Top 5 Cincinnati Bengals to Target & Avoid in Fantasy Football Drafts

Top 5 Cincinnati Bengals to Target & Avoid in Fantasy Football Drafts

Tyler Vaysman
3 years ago
3 min read
Top 5 Cincinnati Bengals to Target & Avoid in Fantasy Football Drafts

Fantasy drafts are inching closer and closer as Bengals fans are excited about loading up their rosters with their favorite players. Fortunately, there are a few players worth considering, but a couple of its best to avoid.

Here are five Bengals to target and avoid for your upcoming fantasy football drafts.

1. TARGET - RB Joe Mixon

Mixon is coming off of an injury-shortened season where he only played in six of Cincinnati’s 16 games. However, fantasy managers should not be scared to select Mixon, perhaps even thrilled if you’re landing him in the late-second round, which many project him at currently.

Mixon, who’ll turn 25 in late July, is due for an increased workload now that longtime vet Giovani Bernard is gone, particularly when it comes to the passing game. Offensive coordinator Brian Callahan also recently told reporters, “I don’t want Joe [Mixon] to leave the field, and I think he’s up for that challenge.”

The two-time thousand-yard rusher, who has more games played than fellow 2017 draftee and consensus top-four pick Dalvin Cook, is in a position to reward fantasy managers who draft him way lower than he should be going.

2. AVOID - WR Ja’Marr Chase

Chase was the fifth overall pick in the draft, a huge indicator that the Bengals expect him to be a huge focal point of the offense now and in the future. However, expecting him to be a WR2 for your fantasy team right away may be a little too optimistic.

There is no question Chase and Joe Burrow have chemistry from their days together at LSU, so that won’t be an issue. But the NFL is a different animal, where often we’ll see rookies need some time to get adjusted to the pro level. It’s possible, and maybe even likely that Chase doesn’t start to hit his stride until halfway through the season, which hurts fantasy managers who use a decent draft pick on him.

Chase has an enormous amount of upside, and history actually does show that wide receivers drafted in the top-10 are fantasy-relevant more often than not. But perhaps look at the rookie as someone to trade for during the year rather than someone to select on draft day.

3. TARGET - WR Tee Higgins

With Chase in town, it seems like Higgins is going under the radar a bit on draft boards. But last year’s second-round pick should be looked at as an immediate asset to your fantasy team and a WR2 in both standard and PPR formats.

Higgins finished his rookie year with over 900 receiving yards and six touchdowns, averaging over 13 yards per reception. He also became Burrow’s top end zone target, prominently featured on a team that passed 62 percent of the time when their franchise QB was under center.

Both Burrow and the OC Callahan have noted how much bigger and stronger Higgins looked during minicamp, a positive sign that the 22-year old is going to be even better in 2021.

4. AVOID - TE Drew Sample and C.J. Uzomah

This is a two-for-one since both Sample and Uzomah are expected to share the tight end position in 2021. However, neither of them warrants any season-long fantasy consideration.

Uzomah is coming off of a two-game season, but even when he was starting nearly every game the two years prior, he never earned more than three touchdowns and eclipsed 250 yards for the year once. As for Sample, Cincinnati’s second-round pick in 2019 managed just one touchdown in 16 games, averaging just under 22 receiving yards per game.

Despite being in a pass-heavy offense, the number of other mouths to feed in addition to their own timeshare makes it clear that neither of these tight ends should be on your draft boards.

5. TARGET - QB Joe Burrow

Burrow is entering his second year and coming off of a major injury to his ACL, so naturally, many people are exercising caution. However, assuming he is ready to roll for the season, the sky's the limit for Cincy’s franchise signal-caller.

Burrow took a lot of hits last year, but that didn’t affect his turnovers, as the 24-year old only threw five interceptions compared to 13 touchdowns. But where his fantasy value is going to come from is volume, as few teams will be asking their QB to pass as often as the Bengals will ask Burrow. Before his injury, he was on pace for a whopping 658 pass attempts, which would have led the entire NFL.

If there is one issue, it’s how mobile Burrow is going to be after his injury last season. However, on sheer passing alone, a healthy Joe is a strong QB2 in fantasy and perhaps ends the year as a QB1.

Share article on: