Fitzgerald as the only other receiver with at least 20 catches on the season for Arizona. He cooled off the past two weeks after starting the season with two games of at least double digit targets. Without Kirk, he should return to that level of volume as Murray’s safety blanket.

Cardinals defense: Dalton has been sacked 19 times over four weeks, including eight last week. Aside from Week 1 and a spurt in Week 3 this offense has looked abysmal. Now they are without the only receiver with the ability to take the top off the defense. The Cardinals aren’t a good defense, but that hasn’t stopped the Bengals offense from struggling.

Good but not great

Tyler Eifert, TE, Bengals: There is a good chance we see a vintage Eifert performance this week. The Cardinals allow the most points to opposing tight ends by a pretty wide margin. “So why isn’t Eifert ranked higher,” you may be wondering. Well the Bengals have heavily limited his snaps so far this season, and C.J. Uzomah could eat into some of the plays the Eifert would normally be making. It was good to see Eifert get a couple of redzone targets last week, but he still seems like a touchdown dependant option. The only difference this week is I’d be willing to bet he gets at least one.

Clay Charles, TE, Cardinals: He is a tight end facing the Bengals’ linebackers who absolutely can not cover anyone. He may only have four catches on the season, but people like to go off on this Cincinnati defense. I’m not rushing out to add him if I already have a tight end I can rely on, but if you’re in need of a waiver wire pickup, you could do worse.

Auden Tate, WR, Bengals: Tate has seen an increased role ever since returning from his injury. WIth Ross out, he should be in line for even more targets. The overall ability of this offense limits Tate though. He should be a nice flex option in PPR leagues, but in standard you have to hope e gets in the end zone, which is something he hasn’t done since returning. It is also something the Bengals have struggled with altogether the past few weeks.

Just sit them

Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals: Based on the matchup against the Cardinals, Dalton should be a streaming option. It is just too hard to trust him right now. The offensive line has been letting him down, and he isn’t currently surrounded by enough talent to look like a reliable fantasy option this week.

Bengals defense: This defense should be a good streaming option as the Cardinals are a great matchup for defenses in fantasy. They just haven’t shown the ability to be playable in fantasy since Week 1. If you are a guy who only cares about matchups, then the Bengals should still be available to pickup, but they are a huge risk to get you no points (or even negative points depending on your league’s scoring).