The Bengals will play the Patriots Sunday at 1pm est. in Foxboro. This could be a high scoring game with plenty of fantasy football implications. Here is a breakdown of each position.
Quarterback: Start: Tom Brady, Sit Andy Dalton
Tom Brady had a great fantasy game last week against the Browns. He threw for over 400 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions. I don’t expect Brady to have such a good game against the Bengals but playing his first game at home this year Brady is a must start and could be a good start in daily leagues.
Andy Dalton according to ESPN’s experts is the 18th ranked quarterback. I think this a little low but I still wouldn’t rank him in the top 12. The offense has had trouble scoring touchdowns and I expect it will be a tough battle in Foxboro. I think the Bengals will game plan to run the ball and control time of possession to keep Tom Brady off of the field. I can see Dalton having a decent game but not worth a start.
Winners and Losers: 3 up and 3 down
NFL Mailbag: Quarterback controversies and low ratings
Running Back: Sit: LeGarrette Blount, Sit Jeremy Hill, Start Giovani Bernard
Anyone who has ever owned LeGarrette Blount how frustrating owning him can be. He will get three touchdowns while on your bench and then when you start him Brady will have four touchdowns to any player not named Blount. ESPN ranks him 13th and I think that might be high. He hasn’t practiced this week and is listed as questionable.
The duo of Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard is being confusing for fantasy owners all year. One of the two will have a decent fantasy outing Sunday but who is always a question. I think Bernard could be a good daily or flex start this week. The Bengals offense will want to control the ball and will also want the ball in Andy Dalton’s hands. I think that Dalton will be looking for Bernard catching passes out of the backfield.
Wide Receivers: Start A.J. Green, Start Julian Edelman
A.J. Green continues to be a must start. He is ranked as the 5th wide receiver in ESPN’s rankings. The Patriots have dominated the Bengals beating them seven of the last eight times they have played. I don’t like the matchup for Green in a daily league but if you own him start him.
Julian Edelman is listed on the Patriots injury report as questionable and he was limited in practice Wednesday. If Edelman is healthy on Sunday he should be a good start. He got the most targets of anybody last week against the Browns and I would expect that to continue.
Tight Ends: Sit: Martellus Bennett, Start Rob Gronkowski, Sit Bengals tight ends
Martellus Bennett had three touchdowns last week on six receptions against the Browns. The Browns give up the most receptions and yards to tight ends and the second most touchdowns. The Bengals are much better against tight ends giving up the second fewest catches to tight ends at 2.6 a game. Gronkowski saw a lot of snaps last week and caught five passes on seven targets for 109 yards. I expect Gronkowski’s targets will go up this Sunday.
Tyler Eifert didn’t practice Thursday and was seen doing rehab work on the side of the field Friday. If Eifert does play it is unlikely he will see a lot of snaps. C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Kroft are both decent back ups but neither have scored a touchdown this year.
Defense: Sit Patriots, Sit Bengals
The Patriots defense is ranked 6th but I think the Bengals offense to cut down on the mistakes that have lead to their losses this year. I think this will be a realtively high scoring game dominated by the two offenses.
You can’t really start many defenses against Tom Brady and the Bengals is definitely not one.