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Bengals at Raiders: Fantasy football starts and sits

This may be a week you can feel okay having a few Bengals in your lineup.

Baltimore Ravens v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Bryan Woolston/Getty Images

The Bengals fantasy outlook didn’t improve much last week when they got rolled by the Ravens. Ryan Finley didn’t have the kind of debut fantasy players who own Bengals were probably hoping for.

Ultimately, they could have a better day this week. You will still be playing plenty of Raiders, though.

Must starts

Josh Jacobs, RB, Raiders: When teams don’t have a quarterback like Lamar Jackson to take away rushing yards from their running back, opposing teams always see their running backs have huge days against the Bengals. The starting of Germaine Pratt at linebacker may help Cincinnati’s defense slightly, but Jacobs has just been on fire the past three weeks, and the Bengals defense won’t lead anyone to believe that will end this week.

Darren Waller, TE, Raiders: Waller isn’t here just because he is a tight end facing the Bengals’ defense. He is ranked this high because he is far and away Derek Carr’s favorite target. He has 51 catches for 588 yards and three touchdowns on the season. No other receiver even has 30 catches. Expect Waller to pad that lead against Cincinnati’s defense that has ad issues defending intermediate routes.

Favorable Matchups

Joe Mixon, RB, Bengals: We FINALLY saw the coaching staff change up the running game, and it payed dividends with Mixon’s first 100 yard rushing game of the season. It is troubling how long it took them to finally pull this off, but it is still great to see. The only downside is the Raiders defense isn’t necessarily a good matchup. They aren’t bad though, so feel safe with Mixon as your RB2.

Derek Carr, QB, Raiders: Carr has to be one of the top waiver wire quarterbacks of the week. He has been incredibly solid the past four weeks with eight touchdowns, one interception and three games of at least 280 yards. It helps that the Bengals give up the third most points to opposing quarterbacks, according to Fantasy Pros.

Tyler Boyd and Auden Tate, WRs, Bengals: Even with Finley taking Andy Dalton’s place, Boyd and Tate still remain to be the top priorities of this passing attack. Boyd had eight targets while Tate had six. Neither did much against the Ravens with those targets, but the Raiders allow the third most points to receivers per week, where the Ravens were a little more stout with their great cornerback tandem. Safe to say, these two should be more flex worthy this week with the possibility of reaching WR2

Good but not great

Tyler Eifert, TE, Bengals: We had an Eifert sighting last week where he finally caught a touchdown pass for the first time since Week 2. Outside of that we didn’t see much of him, but with Drew Sample being taken out of the weird three man rotation at tight end, we may see Eifert more consistently. He is still very much a touchdown dependent play.

Hunter Renfrow and Tyrell Williams, WRs, Raiders: There isn’t room for both of these guys to have a fantasy relevant game with Jacobs and Waller in line for huge games. Williams started off the season hot with five straight games with a touchdown. RenFrow has recently worked his way into Carr’s favor with touchdowns in two of his past three games. Both of these guys have pretty low floor with the highest ceiling of a WR2. My money would be on Williams, but it is honestly a coin flip.

Raiders defense against Bengals: Usually I highly recommend any defense that is playing the Bengals, but this week they are facing a pretty bad Raiders defense. Oakland allows the 26th most points per game of any defense in the NFL. They aren’t a terrible streaming option, but they are more risky than defenses you’d usually pickup facing Cincinnati.

Ryan Finley, QB, Bengals: Finley had a bad debut from a fantasy perspective. He had a fumble and interception with only really a touchdown to show for it. This week he is facing a defense that allow the fourth most point to opposing quarterbacks per week, though. I’d still stick with better options on the waiver wire, but if you feel like rolling the dice or are in a very deep league, Finley isn’t a terrible option.

Just sit them

Alex Erickson, WR, Bengals: It was fun while it lasted with Erickson, but last week he didn’t help anyone. He was also completely out targeted by Boyd and Tate. His most notable target was when Marcus Peters picked off Finley trying to get him the ball on a short outside throw. Things could change for Erickson as Finley becomes more comfortable, but it doesn’t make sense to play Erickson at this point.

Bengals defense against the Raiders: Do I need to spell it out for you? They are terrible. They allow tons of points, they don’t create turnovers and they are just unplayable in fatasy.