Note: all points are calculated with PPR scoring
Team Reception Breakdown
Andy Dalton: 251.46 total, 15.7 ppg (340/535 passing, 3799 yards, 24 TD, 11 INT; 135 yards rushing, 3 TD, 3 fumbles lost)
There are a lot of question marks about what exactly this offense will look like. OC Bill Lazor’s history would indicate something very pass happy, a la his time with the Dolphins. On the other hand, the Bengals have 2 solid running backs and Dalton’s best years have come playing off the run game with low passing volume. Lazor called for lower passing volume last year, so I wouldn’t anticipate Dalton to come out swinging this year. The improved offensive line should help everything as well. Dalton won’t have the volume to crack QB1 ranks, but he could be a decent bye week fill-in.
Joe Mixon: 221.7 total, 13.9 ppg (225 carries, 1013 yards, 7 TD, 2 fumbles lost; 40 Rec, 364 yards, 1 TD)
Gio Bernard: 113.7 total, 7.1 ppg (75 carries, 345 yards, 1 TD, 0 fumbles lost; 35 Rec, 322 yards, 1 TD)
I keep hearing about how great Mixon is and how much potential he has. A lot of people assume he’s just going to be the workhorse by default. How quickly people forget about Bernard, one of the league’s better 3rd down backs. Mixon should definitely be the lead back, but Bernard is also definitely going to get his touches. The improved offensive line should help both after a disappointing year last year. Mixon should be right in the thick of the RB2’s with potential upside as a low end RB1 if all things go right. Bernard is more RB4/RB5, but has some upside as a handcuff for Mixon as Bernard has assumed a workhorse role in that situation before.
A.J. Green: 260.3 total, 16.3 ppg (85 Rec, 1233 yards, 9 TD, 1 fumble lost)
John Ross: 104.8 total, 6.6 ppg (40 Rec, 528 yards, 2 TD, 0 fumbles lost)
Tyler Boyd: 103.8 total, 6.5 ppg (45 Rec, 468 yards, 2 TD, 0 fumbles lost)
Starting off with the easy analysis, A.J. Green is still A.J. Green. He’s going to rack up targets and the associated production as the primary weapon in the Bengals’ passing game. He should be a middle-of-the-pack WR1. After him, the Bengals mixed it up a little from last year. Former WR2 Brandon Lafell was released, paving the way for Ross and Boyd to see increased workloads. Both were inconsistent last year, but both have plenty of potential and should have opportunities to show it this year. Their status as 2A and 2B will prevent either from really being relevant in fantasy, but if either one gets injured or proves to still be a work in progress, the other stands to benefit as a sneaky late round flyer.
Tyler Eifert: 84.6 total, 10.6 ppg (30 Rec, 366 yards, 3 TD, 0 fumbles lost)
Tyler Kroft: 76.5 total, 4.8 ppg (30 Rec, 285 yards, 3 TD, 0 fumbles lost)
Eifert is one heck of a what if case. The guy is a dominant presence whenever he’s on the field, but at this point he’s missed more games than he’s played in his career. If he stays healthy, he is a strong TE1. However, due to his injury concerns it’s incredibly risky to draft him as your TE1. The stat projections above assume that Eifert plays 8 games. He’s best drafted as a high-upside TE2. His primary backup, Kroft, is not nearly on the same tier talent-wise, but he did prove capable enough as a security blanket for Dalton when called on last year. He could provide some bye week relief if Eifert is out again.