Bengals Fantasy News

Sunday, August 2, 2015, 12:17pm

Vikings.com - [Full Article]

The Minnesota Vikings have announced that the club has signed free agent WR Ryan Whalen.

Whalen joins the Vikings as a free agent entering the 2015 season. Whalen was a 6th round selection by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2011 NFL Draft out of Stanford. The Alamo, California, native spent three seasons with the Bengals before being released following the 2014 preseason. Whalen has appeared in 17 games for Cincinnati snaring 11 receptions for 80 yards in addition to six special teams tackles.

Bengals TE Tyler Eifert says he's '100 percent' healthy

Thursday, July 30, 2015, 6:44pm

Paul Dehner, Twitter - [Full Article]

Bengals TE Tyler Eifert says he is 100 percent for the first time since beginning of 2014 OTAs.

Fantasy Impact:

With Jermaine Gresham out of the way, Eifert should be a nice late-round pick provided he can stay healthy. He has good size and speed, and showed pretty good hands as a rookie. He only played about 60 percent of the snaps in 2013, and averaged 0.14 FP (PPR) per snap. Extrapolate the same production to 90 percent of the snaps (which is typical for a starting tight end), and Eifert shouldn't have any problem posting top 15 numbers. With solid improvement, he could very well be this year's Jordan Cameron (2013) or Travis Kelce (2014).

Bengals plan to open up the offense 'a little bit more'

Wednesday, July 29, 2015, 3:02pm

Bengals.com - [Full Article]

If Bengals QB Andy Dalton has the kind of year that OC Hue Jackson envisions, it’s because he’ll be a point guard executing some pretty exotic stuff. After his first season was marred by injuries to both starting wide receivers and a starting tight end, Jackson is itching to unload some Xs and Os.

“We're going to open Pandora's box more,” Jackson said. “We tickled it a little bit last year. We're going to open it up a little bit more this year and be who I think we can be…But I tell you what, the defenses are so good, the defensive players are so good and they disguise all the time, why can't we? It's a chess match, and whoever is not afraid to pull the trigger, pull the trigger. And I'm not afraid, so let's go.”

“I tell people all the time -- close, personal friends of mine -- that was probably my best coaching job. To not have A.J. Green. To not have Tyler Eifert. To not have a healthy Jermaine Gresham to start the season. You lose Kevin Zeitler for a couple games,” Jackson said. “We mixed and matched pretty well last year. Not to the best of what we could have been, but we did a decent job. Obviously a healthy Cincinnati Bengal offensive football team has a chance to be very dynamic….If we can stay healthy, some of those hardened times can turn into some good times.”

Fantasy Impact:

Jackson went run-heavy in 2014, which is typical of his style, but we shouldn't ignore the possibility that a healthy A.J. Green, Marvin Jones and Tyler Eifert could lead to the Bengals taking a more balanced approach in 2015. They were the 5th-most run-heavy team last season after finishing middle-of-the-pack in that category under then-OC Jay Gruden the year before. If Jackson does in fact call more pass plays, it can only help Dalton's fantasy prospects.

Monday, July 27, 2015, 9:35am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Based on recent conversations with those inside the Bengals organization, one fact rings true: The Bengals really like WR A.J. Green. They want him to stay in stripes for a very long time, and they believe he will ultimately do that.

None of that should come as a surprise. After all, Green has been to the Pro Bowl in each of his first four seasons. In those same seasons, he has been one of two NFL receivers to end each year with 1,000 yards receiving and five touchdowns, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The other is Calvin Johnson, the league's highest-paid wide out.

Fantasy Impact:

What we do know, the story went on to say, is that Green isn't too concerned about the immediacy of his new deal. Earlier this month, during his football camp for kids around Cincinnati, he said he had no problem waiting until after this season to talk to the team about locking him up long term. Those comments came about a week before Bryant and Thomas got their deals that helped set the market for top-end receiver value. This past weekend, Green echoed his previous sentiments to one of his home state television stations, but he added that he knows his "time is coming." At least the way things stand now, it looks like this won't be too messy of a situation when the time comes to get a deal done and Green will remain a Bengal.

Committee approach not ruled out for Redskins RBs

Sunday, July 26, 2015, 10:58am

Redskins.com - [Full Article]

The Redskins’ ranked 19th in the NFL in yards gained last year and their 4.2 yards per carry ranked 15th. That’s not good enough for a team that is as unsettled as the Redskins are at quarterback. Whether it’s Robert Griffin III behind center or Kirk Cousins or Colt McCoy, the QB will benefit greatly from a running game that is better than something right around the league average.

So there will be changes in way they do things. One is a more power-oriented ground game. The other may be some form of running back by committee.

“The running game nowadays, you need to have a couple of guys that can tote it,” Jay Gruden told Kevin Sheehan and Thom Loverro on ESPN 980 earlier this week. “Sixteen games is a long time, that’s a lot of games, a lot of carries, that’s a lot of hits on these running backs.”

Gruden said that he would like to split up the carries more than he did last year, when he went with what was mostly a one-back attack. Alfred Morris had 265 rushing attempts. The other tailbacks on the roster, Roy Helu, Silas Redd, and Chris Thompson, combined for 59 rushing attempts. That is 82 percent of the carries for Morris, 18 percent for the rest.

Most backs come into the NFL with some innate ability to run the football. But it’s learning to do the other necessary, less glamorous work that separates an NFL running back from a guy who can find a hole and pick up some yards.

Fantasy Impact:

The story went on to say in his three years as the offensive coordinator with the Bengals, Gruden spread the workload in different ways in different seasons. In 2012 he had BenJarvus Green-Ellis take 80 percent of the tailback rushing attempts. But in 2011 it was a 70-30 split between Cedric Benson and Bernard Scott. And in 2013 Cincinnati drafted Giovani Bernard and gave him 170 carries to 220 for Green-Ellis (that’s a 56-44 split in percentage terms). The story also added the roster can often dictate who gets the carries, and Gruden, in the interview, added that Morris would get the bulk of carries with Matt Jones, Chris Thompson and Silas Redd getting chances to get the carries Morris won't get. However, the story continued to say if Gruden can find another running back or two, it could be more of a running back by committee approach than we have seen with this team in the past.

Cardinals sign TE Jermaine Gresham

Friday, July 24, 2015, 7:21pm

Albert Breer, Twitter - [Full Article]

Cardinals announce one-year agreement with former Bengals first-round pick Jermaine Gresham.

Fantasy Impact:

Tight ends accounted for 15.5% of the team's targets in 2014. John Carlson led the way with 55 targets, so the TE1 isn't a big factor in Bruce Arians' offense. Gresham could start immediately, but isn't likely to be fantasy relevant in one-TE leagues.

Saturday, July 11, 2015, 5:48pm

NFL.com - [Full Article]

The Jeremy Hill offseason hype is rolling hard and fast. Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson hopes the second-year running back jumps on the train and embraces the hype.

"We can't run from it because they're going to say it," Jackson told ESPN.com's Coley Harvey. "Now you've got to go live up to it. There should be no pressure in that. All it is to go out and work. To me, if a guy wants to be great, he's got to relish that. He's got to want that and then go exceed it.

"That would be my challenge to (Hill). I expect him to exceed whatever the expectation is about him."

Hill's play down the stretch was phenomenal. He led the NFL in rushing yards and yards per carry in the second half of the 2014 season.

Around The NFL's Chris Wesseling is one of many who singled out Hill for a big 2015 campaign, going so far as to say the young back, "has a chance to rival Corey Dillon and James Brooks as the best backs in franchise history if he can avoid serious injury."

Fantasy Impact:

To Hill's credit, he says he's not trying to get caught up in the hype. The backfield of Hill and Giovani Bernard gives the Bengals a dangerous one-two punch, but it's Hill who has now emerged as the fantasy back to own. We rank Hill 11th among our RBs. He should get the early down work while Bernard is a pass-catching, change of pace back. Hill is available in the middle of the second in fantasy drafts and would make a pretty good RB2 if you decided to go RB-RB with your top-two picks. But having a back like Hill around early second also means you can address WR or even TE first.

Broncos TEs expected to block more

Monday, July 6, 2015, 8:31pm

DenverBroncos.com - [Full Article]

Owen Daniels, Virgil Green and James Casey leading the complement, the Broncos still appear to be in reliable hands as they reconstruct their tight end corps.

Daniels and Green appear locked in on the top two spots, and depending on the frequency at which the Broncos use certain personnel groups, could both end up with play counts that reflect being starters.

Fantasy Impact:

Julius Thomas, who scored 24 touchdowns the last two years, left for Jacksonville. We rank Daniels 16th on our TE list, but project him for only about 5 TDs this season. While Daniels has the experience in Gary Kubiak's offense, and Green the experience with QB Peyton Manning the last four years, the story points out the job description for the tight ends is a bit different than it was the last three seasons - there'll be a bit more blocking involved. Daniels ADP is the 12th round, however. Compared to those around him, that's about three rounds earlier than Kyle Rudolph and Tyler Eifert who are ranked ahead of Daniels on our list.

Bengals RB Jeremy Hill focused on breaking tackles

Tuesday, June 30, 2015, 4:29pm

PFT - [Full Article]

Getting past initial contact was a focus for Jeremy Hill this offseason and OC Hue Jackson said that the back did a good job laying the groundwork for better results.

“For me, it’s just getting that acceleration from the first level to the second level,” Hill said, via ESPN.com. “I’m just trying to lift my acceleration up and miss more tackles. That’s the biggest thing for me. The first guy got me down way too much last season.”

ESPN Stats and Info had Hill averaging 2.29 yards after contact during his rookie season, which was good for fourth in the league last season and helps explain why Hill became such a big part of the offense in the second half of the season. If he becomes even harder for defenses to stop this time around, the backfield work in Cincinnati may not be as balanced as Hill expected earlier this offseason.

Fantasy Impact:

Hill began to see significant work in Week 9 and averaged 19.1 carries for 103 yards and 0.67 TD over the final nine games. He averaged 18.1 carries for 95 yards and 0.67 TD in the six games in which Giovani Bernard also played during that same span, so it certainly appears that OC Hue Jackson was ready to turn to Hill as the team’s primary ball-carrier.

Monday, June 29, 2015, 1:41pm

Cleveland.com - [Full Article]

Browns beat writer Mary Kay Cabot answered a question about the team using Terrelle Pryor as a TE and/or a WR.

Cabot: The Browns will work Pryor primarily at wide receiver, but if he demonstrates he can play tight end, I can see them giving him a shot there too based on his size (6-4, 233) and athleticism. Most of the skill players line up at various spots anyway, so the lines are definitely blurred. I'm guessing that [offensive coordinator John DeFilippo] was willing to give Pryor a chance because he worked with him in Oakland and got the most of him that anyone in the NFL has as a dual-threat quarterback.

Fantasy Impact:

As Cabot says, it's worth a shot. But it could be a difficult transition to receiver, or TE, for Pryor, especially in such a compressed time frame.

Saturday, June 27, 2015, 11:02am

ESPN - [Full Article]

ESPN Bengals beat writer Coley Harvey was asked if the Bengals offense can be better than it was in 2013.

Harvey: First, I must say, the "if" is a big qualifier. Obviously, every team comes into each new season believing "if" it can stay healthy it has a chance to truly be great. In Cincinnati's case, I really do believe that some measure of greatness can be achieved assuming at least near-complete health this season.

Injuries derailed many of the Bengals' hopes in 2014, with receivers A.J. Green and Marvin Jones, tight ends Tyler Eifert and Jermaine Gresham, offensive linemen Andre Smith and Kevin Zeitler, and running back Giovani Bernard missing significant chunks of the season. Had the Bengals been able to get a couple games back where those players weren't injured, they might have won an extra regular-season game, and perhaps they would have had a better shot in the playoff game at Indianapolis. Because of the qualifier "if," it's hard to guess about the unknown. But here's the thing: On paper, the Bengals are poised to be every bit as good as the 2013 team. That year's offense ranked 10th. Last year's was 15th. The Bengals certainly will be more improved this season.

Fantasy Impact:

It's also year two under offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, which should help. Jeremy Hill has emerged as a bell cow rusher and the team expects to have healthy weapons in the passing game. The story added the team better understands how to rotate Hill and Bernard at RB. Where the 2013 and 2015 offenses will differ is in the way that they play. Two years ago, Cincinnati had a pass-heavy system that put a lot of pressure on quarterback Andy Dalton's shoulders. This season, the Bengals will use Hill and Bernard to pace the offense.

Browns Beat: RB Duke Johnson is Cleveland's Gio Bernard

Wednesday, June 24, 2015, 12:56pm

Cleveland Browns - [Full Article]

Browns.com writer Andrew Gribble compared Browns RB Duke Johnson to Giovani Bernard:

Bernard’s name came up last week and Johnson appeared to welcome the comparison. Future NFL Hall of Fame running back LaDanian Tomlinson made that exact same comparison, too, during his pre-draft analysis on the NFL Network. And when you break down their measurables and numbers from the Combine, you start to understand why.

Bernard is 5-foot-9 and 208 pounds. Johnson is 5-foot-9 and 210 pounds. Bernard ran the 40-yard dash in 4.53 seconds. Johnson did his in 4.54. Both players are undersized but are tough enough to pick up yards between the tackles. And both can definitely make you pay as a receiver out of the backfield, as Bernard racked up 43 receptions for 349 yards in his second season with the Bengals while Johnson had 38 for 421 -- in three fewer games -- during his final season at Miami.

Fantasy Impact:

The Cleveland running game is murky at best. The team has two second-year players, Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West, who both had fantasy-relevant moments last season, but they added Johnson to the mix in the Draft. He’s the best receiver of the bunch, so he should have a role on third-down at the very least. But he’s capable of stealing carries as well. The Browns should have a good running game, but it’s going to be a headache trying to project these three on a week-to-week basis. We believe that Johnson is the best bet in PPR formats.

Bengals TE Tyler Eifert 'caught virtually everything thrown his way' in offseason activities

Monday, June 22, 2015, 1:10pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Bengals TE Tyler Eifert was being brought along a little slower mainly because coaches and trainers simply didn't want to run the risk of getting him hurt. He's fully recovered from late-season shoulder surgery, and his dislocated elbow has healed. Still, they wanted to err on the side of caution when it came to putting Eifert in situations where he could fall to the ground stretching for passes. After all, that's how he hurt the shoulder in the first place during the Bengals' very first practice last spring.

Otherwise, yes, Eifert looks healthy. He caught virtually everything thrown his way during open practices, and looked sharp in his routes.

Fantasy Impact:

With Jermaine Gresham out of the way, Eifert should be a nice late-round pick provided he can stay healthy. He has good size and speed, and showed pretty good hands as a rookie. He only played about 60 percent of the snaps in 2013, and averaged 0.14 FP (PPR) per snap. Extrapolate the same production to 90 percent of the snaps (which is typical for a starting tight end), and Eifert shouldn't have any problem posting top 15 numbers. With solid improvement, he could very well be this year's Jordan Cameron (2013) or Travis Kelce (2014).

Bengals Beat: Team 'confident' in health and play of WR Marvin Jones

Monday, June 22, 2015, 1:08pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Without a shadow of a doubt, Bengals coaches are as confident in Marvin Jones' health and style of play as you've undoubtedly read in recent days. Receivers coach James Urban is among the most impressed. He told me a couple days ago that this spring was "baptism by fire" as it pertained to Jones. It was all about getting the rust off the wide out by putting him through every scenario he should face this season. Urban was pleased with what he saw, as was Jones. He was quick and crisp in his routes and started sharpening his timing with quarterback Andy Dalton by the end of the minicamp that concluded Thursday.

Health-wise, Jones told me Thursday he has no lingering effects of the foot and ankle injuries that held him out all of last season. He feels perfectly fine and made it through the practices without any issues. I think it's safe to say Jones is back.

Fantasy Impact:

Jones was one of our favorite sleepers last summer, but his season was derailed by an ankle injury. His 51 catches for 712 yards and 10 touchdowns resulted in the 3rd-highest FP/T in 2013. He’s poised to surprise if he can prove he’s fully healthy and win the starting job opposite A.J. Green. Mohamed Sanu played pretty well last season but he struggled with drops, and Jones was ahead of Sanu when disaster struck. Both players are free agents after the season, so this is one of the more interesting camp battles to monitor this summer. One thing to note: Sanu only saw an average of 5.2 targets in the 12 games in which Green played, so Cincinnati’s WR2 it wasn’t a high-volume role in OC Hue Jackson’s run-oriented offense. That could change if Jones wins the job, but it’s something to keep in mind.

Jaguars Beat: Allen Robinson is 'by far' team's top receiver

Friday, June 19, 2015, 3:56pm

Florida Times Union - [Full Article]

Allen Robinson is by far the Jaguars’ No. 1 receiver.

A quick canvas of the league revealed 10 No. 1-caliber receivers: Calvin Johnson, Julio Jones, Alshon Jeffrey, A.J. Green, Dez Bryant, DeMaryius Thomas, Jordy Nelson, T.Y. Hilton, Odell Beckham and Antonio Brown.

Robinson, the Jaguars’ second-year receiver, is below that level, but on this team at this moment, he’s the best.

Fantasy Impact:

Robinson averaged 5.2 catches for 61 yards and 0.22 TD from Week 2 to Week 10, which extrapolates to an 84-974-3.6 over the course of a full 16-game season. He posted fringe WR2-type numbers before suffering a stress fracture in his foot. The Jacksonville receiving corps should feature Robinson, Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns. If QB Blake Bortles can progress, this could be a dangerous passing game, and Robinson would be the primary beneficiary.

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