This should be a very successful fantasy campaign for you if you have anybody from the Cincinnati Bengals squad. Several players worthy of being drafted in the first five rounds and a few mid to late-round folks. We even throw in a few reserve guys who, if they live up to the hype, they could put up nice numbers as rookies.
Sorry for any of you non-PPR league people, that’s all I know anymore. Scoring is a different story. To me, this is how you decide if you’re the person to take a QB in Rounds 1-3 or if you can wait back and still snag a QB1 in Rounds 7, 8 or 9. But I think if you have any of these players, you should be able to trust your team. Now, what’s a safe round?
1. Joe Burrow - He will be a hot commodity again this year. Let’s just hope you get lucky and you get first dibs at a QB. If you’re one of the later picks, have a backup. Unless people get frightened about his injury and don’t draft him. He’s a set-in-stone QB1, one of the first three quarterbacks off the board.
2. Ja’Marr Chase - Again, obvious WR1. He’s going to put up points and a lot of them. He might give you a few low-scoring weeks only because he has four other solid receivers around him, and Joey B loves to spread the wealth. He goes in Rounds 1-2.
3. Tee Higgins - He’s the topic of a lot of debates. WR1 or WR2? Just because he is always mentioned behind Chase doesn’t mean he is WR2. Higgins is undoubtedly a WR1. Higgins and Chase will go hand-in-hand in points this year. Higgins goes in Rounds 2-4.
4. Defense/Special Teams - I said it earlier, and I’ll say it again. Watch out for this defense! They have the potential to be scary good. With being able to resign Pratt, Hendrickson, and Wilson, and still having BJ Hill and DJ Reader up front, and Hubbard still coming from the outside, they have nothing to worry about. They have Awuzie is back, and healthy, Hilton and CTB are still right behind him, and now you have rookie DJ Turner showing off speed and skills, along with the new free agent Sidney Jones. To top it off, another new free agent addition, Nick Scott at safety with second-year player Dax Hill and rookie Jordan Battle. Top 5 defense. Rounds 11-13.
5. Evan McPherson - Money Mac! There’s a reason he got his nickname…he’s money! Granted, he had a few more misses than normal last season, but he was still pretty darn reliable. I think he gets back to his normal self this year, and he is one of the first 10 kickers off the board. Last five rounds. Some people snag those kickers early, you never know when you’ll need that 60 FG to clinch the playoffs.
1. Tyler Boyd - I feel bad for TB, I really do. But you should feel lucky if you draft him. It seems like he never gets as much credit as Higgins or Chase, but he puts up some solid numbers and comes in clutch often. Joey B has expressed his trust in TB. I believe he’s a WR2. He goes in Rounds 5-8.
2. Joe Mixon - Mixon is a tough one to read. He has a ton of potential, but you never know. Last year, even when it seemed to be an “off year” for him, he still put up almost 1,000 yards. After restructuring his contract and knowing where the ceiling is for this team, I expect Mixon to have a huge year. Rounds 4-6.
1. Irv Smith Jr. - I can’t wait for this guy. Coming off a tough year in Minnesota and signing with the Bengals, he has a ton of opportunity for a career-high year. Burrow is known for booming his TEs, and I don’t think anything changes with Irv Smith Jr. He already seems to pick creating great chemistry with Burrow, on and off the field. Potentially top 10 TE. Rounds 7-9.
2. Trenton Irwin - How can you not like T.I. This guy comes out of nowhere last year and quickly becomes a fan favorite. He’s not a superstar that everyone knows, but he’s the guy who is known by the only people who need to know him. He continuously comes in clutch with receptions or TDs. He has picked up in training camp right where he left off last season. A potential UDFA or final-round pick in deeper leagues.
1. Charlie Jones - He was labeled as a steal for the Bengals in this year's draft. He has been a top target for Bengals quarterbacks. Creating his reliability reputation, he has the ability to be a very underrated wideout for this Bengals squad. His only downfall, he has four other receivers in front of him. He’s also playing through a shoulder labrum tear, but it doesn’t seem to be an issue. Let’s see if he can make a splash. UDFA pickup in case of injuries.
2. Andrei Iosivas - Pretty much the same as Charlie Jones. Iosivas is a late-round rookie who has impressed in the preseason, but with such a deep receiver group, it’s hard to see him being anything more than someone you play if there are injuries to multiple guys in front of him.
3. Chase Brown - Another steal for the Bengals. He is known for his speed and breaking tackles. He is another guy who could make a splash if he got the opportunity, but he has Mixon and Williams in front of him. Williams missed a few weeks with an ankle sprain and hasn’t played in the preseason, but this shouldn’t be an issue for the regular season. He could be a FA pickup in case of injuries.