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Bengals vs. Ravens: Fantasy starts and sits

Who should you be playing on your fantasy team when the Bengals host the Ravens?

Baltimore Ravens v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images

The Bengals are coming off their bye week, and I’m not sure if many fantasy players even noticed they were gone. This is going to be a different offense out of the bye though. The Bengals sat Andy Dalton in favor of getting a look at what they have in rookie Ryan Finley.

That means the few playable Bengals’ players now have a huge question mark next to them. Will Tyler Boyd continue to get an insane amount of targets? Can Finely move the ball enough through the air to open things up for Mixon? We have really know way of knowing. What this does is lower everyone’s floor while slightly lifting up everyone’s ceiling. Playing any Bengals player is a huge risk, but we’re going to do our best to find out which guys you should be taking that risk for.

Must starts

Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens: Jackson missed some practices with an illness this week, but it seems like he is set to play. Either way you need to make sure that you have a guy you’re ready to switch in on the off chance he can’t go.

Jackson ran all over the Bengals defense the last time they met, and a bye week won’t be able to change much of that. Even if Cincinnati keys in on stopping Jackson from rushing, he has shown he can beat teams in the air as well. It is just a matter of how will Jackson score his points, not if.

Favorable matchups

Mark Ingram, RB, Ravens: Ingram had a solid game the last time these two teams met, but it was clear the Bengals were content to force Jackson to keep on option plays, which hurt Ingram’s overall output. There is a chance Cincinnati adjusts to change that, which could give Ingram a chance to have a crazy good day, but his floor is very similar to his 74 total yards and a touchdown that he had in Week 6.

Ravens defense against the Bengals: The last time these two teams met, they gave up a kick return for a touchdown and a very late touchdown. Aside from that, they played lights out against Cincinnati. The Finley factor probably decides how this play goes, but at the very least he could make some rookie mistakes.

Marquise Brown, WR, Ravens: Brown is questionable with an ankle injury, but it sounds like he is set to play through his injury. If he was fully healthy he’d be a must start. Despite only playing in six games, Brown has 43 targets on the year. That is on par with tight end Mark Andrews and far ahead of every other receiver. Brown should have a few big plays on Sunday.

Mark Andrews, TE, Ravens: He is Jackson’s second favorite target on the seaso, and he had six catches for 99 yards the last time these two met. That is his best game since his hot start the first two weeks of the season. Safe to say he will probably repeat that effort.

Good but not great

Tyler Boyd, WR, Bengals: Boyd is especially risky after the Dalton benching since he was teh quarterback’s favorite target. Will that continue? We can’t be sure, but Boyd is the most talented receiver the Bengals have healthy right now. His value also takes a hit since he only had three catches for ten yards the last time these teams met.

Auden Tate, WR, Bengals: Tate and Finley have more of a connection than most may expect. After all, they both spent plenty of time together on the second team offense during training camp and preseason. A lot of the time in a rookie’s first game he tends to click on to a bigger target that he trusts, and Tate is obviously that guy. Not to mention Finley will almost assuredly toss at least one fade route to Tate in the end zone this week.

Joe Mixon, RB, Bengals: He is a starting running back, so he deserves to be viewed as a flex option at the very least. It is hard to see Mixon going off this week though. He should have more luck as the schedule softens up a bit going forward, but this week you have to hope the Finley factor somehow creates some sort of momentum that Mixon can ride.

Tyler Eifert, TE, Bengals: Similar to Tate, Eifert is a big safe target, and Cincinnati played him a decent amount in Week 8. Whether that was an attempt to showcase him for a trade that never came or the norm going forward remains to be seen. It is still hard to believe we have to even question how much playing time Eifert could see on an offense that is desperate for any offense, but this is where we are.

Alex Erickson, WR, Bengals: If you aren’t playing PPR just sit Erickson, but there is a chance the Ravens give too much attention to Boyd and Tate. This could open up some targets for Erickson, but honestly he is probably the riskiest of the three receivers for the Bengals.

Just sit them

Ryan Finley, QB, Bengals: There has to be a safer option than playing Finley in his first start ever. Sure you could hope that he has some incredible game, and I don’t want to say it is impossible, but the simple truth is there are just safer and better options on the wiver wire.

Bengals defense against the Ravens: Why do I need to explain this on? We all saw what happened in Week 6, right?