|By Vin Sadicario, Thursday, August 15, 2013|
QB Andy Dalton - Quality Backup
Andy Dalton improved upon his rookie numbers in his second season, but the Bengals quarterback will likely only be a high quality backup for fantasy teams this season. Dalton will need a pass catcher other than A.J. Green to step up this season, so opposing defenses can not just look to stop Green. If Jermaine Gresham or Mohamed Sanu can step up, Dalton could have value as a lower end QB 1.
RB Giovani Bernard - Sleeper (undervalued)
Giovani Bernard could make a fantasy impact as a rookie out of the Bengals backfield. Bernard was the 37th overall pick in this year's NFL draft, and will start the season as the backup to BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Bernard will see the field on third downs, and to spell Green-Ellis throughout the game, in fact, we're hearing the carries may be split 50/50. I would not be surprised to see Bernard thrust into a more vital role as the season moves along, as he brings more explosiveness to the field than Green-Ellis. There's little doubt after seeing how elusive Bernard is on the field, he can be a solid RB1 in the league. We're projecting him to outproduce Green-Ellis in PPR formats this year and likely be a hot name for fantasy players come playoff time.
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis - Quality Backup
BenJarvus Green-Ellis will likely enter the season as the Bengals' starting running back. Green-Ellis will have to hold off second round draft pick Giovani Bernard, who will likely cut into his carries throughout the season. Green-Ellis struggled at times last season, and if he does not get off to a good start to the season, could be the Bengal's backup before long.
RB Cedric Peerman - Not Draft Worthy
Cedric Peerman will be the Bengals' fourth option out of the backfield this season. Peerman will make the team based on his special teams ability, but would need multiple injuries to running backs ahead of him on the depth chart to make a fantasy impact this season.
WR A.J. Green - Stud (low risk)
A.J. Green should be one of the first wide receivers off the board in fantasy leagues this season. Green was spectacular last season, catching 97 passes for 1350 yards and 11 touchdowns, and there is no reason to believe his numbers will drop this season. He will probably come off the board as the second or third wide receiver, so plan on drafting him early in fantasy drafts.
WR Mohamed Sanu - Bye Week Fill-in
Mohamed Sanu is the favorite entering training camp to start across from A.J. Green as the Bengals' number two wide receiver. Sanu was injured for most of his rookie season, but should be fully healthy and ready to make an impact on the field this season. Sanu will have to hold off Marvin Jones for a starting spot, but should be worthy of a roster spot in fantasy leagues if he holds onto his starting position.
WR Andrew Hawkins - Bust (overvalued)
Andrew Hawkins will enter the season as the Bengals' slot wide receiver. Hawkins got off to a great start to the 2012 season, but faded badly over the last 11 games. Hawkins may be overvalued entering the 2013 season based on his hot start to last season, but fantasy owners will be dissapointed if they expect him to produce for a full season.
WR Marvin Jones - Deep-league Only
Marvin Jones has a chance to overtake Mohamed Sanu for the Bengals' number 2 wide receiver spot. Jones will need a big preseason to overtake Sanu, and did not impress when given the opportunity to start at the end of last season. Jones should be drafted only in the deepest of leagues.
TE Tyler Eifert - Quality Backup
Rookie Tyler Eifert is unlikely to be a big time fantasy asset in his first season, but is a player to watch in dynasty leagues. Eifert was the 21st pick in the NFL draft, but with Jermaine Gresham ahead of him on the depth chart, his fantasy potential is limited for the near future. However, we liken his skill set to Jimmy Graham: big, physical and quick with great hands. There will be times this season he'll have great games, but knowing when those will come will be the hard part. He's a great late round pick in draft master formats because those big weeks will be rewarded. Eifert does have the potential to be a star for the future, and should be a top 10 tight end once Gresham is out of his way, but not this season.
TE Jermaine Gresham - Quality Backup
Jermaine Gresham should enter the season as the Bengals' starting tight end (despite Tyler Eifert being drafted by the team). Eifert will cut into Greshams production, making him just a backup for fantasy players. Do not count on big production from Gresham this season.
PK Mike Nugent - Quality Backup
Mike Nugent will be the Bengals kicker this season. Nugent is a middle of the road fantasy kicker.
Cincinnati Defense - Solid/Safe Pick
The Bengals defense led the league in sacks and was third in fumble recoveries last season. The Bengals defense should be drafted as a starting defense this season.