The Bengals and Jets are getting ready to duke it out, but which players should you be starting? We will also take a look at which Bengals’ players benefit most from Andy Dalton returning to the starting lineup, and whether you should be starting the red rifle in fantasy.
Le’Veon Bell, RB, Jets: Bengals fans are accustomed to Bell running wild against this defense. While Cincinnati’s defense has made strides, they were still gashed for big running plays against the Steelers last week where Benny Snell Jr. had 98 rushing yards and prior unknown Kerrith Whyte averaged 7.2 yards per rush. Bell should be in line for a very great day.
Tyler Boyd, WR, Bengals: Andy Dalton starting at quarterback really boosts Boyd’s floor a lot higher than when Ryan Finley was throwing him the ball. Last week, Boyd showed that he has the ability to make plays happen still when he won two huge contested passes that he snatched out of the air. A.J. Green is also still out, which means we can expect seven to 10 targets for Boyd on Sunday. The Jets defense also allows the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers per game, according to Fantasy Pros.
Sam Darnold, QB, Jets: The receivers for New York may be a slightly more messy prediction in fantasy as we will get to, but Darnold should have a fairly nice day against this defense. Cincinnati allows the sixth-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. Darnold has also tossed six touchdowns and a single interception over the past two games.
Good but not great matchups
Joe Mixon, RB, Bengals: Mixon is facing a pretty tough matchup this week. The Jets only allow 16.3 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. Then again, not having to face eight or nine defenders crowding the line of scrimmage with this new running scheme leaves the door open for a solid game from Mixon.
Ryan Griffin, TE, Jets: Griffin has made the most of his opportunity as the starting tight end, and he and Darnold have developed quite the chemistry. He has five receiving touchdowns, four of which have come in the past five games. The Bengals have been a little better about covering tight ends the past few weeks, but they are still a great matchup for any tight end who has decent chemistry with their quarterback.
Auden Tate, WR, Bengals: Prior to Dalton’s benching, Tate had double digit targets in two of his last three games. It is clear that Finley wasn’t as willing to toss it up and let Tate win the rep. Tate had slowly become a consistent safety blanket for Dalton, and he should continue to try and take advantage of that on his return.
Jamison Crowder and Robby Anderson, WRs, Jets: It is hard to predict if any Jets wide receiver is worth playing in fantasy for the simple fact that it is so hard to predict who will be Darnold’s guy that week. He spreads the ball around so well. Prior to last week, Crowder had a three game streak with at least 70 yards and a touchdown, but last week he only had two catches for 18 yards. Anderson had a five-week stretch where who didn’t even need to be on a fantasy roster, and last week, he got over 80 yards and a touchdown. It doesn’t Help that Demaryius Thomas keeps eating valuable targets that could help stabilize either of these players’ floors. All while Thomas himself can’t put together enough to even crack being fantasy relevant.
Jets Defense against the Bengals: The defenses facing the Bengals are usually pretty safe matchups to bet on. They were especially good with Finley out there, but with Dalton back that isn’t as attractive of a play. They are still a very good streaming option given your other possible choices this week, but it is hard to expect they perform as well with Dalton back there.
Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals: You shouldn’t be picking up Dalton unless you are in a two-quarterback league. Some fans may get excited at Dalton returning and think he will somehow drastically turn this offense around. Dalton has only had three maybe four fantasy relevant games all season, and there isn’t much reason to think he will have one against the Jets this week.
Just sit them
Bengals defense against Jets: The Bengals defense has been better, and if you’re really desperate for a streaming option you may be forced to pick them up. They still just don’t create enough turnover or sacks on a consistent enough basis to feel good about playing in fantasy. Not to mention the Jets offense has been on a roll lately.
Bengals tight ends: Tyler Eifert and C.J. Uzomah are still not playing enough or seeing enough targets to be worth owning in fantasy. Both are touchdown dependent plays that are just as likely to net you zero points.