AFC North Preview – Cincinnati Bengals

Anthony Knox

The Cincinnati Bengals may be one of the more intriguing teams to draft players from. There are guys that there is no question should be on a roster, and if they play to the level they are capable of they will win you Fantasy Football championships. There are also guys that you’ll hate drafting because you’ll feel dirty after doing it, but they could also be important pieces in your championship roster.

Must Draft Players:

  • Andy Dalton – Quarterback
  • Joe Mixon – Running Back
  • AJ Green – Wide Receiver
  • Tyler Eifert – Tight End

The “Red Rocket” Andy Dalton is someone you can lean on as your starting Quarterback if you decided to draft late. Dalton has never been below the 18th overall QB at the end of the year, and he’s been a top 5 finisher as well. Dalton is good for 3,700 yards and 24 touchdowns during the season, which is not bad for a QB you’ll take later in drafts.

The biggest controversy heading into the 2017 NFL Draft was Joe Mixon. There were a lot of potential legal issues and character concerns for teams. The Bengals made the decision to draft Mixon in the second round, which means the Bengals have big plans for him. He is a dual threat running back that will be a potential three down back in the offense. While Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill will have an impact (see below), Mixon is likely going to be the Bengals running back for years to come.

AJ Green is always in the discussion as a top 5 wide receiver for drafts. Whether he is drafted at the end of the first round or the beginning of the second round is only determined by how many running backs are taken in the first round. He is a lock for 1,200 yards, 69 receptions and 7 touchdowns with a higher ceiling because Dalton loves throwing the ball to him.

Tyler Eifert has been inconsistent in his time in the league but has proven he can be a number one tight end. In 2015 he missed 3 games but still managed 52 receptions for 615 yards and 13 touchdowns. The receptions and yards are nothing to write home about, but 13 touchdowns are great. When drafting your tight end, you want one that will score touchdowns. If Eifert can stay healthy he has the ability to repeat his 2015 season and be a stud for owners again.

Players That Should Probably Be Drafted:

  • Giovani Bernard – Running Back
  • Jeremy Hill – Running Back
  • Brandon LaFell – Wide Receiver

I don’t really know what to do with Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill. The two of them combined for 1,686 total yards and 12 touchdowns. Great for a single RB, terrible when they were splitting time. Even when one of them is injured, the other can’t seem to take the reins of the backfield. It’s why I think Joe Mixon will become the lead back because he can rush and receive. Bernard and Hill will play a role for the team, but unless Mixon falls on his face, their roles will be small.

You threw up in your mouth when you saw Brandon LaFell’s name on the “probably” list. Dalton has taken a liking to LaFell, and he ended up with 64 receptions for 862 yards and 6 touchdowns. That’s good enough for 12 points per game, which is a great flex play.

Players You Could Draft If Your Rosters are Deep:

  • Tyler Boyd – Wide Receiver
  • John Ross – Wide Receiver
  • CJ Uzomah – Tight End

Tyler Boyd couldn’t establish himself as the 2nd receiver for the Bengals last year, and the Bengals drafted the fastest man alive John Ross this year. Both of these guys will try to win the 3rd wide receiver role for the Bengals to hopefully become the second option once LaFell is done with the Bengals, or becomes the player we know he truly is.

If Tyler Eifert gets hurt then it appears CJ Uzomah will be the tight end to own for the Bengals. Sure, he is terrible, but maybe Dalton can make something out of him eventually!

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